Truth be told, there are more advantages to smart lights than disadvantages.
However, it makes perfect sense to talk about the cons, as it can help you decide whether smart bulbs can fit your lifestyle or not.
Today, we will look at its disadvantages and also answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
In the end, you will get to decide if smart bulbs are worth it or not.
Disadvantages of smart bulbs or smart lighting
Here are the disadvantages of smart lighting:
- More expensive than regular lightbulbs
- They have to be on all the time
- You need WiFi for them to work
- Connectivity problems
Smart bulbs typically cost around $15 each. Regular bulbs are only about $5.
That is a big difference. You could have bought three bulbs already for the price of one.
To use smart lighting, they must be powered on all the time. It does not make sense to turn them off.
If you turn them off, the bulbs will not connect to the internet, which means you cannot control them when you are away.
You also need a reliable WiFi connection. While it is true that Bluetooth works, it also is not as effective as bulbs that use WiFi.
Bulbs that work with Bluetooth have a seriously limited range.
You can only control them if your phone is also at home and within range of the smart bulb.
So, why would you even buy these smart lighting systems that rely on Bluetooth?
The purpose of the smart lighting system is to give you access and control no matter where you are—all from your phone.
Because of this, you would certainly opt for WiFi models.
However, if you do that, you need consistent WiFi in your house and a stable data connection on your phone or tablet when you are away.
Another issue that you may have is connectivity.
Many smart bulbs work independently through the manufacturer’s app.
Because of this, you must download the app and program the bulbs from there.
This situation poses a problem if you want to connect the bulbs to a hub.
Some smart lighting systems are not compatible with Google, Apple, or Amazon home management hubs.
This is not exactly a big problem, but rather an annoyance.
Certainly, you want to create routines for these bulbs in conjunction with Amazon Alexa, for example.
If the bulbs are not interoperable with home systems, you must control them separately.
Are smart lights a security risk?
Smart lighting systems are hackable. So, yes, they are a security risk, but not in the ways that you may think.
As you may know by now, smart bulbs do not have audio or video.
As such, the hacker cannot penetrate your computers or mobile devices through your smart bulbs.
The only thing a hacker can do, really, is to turn it off and on.
Hackers can also change the colour and hue of the smart bulb.
This should not be a problem because your other wireless activities have encryption.
The worst thing that can happen is for a hacker to install malware on your smart bulb.
It is rare, but then smart bulb manufacturers are also actively escalating their security protocols.
For example, Philips has a security patch for its smart bulbs to prevent the installation of malware.
It is why you should only buy from a trusted manufacturer and make sure that you update the firmware of your smart bulbs.
Can smart bulbs cause electrical problems?
Smart bulbs are not a fire hazard. Why? Because these bulbs use LED technology.
LED lights produce less heat than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Because of this, smart lighting systems are not fire hazards.
You can leave LED smart bulbs on, and not worry about them.
On the contrary, a fluorescent bulb is a fire hazard.
These bulbs, especially incandescent ones, produce a lot of heat. If they get too hot, they can burn the wires.
Do smart lights use electricity when they’re turned off?
Yes, they do. Smart bulbs are electricity vampires.
They use electricity for as long as they are “on,” even if they are not lighting up.
The reason they do this is that they are consistently communicating with your WiFi.
They need to consume power to do this.
The thing is that they do not consume a lot of power at all.
The cost of electricity you pay for them is negligible. They also do not consume a lot of data.
All in all, if the bulbs are on standby mode, you are only spending cents for each bulb per month.
Of course, if you buy more, you will spend a few dollars on them.
Can you turn smart bulbs on manually?
Yes, you can turn smart bulbs manually, like you typically do with switches on regular bulbs.
However, you will not be able to maximize the use of its features.
For example, let us say you have a smart bulb that has multiple colours and brightness settings.
You can only toggle these changes from an app and when the bulb is connected to the app via WiFi.
You cannot toggle them manually from the bulb—there is no option to do it.
As such, it is not advisable to buy smart bulbs if you will not set up your home with WiFi in every corner.
Smart bulbs are there for a reason: the internet of things.
I suggest that you only buy them if you want to control the bulbs from far away.
Are smart lighting systems worth it? Yes, if you think about it, they offer convenience and control.
Smart lighting systems do not cause electrical hazards, provided you buy branded ones from excellent manufacturers.
Smart bulbs may be costly, but they are the future.
They are an expensive investment, but they will last longer than your typical bulbs.
They also provide better options, as many of these bulbs come with several hues—all in one bulb.