These days, it seems that everything we own is “smart.” Don’t worry, robots aren’t taking over the world...yet. Actually, the integration of smart appliances and smart technology into our lives has an amazing list of benefits. In so many ways, smart things are making our lives easier, increasing our productivity, and bringing with them a host of other advantages.
A relatively newer addition to this intelligent world is the smart light bulb. In our homes and businesses, lighting is essential for our everyday activities.
But lighting has evolved. From fires to oil lamps to electricity; we’ve transformed the way we illuminate our dwelling places. Today, the smart light bulb is the freshest of these innovations, allowing us to control our lighting with the touch of a button.
Have you made move towards smart light bulbs? Here’s what they are and why you might want to consider getting them for your home.
What Exactly is a Smart Light Bulb?
Smart light bulbs are light bulbs that can be controlled using an app. Via your smartphone, tablet, or smart home system (such as an Amazon Echo device), you can remotely control your home’s lighting. With the touch of a button (or a voice command) you can alter your light bulbs’ dimness, colour, and more. You can also set up your systems to remember specific settings, such as for a certain mood or activity. Want to activate your “dinnertime lighting?” It’s simple and fast with smart lighting.
There are several different manufacturers currently producing smart bulbs. Bulbs operate over common wireless communication standards like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or ZigBee, and can often work over multiple connections. This can help your new smart bulbs integrate more easily with existing wireless connection standards already set up in your home. With the use of a smart home automation system, or a voice-activated system like Alexa or Google Home, you can also enable the smart technology in your homework in tandem. This means, for instance, that when someone walks in front of your smart home security camera, it could activate your smart light bulbs to illuminate.
Little Ways to Save the World
Saving energy in our homes is one excellent way to make positive contributions towards our planet. Did you know that smart light bulbs can help with this?
First, smart light bulbs are LED bulbs. LED lights are as much as 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. This means that fewer LEDs are needed to achieve the same level of brightness as these other bulbs. Plus, only 5% of the energy used to power an LED is wasted; 95% of it goes toward illumination. Not a bad ratio at all! Here are a few more reasons LED bulbs are a great choice for the environment.
LED bulbs are also more durable and long-lasting. This reduces the need to replace bulbs as frequently and to dispose of old bulbs, minimising resource drainage. While incandescent bulbs will go for approximately 1,000 to 2,000 hours, the typical smart LED bulb can last as much as 15,000 hours, or roughly 15 years.
Second, smart light bulbs are, in a word, smart. Because they adjust automatically to external influences, smart bulbs are outputting the proper amount of light depending on surroundings. Instead of just operating on one steady bright setting, which could very likely be a waste of energy, smart bulbs dim and brighten as necessary. This flexibility makes them far more efficient. And with less energy required to light up your home, you’re likely going to save on your monthly electric bill, too.
Elements of Safety
Could smart light bulbs add to your safety and security? Possibly.
When integrated into an automated smart home system, your smart light bulbs could work in conjunction with your other security elements. This could mean that in an unusual circumstance, you could set up your bulbs to illuminate. If a smart video camera detects movement outside your home, your smart bulbs could light up your home inside or out. This could frighten away a potential intruder, or simply make it look like your home is occupied----even if you’re not currently at home.
The ability to control your lighting remotely is one of the major draws of smart light bulbs. Using an app, you could shut your lights on or off from virtually anywhere. Similar to the above-mentioned situation, this possibility allows you to keep your lighting on even when your family is on holiday and your home is unoccupied. When you arrive home from your travels, you can return to a house that is brightly lit and ready to welcome you. A much better option than stumbling over your suitcase while you hunt around in the dark for the light switch.
Smart Light Bulbs Add to Your Home
Smart light bulbs don’t just have practical benefits like security and energy efficiency, they are also a pleasant addition to your home’s atmosphere. Many homeowners love the ability to transform a room with just a voice command or through accessing an app. The various smart light bulbs and their related apps provide you with a host of options. You can create specific lighting settings or “recipes” that you can request as needed. Set up your preferred lighting for bedtime, watching movies, eating dinner, or hosting guests just once, and you’ll have the perfect settings ready to go forever.
In fact, you may not even have to issue a command. Smart light bulbs can be set up to react to a myriad of things. The Philips Hue bulbs, for instance, can be integrated with IFTTT, a web-based service that connects your apps together in a string of commands called applets. Here, you can create a nearly endless number of possibilities for your smart bulbs.
Want natural light to appear at sunrise? Got it.
Need your bulbs to light up a certain colour when your Uber is arriving? Done.
They’re fun, too. Many smart light bulbs have colour-changing features. Some bulbs claim to be capable of producing some 16,000 different colours. This aspect allows you to fully customise the look and feel of your home, changing the mood with ease. Add some golden glow with yellow hues, or cool down the vibe with some blue shades. You can also get creative and select colours that match a party theme or a holiday.
Many of us underestimate the impact lighting can have on our wellbeing. Smart bulbs can help us do things that improve our health and wellness, like aid us in getting a better night’s sleep. You can choose bulbs designed to do just this. The C Sleep bulb, for instance, generates colour temperatures specifically aimed at melatonin production in the body. During the day, the light settings help to suppress your melatonin levels, shifting gradually towards hues that promote melatonin production as nightfall approaches.
Things to Consider With Smart Light Bulbs
Are smart light bulbs right for you? There are a few factors to consider when making any choice for your home.
For many, cost is a major consideration. The truth is that smart light bulbs are not cheap. While the prices are not extravagant, there is definitely a significant upfront cost involved. When you’re first using smart light bulbs, switching your entire home over to the new system could be costly. If you’re interested in getting started with smart bulbs, it might be cost-effective to update only one room of your home at a time.
It’s good to keep in mind, however, that smart bulbs are likely to provide you with financial savings in the long run. Not only do they consume less energy, potentially lowering your utility bills, these bulbs are known to last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. If you’re not ready for smart bulbs, but simply looking for something that doesn’t need frequent replacing, you might consider a non-smart LED bulb.
There’s also the possibility that having smart bulbs could cause users to increase their energy expenditure. This could be especially true in homes with children or where residents just can’t get enough of the fun features smart bulbs offer. It’s exciting to be able to create a colourful disco light show in your bedroom, but if you’re doing this frequently, you might be utilising more electricity than you were before you encountered the magic of smart bulbs.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but it looks like smart light bulbs aren’t just a fad. It seems they’re here to stay.