A Beginner Guide to Smart Bulbs
This blog post will give you a beginner's guide to smart bulbs, including what is a smart bulb, smart bulb benefits, how smart bulb work, how to use them,...
What makes a smart bulb so smart, and if some light bulbs are considered “smart,” does that mean that others are dumb? Well, when it comes to saving on energy and going green, there is certainly no such thing as a dumb question. Therefore, we here at Maxcio are to answer any burning inquiries you may have about the mechanisms and benefits of smart bulbs, as well as some tips and tricks for purchasing and using them.
What Is a Smart Bulb?
To put it simply, smart bulbs are lights that can be controlled remotely through wifi, usually through your phone or tablet like a remote control. This makes it super convenient to control your home or property’s lighting system through any number of mobile apps. Additionally, since the wireless technology is built into the bulb itself, you’re also only ever a click, swipe, or voice command away from easily adjusting your lights, which includes brightening, dimming, changing the color, or even setting up time schedules to coincide with your daily routines.
Smart Bulb Benefits
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 90% of the energy required to use a regular incandescent bulb is lost through heat. This means that only 10% of the energy actually produced through “regular” light bulbs are used to produce the light that you see and use. The rest is simply wasted energy. However, the average smart LED light bulb uses nearly 25%-30% of the energy produced, which is nearly triple that of a regular light bulb. This means that smart lights are much better for energy conservation, and also last nearly 8 to 25 times longer than regular light bulbs.
How Does Smart Bulb Work?
Smart light bulb works as a sort of “antenna” that picks up control signals from your phone, which acts like a remote control. This is part of a growing trend of greater smart home connectivity linked to IoT (the Internet of Things). Since smart bulbs have wireless technology built into the device itself, they actually do constantly communicate and send messages between your device and your hub (if you have one). In return, your device sends commands back, such as “change color” or “go brighter.”
How to Set Up Your Smart Bulb?
In general, setting up a smart bulb is simple and straightforward. We’ve compiled 4 typical steps to set up your smart bulb:
1) Check to see if you need a hub
Many smart bulbs, but not all of them, come with a hub. This is a little device that plugs into your router.
2) Find a pre-existing socket
You can use smart light bulbs anywhere that a regular light bulb would go. However, we recommend using them in places that aren’t connected to a “light switch.” Of course they can still go here, but generally speaking, they work better when plugged into lamps or other fixtures.
3) Pair with your preferred app
Most smart bulbs will come with their own app. Just look for it on the app store and download it. Afterwards, use Bluetooth or wifi to pair the bulb the same way you might with a smart speaker or your TV’s Smart Display. This is also the same method for how to connect smart bulb to wifi or how to connect smart bulb to Alexa.
4) Label your bulbs
Don’t skip this step! Sometimes we know it’s tempting to not change your wifi password out of laziness, but smart bulbs are different. After you see how easy and fun they are to use, you will probably get more in the future. So save yourself the trouble and label them clearly and directly now. For example: “Dining room lamp,” “Front door,” “Bedroom light,” etc.
How to Use Smart Bulb?
Although choosing where and how to utilize your smart bulb will certainly depend on the brand you choose to go with, for the most part, they have similar functionality. Here is a list of the five most common ideas to use smart bulbs:
1) Pair with Google Assistant or Alexa
Now you can pair your device with your voice. No need to fumble around in the dark for a light switch, simply shout into the darkness and voila! Let there be light! Pretty cool, right?
2) Pair with your sleep schedule or use as an alarm clock
What better way to wake up than with light? It sure beats an alarm clock! Likewise, if you pair your smart lights with some electric curtains, you can actually get a more subtle morning rise to ensure you start off each day right.
