Smart light bulbs

Smart light bulbs

Technology has intertwined with lightbulbs to provide more expansive lighting options in what's called the smart bulb. Smart bulbs can offer an efficient alternative to traditional bulbs, allowing you to personilize your home's lighting experience while spending less on electricity.

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What do smart bulbs do?

Make every light fixture is smart by using smart bulbs. These bulbs replace your traditional light bulbs to allow your home’s lighting to be personalized, scheduled, and controlled remotely. As an integral part of home automation and Internet of Things (IoT), smart bulbs expand the possibilities of home lighting. Instead of just being able to dim or turn lights on and off, they enable features like color temperature adjustment, color alteration, presence-sensing and more comprehensive dimming. Schedules can be created, allowing your lights to operate during times specified by you. In addition, depending on their operating system and connectivity, you can remotely control your lights through your smartphone or tablet.

How do smart bulbs work - Hub or Hubless?

Your smartphone or tablet turns into your home’s light switch. Smart LED bulbs are primarily controlled through a mobile app but can also be adjusted through accessories like smart switches and voice assistants. The majority of these bulbs operate using WiFi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee hence enabling all the functions and features found in the app. Some use a proprietary operating system that are brand-specific, which usually comes in the form of a ‘bridge’ or ‘hub’ that centralizes communication between you and the bulbs. Only smart bulbs manufactured by that particular brand will work within that system.

How long do smart bulbs last?

Depending on the brand and usage of the smart bulb, they will last anywhere from 15,000-25,000 hours. On average, they last around 20,000 hours which is far more than traditional incandescent lights which last about 1,000 hours. To put this more into perspective, a smart bulb with a lifespan of 20,000 hours, used for 6 hours per day, will last roughly 9 years. The reason being is that they are significantly more energy efficient than their conventional counterparts. According to energy.gov, these bulbs use between 25% to 80% less energy than incandescent lights.

Are smart bulbs secure?

Security amongst smart devices is always a valid question. However, leading smart bulb brands prioritize device security as a central function. Depending on the bulbs’ connectivity (WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee), it will have a certain security standard. WiFi and Bluetooth bulbs are usually end-to-end encrypted and secured through your WiFi password. Ensuring a strong WiFi password is always highly recommended. Zigbee devices run on what’s called a ‘mesh network’ which means signals can easily move from one device to another without needing to individually connect devices to your WiFi network. AES-128 encryption is used as a Zigbee standard, which is the same security standard used by online banks.

Do all smart bulbs come with color?

Not all smart bulbs have color options. Depending on the brand and bulb type it will either be dimmable, tunable white or color. Dimmable bulbs are only capable of adjusting brightness, also known as lumens [lm]. Tunable white lights deliver a range of cool and warm color temperatures, expressed in a universal measurement standard called kelvins [K]. Lower kelvins (around 2700K) are warmer, yellowish colors while higher kelvins (over 5000K) are cooler, bluish colors. Color bulbs usually offer the entire RGB color spectrum, allowing you to adjust color with an intuitive color wheel in the respective app.

Key Impact Areas

Smart bulbs offer more than just cool colors, fancy operating options, and all-around convenience. They are exceptionally efficient and can be a productive influence in your everyday life. Specifically, they can have a positive impact in three key areas:

Do all smart bulbs come with color?

Energy efficiency: Smart bulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. Traditional light bulbs only last about 1000 hours and this is largely due to the fact that 90% of the energy consumed converts to heat and only 10% is used to emit light. This extremely inefficient and can send your energy bill sky-rocketing, especially if you forget to turn them off.

Environmental Impact: Leaving light bulbs on all day does not only affects your energy bill but has a severe effect on your environmental footprint. Smart LED bulbs have a couple options in assuring that footprint stays small and that you are pleasantly surprised at the end of the month. First, scheduling can be used to specify the operating times of your lights. Scheduling is a standard feature in the smart bulbs landscape and can help keep your light usage in check. Geofencing and presence sensing are also available in some smart LED bulbs and operating systems. This technology senses your presence through your smartphone and knows when to turn lights on and off so you don’t have to.

Well-being: Light has continuously been proven to have a considerable impact on our natural, daily cycle. Our bodies function in different mental, emotional and physical states throughout the day. Smart bulb manufacturers have taken this into consideration and engineered lights to align with us. Most of these lights can be automated to follow a “natural cycle,” from morning to evening. Instead of waking up to the startling sound of an alarm clock, a gradual white light will help you arise with energy and focus. At the end of the day, when it’s time to wind down and relax, a warm shade will encapsulate your room, mimicking the sunset and preparing you for a good night’s rest.

  • Long lifetime
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Scheduling
  • Increased security through "presence simulation"
  • Remote control
  • Color / temperature adjustment
  • Voice control (voice assistant needed)
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