Smart Home Lighting: Smart Switches or Smart Bulbs? - Smart Home Products
Smart Home Lighting: Smart Switches or Smart Bulbs?

Smart Home Lighting: Smart Switches or Smart Bulbs?

September 05, 2019

Smart Home Lighting: Smart Switches or Smart Bulbs?

Believe it or not, smart switches and smart bulbs are not the same thing but if you wish to control your lighting system by voice or from your smartphone, you will need to choose between these two. At the same time, smart bulbs and smart switches share several benefits - not the least of which is convenience.

But what’s the difference between smart switches and smart bulbs?


Choosing Between Smart Bulbs and Smart Switches for Your Home

As you may know, you can connect both of these devices to a mobile app or through a free automation platform called IFTTT. In case you might be wondering, IFTTT is an acronym (if, this, then, that) and a resource through which users can use “applets” to bring services together to create new experiences

When set up is complete, users can then manage their smart home from afar and program these smart lighting options to respond to specific cues. For instance, smart lighting can be scheduled to turn/off, while motion sensors also enable smart lighting to perform a required action as a result of certain cues.

However, this is merely one example and online integration can now support countless use cases.

Now, while the objective is the same, smart bulbs and switches have some very different benefits. For this reason, in order to know which smart lighting is best for you, we need to better understand each option.

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More About Smart Bulbs

Smart bulbs can be used to improve many light fixtures in the home such as the kitchen lights or a bedside lamp. For this reason, they come in various colors, shapes and sizes, and most suited to single-bulb light fixtures. You can also buy smart bulbs individually and either a mobile app or voice assistance is used to control these smart bulbs.

Smart bulbs use Bluetooth or WiFi to connect with your smartphone or a central controller of some kind. As for integration, smart bulbs can connect with other smart devices and systems such as Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant.


More About Smart Switches

Unlike smart bulbs, you will not need to replace every existing light bulb in the home to integrate smart switches. After all, most lighting is controlled from a singular switch in each room or area which means that installing smart switches is much more straightforward and inexpensive than smart bulbs.

Smart switches enable a home-owner to monitor port, configure settings and manage lighting from one singular interface. With this in mind, a smart switch brings value and convenience, while being fit for the actual purpose of managing the lighting in a home.

While some smart switches are wired into the lighting system, others use a ‘bridge’ to connect lighting fixtures to a router in your home. When installed, these lighting solutions can be managed by a smartphone or even voice control using either Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.


Smart Bulbs Versus Smart Switches: Which One is For You?

With the above in mind, you already know that smart bulbs and smart switches are beneficial to any home. That being said, you might want to choose between these options are here are some common considerations that you might want to take into account.

  1. Smart Switches Cost Less to Install

Smart switches are much easier and ‘cheaper’ to install. Instead of replacing every bulb in the home, one smart light switch can control multiple fixtures. Needless to say, this will also depend on the wiring but in most cases, installing one light switch is a lot more straightforward than buying several smart bulbs.

  1. Changing Color and Brightness Levels on Smart Bulbs

On the other hand, smart bulbs can usually change colors and users can adjust the brightness of these light fixtures. In other words, you can choose a pre-defined level of brightness and even have different bulbs omitting different levels of brightness. That being said, colored lights are priced significantly higher.

  1. Smart Switches Can Be Used with any Bulb

You do not need any smart bulbs to successfully install smart switches. In fact, any light at all is compatible with a smart switch so you do not need to remove or replace the existing bulbs in your home. Depending on the bulb type, smart switches can also sometimes be used to dim the lights. You see, smart switches and smart bulbs can be used together. Also, most high-end smart bulbs are ‘dimmable’ which means that smart bulbs can provide the best of both worlds. There are also dimmer switches available that can control both on/off and dimming functionality.

  1. Compatibility with Voice Assistants

Nowadays, most smart switches and smart bulbs are compatible with both Alexa and Siri. However, there are some smart bulbs and brands which can only be used in conjunction with one of these voice assistants. For this reason, you might want to rethink whatever smart bulbs you were thinking about and consider choosing a smart switch instead that can work with your preferred voice assistant.

  1. Smart Switches Can Help You Save Money

When the right settings are applied to the relevant app, smart switches in particular can help home-owners save money on their electricity bills. In fact, recent studies show that smart switches can help home-owners save more than 60% on energy bills. What’s more, this figure is before you combine smart switches with newer LED smart bulbs. Interestingly, these lights can still produce more warmth and light than traditional lighting

Home lighting


Final Thoughts

It’s true, you can greatly enhance a home with any type of smart lighting. Aside from saving money, these installations can also save on hassle and stop you guessing whether you put the lights off before bedtime. At the same time, easy installation and superior compatibility can often make smart switches a slightly better option in terms of creating a smart lighting system that you may never need to replace.

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