Choosing wattage for your smart light

There are big differences in prices when it comes to wattage of smart lights. For example, in Jan 2018, a MagicLight smart light which is 40W equivalent costs $19 plus taxes in Seattle, WA, USA. While same brand bulb which is 60W equivalent costs $31 plus taxes.

[Bonus read: Benefits of Smart Lights, if you have not read it already!]

I prefer buying 60W as that gives me a flexibility of dimming it to 40W equivalent whenever needed or according to my scene settings while having a 40W smart bulb cannot give you a flexibility of 60W when you would want. You will have to replace it with a 60W smart bulb.

However, due to cost and desire to have 60W equivalent, I switched from MagicLight to Lohas smart bulbs.

There are definitely pros and cons when you buy something branded like Philips vs. local bulbs such as Lohas. One major difference is the color setting. I tell my Google Assistant to set the light to Bottle Green and it sets it to very much like a blue. However, when I tell her to set smart light to Dark Green, she does the job perfectly. Maybe there is a problem in the software that Google received from Lohas but who knows and I don’t care as long as I can at least get some kind of green!

This is literally how my dog has grabbed my laptop as I am writing this post!

dog hugging MacBook pro

 

Benefits and uses of smart lights

Smart lights such as Philips Hue, MagicLight, MagicHue, Lohas bulbs, and so on have a lots of benefits listed below. See which bulbs I prefer and why. It is important to choose right size bulb in the respective fixture to avoid excessive heating and thus a risk of fire. See the differences between various types of bulbs.

Multi-functional use of smart lights – regular lighting and ambiance setting

The smart bulbs can help you set a different ambiance depending upon the event, time of day, or your mood. Dim the lights and set a romantic mood. Set all lights to full brightness and feel happy and bright on a gloomy day!

It’s the same set of lights and you can use them to use for regular everyday lighting or specific functions. My lights turn in to various colors typically on a Friday night and help me kickoff the weekend with even more fun!

Walls colored purple using smart lights

Change color of walls through smart lights

Set color of your one room to rosy red, kitchen to bright purple, and living room to natural green–all without having to repaint, just with a click of button or a voice command to home assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.

 

Set scenes and set them automatically on certain conditions

Using free IFTTT (if this then that) service, you can set scenes, turn off/turn on smart lights, and so on based on natural conditions such as:

  • Turn on specific lights or set a specific scene with sunset or with an offset such as turn on lights 30 minutes after sunset since sometimes there is still enough light in certain areas after the official sunset
  • Dim specific lights at your bed time
  • Turn the lights down low with sunrise
  • Change the color of the lights to day white if it is raining
  • and so on!

Choose colors and scenes to compliment your mood with atmosphere.

My dog doesn’t have to stay in dark during winter times when the days are short as my IFTTT settings turn a light on for my doggie boy!

Save electricity / be eco-friendly

The definition on Wikipedia for Smart Lights is: “Smart lighting is a lighting technology designed for energy efficiency.”

With lights turning on and off automatically as setup, I think it will contribute to the eco system when seeing combined savings from many households together. Now for example, our kitchens have multiple lights but if you had smart lights setup, you could just turn on one light instead of all four if you are just grabbing some water! I work in the front part of the kitchen like near the electric range more than the back side, so I turn on front lights accordingly.

Helpful links:

Be CAREFUL while buying Smart Bulbs. I prefer WIFI bulbs and NOT bluetooth bulbs.