You have finally decided to convert your ordinary lights at your home into smart and you are unable to decide whether changing lights is a suitable solution or changing switches. Smart home is majorly about getting the ability of controlling electrical devices easily and quickly. Whether you replace the switches or the incandescent bulbs with the smart bulbs, both has to offer you this ability. Selection between these two could be very confusing. In order you get better understanding about both smart devices, let’s understand what are these devices and when to use them. After that, deciding which of these devices to use or use both of them will be an easy job. So let’s begin with smart bulb.
What is a Smart Bulb?
Smart bulbs are just like your LED bulbs but they can do much more than the regular LED bulbs. An ordinary LED bulb can be powered on or off only through its particular switch. A smart bulb gets connected with your smart phone or tablet and this gives you the ability to power the bulb on or off from anywhere you are. Smart bulbs are available in various color temperatures and shades. As your bulb will have internet connectivity, you would be able to do a lot of things with it which includes the normal on/off commands and other advance functions like scheduling them or setting them on timers or change the colors depending on your mood. They can be programmed to turn on every time your doorbell rings. Some of these have bluetooth speakers attached to them so you can use them to listen music as well. When it comes to installation, smart bulbs are easy and flexible as they can be moved between fixtures in very less time. A lot of these bulbs can be dimmed which means you do not need an extra dimmer switch. Considering energy consumption and lifespan, they are way better than the regular incandescent lights. They will last for years and pay for themselves over their lifespan by consuming very less energy. Also, compared to the smart light switches, they are cheaper in cost. The only known disadvantage is the size. They are only available in standard sizes - these covers most lamps and other fixtures. But they are not a suitable replacement if you are considering replacing small or larger base bulbs. So in all, if your smart home project is mostly about making your lights smart, then smart bulbs are your thing.
What is a Smart Light Switch?
A switch that gives you the skill to do much more with your lighting than just turning them on or off is a smart light switch. These are somewhat different than the smart bulbs. A smart bulb can only be replaced with the other LED or incandescent bulbs. But a smart light switch can control almost any light. If you want to make those lights smart which uses unique bulb size, then installing the smart light switches is the best thing to do. In case if you are not interested in replacing your bulbs, you can install these switches. In places where its difficult to turn on and off a switch, the smart light switch is a suitable solution. Smart light switches look beautiful than the ordinary switches and thus some people install them only to add beauty to their walls. A smart bulb cannot be accessed if its switch is turned off but if your lights are connected with the smart light switches, you can control them even if the switch is turned off. The only known disadvantage of smart light switch is the installation part. You must have basic wiring knowledge and follow the installation steps from the manufacturer accurately. Ranging from a few minutes to a few hours, installation time varies from house to house and depending on the fixture and wiring knowledge.
Both smart bulb and smart light switch has positive and negative factors to consider. You need to carefully identify your smart home products requirement and based on that choose the either one or both. Hopefully, this article will help you decide which of these is suitable for your requirement.