Figuring out what lighting solutions to add to your smart home can be difficult. What used to be a simple decision is now an ordeal involving dozens of variables like power consumption, colored lighting, and “smart” lighting features like wireless connectivity. Continue reading as we discuss some of the main forms of lighting so that you can make an informed decision for the lighting in your home.

Traditional Bulbs
These typical bulbs, sometimes referred to as dumb bulbs, are the ones that you can find on the shelves of every home improvement store. The types of dumb bulbs include halogen, compact fluorescent, and LED. If you are interested in using traditional bulbs for lighting your home, LED bulbs should be your choice – here’s why:

Pros
• They are the easy to find at most stores
• They are inexpensive compared to other forms of lighting
• If you find the right LED bulb, they are the most energy efficient solution
• They are compatible with regular dimmer switches and work simply with a traditional light switch

Cons
• There are no extra features when using LED bulbs, or any traditional bulbs for that matter
• No connectivity features, such as wifi and smart home apps

Affordability
• These are the cheapest bulbs to buy for your home
• With advances in technology and production, the costs continue to fall every year
• They often use much less energy than smart bulbs

Smart Bulbs
Smart bulbs are desirable since they have networking capabilities in every bulb that allows smart home connectivity. This gives you access to a variety of features including color modification, advanced scheduling, and wireless power toggling. In conjunction with a home automation managing application, you gain total control over all smart lighting fixtures in your home. Popular choices for smart lighting materials include the Philips HUE bulbs, LIFX, and the GE Link.

Pros
• The sheer novelty behind smart lighting brings joy and ease of access to all members of your family
• Some smart lighting solutions give you thousands of color choices in a single bulb
• You have the power to change the tone and intensity of white light
• You can adjust the brilliance of light to match the flow of any room (less light near TV, more light in a social corner)
• You can utilize various third party applications to connect your smart lights to receive notifications from services like email or family tracking apps

Cons
• For those who have no interest in the advanced features these bulbs provide, they could be an empty purchase
• They often require the use of a hub of some sort
• There is a limit to how many of these smart lights you can reliably use in your home
• Some smart bulbs lose their customization settings when the physical switch they are attached to is turned off
• In this case, you are stuck with normal light until you open the application and reset the scheme

Affordability
• Compared to traditional lighting, they are all expensive
• You can expect to pay three to five times as much for a smart bulb than you would for a reliable LED bulb
• Replacing all the lighting in your house with smart bulbs will be a large one-time purchase

Depending on what your priorities and interests are, smart lighting may be right for you. However, rest assured that if you find the right LED bulbs, your home can still look sleek and clean without the need for fancy lighting systems.