Last updated on February 8th, 2020 at 09:10 am
Of all the smart home devices. You wouldn’t have thought there would be smart lights? Well, there are smart lights and they are very popular too.
You might be sitting on the fence in deciding to get one or not. In this post, we clear everything up and tell you why smart lights are worth it. Hopefully, this will help you make the right decision.
What Are Smart Lights?
The difference between smart light bulbs and normal bulbs is internet connectivity. Smart lights belong to the category of a smart home and Internet of Things (IoT). Items or products that can connect to the internet and communicate with other devices.
Smart lights are IoT devices that able to connect to network protocols (Bluetooth, internet, ZigBee, Z-Wave, etc.). This gives the smart bulb a lot of features and functionality which you can control from a command centre. The command centre can either be from your smartphone or hub.
For example, you can create an on-off schedule, control the brightness of the bulb, and change the colours if it’s an RGB bulb. Some smart lights even have cameras, sensors and speakers in them.
Normal bulbs, on the other hand, are just normal bulbs.
Do Smart Lights Save Money?
With the rising cost of home bills. Why wouldn’t you be concerned about saving money
There are two things when it comes to buying smart home devices – price and cost. The price is how much you pay upfront purchasing the smart home device. And the cost the amount of money you have spent on the device after acquiring it.
Smart lights are expensive upfront. On average, a single smart bulb can purchase a pack of four normal bulbs. Higher-quality smart bulbs with more functionality are priced over a hundred dollars. A steep price but worth it.
Where smart lights save money is the cost of using them. Smart light bulbs last far longer than normal bulbs. So there are savings in replacement.
Now for energy savings. The more energy you save the less your home bills. As mentioned before, smart lights are smart for a reason. The functionalities of a smart light are more than that of a normal bulb.
For example, you can set your lights to turn on or off based on whether someone is in the room or not. How many of us leave the lights on in the bedroom and spend quite some time in the living room?
You can also set-up a schedule for the smart lights. It turns on when the sun sets or off when the sun rises.
And perhaps the biggest one is forgetting to turn off the lights when you leave your home. With smart lights, you can remotely control it to turn off or on.
So yes, smart lights do save money because they are efficient and save energy. They cost more upfront but when you look at the big picture. You will realise they do save money
Because they eliminate almost all human errors (forgetting to turn the lights off etc.).
Here’s an energy savings calculator. You can use it to work out your annual savings per year.
Do Smart Lights Use More Electricity?
Compared to incandescent bulbs, smart lights use less electricity. Incandescent bulbs use more energy because the majority of it is turned to heat not light.
Smart lights are LED lights that are efficient in turning the electricity to light. Plus, you can control the brightness of smart lights which results in less or more electricity being used.
This brings us to “vampire power“. A common electrical phenomenon in smart lights. What this means is that smart lights still use electricity even when turned off. This is necessary for your smart lights to maintain a connection to the network and hub. And also for it to receive commands from you.
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But, the amount of power consumed when turned off is negligible. It’s so small that there shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Most smart lights have a standby usage included in the documents. So you can work how much “vampire power” the smart lights consume when on standby.
So no, smart lights don’t use more electricity. They use less and save money which was explained earlier.
How Long Do Smart Lights Last?
Smart lights last a long time. Far longer than an incandescent bulb and a normal LED bulb. On average, smart lights last about 25,000 working hours.
Let’s run some calculations.
Let’s say you use the lights 24 hours every day.
That’s approximately 1,042 days or 2.86 years non-stop before it dies.
But, what if you only use the lights 8 hours a day?
Then you looking at approximately 9 years of usage.
And that’s a lot. Most normal bulbs require a change every few months.
Since, you can remotely control the smart lights, along with its motion sensor and on-off schedule. It will be more than 9 years. In short, it all depends on how you use it.
Do Smart Lights Burn Out?
Yes, smart lights burn out. They are LED lights first and foremost. But, the burn out is so slow that you will get your money’s worth before it happens.
LED lights burn out by growing dimmer each passing day. The light-emitting diodes fail one by one slowly because of the accumulated heat over the years.
So if you find your smart lights getting dimmer and dimmer. Then a burn out is imminent and you need to replace it ASAP.
What Can You Do With Smart Lights?
This is the best part and why smart lights are so popular. Here are six things you can do with your smart lights. Plot twist there are more than six but we can’t list them all here.
Your light switches are too far away? Simply open the smart lights app and turn it off or on. You can control your smart lights remotely. Doesn’t matter where you are, so far as you have an internet connection you can do so.
Though there are few exceptions where your device has to be connected to the same network before you can do so.
