Everything To Know About Smart Lights [Before Buying]

Everything To Know About Smart Lights [Before Buying]

With everything getting more intelligent the next revolution in “everything smart” or “everything” IoT, we are looking into an era of smart lights.

In this era of technology, we often forget how the simplest of inventions which revolutionized the whole world. The invention we are talking about is lighting.

Through the hands of the great Thomas Edison, the first commercially successful light bulbs made their mark on the late 1800s.

It instantaneously changed the way we live and transformed our lives for the better.

The technology went through massive improvements over the past century. And now has transformed into a new form which we call smart lights.

So without further ado, lets dive right into the world of smart lights and illuminate ourselves.

What is smart lighting?

Smart lighting is a new twist on conventional lighting. It is the contemporary way to light your entire home with a modern vibe.

The smart LED light has integrated software that is used to connect to various home assistance like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, etc.

They can also be connected to their app. This way you can eliminate the need for traditional switches and automate the whole lighting system.

In addition, you can also remotely change and manipulate the power and brightness of the smart lights.

Like any other traditional light bulbs, they are also connected to the power via wiring but can be controlled to a great extent wirelessly.

What are the benefits of smart lighting?

We all now know that smart lighting can be turned on and off wirelessly, which by itself is one of the biggest benefits. But to get the most out of your smart light, you need to know what they bring to the table. 

Low energy consumption

The smart lights utilize LED and in some cases CFL. Both of them are highly energy-efficient compared to the traditional incandescent lights. Research has shown that smart lights can save up to 80 percent energy consumption.

Lifespan

Another important thing to consider when you plan on making an investment in anything, especially lights is the lifespan of the product.

While the traditional light has a lifespan of only 1,000 to 1,800 hours, LED lights can serve you more than 40,000 hours on average.

So you can wave goodbye to the need of changing lights anytime soon.

Light customization

Light customization is the department where smart lighting got everyone beat. With the utilization of the integrated software you can set up various presets, so your lights can turn on and off or dim when the natural lights are coming up and so much more.

Automation

And the best feature about the smart light is, it can do and change and follow through your presets automatically.

You can simply schedule your light changes and you can just forget about them. 

Security

In this modern era of technology, security has become one of the most crucial issues worldwide.

But The great news is smart lights can work along with motion detection sensors.

So whenever someone comes inside a room or any place near your residence, you can set it up to turn a specific light on or send a signal to your mobile application.

How do smart lights work?

The most important thing to consider when setting up your smart lights is the networking system.

In general, smart lights are controlled by mesh networks. Mesh networks provide a faster response and as a result, better reliability.

In this system, each segment of smart lights is connected to a neighbour or node. 

In practice, all of those networks are controlled via router connected hubs. And you can use your home assistance, laptop, or smartphone to connect to the router and control the lights remotely.

Some smart lighting system also supports away from home features which enables you to control the light even when you are far away.

Another thing to remember is that modern smart lights can also support LIFX interfacing.

This platform removes the need for additional use of hubs, and can directly connect the lights and your control interface to the router.

Do smart bulbs work without WiFi?

Even though the availability of WiFi is not much of an issue in modern times, it is understandable to wonder whether your smart bulbs can operate when any malfunction occurs on your WiFi or for some reason if they are down. And the answer is yes.

Some smart bulbs come with Bluetooth connection support.

So you can still control your smart light via Bluetooth when your WiFi is down. Or else you can still use them in the traditional way of turning on and of via switches.

Do smart bulbs use data?

Like any other smart devices, smart lights also need bandwidth to operate.

But the amount is so insignificant that you will not even see a difference. So if you are wondering if your smart bulb can slow down your WiFi, the answer is NO.

With all the functionality smart bulbs provide, the amount of data they require to operate for a whole month is somewhere around 40 to 50 MB.

And as for security, no matter what brand of smart lights you use, every one of the companies takes your privacy very seriously. So you don’t need to worry about any kind of security issue. 

Are Smart Bulbs a fire hazard?

In theory, all device that transforms electrical energy into another form on energy has fire hazard potential. But is it the same in practice?

Let us find out.

Reasons, why LED in smart lights, are highly unlikely to cause fire hazards

1. LED uses a semiconductor, which is less prone to cause fire damage.

2. Low power consumption of power makes them safer.

3. The lights produced by LED is cooperatively of lower temperature. 

4. No use of gas, vacuum, or radiation.

5. The temperature from the environment does not make an impact on the LED temperature.

Considering these points we can safely say that smarts bulbs are not a fire hazard.

Is it safe to leave smart lights on?

The simple answer to this question is yes, they are safe to leave them on.

Not only that but you are required to keep them connected to the power source at all times to make sure you can turn them on or off by voice commands. 

All the smart lights are thoroughly tested before they are commercially available to the users’ end.

So there are no safety issues you should worry about.

If you are searching specifically for; if Philips Hue Lights are safe or if they could potentially be a fire hazard, I’ve also written an article about it here:
Are Philips Hue Bulbs Dangerous

Are smart lights worth it?

The answer to this question depends on what you looking to get out of your smart lights.

If you are looking to save money by using low power consuming products, then you can opt for the conventional LED lights ( without the smartness of course ).

But if you are someone who wants to rip the other benefits of smart lights like setting the mood instantly by only a voice command or enjoy the convenience of turning the lights on or off remotely, then there is no better investment than the smart lights.

From a one-time investment, smart lights will provide security.

Having the lights on a schedule will keep the burglars at bay even when you are not at home. And as a bonus, it also saves you tons of money from saving power. 

There are some things that money can’t buy, and smart lights provide you just that and much more.

From instantaneously setting the mood for movie nights, impressing your guests to the convenient control system, smart lights do it all.

Final thoughts

The traditional light bulbs have been with us for almost 150 years. And now it is time to make the switch.

Smart lights are the number 1 smart home appliance that people are interested in, and for good reasons also.

Now you never have to come home to a dark house and get the peace of mind that nothing else delivers but smart lights.

From bright and cool lights in the morning to wake you up and dimmer lights in the night to make you fall asleep, everything can now be automated and scheduled.

And instead of going up from your bed to go one room to another to turn off all the lights, it is much easier to relax and say “ Hey Google, turn off all the lights”.

So if you haven’t gotten into the smart lighting world already, get on the ride and illuminate yourself with all its convenience.

Before you buy your new Smart Lights check out these helpful articles:

Resources:

https://books.google.dk/books?id=JPKGBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA50&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

https://www.research.unipd.it/retrieve/handle/11577/3164116/225053/21%20LightElectric.pdf;jsessionid=7B7C095D550B19D309C03BC7F3552F4D.suir-unipd-prod-01

https://www.philips-hue.com/en-us/blog/archive/what-is-smart-lighting

Auther:

Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected into this blog to give you relevant and correct information.

Read more...