Smart lights are a popular smart home accessory, it has lots of new options on the market including smart LEDs that don’t cost a whole lot. This might tempt you to fill your whole house with smart lights, and maybe you should! However, you better ask the important question, are smart lights worth it?
There is a lot to be said about a whole-home connected lighting setup, it includes benefits like automated vacation-mode lighting, what is that you ask? It helps make your house look like you are home when you’re not. You get the convenience of turning off all of the lights you left on with a single voice command as you go to bed.
How do smart lights work?
Smart light bulbs are very similar to regular, incandescent light bulbs; however, smart bulbs have the ability to partner with a smartphone, tablet, or mobile device. Often, this connection occurs by means of a “hub,” for example, the Philips Hue bridge, which acts as a gateway between the smart bulbs in your home and your phone or your tablet. The hub will be attached to a port in your router, however, there are also instances where smart bulbs do not have smart hubs at all.
There is wireless technology built into the bulb itself to send and exchange messages between your device. The hub (if there is one), and the bulb, resulting in the bulb turning on or off, changing colors, dimming, or even brightening.
Why do you need Smart lights?
If the very thought of wasting electricity or you remembering you forgot to turn off the lights just when you lay on your bed makes you cringe, then smart lighting can help. Smart light bulbs last longer than regular light bulbs, on top of that they are more energy-efficient, as well.
Smart bulbs provide you the ability to control your lighting preferences with just simple voice commands. Thanks to home assistants for example Alexa by Amazon, Google Assistant, as well as the Apple HomeKit, you have the ability to turn smart lights on, off, dim, or command them to stream music or change their colors, you can do so, you have to just say it.
As mentioned just above, and will be mentioned further, smart lighting uses LED bulbs, these offer significant energy savings. According to energy.gov, an LED bulb uses 75% less energy than the traditional incandescent or the regular halogen bulbs. This in turn is better for the environment as well as for your wallet.
In addition to saving energy, you get to control smart lighting from anywhere via your smartphone. Did you forget to turn off the lights, and got cozy in your bed for the night? Don’t want to trek through the house to flip off the lights? Not a problem. All you need to do is log into your smartphone app, then turn them off.
Are smart lights expensive compared to regular lights?
The cost of a smart light varies based on a number of factors, for example, the ones given below:
- Indoor/outdoor usage
- Wired vs. wireless
- Requirement of a hub
- Bulb vs. lamp
Generally, smart lights will cost you around $42 per piece. However, within that average is a huge range, there are smart bulbs that start from just $2.24, and they range all the way up to $90.35 for the highly sought-after Philips Hue Decorative Candle.
The cheapest smart bulb on the market that you can find is the Cree 60W bulb, this will cost you $2.24. There are other options as well, for example, the Wyze Bulb, which will cost you only $7.99 for a single bulb. Or, it will cost you $29.99 for a four-pack, which brings the individual cost down to just $7.50. Many smart lighting companies offer discounts when you are buying bulbs in bunches, so if you are planning on buying some smart lighting, it is best to do it all in one fell swoop.
Do Smart lights have more lifespan than regular light bulbs?
Yes, smart lights have more lifespan than regular light bulbs, the answer lies within the LED technology that smart bulbs have embraced.
LED smart light bulbs are the best choice for any home, as it is the best product in terms of performance, life expectancy, and cost savings. These bulbs use less energy than regular bulbs, these even last much longer than traditional bulb types, and you will be saving money over time.
Given below are 5 reasons as to why LED smart bulbs have a higher life expectancy than regular light bulbs.
- A smart bulb’s lifespan lasts 2 to 30 times longer than fluorescent as well as incandescent bulbs depending on the type.
- These instantly turn on, there is no time taken for a warm-up period. This allows the LED bulbs not to degrade from frequently turning on and off.
- They consume 75% to 80% less energy when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs as per energy.gov. The smart bulbs can endure extreme hot as well as cold temperatures, this allows them to last longer over time.
- These are comprised of extremely tough materials, thus, making them more resistant to harsh environments, for example, bad weather or earthquake vibrations.
- These are much safer to touch as they emit almost no heat, which prevents smart bulbs from degradation.
Light Bulb Life Expectancy Table
|Hours||1,000 – 2,000 Hours||6,000 – 15,000 Hours||15,000 – 30,000 Hours|
|Years||9 Months – 1.8 Years||5.48 – 13.70 Years||13.70 – 27.40 Years|
What are the Advantages of smart lighting?
You can do a host of neat things with smart light bulbs that you simply can’t with conventional LED or regular bulbs.
- Remote control: You have the ability to turn smart lights on or off even if you’re not home. All you need to do is have your smartphone connected to Wi-Fi or LTE, along with a compatible smart home app.
- You can create schedules: You do not need to turn your lights on or off manually. You can schedule the smart lightbulbs to turn off or on. If you have multiple smart lights, you can assign them all to the same or different schedules, as well.
- Create scenes: A “scene” or “room” when put in the context of a smart home is a group of devices that work together. For example, you can group the smart light bulbs in your bedroom together, and name them “Bedroom,” and you can then turn them all on or off with a single voice command.
- Brightness control: Not every smart light bulb is dimmable, however, a lot of them are. Dimmable smart light bulbs are handy because you gain the ability to adjust the brightness without having to adjust a physical dimmer. You can do so via an app or using voice commands.
- Energy efficient: They are naturally more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, due to the use of LEDs. On top of that they’re smart means you can always check on them; say you’ve left a light on by accident, you can just turn it off from anywhere if you have a Wi-Fi or LTE connection.
What are the disadvantages of smart lighting?
Each year, the smart bulbs are less buggy, and for every new iteration, the companies improve their product’s automation quality. However, there are still some problems to be worked out.
Lightbulbs companies are still trying to work out the bugs. For example, GE Link syncs with an Amazon Echo or Alexa, however, there are apparent glitches. Voice activation automation is a huge plus; however, when light bulbs blink or don’t register your verbal requests, it is frustrating.
Many bulbs as well as lighting systems that are automated come with chargers. The negative is that say you lose the charger; you might just be stuck in the dark. You should always check if your new automation is compatible with more than just the provided charger.
It is fair to say that brands have not perfected the smart lightbulb quite yet. In a few cases, companion applications are either not compatible or are unreliable with their connection to the lighting system.
Does smart light need Wi-Fi?
In most cases, no.
Bulbs that have a Bluetooth connection radio, in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, have the ability to communicate with your smartphone app via Bluetooth. The tool that is used to connect is called the communication protocol. So, Bluetooth, hub, along with Wi-Fi networks are all protocols.
Therefore, Bluetooth protocol becomes an available option when hub or Wi-Fi becomes unavailable.
Thanks to this backup Bluetooth technology in most Wi-Fi smart bulbs, the smart lights will still be able to operate if the Wi-Fi or the internet goes down.
Having hubs has increased functionality and greater control over the lights, however, they still, need a working Wi-Fi network to do all that.
Are Smart Lights worth it?
Now to answer the big question, Are they worth it? Yes, yes, they are worth it. It might be true that there are cons to smart bulbs, and there are a lot of updates to come. However, the fact that these save you money over a long time while providing you a wide range of customization and easy to use and access functionalities while lasting longer than their counterparts, cannot be ignored.
Taking all of the factors into consideration, it is safe to say, that smart lights are indeed worth it.
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