How do smart light bulbs work? Do I need to buy?
Tired of the standard white light bulbs in your home? Perhaps you are anxious for the ability to create dramatic mood lights in different shades. Or do you need a light that turns on automatically when you’re not at home to stop intruders?
Here comes the best smart lights. Not only can you choose from millions of different colors and shades of white light, but you can control it with your smartphone even when you’re away.
However, if you’re not entirely sure how these smart home devices work, what you can actually do, or how you can use them to automate your home, here’s a quick explanation.
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How does Smart Light work?
Smart light bulbs are one of the most popular smart home devices on the market today. According to Statista, the smart lighting market is projected to be worth $ 105.2 billion by 2023, up from “just” $ 8.68 billion in 2018. It’s not hard to understand why, as these handy gadgets really make life a little easier.
Smart light bulbs work like many of the best smart home devices by using wireless technology to connect to your smartphone and allow the app to control the light bulb.
Some smart light bulbs use Bluetooth to pair directly with your smartphone, but because it’s a point-to-point connection, you can’t control the light bulb when you’re not at home. Other smart bulbs use the wireless protocol Z-Wave or Zigbee, which can control multiple devices at the same time, slightly faster than Bluetooth.
However, you can’t control it when you’re not at home unless you use it with an optional hub (also known as a bridge). This allows commands to be relayed from your smartphone to the cloud and back to your smart light if you are not connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So if you’re leaving for the day but forget to turn off the bathroom lights, you can just open the app and turn off the lights remotely and waste your energy until you get home. There is none.
However, these hubs do not have to be manufactured by the same manufacturer as the smart light. For example, Amazon Echo (4th generation) also acts as a Zigbee-compatible smart hub.
When Philips first launched the Hue Smart Light, it couldn’t be set up without the bridge provided in the starter kit with two or three bulbs. However, the new smart light iteration has Bluetooth so you can control it when you’re at home. Also, if you want to control the lights remotely, you can combine it with an optional bridge.
In particular, LIFX is one of the few exceptions to Zigbee devices that don’t require remote control of the bridge because it provides a unique cloud service that relays commands to the light bulb when you’re away from home.
If you have an iPhone and the smart light you have selected is compatible with HomeKit. For example, for Philips Hue and LIFX, you can set it from the Home app using the QR code that came with the light. However, if you want to control them remotely, you’ll need a HomeKit hub such as the HomePod Mini or Apple TV 4K.
Smart bulbs can be turned on and off from your smartphone, as well as brightened and dimmed from the app, so you’ll have to leave your armchair to adjust the lights and turn on the lamp. lose.
You can adjust the color of the bulb according to the smart bulb you choose. Choose from 16 million different hues to create the perfect atmosphere, or choose shades from cool white to warm white that produce a fresh, bright clinical type of brilliance. This creates a warm and cozy atmosphere with the same shades as when the sun sets.
You can also group multiple smart bulbs. For example, you can control either all the light bulbs in one room or all the light bulbs on one floor at the same time. You can give individual smart light gloves a specific color by simply turning them on or off, or without having to manually adjust them. Each light bulb.
Some offer a geo-fence feature that automatically turns off the lights when you leave the house, allowing you to take your smartphone with you.
Many smart bulbs, such as the LIFX and TP-Link, are designed to replace existing bulbs and come with a variety of accessories, but other bulbs, such as the Philips Hue, also replace existing furniture with side lamps and We offer ceiling pendants. Some are like Nanoleaf, while others are designed to be mounted on the walls of a house to create illuminated art-like features.
Smart Lights are also integrated with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri and can be configured to work with other smart home devices. For example, if the smart thermostat turns on the heating in the evening to create a relaxing and cozy environment, the lights are dimmed, or the home security camera detects movement and simulates occupancy to thwart intruders. Turn on.
However, not all smart lights work with all voice assistants, so make sure they work with your current kit before you buy.
Which is the best smart light?
The smart light bulb market is crowded and Philips Hue and LIFX are competing with new brands such as Nanoleaf. Most of these brands have a variety of smart lights to choose from. We have rounded up the best from each big hitter to help you choose.
In our eyes, these are the best smart light bulbs you can buy-they not only have over 16 million colors to choose from, but also work with Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Siri to add as well as smart light bulbs. With a system that can include side lamps, ceiling pendants, outdoor lights, and even wall-mountable light bars and strips, it creates an unusual look for your home entertainment setup.
If you choose a newer version of the smart bulb, you don’t need a bridge because it has built-in Bluetooth, but you can control them when using the bridge by choosing a starter kit that includes a bridge. .. Even away from home-but this makes them quite expensive.
If you want to control your smart bulbs when you’re not at home, but don’t want to use a hub, these LIFX bulbs are a great alternative. Like Philips Hue, LIFX offers a variety of smart bulbs with a variety of fittings, in addition to mountable wall lights, and works with all three voice assistants.
However, the decisive difference is that it has Zigbee built-in, connects directly to Wi-Fi, and is brighter than the Philips Hue bulb. The LIFX A19 / A60 bulb offers 1,200 lumens and is about the same brightness as two 40w incandescent bulbs, while the Philips Hue bulb is a dimmer and slightly brighter than one 40w incandescent bulb. However, they are also more expensive.
Nanoleaf offers a traditional look smart bulb in the Essentials range, but evaluates the range of hexagonal and triangular wall panels that can illuminate different colors and pulse to the music played in the same room. .. The starter kit comes with nine panels of the same shape and can be wall mounted using a sticky foam pad. However, I found it difficult to remove after mounting it on the wall.
These plastic panels don’t look particularly attractive in the absence of lighting and are much more expensive than replacing an existing light bulb with a smart version. If you prefer square panels, Nanoleaf Canvas is a better choice, but unfortunately you can’t connect to these hexagonal and triangular panels.