Setting up automated features for lighting systems inside homes can be complicated. These days, homeowners have several options at their disposal, which includes smart switches and smart bulbs.
Both products are viable solutions for automated lighting. However, the two vary greatly – when it comes to cost, installation and controls.
Plug and Play
Smart bulbs work by providing a direct, wireless connection between the bulb and the controller, which in most cases is a smartphone application. Some units can be grouped for streamlined controls or function individually, for customized lighting preferences.
As a plug-and-play option, smart bulbs do not require meticulous wiring or electrical practices during installation. Homeowners simply insert the smart bulb in a conventional light socket. From a cost perspective, what you’re paying for here is convenience. Additionally, smart bulbs are suitable for homes with messy wiring configurations.
Some cutting-edge smart bulbs allow individuals to integrate the unit with a range of mobile applications for illuminative notifications. A bridge unit can be used to support several smart bulbs at one time.
A Closer Look at Smart Switches
Smart switches address home automation by establishing wireless capabilities within the switch. To clarify, the bulbs are not ‘smart’ (only the switch). The products can also be controlled using a smartphone application or smart home devices with voice-activated features.
This solution is very effective for controlling a set of work lights or bulbs in a room. With this in mind, smart switches are recommended for living rooms, kitchens, garages and other large spaces inside homes.
Compared to smart bulbs, smart switches take longer to install, due to wiring requirements. Moreover, moving the switch to work with a different light (in another room, for example) requires the same wiring process. On a positive note, homeowners can choose from a variety of traditional bulbs for illumination when using smart switches.