We handle numerous areas of home automation at AVI Systems, and one of the top desires here among homeowners is smart home lighting control. This theme offers not only aesthetic upgrades, but also several ways to make your home safer and more energy-efficient by allowing you greater control over your lights and their features.
There will be several areas to consider if you’re looking to upgrade to smart home lighting, and one will be the lighting format you use to begin with. For most standard light areas, you will have a choice between smart bulbs and what are known as smart LED light strips – how do these differ, and which should you choose? Here’s a basic primer.
Defining Smart Bulbs and Smart LED Strips
For starters, let’s define both these items. As the name suggests, a smart bulb is a light bulb that can be controlled remotely from other sources beyond just a light switch, namely a smartphone or tablet. Many smart bulbs offer multiple color options that can be changed at the user’s request. Many will be accompanied by smart plugs, which come with WiFi chips that will integrate with your devices.
Smart LED strips, on the other hand, are flexible circuit boards that come with a variety of small lights. These strips can be controlled by a smartphone or other device in many of the same ways as smart bulbs, but come with a greater variety in terms of designs and applications.
Our subsequent sections will dig into the practical differences between these two options for your home.
Static Light Vs. Mobile Capabilities
As with other bulb types, a smart bulb is screwed into a single location and left there. It provides static light that does not move, though as we noted, it does often come with the ability to change colors or shades.
LED strips, on the other hand, are much more mobile and come with far greater customization capabilities. You can usually move them around much more easily than you can with light bulbs, and they also offer a greater array of lighting formats. Some choose smart bulbs for given areas, such as workstations, but then may choose LED strips for other areas like a child playroom.
Task Vs. Mood
Down similar lines, smart bulbs are usually meant as task lighting formats – they provide light for practical purposes. LED strips, on the other hand, are often used as mood-setters or accents.
Finally, as you may have guessed, price is a significant differentiator between these products. LED strips are definitely more of a niche product than smart bulbs, and will therefore usually cost proportionally more to purchase. Smart bulbs are actually very affordable these days, as the industry has moved to greater production methods that allowed prices to come down from where they were a few years ago.
For more on smart bulbs and smart LED strips for your home automation lighting, or to learn about any of our other smart home or whole home services, speak to the staff at AVI Systems today.