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What are the disadvantages of smart lighting?

Prepare to be en-light-ned

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on April 25, 2023
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If you’re wondering whether to buy smart lighting, you might be weighing up the pros and cons.

The truth is, although there are lots of fantastic things about smart bulbs, they do have some drawbacks. Firstly, they are usually more expensive than standard filament bulbs and regular bulbs by quite a large amount. Prices start around $8-$10 for a single bulb, like this Wiz Tunable White A19 Wi-Fi Smart LED Bulb.

They are slightly more expensive to run compared to regular LED bulbs, as they require constant connection to the internet. This means you’ll be paying a tiny bit extra per smart bulb per month. However, it’s worth bearing in mind this will only be a couple of cents or pence . They are still cheaper in the long term than standard filament bulbs.

Another problem with smart lighting is that many of them need an internet connection to enable their ‘smart’ features. This means you’ll need a wi-fi connection on at all times. However, most smart bulbs come with a back up form of connection like Bluetooth, including these Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth 75W Smart LED Bulbs.

Smart lighting also runs a slight risk of being hacked, thanks to its internet connection. Flaws in security software can be exploited. Once a virus is present in the device, it can jump to other devices connected to it on your home Wi-Fi network. There is a pretty low chance of this happening, however. Most smart lighting companies have worked hard to manufacture security software which prevents this.

What are the pros and cons of smart light bulbs?

As we have just outlined, there are some downsides to smart lighting. Their need for internet connection and the risk of being compromised might make them less desirable for the tech-averse, especially those not keen on the idea of a smart home system. They also are slightly more expensive than regular LED bulbs to run per month.

However, smart light bulbs are still cheaper to run than standard filament bulbs. They are more energy efficient in the long term. Plus, they have so many great features which makes them a worthy investment.

Endlessly customisable options of smart lights mean you can change their color, timing of when they come on, and more. Plus, with voice assistants and control from your mobile phone via app, you can change the lighting in your house simply and quickly – no matter where you are.

PC Guide Expert Opinion

Although we think they’re pretty great, there are obviously some disadvantages to smart lights. They can be expensive to initially buy, and are more expensive to run than regular LED bulbs. Plus, they require an internet connection to utilise the ‘smart’ features, which can leave them vulnerable to hackers.

However, the risk of hacking is low, and smart lights are not hugely more expensive to run compared to regular LEDS. They’re more efficient in the long term than filament bulbs too.

Although the initial cost might be high, we think the features of smart lighting make it worth the money.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.