Do Smart Lights Use Electricity When They’re Turned Off? (2024)

People have moved on from traditional lights to smart bulbs due to immense convenience. You can dim the lights, change colors, and some smart bulbs can even play music. You can operate them with smart assistants such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. All you need to do is give voice orders for the smart assistant to operate the lights as per your requirements. Smart bulbs are also energy-efficient but there are concerns about whether smart bulbs consume electricity even when they are turned off. In this article, we will discuss all the common queries about smart bulbs.


What Is A Smart Bulb?

A smart bulb is an LED light bulb that lets you control it remotely through its built-in technology. With the help of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can operate a smart bulb remotely through its app or through voice assistant. A smart bulb serves as a perfect item to begin home automation. It is also affordable and provides you with many options such as dimming light, and changing colors. Many brands manufacture smart bulbs and are designed specifically to work ok with a special hub. However, the modern smart bulbs are compatible with smart voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.

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How Do These Smart Bulbs Work?

Smart bulbs work in the same way as other smart devices. It utilizes wireless transmission for sending and receiving signals. These bulbs either rely on Bluetooth radios or Wi-Fi radios. The Bluetooth range must be within 50 feet and with Wi-Fi, you will have to connect it to a router.

With a Bluetooth connection, there will be a point-to-point connection and you will not be able to control it when you are out of the range. When you connect it with a Wi-Fi network, you can easily control them with the help of a smartphone no matter where you are.

It can be perfect to make your life easier as smart bulbs require less power when they are off. It only requires a small current flow so that it can listen to the command. Again, the standby mode energy consumption will differ according to the brand and type of bulb.

What is Vampire Power?

Vampire power is a standby power of the device that can consume power even when they are off. It is just like using the device in standby mode. A smart bulb uses vampire power for better comfort and cost-effectiveness. It only utilizes a small electricity usage. Vampire power is also known as phantom load, ghost load, and Vampire draw.

There has been a steady rise in the use of vampire power as many appliances are compatible with it. With vampire power, you can easily turn on devices using remote controls. These devices respond all the time. Even in a television, a receiver is on constantly that draws a tiny current. Devices that use standby power include laptop chargers, video game consoles, DVD players, and anything with remote control.

Why Do Smart Bulbs Consume Power When Turned Off?

Smart bulbs have been categorized as vampire devices. It can consume power even when it is not in use. However, the main purpose of this is that it can respond immediately to any command. Again, it does not mean that it will draw the same power when the LED is turned on.

A smart bulb constantly needs a connection for controls. You can easily turn it on with your smartphone or with the power of your voice. It does not matter even if it is Bluetooth or WiFi-enabled, it tends to consume power to receive a command and send a signal. It can happen instantly without any lagging.

Do Smart Bulbs Always Consume Electricity When They’re Off?

No matter what type of connection you opt for, be it WiFi or Bluetooth, smart bulbs continue to draw power when they are off. As you control a smart bulb remotely, it requires energy to maintain the connection. It draws less power which makes it stay connected with the automated hub. There are even bulbs that help to offer an efficient solution like Philips hue setup. On the contrary, automated lighting can be high on power.

How Much Smart Bulbs Cost When They’re Off?

When you turn off the smart bulb, the power draw is very low. Again, it is based on the type of bulb as well as the manufacturer’s brand. It will only be a few cents per bulb in a month. Philips Hue can draw a maximum of 0.3 watts which will cost 1.6 cents a month.

When your entire home has smart bulbs, then the vampire power draw will be more. Even with 20 or 30 smart bulbs, you can expect to have an additional power bill of a dollar per month. It is not much but can affect in the long run.

Do Smart Bulbs Really Save Money?

You may be wondering if smart bulbs will let you save money. For better clarification, we can say that “Yes” a smart bulb lets you save money. Being an LED, it tends to consume less power when compared to incandescent bulbs. They also have a long lifetime and can last more.

Comparing a smart bulb to a regular LED bulb will cost you more. Being a vampire appliance, it also consumes power even when it is off. But what it offers is better convenience and you can control it from anywhere you want. You can set schedules and turn on the bulb only when you need it.


Smart bulbs offer you better convenience and work completely differently than your traditional bulbs. It is also affordable and can be your first smart device in your home. They tend to be “On” technically even when they are off. It means that they can still consume power. However, when it is dormant, the energy consumption is relatively low. So this should not be a matter of concern as the power consumption is very low no matter what bulb or brand you choose.

