The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting (2024)

Smart lights are fantastic products that seem to be in a constant state of development and innovation. They offer some amazing benefits but do have a few drawbacks as well so we thought we’d cover the pros and cons of smart lighting and whether it's the right choice for your home.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting (1)

Volatiles Interactive LED Light with kitchen installation from Hunza Lighting

The advantages of smart lighting

It’s always nice to start with the positives so we begin by highlighting some of the stronger selling points of smart lighting.

Manage your lighting remotely

Of course, the most significant advantage of smart lighting is that it gives you the capability to manage your lighting remotely. For many of us, this means not having to get out of bed to turn the bedroom light off or being able to dim the lights using voice commands. However, this can also be an important feature for people with mobility challenges.

This ability to manage your lighting remotely is also an essential safety feature. For example, when you're out of town, you can set up a schedule for your smart lights to go on and off during the times when you usually use them. This makes it harder for potential burglars to tell if you're home or not and may protect you from potential break-ins.

One of the more fun features of smart lighting is that you can control the bulb's colour from your phone. Not only can you decide if you want your lighting to be warmer or cooler in tone, but you can turn your room purple or green if you like. These colour-changing bulbs can actually have a profound benefit, especially for people fighting insomnia.

You can set up routines on your smart bulbs to begin changing the temperature of your lights as you get closer to bedtime. Studies have shown that blue lights signal our brains to stay awake longer. Shifting your smart lights to warmer tones around bedtime could help you sleep better and stay more in sync with your circadian rhythms.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting (2)

Volatiles Interactive LED Light controlled via app from Hunza Lighting

Establish daily routines

The dream of the ultimate smart home is to have a space that customises its routines to fit with your schedule. We want coffee pots that have a steaming cup of coffee ready when we get up in the morning, curtains that open and close at the start and end of the day, and an oven that has dinner ready when we sit down at the table.

Smart bulbs can make part of that dream a reality in your home.

You can set up schedules and daily routines to automate your light usage. For example, if you get up at seven every morning, you can instruct the smart bulbs in your bathroom and kitchen to turn on at this time. You can also tell all the lights in the house to turn off at a specific time, such as when you leave for work or when it's time for bed.

The disadvantages of smart lighting

With some great benefits covered, we look at some of the characteristics and qualities that might make smart lighting a less appropriate choice for your home.

More expensive bulbs

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.

The good news is that smart bulbs are generally all LEDs, which last an incredibly long time. In fact, many LED bulbs come with an estimated 25,000-hour lifespan. This means you could use the bulb for eight hours a day and expect it to last more than eight years, so your $15 investment will cost you just under two dollars a year.

Related article: LED Lights - The Definitive Guide

Requires a steady wifi connection

The very thing that makes smart bulbs such a convenient thing to have around the house can also become a source of frustration. Smart bulbs work by connecting through wifi to a hub that can communicate with your phone. When the wifi goes out, so does your ability to control your smart bulb.

The good news is that when your wifi is out, your smart bulb will still function—it will just become a regular lightbulb. You can turn it on and off with the usual light switch, and it will default to a basic colour and temperature. But if you have trouble maintaining a stable wifi connection at your house, smart lighting may not be the best choice for you.

Requires an additional hub

We mentioned that smart bulbs are somewhat expensive, but the bulbs themselves are not the only costs you'll pay when setting up your smart lighting system. As we mentioned, smart bulbs require you to have a hub that acts as a controller. This hub communicates with your phone and manages the schedules and commands for all the bulbs around your house.

Smart lighting hubs vary in price depending on what brand you're using. Often, these hubs may be used for more than one smart device around your house, making it a somewhat more affordable investment. You can even get home security systems that function as hubs for smart lights and other smart devices around your home.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting (4)

Smart Home Automation from Clipsal by Schneider Electric

Learn more about smart lighting

Smart lighting is part of the smart home that brings our daily routines into the future. You can set routines for your lights, change the colour, and even manage your lighting when you're not home. However, these systems can be somewhat expensive and they do require a reliable wifi connection to function correctly.

That being said, as is the case with most new technologies, products get more sophisticated and prices get lower over the passage of time so the case for smart lighting will only get stronger and stronger.

Related article: The future of living: Insights into smart home design

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting (2024)


The Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart Lighting? ›

Smart bulbs offer many advantages over traditional light bulbs, including the ability to adjust brightness levels and create different lighting effects. However, they also come with some disadvantages, such as a higher cost and reliance on technology.

What are the pros and cons of smart light? ›

Smart bulbs offer many advantages over traditional light bulbs, including the ability to adjust brightness levels and create different lighting effects. However, they also come with some disadvantages, such as a higher cost and reliance on technology.

What are the benefits of smart lighting? ›

It allows you to personalize the lighting in your home to fit any mood or activity. It also allows you to set smart space automation schedules that synchronize with your daily routine. But this is just the start of the benefits smart home lighting can bring to your space.

What are the disadvantages of intelligent lighting system? ›

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.

What are the disadvantages of smart system? ›

Cost: One of the main drawbacks of home automation is the cost. Smart devices and systems can be expensive, and the cost can add up quickly if you want to fully automate your home. Reliance on Technology: Home automation also means that you are relying on technology to control various aspects of your home.

What are the risks of smart lighting? ›

Privacy Concerns. With the rise of smart home technology comes the rise of data collection. Some smart lighting control systems collect user data, leading to concerns about privacy and data security. It's essential to understand what data your system collects and how it's used.

Why are smart lights better? ›

Smart lights have a chip inside them so that they can communicate with other devices wirelessly. Every light can connect to an app, smart home assistant, or other smart accessory, so you can automate your lights, change their color, or control them remotely.

Do smart lights last longer? ›

Yup, even without power they keep going, they're that efficient. As a result you can expect a very long lifetime from your smart bulb. The average will last around 23,000 hours.

Do smart lights consume a lot of electricity? ›

So it's quite obvious that smart bulbs'consumption is significantly lower than other types of bulbs. It's also important to bear in mind that the amount of electricity used by any given smart light bulb will vary depending on its features and how often it is used.

What is one disadvantage of using an automated system to control the lighting? ›

The Disadvantages of a Lighting Control System:

By definition wireless technologies are subject to interference and a higher level of maintenance, even if this is just periodic battery changing.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of artificial lighting? ›

While artificial light can be helpful in controlling the lighting in a shot, it can also create an unnatural look if not used properly. Too much artificial light can wash out colors and create harsh shadows. Equipment. Using artificial light requires additional equipment such as light stands, bulbs, and diffusers.

Is it worth getting smart lights? ›

LED bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs. However, the long life of smart bulbs offset their cost over their lifetime. Customized control and thoughtful programming cuts down on wasteful use. Fewer replacements and lower energy requirements save money in the long run.

Do smart lights raise electric bill? ›

Upgrading your current bulbs to smart bulbs will mean draw when off, but so minimal you wouldn't notice it on your energy bills. Expect an extra few cents a month, at most for the smart bulb's energy draw.

What are the disadvantages of smart switches? ›

Disadvantages: the necessary complexity

While smart switches offer a range of benefits, their installation is not so plug-and-play regarding lamp replacement. It is necessary to understand the electrical operation and have some technical knowledge for a successful installation.

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