Gone are the days when The Clapper was the most convenient way to turn on the lights inside your home. The world of smart home products has made The Clapper look like a relic of a long-forgotten past. Even the light switch is looking at its own potential demise as smart bulbs grab the future by the horns. Switching lights on remotely with a smartphone is the present trends. With that comes the need to choose which smart light bulbs to put in your home. So how do you make that decision? Let’s look at the right way to choose the best smart home light bulbs.
Why Smart Home Lighting?
Smart home lighting is a matter of convenience. To be clear, let’s not confuse convenience with laziness. We are not necessarily talking about sitting on the couch and turning on the lights with your app because you do not want to get up. One of the better uses is for security. Smart light bulbs are a great way to make people think you are home even when you are not. Setting your lights to run on a schedule can make it look like your home is occupied and deter potential thieves. This is one of the most under-appreciated reasons to have smart home lighting.
Another reason is the ability to make your children think you have magical powers. The look on a child’s face when you turn on the lights with a voice command is magical. In all seriousness, that’s not the only reason to buy smart bulbs, but it’s a pretty good one.
Picking a Platform
When it comes to actually choosing the right smart home bulbs, the most important decision is the platform. While it seems ironic, choosing a platform is critical to making sure you have the right setup now and down the line. That means you need to decide first and foremost if you are on team Google Home, team Apple HomeKit or if you want to roll with Amazon Alexa. Each of these three services is popular and they are all capable of being the central point of control. But wait, what about Zigbee or Z-Wave? These hub options can also serve as your platform of choice and should not be forgotten as options. As you can tell, you have choices and it all starts with selecting the platform that works best for you.
What Do You Want to Control?
While the initial reaction to this question is undoubtedly that you want to control your lights, there is more to consider. There are various types of lighting in your room that you have to decide about controlling. Do you want to keep things simple and just control your kitchen or bedroom lights? Do you want to only control indoor lighting or do you want to add outdoor lighting to the mix? What about lamps around the house? Do you want to control those as well? These questions are just a sample of what you need to ask yourself to help determine which smart home bulbs are right for you.
Time to Choose
The most popular smart home lighting option is unquestionably, the light bulb. These bulbs screw into your existing lighting systems, whether they are recessed or attached to a lamp. The good news is that there is a wide selection of available options to choose from. The bad news is there is also a large selection to choose from which can be paralyzing for first-time buyers. There are plenty of strong names out there to evaluate including Wyze, Sengled, Philips Hue, Osram and Sylvania. By and large, a smart home bulb should cost roughly around $15 per bulb. That’s a fairly standard price when these are not on sale.
Fortunately, there are starter kits like the Philips Hue Starter Kit to help you get things going. This system includes 3 LED smart bulbs that can fit lamps, overhead lights and 4-inch recessed cans. It also includes the Hue hub that can control up to 50 total bulbs without affecting your home Wi-Fi speeds. Finally, it also comes with a smart button mounting plate that enables control over the lights without a smartphone. This particular unit only includes white dimmable bulbs so you have to look at another option if you want to get colorful.
If you want to get some color going with your smart light bulbs, Philips has a color ambiance starter kit with four bulbs and a hub. Again, it all comes down to your particular needs and taste. Do you want to keep things simple and inexpensive? Go for the white starter kit. Do you want to go with something that has a little more flare? Then go for the color ambiance kit. You cannot go wrong either way.
So there you have it. Choosing the right smart home bulb is not rocket science, but it does require some considerations. The last thing you want to do is dive headfirst into this pond without thinking about what you really want to accomplish. Once you have the answer to that question, you’ll know exactly what to buy and you will not spend more than you need to. Sometimes that is all you can ask for.