There are two major communication technologies when it comes to phone control landscape lighting, and they are very different in how they function. The options for phone control are wireless bulb technology (typically bluetooth or wi-fi) or communication over the power lines from the transformer.
The communication over the power lines from the transformer (Haven Lighting technology) allows for consistent communication regardless of obstructions or distances between lights or between the transformer and lights. This allows for a system that works in 100% of its applications. Being that the transformer is the item that connects to the internet in this system, it allows for control from anywhere in the world because the transformer can receive communication from the internet and transmit that information to the lights over the power lines. This technology also allows for easy implementation of home automation.
The wireless bulb technology works in a mesh network. This technology functions much like the childhood game of telephone where one light communicates to the next and so on. This technology requires that the user be located within range of the lights. It also has applications where distances between lights, obstructions, or even fixture design can cause communication errors. Many fixtures are metal, which is one of the worst mediums to send wireless communication through. Walls and other obstructions can also cause limitations to communications. Some light fixture manufacturers using this technology require that antennas be placed next to the light to help keep communication more consistent.