3) Play with the proximity setting
Some smart bulbs have a “proximity setting,” which means they will automatically turn on when you’re close to them. This works great for many reasons. If you have an extremely large house, simply walk around with your phone and the lights will turn on in your presence. Likewise, they will also turn off when you leave the room. No more high energy bills! And for those not living in a mansion, this is still practical. From the moment you walk into your apartment complex or park your car, the lights will turn on. Therefore, it will feel like the lights were never off in the first place. No need to worry about it, and no need to walk into a dark room again.
4) Use it for security
You can use smart lights for security purposes. For example, if someone rings your doorbell after a certain period of time, all the lights in your house turn on. This is sure to scare any burglar away! Likewise, you can also pair this with a Bluetooth speaker to really give them a fright!
5) Use it for entertainment and study
As if scaring a burglar with music and lights wasn’t fun enough, you can always pair your smart lights with your recreation and work centers, both online and offline. For example - changing the color temperature of a pool to go along with music, setting up a certain type of lighting for an office to establish productivity, or dimming the lights when watching a movie or eating a nice, romantic dinner.
Best Smart Bulbs Recommendation
According to Statista, the smart lighting industry is booming. Today, it is worth more than 105.2 billion dollars, and is steadily rising. With this much money flying around, it’s important to know how to spend your own money in a smart way, especially when buying your first smart bulb. Therefore, we searched for the 3 best smart bulbs available in 2022.
- Wyze Bulb Color
Wyze Bulb Color is brighter (1100lm/75W) in contrast to most other color bulbs that have an 800lm maximum. It also boasts a CRI Rating of 90+, allowing you to view truer and more vibrant colors within your house.
- Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
Like other smart bulbs, Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance is compatible with any other smart home system or gadget you can imagine, including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. The Hue mobile app, which features routines, scenes, geofencing, a vacation mode, etc is what sets it apart from the competition among other smart light bulbs.
Maxcio E14 Smart Bulb’s color temperature ranges from 2700K to 6500K, allowing for flexible adjustment between cool white and warm white. Additionally, the 16 million RGB color also enables you to design unique lighting to suit your demands for a variety of occasions.
Smart Bulb FAQ
- Are smart bulbs worth the money?
Although smart bulbs may be a little more expensive to purchase than regular light bulbs, they can save you money in the long run. Smart bulbs typically last much longer and save on power, which can cost you when it’s time to pay your monthly electricity bill.
- Does smart bulb work without Wi-Fi?
Smart bulbs can work without Wi-Fi. At the end of the day, they are still light bulbs, so unless you have a rechargeable smart bulb, most will still be attached to a power source in your wall or lamp. If all else fails, you can always simply flick a switch or press a button. And if you really don’t want to get up, you can always use Bluetooth, which doesn't require WiFi to work. However, the functionality may change depending on the brand. Some definitely work better with wifi, while others may be okay without. So before purchasing, always look up some reviews online first.
- Do smart bulbs use electricity when off?
Smart bulbs use electricity when off. Although this may seem strange for something that professes to save on electricity, it is actually no different than most household appliances that are connected to power outlets. However, the good news when it comes to smart bulbs is that even though they still use electricity when off, it’s still only a fraction of the electricity that regular light bulbs use. Which makes it a cost-effective option.
- Does smart light save electricity?
Smart bulbs are a smart idea for the environment and definitely help save on power and electricity costs, and since they last longer, they also don't contribute to global waste as much as regular light bulbs. So in a way, they not only save electricity, but also save the environment!
- Can you put smart bulbs in any lamp?
Most lamps are compatible with smart bulbs. If you flick the switch, they will turn on! After all, they still function like regular light bulbs, too. However, just like any light bulb, it does help to make sure the size is right before purchasing, or it won’t fit.
- How to reset smart bulb?
Although resetting a smart bulb will vary depending on the device you have, for the most part, you can try the classic “on again off again” method. Simply turn off your light and turn it back on, and repeat the process with your APP. It should take no more than 1 minute. Likewise, you can repeat this same process with your wifi if need be. However, do pay attention to how long and how often you’ve been using your lights. Sometimes, it may just be burned out, in which case it’s time to replace them.