We have come a long way from manual operations to automation in the smallest aspects of our life. Smart bulb technology provides us with the luxury of switching on or off the lights without getting up or while on-the-move. Wi-Fi-compatible smart LED bulbs can be controlled from any part of the world. All it takes is an app on the phone, tablet, home automation hub or voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home to brighten the house.
Apart from being controlled remotely, smart LED bulbs have numerous other features. These provide a range of 16 million colour options. These can use the GPS of a cellphone and switch on the lights before you walk into the house. Some products can automatically alter the brightness based on what you are watching on TV. Smart LED bulbs can be Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-compatible.
Smart bulbs have a simple installation process: screw the bulb on, download the app on the phone and select the device.
You can also save energy with LED technology. A few advanced smart bulbs can be linked with alarm systems. These can dim or brighten the lights when a social media message or WhatsApp notification is received on the cellphone. Using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, smart LED bulbs can also be switched on with rainfall.
Popular smart LED bulbs available in the market
While picking up a smart LED bulb for your home, you must first look at the connection requirements. It can be through Wi-Fi, proprietary hub or a third-party smart home hub. A Wi-Fi-based smart bulb should be chosen only if you need more than one bulb in the house. Each bulb is considered as an individual Wi-Fi device and will consume some bandwidth. In case of multiple smart devices, you do not want to juggle different apps for different devices.
To light up every corner of your house with smart bulbs, you can go for a proprietary hub that acts as a central device for controlling all bulbs through a single app. If you have an existing smart home hub, check for compatibility before installing any new smart bulbs. We also recommend checking the warranty and lifespan. In this article we look at some options based on price, availability and essential features.
Wipro Garnet smart light 7W B22 LED smart bulb
These bulbs do not require a hub and can be operated from Wipro Smart Next Home app. These are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and allow you to schedule auto switching on and off for the lights based on the time of day. Multiple lights can be grouped by room name and then all of them can be controlled from the app. These bulbs do not require any additional connectors—bulbs can be plugged in the traditional sockets.
These bulbs are also compatible with IFTTT, through which you can set specific colours for new email or other notifications. These do not work with Siri—this should not be an issue as there are multiple other ways to control the device.
The only concern, however, is brightness. A 7W bulb will not be suitable for a big room and you might need to use more than one. The product is available on e-commerce websites and retail stores at a price of ₹ 900 to ₹ 1000, and has a two-year warranty.
Syska smart light 7W LED bulb
This Wi-Fi-enabled product has three million colour options. Easy to install without a hub, it can be controlled with Syska Smart Home app and Amazon Alexa—it does not support Google Home. It allows you to set alarms, too. The bulb is available for ₹ 1000, and comes with two years of warranty.
Yeelight smart tunable white LED bulb
Yeelight smart bulb by Xiaomi can be operated with easy-to-use Yeelight app. The installation process is simple. Simply install the bulb, download the app and detect the device on the app.
It is compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and can also be integrated with IFTTT to change the lighting for notifications. You can schedule auto switching on and off of lights and set the countdown timer through the app.
If you have multiple smart Yeelight devices in your home, these can be grouped in the app, eliminating the need for a hub. Brightness of Yeelight smart bulb is nearly 8W, which is decent for a big room and can be altered through the app. You can find this product online or in retail stores at a price of about ₹1800. It comes with a year’s warranty.
Philips Hue smart LED bulb
This product offers a wide range of features, and comes with the intuitive and simple Hue app. You can name all the bulbs and control these with the app. You can also change the colour of the bulbs individually or all together.
Geofencing feature allows you to set the switching off of the lights a minute after leaving home. The product is compatible with Siri, Apple Watch, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. You can select scenes to set the mood. Bulb colours also have temperatures ranging from 3000K (warm white) to 6500K (cool daylight).
One Philips Hue bulb starter kit contains three bulbs close to 9.5W, which can be dimmed and brightened manually or based on time of day. The kit also includes a hub, a power adapter and an Ethernet cable. The hub can be used to control nearly 50 smart devices. This kit costs about ₹ 16,000 in India—prices vary depending on available features and number of bulbs. Undoubtedly, this product is expensive for the Indian market. However, if the price is not a concern and you want to experience all the features that smart bulbs offer, it is worth the investment.
Lebrito Arco Wi-Fi smart LED bulb
This Wi-Fi-enabled multi-coloured bulb with intensity adjustment for each colour allows you to customise your room environment. Easy to install without a hub and compatible with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the device can be controlled with Smart Life app—you can download it from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, and register with the cellphone number or email to receive a code and activate the app to control the device. You can also schedule turn on and off timings using timers. This 9W bulb is available at a price of ₹ 1150 and comes with two years of warranty.
There are many other smart LED bulbs available in the market. We suggest you buy one based on your daily needs instead of the number of features. For example, you might not need 16 million colours.