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We’ve gone from buying a simple fluorescent light to high tech smart home lights in just over half a decade. There’s no denying the convenience of having smart light systems connected and controlled remotely by a mobile app or remote. But are the benefits of buying the best smart home floodlight systems worth the long-term investment?
Why Smart Flood Lights? Why Not Buy a Regular Light Bulb?
This is probably the question of everyone’s mind. Why should I invest in smart floodlights if I can buy a replacement “dumb” floodlight bulb for a fraction of the price and do what I’ve always done?
As someone relatively new to smart technology, I had the exact same question on my mind as well. In fact, I had similar thoughts about smart home technology and security in general. The idea of letting “smart” technology take over my home was, frankly, a little creepy at first! We all know how uncooperative computers can be at times. Experiencing that with my fridge, heating or dimmable light bulbs sounded frustrating. The last thing I wanted was to struggle with my phone or WiFi just to turn the lights off at night. Here’s the thing to remember – technology doesn’t exist to make things complicated–it makes things easier!
Picture it this way. Let’s say you’re about to head out. You leave the house, lock the door as usual and go to your car. As you sit down and rev up the engine, you realize you forgot to turn the lights off in the upstairs bedroom. Darn. Now you have to get out of the car, go back inside, up the stairs, in the bedroom to turn off the lights. Then head back down and into your car. It’s not the most annoying thing ever, but it’s certainly a little frustrating to deal with.
With smart flood lights, you have the choice to remotely load up an app on your phone, hit the power “off” button and your WiFi enabled smart floodlight bulbs are now off. It’s a simple system. It’s convenient and adds security. It’s one of those little conveniences that puts a smile on my face and makes my children think I’m a wizard. It’s also a great compliment to the security cameras that I have already installed in my home.
But Bill, Aren’t You Just Being Lazy With Smart Flood Lights?
I absolutely am! But doesn’t technology make us all lazy? When was the last time you asked someone for a phone number and committed it to memory? Or walked to the post office to deliver a hand-written letter to a friend? Smart technology feels like an eventual evolution of the classic light bulb. And I’m glad that I’ve gradually started switching my bulbs over and building my own smart flood lighting system in my home.
What Exactly Are the Advantages of Smart Flood Lights?
As a guide and to make it crystal clear, I’ll explain some of the features and benefits of using smart lights in your home.
- Incredible convenience. Turn the lights on and off while sitting on the couch, laying in bed or on the bus home. Turn the lights off if you forget to when you leave the house. Also, set them to turn on and off at random times to pretend like there’s someone at home to improve security and deter criminals.
- Last longer than regular bulbs. Most typical bulbs will only last between 750 to 2,000 hours. In comparison, smart LED flood lights can last 35,000 to 50,000 hours even if used continuously! That’s not even counting the extra savings from being able to smartly control your lights. You can turn them off at specific times of the day.
- Improved energy efficiency. Smart floodlights are also a lot more energy-efficient compared to typical light bulbs. One thing to look out for is the One thing to look out for is the ENERGY STAR certification rating. You’ll see this when purchasing smart lights. These rates mean they run 70 to 90% more efficiently than regular bulbs. So if you replace all the lights in your home with smart lights you’ll make huge energy savings. This will also help the environment.
- Lots of customization options. Blue lights, red lights, pink lights, rainbow lights–you name it, someone’s probably made it. The ambiance options are incredible with smart bulbs. They can change the mood of a room. When used correctly, it can make for perfect romantic dinners or cinema nights with the kids.
- Improved security. One of the great things about smart floodlights is that we now have a good, compact solution to protect our house. In the past, floodlights needed pairing with motion sensors. But with smart floodlights, they’re built into the bulb itself. Once it detects movement, it’ll turn on and stay on until it no longer detects movement. Besides, if you want to appear like you’re indoors to deter potential criminals, you can turn on the smart lights. You can use a smartphone app for this.
All these advantages enhance your life and that of your family as well. It’s easy to discover why switching over to smart bulb technology convinces me. It sounds like a silly gimmick that will pass at first. But it’s certainly changed the way we think about energy savings and experience home security in a positive way.
What Do I Need to Get Started With Smart Flood Lights and Bulbs?
Just a smart bulb and a wireless home internet connection are all you need. You can buy a home hub to have it all controlled in a single device. There’s nothing wrong or bad about having a smartphone app to control your lights. In fact, some people prefer it since you don’t need to make an extra purchase or set up a hub.
Are Smart Flood Lights Difficult to Install?