But, how does it feel to control smart lights without physically interacting with a light switch? Convenient isn’t it? You can decide to turn off the lights in the bedroom or kitchen.
Smart lights can display 16 million colours. This gives immerse customization. Through the smart app, you can control the colour and brightness the smart lights give off.
This allows you to set the mood and match the mood. Your smart lights can show a combination of purple, green and red lights when playing a game. Or you reduce the brightness to a low purple to give it a cinematic effect when watching a movie.
Sync With Your Music
Disco lights in your home. And you don’t even need a disco ball. Sync your lights to the music so that they flicker and flash to the beat.
Set Up A Schedule
Automatically turn on or off your smart lights when the sun sets or rises respectively. You can also set-up precise times when you want your light to turn off or on.
Trigger Lights On and Off With Motion Sensors
Smart lights with motion sensors automatically turn on or off when they detect a presence. Super helpful when you plan on taking a piss in the middle of the night. The light automatically turns on so you can see and stop yourself from bumping into things in your drowsy state.
You can let your smart lights mimic someone at home by randomly turning the lights on or off. This discourages would-be burglars. Super-helpful when you are on a vacation. Some smart lights even have cameras in them to record movements. Though this is not as good as actual smart cameras.
Disadvantages of Smart Lights
So far we have talked about the good things about smart lights. But, there is also the bad side.
Steep Learning Curve
Smart lights have a steep learning curve and can get messy if you don’t know what you are doing. Some smart lights are difficult to set-up. You might even need to call an expert to do the installation for you.
Smart lights are quite expensive and require a substantial monetary investment.
Can Be Hacked
Once it’s connected to the internet. It can be hacked. Most hackers can get access to your credit card details, passwords, and precious information by accessing your network. This leaves you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Micro-managing Can Get Annoying
If you have only smart lights in your home. Then managing them doesn’t become an issue. But, once you add more smart devices to your home. Then managing all the devices become quite tedious.
Previously, just turning on or off the switch does the job. Now you can adjust the brightness, change the colours and make use of voice control. And can quickly get overwhelming.
What Are The Best Smart Lights?
There are so many smart lights. This means that they will be differences in hub compatibility and network protocols.
This makes it hard to choose and difficult. Especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are two of the best smart lights you can get.
Philips Hue is a well-known brand and one of the best smart lights on the market. It is compatible with a lot of hubs and comes with a lot of customizations. You can use your voice to control the lights eliminating the need for light switches.
Where Philips Hue smart lights shine is the customizations. From the RGB lightning to voice control. The customizations are easy to do.
The Philips Hue smart lights are great. And would have been the best if not for two things. The price and brightness. The smart lights are expensive and it’s not bright.
Still, Philips Hue is better than a lot of smart lights found on the market.
App Works Well
Great Control Over Colour and Brightness
Not Very Bright
- Voice Activated: The Philips Hue White and Color Starter Kit works with Alexa for Voice Control (Smart hub required and Included, Alexa...
- Limitness Posibilities: Choose from 16 million Colors and shades of White to turn Your everyday Smart Lighting into an extraordinary...
- Take Control: Voice Control for Your Smart Home: Control Your Philips Hue lights with Your Voice using Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google...
- Lasts A LifTime : 25000 hours of life; To install, simply screw in the smart bupounds into your desired light location, download the Hue...
- Expand Your Smart Home : Easily Expand Your Smart Lighting system with accessories (sold separately), such as a Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue Tap,...
Last update on 2020-07-30 at 09:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Berennis smart lights are more on the affordable side. And they carry a lot of value. These smart light bulbs require no hub to work. Unlike other smart light bulbs.
Moreover, you can customize the colours of the lights just like Philips Hue. You are also able to sync it with your music. Allowing you to enjoy disco lights.
Overall, the Berennis smart lights are affordable making it easy to integrate into your home.
Doesn’t Require A Hub
Easy To Connect
Wide Range of Colour Customization
Not Easy To Set-up
Can’t Set White Light To Specific Temperature
Last update on 2020-08-03 at 14:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2020-08-03 at 14:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Are Smart Lights Worth It?
Yes, smart lights are totally worth it. They do more than normal bulbs and save money in the long run. You can also customize the colours and automate lighting tasks. This saves time and makes things more convenient.
The only thing that might stop you from getting smart lights are the price and susceptibility to hackers. The price shouldn’t be a big deal since the costs of having smart lights are far less than normal bulbs.
For hackers, having a VPN and super strong password will keep you safe. And always make sure to update your apps.
Smart lights are worth it and they are not the only IoT devices. There are smart thermostats, smart garage door openers, smart ceiling fans, etc.
Home appliances are becoming smart devices with each passing year. And very soon a smart home will be something everyone will have.