As we all stay home to save lives, many of us are using technology to cope. I look at some different approaches for Global News Morning.

If you’ve taken a tour of a house with a real estate agent, you might remember them pointing out which rooms get the best sunlight at different times of the day and that’s because we’re sensitive to different levels of light as well as the routines the changes in light can create for us. 

For generations now we’ve tried to control this with artificial lighting, but the options have always been primitive. You can turn the lights off or on. Oh, what a revolution dimmers switches were.

Philips Hue light bulbs screw into your fixtures and will wear lamp shades just like regular bulbs, but being LEDs, they can be dimmed through quite a range, change between 16 million colours. and be programmed by your phone through Wi-Fi to change between different moods for different stages of the day.

Looking at the bulbs, you wouldn’t think they were programmable. The starter kit includes four bulbs and a needed hub, another little box for you to connect to your wi-fi router. Once plugged in, all the parts find each other, there’s little set-up, just you sitting down with the app on your phone to pick out colours from a colour wheel, brightness with a slider, and then setting times for changes like an alarm clock. 

Of course there are pre-sets to simulate the morning sun, intense office lights, and night lights amongst others and if you have a smart speaker you can trigger changes using Siri, Alexa,or Google Assistant.

I’m happy with the hub, it’s been knocked over several times and still works, have had no hiccups with the set-up, but do wish the bulbs were a bit brighter as they are designed more for ambient light and splashes of colour. Philips does sell brighter bulbs outside of the starter kit.

My idea of using the bulbs to create routines to mange the lockdown under Covid-19 has worked well and helps.

After my report aired i saw this tutorial by Jen Schachter, a favourite maker, on making studio lights and it’s no surprise she chose the very same LED bulb kit as they are reasonably priced and do lend themselves to being used in custom projects.

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