Thinking of getting yourself some smart light bulbs? Adding smart lights can be the first step to setting up your own smart home system. And the best part is that smart light bulbs tend to be more eco-friendly than their traditional counterparts. Why? Their energy consumption is usually less compared to halogen and incandescent light bulbs.
What Makes a Good Smart Light Bulb?
Unlike normal light bulbs, smart light bulbs need to go further than just illuminating your living spaces. There are a lot more factors to consider before you can decide whether a particular smart light bulb is the right fit for you. And it’s worth spending the time to do your research since smart lights cost more.
One factor is, of course, the kind of illumination they provide. By that, what we mean is does the smart light bulb offer the right colour tone to suit your preferences. For example, when it comes to white lights, some people prefer a cooler tone, especially in their working spaces. On the contrary, others swear by the cosy effects of a warm white light, which they prefer to use in most of their living spaces.
When it comes to the illumination factor, you also need to consider the strength or power of the smart light bulb. How strong a light does it produce? Too weak and you might not get the level of brightness that you need. If you plan on using the bulb over a work desk or a mirror, a weak light might make it relatively useless for your purpose. Too strong, and it might be a hindrance. For example, if you want a medium to dim light in your bedroom, a bright light that’s too powerful can be blinding or disturbing.
Another factor (and here’s where the unchartered territory begins for those that have only ever bought traditional light bulbs) is the ease of installation and use. For smart light bulbs, the convenience factor when it comes to setting it up and controlling it is crucial. If either process is too difficult, then it defeats the purpose of purchasing it in the first place. After all, smart devices and smart home systems are intended to make life easier, not harder.
The ease-of-use factor depends a great deal on the bulb’s connectivity. For example, does it use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi? If it’s the former, you’ll have to be within a certain distance of the bulb to be able to control it. If it’s the latter, you should be able to control it from anywhere that there’s Wi-Fi, even if you’re not at home at the time. Another factor that impacts convenience is what smart platform it can connect with. If you’re already using smart devices that connect with Alexa for example, you don’t want a smart light bulb that only connects with Apple HomeKit. You would want to be able to control everything on one platform.
Some of the Brands Out There
In 2021, there are quite a few different manufacturers of smart light bulbs. Some of the well-known names globally are Phillips, GE, Sengled and Sylvania. Many of their smart light bulbs can be controlled via multiple systems such as Amazons Alexa, Google Homekit and Apple HomeKit. However, a few only work with one system, so be careful to check your smart light bulb’s compatibility before you buy.
Editorial Staff at Shinrai Smart Home are experts on smart home technologies.