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Do Smart Lights Use Electricity When They’re Turned Off? (2024)


Do Smart Lights Use Electricity When They’re Turned Off? ›

The short answer to that question is, “Yes, they do.” However, it's important to understand the context. Smart lights are “vampire devices”, which means they use electricity even when they're turned off or in standby mode.

Do smart lights use electricity when off? ›

As we mentioned above, smart bulbs are in a class of appliances that use electricity in standby mode: vampire devices. This means that smart bulbs use electricity even when they're off.

Do smart lights increase your electric bill? ›

Even with 20 or 30 smart bulbs, you can expect to have an additional power bill of a dollar per month. It is not much but can affect in the long run.

Is it OK to leave smart lights on? ›

Yes, it is generally safe to leave your light switch on all night if you use smart bulbs.

Do lights draw power when off? ›

Any appliance with an LCD, light, or clock, such as your DVD or DVR player, cable box, television, or microwave, consumes electricity even when turned off.

What are the disadvantages of smart lights? ›

The biggest disadvantage of smart light bulbs is that they're much more expensive than regular lightbulbs. As of this writing, a standard incandescent bulb costs about a dollar, while a non-smart LED light bulb costs around $5. A smart bulb costs around $15 each, and that's not counting additional hub expenses.

Are smart lights expensive to run? ›

So it seems like they'd draw more energy than a regular LED bulb that turns off when it's switched off at the wall – and hence cost more to run. But that's not what we found: there's actually very little difference in running costs between smart and non-smart LED lights. It was a surprise to us.

Do smart bulbs use electricity when off Reddit? ›

If you turn the bulb off in software, then there will always still be some power draw to run the wireless connection so that you can turn the bulb on, as long as the physical switch is also in the on position. No power can be drawn as no power is going to the light if the switch is off.

Do smart bulbs use much electricity? ›

Even with standby mode taken into account, smart LED bulbs will save you money over incandescent bulbs simply because they use less energy. LED bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, lasting three to 25 times longer on average.

Do smart lights use less power when dimmed? ›

Another benefit of smart bulbs is their energy efficiency. By dimming the lights, users can reduce energy consumption and save money on their electricity bills. Smart bulbs can also be programmed to automatically dim at certain times of the day or in response to sensor data, further reducing energy usage.

Do smart lights affect WiFi? ›

Do Smart Switches Slow Down WiFi? Generally speaking, smart lights won't put much extra drawn on your WiFi network because, like smart plugs, smart lights are very simple devices that will typically only need to communicate when their status changes.

Do smart lights deter burglars? ›

Less is more when it comes to using lights to deter burglars, it turns out. If you use smart lighting functionality through your home security system to make it seem as though someone is home, this may deter a burglar. If you simply leave your lights on all day and all night, you could do the opposite.

Do smart lights get hot? ›

While LED lights are known for their energy efficiency, they still produce some heat. This is because not all energy used to power the LED is converted into light. Some of it is converted into heat, which can cause the LED to get hot.

Does leaving a phone charger plugged in use electricity? ›

Not only does leaving your phone charger plugged in increase your electricity bills, but it also wastes energy. When you leave your charger plugged in, even if your phone is not connected to it, the charger is still using power from the outlet.

Does turning a light on and off use a lot of electricity? ›

Benefits of Turning Off Lights. Despite myths you may have heard, turning your lights on and off doesn't use more electricity than leaving your lights on. Turning off the lights when you aren't in a room is one of the easiest ways to save energy.

Is electricity used when something is plugged in but not on? ›

Did you know that when your appliances or electronic devices are plugged in, they're draining energy – even if they're not in use? Phantom power, also called standby power, refers to the energy that's wasted around your home when devices are plugged in and using power, but you're not actively using them.

Do smart devices use more electricity? ›

Yes, smart devices like app- and voice-controlled plugs, bulbs, thermostats, and more can lead to a reduction in energy consumption, and therefore a lower monthly bill during hot and cold months.

Do smart switches use more electricity? ›

On its own, the average smart plug uses at most one, maybe two watts at any given time. Zero, like that of an unused standard outlet, would be ideal, but smart plugs require a small amount of electricity to stay connected to your Wi-Fi. Still, a smart plug uses only around 10 kWh over the course of a year.

Do LED grow lights raise electric bill? ›

LED grow lights may have the highest initial cost of all the lighting types, but they pay for themselves over time. These lights are the most efficient, and cost far less to run than MH/HPS and CMH, while providing arguably the highest performance. On top of this, LED's generate less heat than other grow lights.

Does leaving LED lights on increase electric bill? ›

Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs for short, are the most efficient bulbs you can use for home illumination. Like incandescent bulbs, they are generally unaffected by the number of times you turn them on or off.

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