Parent hack: use smart lighting as your kid’s night light

Raising kids takes a village, we know. With endless to-do’s, parenting a child of any age is a full-time job and then some.

The good news is that we have the power of tech on our side to help take some of the pressure off our busy days.

By using WiFi powered LED smart lighting as your kids’ bedroom light, you can stay one step ahead of their needs and hack your way into an easier, healthier, happier routine.

Improve bedtime by getting rid of blue light

Kid bed timeMost of us know by now that blue light has a significant negative effect on our ability to fall asleep. That’s no different for our children. Bedtime presents plenty of challenges, but with the right LED night light, we can mitigate a few of them.

To make sure our kids can fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night, LIFX White to Warm and Colour lights can be used as the ultimate night light.

When it’s time to wind down, switch the LIFX White to Warm lights in your kids’ rooms to a warmer shade of white (below 4000K) and dim the brightness down (below 50%). Or use a LIFX Colour light to switch to red light, which will omit blue light completely.

This type of lighting will signal to your kids’ internal clock that it’s time to start producing the sleep hormone melatonin, which will help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

By eliminating blue light in your kid’s room, you’ll be choosing light that works with their bodies, not against it, making for an easier bedtime routine.

(For more info on how lighting impacts your sleep routine and health, click here.)

Schedule alerts to help maintain your routine

LIFX app schedules

Following a consistent routine can make the days feel a lot smoother. Easier said than done though, right? But you don’t have to do it all by yourself, you can schedule your lights to enforce the consistency for you.

Schedule the kids’ morning alarm with lights

Goodbye, blaring alarm clock! By scheduling your children’s LIFX lights to slowly turn on and increase brightness in the morning, the kids can wake up in a gentle and healthy way.

What’s more, hitting snooze or calling out for “five more minutes” will be a lot less tempting in a well-lit room that has eased your kids into waking up.

Schedule an alert to signal when it’s time to catch the bus

It’s easy to lose track of time while trying to get everyone ready and out the door. Before you know it, 20 minutes has disappeared and you only have 2 minutes to get to the bus stop.

With smart lights, you can set a schedule your lights or integrate them with smart home systems to alert you and the kids that it’s time to go. With the lights flicking to the colour red from a LIFX Colour a good ten minutes before the bus comes every day, you can avoid the panic runs.

kid's toys warm light

Schedule when it’s time to do homework

Just like using warm ambers to wind down, brighter white lights have been proven to noticeably improve performance and productivity.

By the time your kids get home from school, they’re exhausted and the last thing they feel like doing is homework. But by scheduling their lights to emit brighter white light for a set amount of time, you can help them stay focused and productive without overthinking it. Then finish their day by scheduling their lights to warm up and dim down to signal it’s time to stop studying and relax.

If you have older children, you can even place a LIFX Lightstrip behind their computer monitor for scheduled bias lighting. Bias lighting (i.e. lighting that projects from behind your monitor instead of directly into your eyes) will take away some of the intensity of the blue light coming from the computer screen, which helps reduce eye strain and fatigue.

Schedule a signal for bedtime

Kids playing with lightBy scheduling your children’s lights to wind down for bedtime, you can create a consistent routine that works with their bodies and is enforced with more than just a verbal request.

For example, if you start by setting any LIFX White to Warm or Colour light (like Beam, Lightstrip or Candle) to switch from bright whites to warmer ambers around 7:00pm your child will know it’s time to start winding down. This can be the time where they know they need to start putting the toys away or getting ready for a bath.

By 7:30pm the lights can be scheduled to switch to even warmer shades and dim down to 50%. This means it’s time for your child to brush their teeth and get ready for bed. When 8:00pm hits, the lights can switch to red and dim to 5% singling that your child should be in bed.

Not only are the visual cues helpful for establishing and enforcing routine, but by eliminating hard blue light slowly, you can work with your children’s circadian rhythm making it easier for them to fall asleep.

Create the perfect vibe for story time

Reading story book pink light

Using smart lighting for your kids’ cool night light is more than just… well smart, it’s also super fun. With LIFX products that include Polychrome technology (like LIFX Beam, Lightstrips and Candles), you can paint unique colour patterns on your children’s lights. Then bring the colours to life by animating them so that they move across the walls.

Your child’s eyes are sure to light up from an underwater scene of blues, greens and purples that ebb and flow across their bedroom wall while reading a mermaid book. And that, my friend, is how you win Parent of the Year.

Use voice commands when your hands are full

Getting the lights while holding a child (or two) and all of their toys can be easier than ever, just say the word. Literally.

By integrating any of the LIFX lights in your kids’ room with a smart home system like Amazon Alexa, you can just call out 'Alexa, turn the lights on' to bring the room up to full brightness without having to put a thing down. Never step on a LEGO again.

Eliminate bacteria on changing tables and toys

playground toys

Upgrade cleanup time without putting in any extra effort. Sounds too good to be true, we know.

LIFX Clean comes with all of the capabilities listed above – scheduling, colours, bright whites to warm ambers, and integration capabilities – but it has an extra superpower up its sleeve. LIFX Clean can disinfect surfaces in your home based on a preset schedule.

That means you can wipe out bacteria like E. coli (the bacteria found in poo) and Staph on things like changing tables and toys without giving it a second thought. Plus, it’s completely safe for your children, pets, and plants to be around, unlike UV products.

Enhance your camera’s vision to keep an eye on sleeping babies

Sometimes a baby monitor just isn’t enough. If you’re looking for a better way to keep tabs on your sleeping child while they’re in a dark room (without waking them up), LIFX Nightvision is a lifesaver. By emitting infrared wavelengths, Nightvision can enhance your camera’s ability to see in the dark. That way it’s easy to make sure everyone is safe (and asleep) every night.