Smartie Solutions By Smartie Home — Dark Living Room

Tyler Hackbart
Smartie Home
Published in
3 min readApr 16, 2024


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Smartie Solutions — Dark Living Room

Here’s my experience with the iHome receptacle and IKEA fairy lights, and how I used smart technology to enhance my living room’s ambiance during darker hours.

The Issue

During the evening and early mornings when the sun is gone, you don’t necessary want to turn on main lights. Main lights are brighter than most people are ready for especially in the early mornings and, the glare on the tv at night is terrible.

You could have side table lambs but even those are too bright to handle the area of the room. Not to mention having to manually turn them on and off every night when you decide to sit down and watch something.

The Theory

The idea was to introduce a low-light source behind the TV and above the bookshelves, controlled by a timer.

The Solution

We ruled out the idea of placing dimmer side lamps throughout the living room because of the necessary side tables and access to plugs. Linking them together was an option, but adjusting them based on where we sat or what we watched seemed more trouble than it was worth.

I considered the Eve lightstrip to be attached to the back of the TV, Hue also has a product like this. However where our tv is mounted between the two bookshelves the light from the sides and bottom would get absorbed into the area instead of helping light the whole living room.

We settled on fairy lights plugged into a smart receptacle, arranged across the tops of the bookshelves and dangling behind the TV and bookshelves’ sides. This setup spread light to more areas of the room.

Fairy Lights in action

This setup isn’t complicated. In fact, it was one of the first smart solutions for our home. We already had a set of fairy lights from a bedroom that we weren’t using, as well as lamps previously connected to smart plugs. So it just made sense.

Home Automation Settings for Fairy Lights

The best feature is the lights turning on at sunset, but only if we’re home. This feature allows us to “set it and forget it.” Since the living room is a regularly used area, the lights are usually on when needed, without manually turning them on. The fairy lights provide a soft, subdued glow, perfect for watching movies and not distracting from the TV, thanks to their positioning behind it.

The Products

iHome Smart Plug — No longer sold, but have had good luck with these instead

IKEA Fairy Lights


This has been our setup since we moved in and designed our living room. It has worked incredibly well, and the combination of the sunset timer and the Home app has made the operation seamless.

A fun addition is that during the holiday season, we connect our Christmas tree to the same plug. Therefore, when the sun sets, the tree lights up simultaneously. 🎄

💯 A smartie solution for sure

Have an issue and want a smartie solution, reach out to us and let’s see if we can find a smart solution using smart technology.