If You are considering diving into the smart home pool, and you are confused about which smart lighting solutions you should get. Should you go for Smart bulbs or smart switch?
Well, both are excellent choices, one might be more useful than the other in some specific scenarios. Both have their pros and cons that make them different. In this post, I will try to guide you on which one you should go for based on your home and some conditions.
When making your decision about bulbs, the main thing you should know is that bulbs have more features than smart switch but not as seamless as Smart Switches.
One of the advantages of taking the smart bulb path is that installation is straightforward. Even with the most basic DIY skill, you can easily change your old bulb to a new smart bulb.
You use it to create sick RGB lights, or you can automate it with other smart home devices in your home for more advanced tasks.
With smart bulbs, you also can change the colors of the bulb easily with either the app or your smart home hub.
For example, you can link it up with your door sensor or motion detection so that whenever the door is opened, the lights come on. Or link it up with your smart doorbell so that whenever the doorbell is rung, the bulbs flash a certain color pattern. With smart bulbs, you have tons of options you can choose from and tweak.
It’s not all smart bulbs products that support color Changing. Companies like Philip’s hue, Eufy, Lifx and Ge lighting produce excellent bulbs with almost all the colors you can think of.
To get these features, you may need to spend an extra $3-20 in some instances. I would still highly recommend you get dedicated speakers, sensors, or security cameras.
Because most of the additional features are not as good as that of a dedicated product. The sounds produced from these lights cannot be compared with that of a speaker, and most people would place the bulb at the ceiling or the desktop, and you can’t change its location without carrying the lamp along, unlike the speaker.
You also don’t get an inbuilt mic on these, so you can’t use it to gives commands to Alexa or the Google assistant.
But, if you don’t mind the laps you may experience, then you can grab it. It’s a good thing that the option is available anyway.
If your home is filled with recessed lights or candelabra bulbs, then you may be limited to the type of smart bulbs you can get. Since most cheaper brands do not support them( although there are rolling out products for them).
Another downside of smart bulbs is that it can sometimes be confusing when turning them off and on. If your light switch is on, you can use the app or voice to operate the bulb.
If the switch is off, then the current going to the bulb will be cut off, meaning you cannot operate the bulbs with your voice or app.
If you have visitors coming, this can be very frustrating for them. You should ready to educate them multiple times about operating the bulb.
While smart bulbs can be placed anywhere, you wish. There is some location where having a smart switch won’t be the best choice.
Let us take the room, for example. In the kitchen, you will probably be having multiple lights. Four bulbs and upwards. If you were to buy smart bulbs, you could be looking at spending upwards of $100 or more, while smart switches should cost you about $60.
Here are a list of smart bulbs you can get from amazon:
Smart switches is a great way of automating your home lighting. With smart switches, you have the flexibility to work with any light fixtures. In some cases going the smart switch, the route might be your best bet for automation.
With Smart switches, instead of replacing every bulb in your living room, kitchen, and so on. You can buy a smart switch to help you automate the way you operate them.
Most Smart switches work over WiFi, so you can control them with an app, Alexa, the Google assistant, or Apple home kit (although most don’t support Apple home kit).
While some works with ZigBee and Z-wave protocol. To control those devices, you will need a hub. Some switches will come with hubs in the box, but for those that don’t. You will need to link them up with dedicated smart hub like Samsung’s SmartThings, hubitat, etc.
Another upside to the smart switch is that there solves the issue of confusion you might get from your partner or visitors.
Whereby if someone is new and is trying to get the hang of smart lights, it might take some time to adapt to it fully. So with switches, you can operate the lights from the switch, as well as the app or your voice.
If you are going to be installing new lights in a big room with a lot of bulbs, then the cheaper option between the two will be the smart switch. You can use one smart switch to control multiple bulbs.
If you have regular bulbs installed in your home and you are just interested in an easier way of switching the lights off and on, but not interested in the color-changing or dimming abilities of a smart bulb. Then a smart switch is the perfect choice for the job.
The downside to buying a smart switch is the installation process. Installing a smart switch can be very difficult if you are not handy. Installation requires you to fiddle with your home wiring.
The installation process is not that hard if you already have essential wiring skill. But if you don’t know how to do it, I would highly recommend you contact an electrician to help you with the wiring.
For many people, the decision might come down to the cost of each one. Before buying, make sure you count all the bulbs in your home so that you can make a rough estimate of how much each one might cost you to get.
While a smart switch might be more expensive than a smart bulb. The cost of multiple bulbs can add up to be more expensive.
The cheaper option will be the smart switch. You should Also, go through the number of switches you will need for your home. Run the numbers, and you should be able to come to a conclusion on which of the methods will be cheaper for you.
Of course, if you have the cash and don’t mind spending it. Then you can buy both for a more seamless experience. This method should eliminate little flaws from each device.
But if you don’t have the money, then I would recommend you run your numbers and see which will be better.
For a place like the kitchen, and you could install Normal light and go for smart switches here. For the living room, you can install a few more smart bulbs as well as regular bulbs to work with a few smart switches. While for your office, you should go for more smart bulbs. That’s my take, but this all boils down to personal preference, and I hope you make the right decision when getting yours.