From Bugcatchers to Bluetooth LEDs: Our Lighting Makeover

“I just want lights on a dimmer,” I used to say to my husband every time the topic of new lights came up. I remember when I was growing up and my friend’s house had their lounge room lights on a dimmer and I thought mood lighting was just the most incredible fancy thing I’d ever seen. And since then I’ve thought of dimmable lights as one of those things a dream home must have. (A butler’s sink, a deck, a fireplace, a secret room, a lemon tree and lights on a dimmer. I’m relatively easily pleased).

When an opportunity came to review some lights from Gerard Lighting and partner with them on a post as part of our living room makeover, I was stoked. (Their expert also answered ALL my questions about updating dated lights in an older home which you can read here).

We had big ’70s bugcatchers through our L-shaped living room (where a corner is set up as the kids’ play area) and also through our open-plan dining/study, and I wasn’t a mad fan of them.


The lights Gerard Lighting recommended and gifted us were their Pierlite Bluetooth Downlights. These lights look nice – they’re a very sleek, modern LED, and compared to the LEDs we put in our kitchen renovation just four years ago, they’re more modern-looking and sit flush to the ceiling.

But what makes the Pierlite Bluetooth downlights special is their bluetooth functionality – you can dim them on your phones AND you can choose whether you want the lights cool or warm but also HOW COOL OR WARM. Super warm? Super cool? Ahhh. As a control freak (no pun intended) I genuinely find this exciting. See what I mean here:

You CAN set the lights up with a bellpress wall dimmer, but we opted to just use the dimming functionality on our phones. You download the Avi-On app, set up rooms and away you go – the Avi-on app also lets you schedule them to turn on and off when you like.

But the warm/cool/dimming feature is by far my favourite – it’s been fun for entertaining and good for night-time too, with the kids. When I do the kids dinner-bath-bed routine, I’ve always made the house dim so they get the hint that it’s time for bed soon (even when it’s still light outside. My mum was over the other day and looked at me curiously and was like, “Are you pulling the curtains closed so the kids think it’s bedtime?” Yes Mum, yes I was).

We had a couple of LEDs left over and at the last minute decided to put them in the kids rooms. BEST MOVE. Having the lights in the kids rooms means you can really dim the rooms for bedtime and create that nice warm, cosy, “GO TO SLEEP” ambience. Night times are for parents, people! We’ve all had those long kid days where you’re like, “When is it going to be 7pm already… is 4pm too early for a glass of parent elixir*?” When it comes close to the kids’ bedtime I have always been a stickler about getting them ready – a bedtime routine, no sugary treats, no screen time, keeping things as quiet and calming as possible, which includes not having the house overly bright and lighting the house minimally – especially when they’re babies, so they get the hint that it is time for THE big sleep (hopefully!)

Evidently, this strategy works REALLY well.
So much better.
BEFORE Photo: Heather Robbins.

Because our house is so open-plan, Gerard Lighting recommended zoning the lights so different parts can be easily dimmed or lit. It’s been nice for watching TV at night-time when the kids are in bed, to just have a bit of overhead light as opposed to a lamp reflecting on the screen.

After years of large, gross bug catchers on the ceilings of our 70s home, I was SO happy to finally be able to change out our daggy bugcatchers. The difference was immediate (even though obviously the ceilings still had to be patched and painted). You wouldn’t think something as relatively ‘small’ as a light could change the feel of a space, but straightaway our low ceilings seemed just that touch higher, and you’d walk in without your eye drawn to the ceiling, making the rooms seemed more spacious and open. It was awesome.

As I asked their advice on how I should place them, I was actually expecting lights scattered all over the ceiling, but this actually wasn’t recommended – and the amount that was put in was just right. Not too heavy, not too light. (Sorry).

Pierlite Bluetooth Downlights should always be installed by a licensed electrician (in fact Gerard Lighting say ALL lights should always be installed by a licensed electrician as per Australian safety standards). These products are exclusively sold via electrical wholesalers, so if you want to get the same, Gerard Lighting suggest contacting your local licensed electrician and requesting the product by name (code DLP5BT/W).

Thanks so much to Gerard Lighting for partnering with me on this story and gifting these lights. You can check out their website here or follow them on Facebook or Instagram @CromptonAU. Maya x

*wine or coffee, depending on the time of day.


Author: Maya Anderson

When Maya Anderson was thinking of a name for her homes and design blog, nothing seemed more fitting than House Nerd. Obsessed with everything to do with houses, renovating and interior design, Maya is a features journalist by training with a background in print and a focus on homes and real estate. She has been renovating her 1970s house since forever, loves dogs and can eat her body weight in dumplings.

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