Smart Bulb vs Smart Switch: Comparing Convenience & Cost

Should you replace all of your bulbs with smart ones, or is it better to only replace your light switch and keep the bulbs?

Let’s compare your different options for smart bulbs vs smart switches, including Hue and LIFX vs the GE Z-Wave switch. I’ll share some ideas where a smart light switch or a smart bulb would make more sense.

LINKS (affiliate):
GE Paddle Switch Dimmer https://amzn.to/2PoSBrO
Add-On Paddle Switch (for 3-way lights) https://amzn.to/2EmO3kJ
Light Switch Guard https://amzn.to/2ElNTK7
Lutron Caseta https://amzn.to/2QkEdGu
LIFX Light https://amzn.to/2UsIWnW
Hue Lights https://amzn.to/2Ea3V99

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DISCOVER MORE:
Videos-
Porch Light Timers: https://youtu.be/Dc7p4JTPIxs
Light Strip Ideas: https://youtu.be/7soFzqvIxQ4
SmartThings Ideas: https://youtu.be/mSoN685l_i4

Articles-
LIFX vs Hue: https://smarthomesolver.com/reviews/lifx-vs-hue-comparison/
Smart Light Ideas: https://smarthomesolver.com/reviews/10-smart-light-ideas/

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Writer/Editor/Director: Reed Kleinman
Producer: Alysa Kleinman

Disclaimer: Smart Home Solver purchased the Hue lights and GE Z-Wave switch with their own money. LIFX lights were sent for unbiased reviews in the past. As always, our opinions are 100% our own and not influenced.

Comments

Larry Kozlowski says:

Would you be willing to do an apartment-friendly product guide? Basically things you would be able to take with you as you move and wouldnt make you loose your security deposit when you have to leave.

Sebastian O says:

Don’t use Phillips Hue Color bulbs with GE dimmers. They flash each time you turn the lights on or off

David Feinstein says:

Great video! I have to explain this to people all the time who want an easy to install product, but then don’t actually think about what will work best in their house.

I experimented with smart bulbs when I was first getting into home automation, and I kept ending up in this weird scenario where the bulb would be off in the app, but someone would come along and flip the switch but of course the light didn’t come on so they would think something was wrong then I’d try to turn the light on with the app but now the switch is in the wrong position so you end up doing this dance with the bulb and the switch to sync it all back up.

k9driver says:

I have a lot of Philips Hue lights and about 6 Ecobee light switches. The Ecobee switches don’t work with 3 way setups. What is the best smart switch that would work with a 3 way setup that requires a neutral wire?

jfkdownt says:

What is the best way to handle using a GE switch from an app? I have smartthings hub but is that the only option?

thrash99er says:

You barely touch on the need for a neutral switch, and only most NEW houses will have the neutral run to the switch. If you do use a switch that does not require, then you probably can’t use CFL or LED bulbs. It can be worth the time and cost to get the neutral wire run down to the outlet.

It is a HUGE deal to have a physical way to turn it all on and off, so even for lamps a Zwave receptacle for lamps is better than a bulb. Bulbs eventually stop working versus a switch which should last longer than an LED bulb. The ideal scenario if you want ease of use and color is to use switches and bulbs so you can have a physical ability that no one has to relearn to turn these on and off, and then use the color bulbs after you have the light on.

A switch guard is crazy, why even have a switch then? It is poor usability in a house where you have a switch you never turn off. If you are trying to be as budget conscious as possible ok, but you are fighting over 100 years of people using light switches and it is can be very annoying.

Also I’ve done my house with children and it teaches them bad habits to not turn on and off a light when they leave the room increasing electricity costs for no reason.

Additionally, if you can use motion detection for lamps turning on and off then that is something everyone can understand and no one has to interact with and is another good way around this.

I don’t think you gave a very in depth review of the differences of switches and bulbs.

James Jones says:

Thanks for making this video, this question gets asked a lot in the SH Facebook groups.

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