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Home automation is on the rise, and for good reason. Smart home systems have many benefits, and they can save us time in our busy lives. If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of smart home automation, smart light bulbs are an easy place to start.
Smart bulbs are easy to install and set up yourself, and you don’t need to have Alexa or Google Home to use them. If you do have a smart home system set up already, smart light bulbs are easily integrated into the system.
Check out these four great reasons to try smart light bulbs in your home today.
4 Reasons to Try Smart Light Bulbs
You’ve already donned your pajamas and crawled under the covers. Then you think, “Aw, man! I forgot to turn off the lights in the living room!” No need to get un-comfy. Just reach for your phone, open the app, and boom. Lights out.
If you have a smart home device such as Alexa or Google Home, look for smart bulbs that are compatible with your system so you can control your lights with your voice for added convenience.
2. Better control over your lighting needs
My dining room is used for a lot of different activities: meals, Dungeons and Dragons sessions, jigsaw puzzling, watching movies with friends, etc. We don’t need the same level of light for D&D or movies that we do for putting together a puzzle, so we just change the settings on our smart light bulbs.
Some smart light bulb systems allow you to group bulbs. This way, you can change all your smart bulbs in the group to the same setting with a tap on your phone.
Grouping makes it easy to bring down all the lights in your living room before the movie starts or turn off all the lights in the game room at the same time.
If you find yourself wishing you had more control over the lighting levels or shade and color of lights in your home, grab some smart bulbs. Dimming is easy with your smart bulb’s app, and some smart bulbs even change colors (although they are typically pricier than the standard white bulbs).
Remember those timer plugs you used to set up before you left for a vacation, so that people would see lights on and think someone was home?
Throw those timer plugs out, and get smart bulbs. Your smart bulb routines will continue while you’re away.
4. Sleep scheduling
Setting routines for your lights can help remind you that it’s time to go to bed. Lights can also help you wake up in the morning. That’s how it was done way back in the day, after all.
If you’re a snoozer, consider smart bulbs as an additional form of alarm. The light may help your body cooperate better when your alarm goes off.
Smart Light Bulb Options
There are a lot of different smart bulb options out there. To decide which one is the best for you, consider the following:
What is your budget? Basic white bulbs start out near $15 apiece for a lot of brands, so snagging a couple of those for some lamps around the house won’t break the bank.
Some systems require a hub to connect the system together, which is another cost to consider.
Color bulbs are more expensive than white bulbs. Most fixtures don’t need the ability to emit pink or blue or green light, so you can decide where to splurge on a fun, color-enabled light.
Some systems have other types of lighting options available, like light bars or strips. Consider the lighting possibilities for entertainment spaces, the kitchen, and kids’ rooms, if you have the wiggle room in your budget for some unique options.
What features do you want in your bulbs? Consider the types of bulb bases you’ll need for your fixtures, as some systems only have standard-sized bases. Also take a look at which smart home devices different bulbs connect to.
If you have an Alexa, for example, you’ll likely want to get an Alexa-compatible system so you can set up voice control.
Here are some popular smart light bulb options, all of which have dimming, grouping, and scheduling features:
- Price: Basic white bulbs start around $15, color bulbs at about $50, and the required hub is $60. Hub and bulb package deals are available.
- Hub: Required.
- Bulb options: White and color options are available. Bulbs come in many shapes and sizes, including outdoor lights, candle bulbs, and lighting strips and bars.
- Smart home system compatibility: The Hue system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.
- Things to consider: While on the higher end of the price spectrum for smart bulb systems, Philips Hue offers a wide range of bulb and lighting accessory options. The bulbs also operate separately from your home’s Wi-Fi, so performance is more reliable than some other systems.
- Price: Basic white bulbs start around $16; color bulbs start around $35.
- Hub: Not required.
- Bulb options: So far, the bulbs available only come with standard sized bases (E26). Eufy also sells night lights and string lights.
- Smart home system compatibility: Eufy smart bulbs can be controlled with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- Things to consider: The price point makes Eufy a good option for anyone who wants to dip their toes into smart bulbs without making a big investment.
- Price: Basic white bulbs start around $13 each and color bulbs around $55 for a two-pack.
- Hub: Not required.
- Bulb options: C by GE bulbs have the standard base size. Both standard bulb shape and a floodlight option are offered.
- Smart home system compatibility: C by GE bulbs can be voice controlled with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit if you have the C-Reach Smart Bridge.
- Things to consider: While you don’t need a hub to use the lights, you do need the C-Reach to use voice control through your smart home system and to enable out-of-home control functions.
- Price: Bulbs range from $20 to $80.
- Hub: Not required.
- Bulb options: LIFX offers a couple different light bulb base sizes. They also offer light beams, strips, and tiles.
- Smart home system compatibility: LIFX bulbs can be controlled with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana.
- Things to consider: LIFX has created the brightest smart bulbs currently available. For powerful, bright lighting needs, go with LIFX.
Installing Smart Lighting
To install smart bulbs, just screw them into your fixture like a normal bulb. Then you’ll need to download the app that goes with the bulb (the box will include instructions for finding the app).
More About Smart Home Systems
If smart bulbs intrigue you but you haven’t yet investigated other smart home gizmos, read up on other home automation products that could make your life easier.
Home automation gadgets such as smart door locks and smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can give you peace of mind, and smart speakers provide endless entertainment.
The Bottom Line
Smart home automation can make your life easier and more fun. The custom options available through smart light bulbs make it easier to have light when and where you want it, set the mood, wake you up in the mornings, and turn all your lights out when you’re already in bed.
Once you’ve set up your smart bulbs, try out more smart home gadgets like smart outlets and smart thermostats to save money on your energy bills. Convenience isn’t the only advantage of installing these smart tools.
Wondering if your electrical system is as up to date as your tech? Call a Best Pick electrician today for a home electrical inspection and upgrade recommendations.
It’s important to make sure the wiring and breaker box in your house are working safely and efficiently, or all the fancy smart home automation in the world won’t really help your home run smoothly and securely.
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