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Voice-Enabled Lighting For the Bedroom

March 26, 2018  —  Written by Julia 

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We’ve made a few lighting updates in the past couple months in our bedroom that aren’t, maybe, as obvious as the new paint color, or rug, or bedding we’ve shared–but they have really changed the way our bedroom functions for us–I couldn’t not share them. As always, lighting changes everything.

The first thing we added was four 5″ recessed lights. When we installed our ceiling fan years ago, we went with one without a light kit knowing that one day we’d add recessed lights…didn’t know it was going to be years later, but we got along with lamps (plugged into a foot push pedal tucked under our bedside) in the meantime.


Interestingly enough, around the same time we got recessed lights, I got Chris a Sonos speaker for Christmas for our bedroom (we have one for the kitchen, too) and now we can control our lamps with Alexa. The Sonos looks really nice sitting on his nightstand (I love the white!) and has incredible sound and is Alexa enabled, too. To go along with it, we purchased this Philips Hue bulbs starter kit for our lamps (also Alexa enabled), so instead of even flipping a switch, or pushing a button with our foot, we can just simply say “Alexa turn on the lamps.”

Or, “Alexa, turn Julia’s lamp to 20%.” They dim, turn on, turn off without moving our arms. From anywhere within an ear shot. Which is such a luxury I didn’t know I wanted but now wouldn’t want to live without. In fact, when we walked into our hotel room last week (we were traveling for a conference), I said, “Alexa, turn on the lights.” and it was a real bummer when that didn’t work, but it got a good laugh from Chris.

Obviously I would recommend the system to anyone, but it’s been especially nice for our bedroom because we decided to go with mis-matched lamps in our bedroom, including a floor lamp on Chris’s side that isn’t reachable from bed.

I never thought about two completely different styles of lamps in our bedroom, but we had both and I pulled them out of storage to use until I found “the ones.” And they grew on me, so much so, that I was overjoyed when I learned that Chris was equally as enamored with the lamps. Chris’s side has a floor lamp that really bridges the weird corner gap that has always driven me nuts about our room. And he loves the extra space on top of his nightstand.

My side has a tripod table lamp with black and brass trimmings that coordinates really well with the floor lamp–while being completely different.

It’s near impossible to capture them both in the same photo. They aren’t quite asymmetrical, but it works so well. Especially with the addition of the voice-enabled lighting–it’s life changing.

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What do you think?

  1. Rocío Martinez says:

    Hi! First off, I love your blog and your home! I got married recently and we’re starting to furnish our first home. We’ve been gradually getting Philips hue lights. The problem is I don’t quite know what kind of lighting fixtures we can get for them. We just installed our kitchen and I was looking for sconces and as much as I loved clear glass globes I couldn’t imagine the Philips hue bulbs in them so I got milk shades. Now, I’m seriously rethinking them and wondering if I could ever use clear glass pendants, etc. Do you have tips or opinions on this? I would very much appreciate your feedback.

  2. Rachel Alexander says:

    I’m curious what you used for dressers before you finished your master closet. I have the same bed and nightstands but I’ve been hesitant to buy the coordinating dressers. What do you recommend or what did you use?

  3. Curious says:

    Hey! Are you keeping the painting above your bed? What was the design decision behind that? I feel like it doesn’t flow well? (IMO)

    • Julia says:

      We actually really like this one! We ordered another one (should be hear early April), but just snagged this from the guest room and it’s kind of growing me. We’ll do a comparison when it gets here!

  4. Rosie B says:

    In this series about your bedroom, I keep noticing that framed envelope above the nightstand, and am just so curious about its story. Have you or can you share? — Nosey Rosie

  5. Janet Salem says:

    Perhaps this has been answered but these are LED bulbs? Any experience with their longevity? The Sonos with Alexa are quite life changing and we’re enjoying our speakers. The bulbs would be a fun addition if they last!

    • Julia says:

      We’ve only had them for a few months, but they have really great reviews so hopefully they’ll last a good long time.

    • Elaine says:

      We got our feet wet with TP Link’s smart bulbs because they have lower entry costs (no hub), just to see if we like them. Spoiler, we love them. (The bulbs are more but there’s no hub. So if you want to try just one, you’re not out the bulbs and hub.)

      Favorite part is that I never have to walk into a dark house coming home from work – can turn them on from my phone on the sidewalk on the walk home. So nice.

  6. Dana says:

    Silly question – do you guys use a top sheet? I’m just admiring how you’ve made up your bed and noticed that I don’t see a top sheet, unless maybe you’re hiding it under the duvet. I’ve heard a lot of people ditch the top sheet now for simple use of a comforter and then they just wash the duvet cover more often. Curious what you and Chris do. Thanks!

  7. Kara says:

    My housemate gave me a Philips starter kit for my birthday this year. We already have Echoes and Sonos throughout the house, so the Philips Hue stuff was a great gift to integrate with that.

    As I’ve added other bulbs – including some color ones and some in the recessed lighting – I’ve found I’m running out of names for the various lights! Grouping them by room helps – you can say “Alexa turn on the living room” or “Alexa turn on the dining room” but if you only want one lamp on for ambiance, you have to make sure it’s got it’s own name – so “corner lamp” is separate from “sofa lamp”. And for some reason about half the time Alexa hears “torch lamp” as “porch lamp” and insists to me that “I cannot find the porch lamp!”

    And because I have an inner 12 year old, it still makes me giggle when turning on the bedroom lights to say “Alexa, turn on [hisname]” or “Alexa, turn on Kara”.

  8. holly says:

    I just reread the beginning of the post and realized you included it because you always do! I think when I read 20% I was so excited what I had read before that just fell out of my brain. Sorry about that!

  9. holly says:

    What bulbs are you using that are dimmable? Does the lamp have to start out that way or can I put a dimmable bulb in any old lamp? This sounds like a total game changer!

  10. Donna says:

    I noticed black legs peaking out under your bed frame that look a lot like the ones on my adjustable base bed. I have been looking for a nice bed that I could put around the adjustable bases – is this what you have done here?

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