Whether or not you already have smart home devices, Smart Bulbs can be a confusing topic. What are smart bulbs and how are they different from regular bulbs, for example.
Once you learn that smart bulbs are a way to control lighting from your phone, other questions come to mind: Do I need a unique set-up? How do I connect the lights to my Wi-Fi? Another common question is if my lamps will need to be replaced.
Can Smart Bulbs Be used in Any Lamp? The smart bulb can handle any sized lamp; the bulbs will use the same type of connection that a standard light bulb will use. A centralized hub is recommended but not required to run an efficient set of smart bulbs. One crucial thing is to make sure that you are not overworking your bandwidth, which would defeat the purpose of upgrading to a smart home.
Using smart bulbs in any lamp allows you to complement any style that you currently have in your home. You can check to make sure you turned lights off, have them on when you get home, or turn them on and off while you are gone.
Here we will fill you in on cover everything you need to know about improving your home to use smart bulbs.
Using Smart Bulbs in Home Lamps
Placing a smart bulb in a home for the first time is intimidating. The wonder of how it all comes together is fantastic. Merely taking out your old lamp and installing the new Smart bulb is only the first step in the process.
They will work as regular bulbs without connecting them to a hub. You will, however, need to join the lamp to a control center to use the smart bulb features.
Depending on the type of connection, the smart bulb you chose connects with such as Bluetooth, Z-wave, or Wi-Fi. It would depend on the kind of hub you would need to connect it to, some smart bulbs require a smart plug, others require complicated setups, and some are just an app to download.
The cost depends on the lamps or fixtures that you decide that you need in your home. You can get some bulbs for under $20 or spend a few hundred on an entire light fixture (Amazon link). Starting small to see if you like the smart bulb set up would be ideal. You can accomplish this by getting a small Bluetooth light bulb for a single room.
Here are a few things to consider before investing in your new smart bulbs:
- Each bulb will last about 20,000 hours, which is the equivalent of leaving the light on 24/7 for 2.38 years.
- The average cost per bulb and expect to replace one every 5-7 years.
- The Home hub which the smart bulb connects with should be the same in which other intelligent home devices connect too.
- The purpose of having a smart bulb in that specific area of the home, you probably don’t need a smart bulb for the closet light.
Picking the bulb based on the purpose is the best approach to selecting the correct lamps for the right rooms. Good dusk-to-dawn night light for the restroom would probably suit better than a smart bulb.
Considering the functionality and usage would be the first step in selecting the correct lamp for the room. A Smart Bulb would be useful in the living room area and perhaps some bedrooms, if you wake daily at 6 am, a Smart bulb set to turn on at 6:01 would help. Or one that was set to turn off at 11:45 pm automatically would be an excellent convenience.
Types of Connections
The Bluetooth connection (Amazon link) is one that requires you to be in the range of the device to control them. You must be in the same room as the smart bulb to use it. Although less popular, these types of bulbs come in handy for porch lights or common areas made for entertainment.
The Wi-Fi-enabled connections allow you to control your smart bulb from an application on your phone or tablet. If the wi-fi is experiencing an outage or signal loss, then your light bulbs are affected. These bulbs tend to have more features associated with them, including timers, auto-on-off, and color changing.
Z-Wave Connections are the best but do require a hub to use. You may even be able to connect them to your home alarm or other devices that use the Z-wave connection type. It would be best if you had a Centralized hub to use the Z-wave connections. However, due to a backup battery, most hubs will work during a power outage or wi-fi connection loss.
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Types of Home Hubs
Google and Alexa are the most common item that people think of when talking about home hubs. Your home security system might already use a Z-Wave connection that can incorporate smart bulbs, thermostats and other smart home devices into your existing center.
Google and Alexa have different home hubs that work with various devices and vice versa. For Instance, the Nest works with Google and the Ring works with Alexa, but the two methods will not work on the same Centralized Hub.
Samsung has a home automation centralized hub that works with most smart home devices. The Samsung hub is compatible with Alexa and Google devices, which allow you to combine different connections such as Wi-Fi and Z-wave.
There is also a hybrid system that will combine dedicated hubs like Z-wave and Wi-Fi hubs to help control the smart home. The only bad thing with these software-based systems is that the software must be compatible with it to work.
Other Smart Home Automation Considerations
You can connect almost anything these days to a centralized smart hub. A single device can control door locks, lights, and even electrical plugs. Depending on what you want to accomplish by using smart home devices to control your environment.
Not all smart home devices require a smart home hub to access or work, but the centralized hub is more of a convenience and saves you from having ten apps to run nine appliances.
Just because you can connect everything doesn’t necessarily mean that you should connect everything. Each device is going to use up your bandwidth, and if you need too much bandwidth to run your smart home efficiently, then nothing is going to work correctly with the slightest decrease in power.
You are picking the correct devices that you would use the most is going to be the most beneficial to you. If you don’t need the smart fridge, then don’t get it, allocate the proper amount of resources to your smart home as needed.
Some people are ready to use any gadget or tool that makes their house “smarter.” Others don’t want their home to be smarter than they are. It is up to you to decide whether you are ready for every new smart feature.
If you are not ready to go full house yet, automating the appliances that don’t matter too much first is a good place to start. Set up a smart light in someplace like an attached garage or basement.
The convenience of not having to walk out to the detached garage in the snow to turn off the light is enormous. However, if it stops working tomorrow, it doesn’t affect much. If You have your entire house connected and the wi-fi goes down for three days, you’ll be in the dark.
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