Installing smart wall switches and wall dimmers throughout a house can on occasion be costly and tedious because if often needs to be done by a qualified electrician. If that’s a consideration, then you may want to look into using Smart Light Bulbs to ‘smartify’ your in-home lights.
Here are Gerard’s top ten things you need to know about Smart Light Bulbs:
1. INCANDESCENT SMART LIGHT BULBS ARE HISTORY
In many countries around the globe, governments have mandated the phasing out of the ‘incandescent light bulbs’.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are poised to take the place of traditional incandescent bulbs.
2. SMART LIGHT BULBS INSTALLATION IS REAL EASY…
A smart bulb supports different base types, namely Edison screw type, bayonet cap, and also various flavors of downlights.
Simply replace your existing incandescent bulbs; no need for any specialized wiring.
3. SO WHAT’S INSIDE SMART LIGHT BULBS?
Here are the key components used to build a smart bulb:
- Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) are used as the light source because of their many advantages over traditional incandescent light bulbs. Additionally, Smart bulbs use different LED color types, which can be used to create almost any color imaginable.
- Each bulb also has its own built-in finger-nailed sized communications module that allows the bulb to communicate with a gateway device or directly with your smartphone or tablet.
- A dome is used to diffuse the light emanating from the LEDs into your room.
- Research has shown that one of the factors that have a major impact on the lifespan of an LED bulb is its heat sink. The type of material used by your smart bulb varies between vendors. Ceramic and aluminum are examples of a material used by smart bulb heat sinks.
4. MOST SMART LIGHT BULBS ARE CONTROLLABLE OVER THE WEB
Remotely turn your smart bulb(s) ON and OFF, ON, and OFF. Very useful if:
- You are at work and unsure as to whether you forgot to switch the lights off when going out the door.
- You live in the country and don’t like coming home to a dark house. Smart bulbs fix that problem; by allowing you to turn lights ON just before you arrive home.
5. SMART LIGHT BULBS CAN ADD SOME FUN TO A TYPICAL HOME
The vast arrays of colors supported by LEDs built into smart bulbs can be used to design creative lighting shows and effects.
6. A SMART BULB KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE!
Some Smart Bulb systems can detect when you’re nearby and automatically turn ON or change settings.
With this feature, you can simply walk in the door in the evenings, and lights of your choice will automatically turn ON.
No need to fumble in the dark for a light switch or indeed your smartphone.
This feature can also be configured to automatically turn OFF lights as you leave home. Pretty cool when you are rushing out the door in the morning.
7. SMART BULBS CAN TALK TO SMART LOCKS AND ALARMS
Some advanced smart bulbs can be configured to interface with multi-room music and alarm systems.
Other smart bulb suppliers have built interfaces with a range of different IoT (Internet of Things) services and devices.
IFTT (If-Then than That) is an example of a Web service that can be configured to ‘talk’ with your in-home smart bulbs and carry out certain actions based on events. Here are some examples:
- Changing the color of your smart bulb when it’s raining outside.
- Setting the lights to blink when you receive a social media alert such as a tweet, Facebook message, Google+ post, and the like.
8. SMART LIGHT BULBS INCREASE SAFETY & SECURITY LEVELS
Rather than leaving lights on when away from home, some Wi-Fi smart bulb systems allow you to randomly schedule your lights to go ON and OFF at different times.
Good, if you are security conscious and want people to think you’re still at home – particularly useful in confusing to confuse would-be intruders.
Turning on your smart bulbs when the alarm is activated is another security measure that could be implemented once you install smart bulbs.
9. SMART LIGHT BULBS LIKE ‘SCENES’
This feature allows you to precisely configure which lights come on at particular intervals and how they come ON and OFF. Examples of scenes include:
- Dimming all the smart bulbs around the house when the family is going to bed. Thus eliminating the need to go from room to room turning off lights.
- Turning lights around the house to automatically come on in the evening time and OFF in the morning.
- Light has been proven to enhance people’s health and wellness. With smart bulb light scenes, it’s possible to adjust light colors in a room to enhance the desired mood – relaxation, party, and reading are common ones.
10. THERE ARE FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SMART BULBS AVAILABLE
There are four main types of Smart Bulb systems available to consumers at the time of writing, namely Zigbee, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, and INSTEON.
Now that incandescents are disappearing from shelves…you are going to have to choose, one of the following bulb types:
- Dumb CFL
- Dumb LED
- Smart Bulbs
Some people that aren’t ready to take that leap yet, however, I do suspect if you are reading this content, then you may be planning that leap of faith into the world of smart bulbs!
Cost Savings, improved home safety, easy setup, and having fun controlling lights on your smartphone are the key benefits of smart bulbs.