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.
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 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.