Setting the Scene in Your Smart Home

January 13, 2021

Something that makes us truly unique is our homes and the way we organize, decorate, and use them. We all have our specific routines and preferences – even within the same household. You probably have that “just right” temperature that you like to keep your house at night, and you’ve got your morning routine down to a science. Maybe you’ve even perfected the art of getting cozy for movie night.

Of course, nothing interrupts your routines like the constant need to scramble around for remotes and controllers, trying to remember to flip the switches on and off, searching for keys, adjusting settings, and repeatedly going through a mental checklist. So, what If your home could do the “remembering” for you?

Smart homes feature a variety of useful and fun devices and functions, but it’s when they start working together just as you need them to that you begin to truly appreciate the technology. With smart home “scenes” you can create customized sequences of settings and functions that will automatically run with a simple tap or voice command. We know, with a multitude of options at your fingertips, it may be challenging to narrow down the right devices and scenes for you. Here are a few ideas that you and your family might need!

Everyday Essentials

dog on a leash

Good Morning & Good Night

Consider your morning and night-time routines and how smart home devices can streamline them. Wouldn’t it be great if your home could get you ready for the day or start making things comfy for sleep? Imagine this:

“Hey Siri, I’m going to sleep.” Your security system arms itself, all smart door locks automatically lock up for the night, the smart lights inside turn off and the porch light comes on, and the smart thermostat drops to a cool temperature. All you have to do is settle in.

“Hey Siri, it’s time to wake up.” Your motorized shades come up to let in the sunlight, the porch light turns off and your kitchen lights come on, the security system disarms so you can let the dog out, and just like that, you’re ready for coffee.

Learn more about Siri Shortcuts with

Summer home backyard patio TV

Heading Out

Heading to work or to run some errands? This is likely when you might spend the most time checking off a list of ways to secure your home – and worrying that you forgot something! Instead, run a quick scene so no step is forgotten. 

“Run the Away Scene.” Your security system arms, all doors are locked, smart garage door closes, the TV turns off, lights are turned off, and the smart thermostat goes in an eco-mode to save energy while you’re away. Ahhh…instant peace of mind.

Streamline Your Specifics

Work from Home

If you’re spending a lot of time in your home office, sometimes it’s tough to remember to switch settings between leisure time and work mode.

“Run my Office Hours Scene” to keep the focus on your work while you’re safe and secure in the office.

Cooking in the Kitchen

With help from a smart switch, you can program your fan to turn on while you cook (so that the frying pan won’t set off the smoke detector!)

“Run the Cooking Scene” so you can stay in the zone, keep the doors locked, lights on, and maybe even adjust the thermostat to account for the extra heat in the kitchen.


Game Day or Movie Night

It’s easy to cover the basics, but for those special days and nights in front of the TV, add some custom flair with color-changing smart lights to set a fun mood.

“Run the Game Day Scene” to safely tune out the outside world and zone into every dunk, touchdown, and homerun.

Family Time

There’s nothing quite as precious as being fully present with your family at home.

 “Run the Story Time Scene” and with the magic of a single tap, you’ll be cozy and ready for a bedtime story! So easy, even the kids can do it.

Lighting is an essential and powerful element of any home’s design. When designed with intention, lighting can not only make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, but it can increase productivity, highlight your favorite areas of your house, and add character. Plus, choosing the right bulbs and fixtures from your home can impact energy efficiency. 

There are four main types of lighting you should keep in mind when designing or revamping your home. Each serves its own purpose and comes in a variety of options.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination and sets the mood for a room. Typically, it floods the room with lighting from above, from ceiling-mounted lights and ceiling fans. Wall sconces can also provide enough lighting to brighten a room.

Of course, ambient lighting can come in a variety of styles which can work well in larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms. Ceiling lights can be dome-shaped flushed fixtures, or recessed lights for a sleeker and more minimal look. They can be a part of a ceiling fan or stand alone for a bold statement-making chandelier. Or, tall floor lamps can provide excellent ambient lighting, especially in rooms with high ceilings.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is more dedicated to style than function. With the use of directional track lights or spotlights, you can guide the eyes toward artwork or architectural elements within your home that deserve special attention.

This type of lighting can add character to your home, setting the stage for your favorite spaces and pieces to shine. Options like cove lighting can be installed near your tray ceiling or crown molding to bring those features to life.

Task Lighting

There are a lot of tasks and activities we perform in our homes on a daily basic. From cooking and preparing your morning coffee to reading, writing, and working at home. Task lighting can illuminate the necessary areas for you to do your best work. 

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the counter tops when you’re prepping meals, while also highlighting your beautiful backsplashes, countertop décor, coffee bar, and more. Then, when it’s time to settle in for the night, task lighting by your bedside can help you crack open a good book to wind down.

Natural Lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting within your home. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can instantly make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable. Of course, while we have no power over the sun outside, we can manage the ways we incorporate it into our lighting design through smart shading.

With a variety of fabric options, you can let just enough light in to brighten your home, while also controlling unnecessary glares, or even keeping your bedroom dark and cozy.

Source: Control4

Get Smarter About Lighting

The lighting in your home should feel intuitive and comforting, not cumbersome and overwhelming. With so many lights in your house, it can help to integrate them all into your smart home system. This way, you can manage them all from a single app, or even automate them based on your routines and energy-management needs. Smart lighting systems can even make your home safer, so you never come home to a dark house, and you can deter intruders while you’re on vacation.

 Phoenix Systems offers free consultations with our smart home pros to help design and install lighting solutions that work for you.