Smart floodlights and bulbs’ installation are the same way as any other light bulb. To get the functionality, you’ll need to download a smartphone app that is specific to the bulb or brand itself. With this in mind, it’s usually best to buy bulbs from a specific app. You can control them all through a single screen, and you can mix and match smart lights too if you have a smart home hub. You’ll need a bit of basic tech knowledge. But if you’re able to connect to the internet and download apps on your phone you’ll be fine.
What’s the Catch With Smart Flood Lights?
Admittedly, if you’re not using a smartphone now or your battery runs out, you can’t really control the lights. That usually isn’t an issue if you’re at home so I didn’t see it as a huge drawback, but it could be something to keep in mind. They’re also more expensive than regular bulbs. Replacing everything might take a bit of money, but it’s worth the long-term investment at the end of the day.
Which Smart Bulbs Would You Recommend?
I’ve tested and compared a couple of bulbs that are either designed for exterior floodlights or interior use. There are a few things to differentiate them. I’ll be giving my personal reviews and recommendations with a few pros and cons to each.
- Well-known brand with a robust smartphone app to control all your Phillips Hue lights
- Incredible 25,000 hours of constant usage
- Can be voice-controlled if you’re using Alexa, Apple or Google Assistant
- Excellent customer service if you ever have trouble with the lights or apps
- Over 50,000 different shades of white to choose from
- A little pricey when compared to the other options available
- Setting it up with a smart hub can be a little finicky, so you’ll need some patience
Philips Hue is the big name in smart lighting with dozens of products in the range. As with most tech, it’s always a good idea to be cautious so that you don’t end up buying a brand name more than a working product.
Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Philips Hue. What you’re paying for isn’t just a brand name but consistent support. It’s a feature-rich app and connectivity to smart home hubs. Since the Philips Hue is so popular, you can guarantee that your hub will be compatible without changes or updates.
- A++ energy efficiency to help you save on electricity costs
- Compatible with all major smart hubs like Alexa and Google Home
- The multi-colored bulb offers countless personalization
- The lifespan of 30,000 hours
- Smart app is simple to use and works without a hitch
- Price isn’t much different from a named brand alternative like the Philips Hue
- Support can be challenging to get a hold of
The Smart BR30 Wi-Fi smart light bulb from Boxlood is an incredible value for what you get. 5,000 hours more life than a Philips Hue, it has 16 million color choices. Compatibility with Alexa and Google Home is everything you need and more! These are a fantastic option for colored mood lights such as a kid’s room. But if you want a simple warm or cool light then you can customize it to accommodate your needs. Overall, it’s a brilliant smart light option albeit from a relatively unknown brand.
- Integrated motion sensor makes it fantastic for exterior use
- Automatically lights up, giving it plenty of use cases around the home
- The 2-pack option is fantastic value for money
- Fits into any regular flood light fixture
- Surprisingly bright and fits the definition of a good flood light
- Can be a little too sensitive and may need a little opaque tape to reduce detection
- There are no sensitivity options to adjust
- Not as “smart” as other options here
Sengled seems to make a lot of smart light options. Unfortunately, they’re not as “smart” as companies like Philips with Wi-Fi and app controls. However, they do make up for it by having an incredibly effective motion sensor. This sensor automatically switches on the light for 90 seconds. This makes it fantastic for outdoor scenarios. You might also find yourself taping over the sensor to reduce its detection range. Otherwise, you’ll be turning on the light every time a car passes in front of your house!
- Built-in motion sensor with up to 30 feet of detection
- Senses daylight so it knows when to switch itself off
- The motion sensor deactivation makes it work like a regular light
- Pops into any regular lighting fixture
- Not overly sensitive which means no need to adjust or reposition it
- Can be a bit inconvenient when changing the settings
- A little on the pricey side compared to Sengled’s other options
I tried this Sengled flood light alongside the previous one. I can, thus, say that there wasn’t a huge amount of difference. One of the defining features that separate them is smarter motion sensing. It’s not a huge deal given that they both serve the same purpose; turning on when they detect some kind of motion. However, it’s still a good option if you don’t want to have to tape over the sensor. Or if you plan to face them towards the main road and don’t want them randomly turned on when a car passes.
- Hubless design that is controllable through a simple app
- Brightness and color temperature can be fine-tuned to your specification
- Over 25,000 hours of lifetime make it a worthwhile investment
- Compatible with Alexa smart hubs
- Multi-color option if you want extra customization
- Setup with Alexa can take a bit of tinkering
- Has a few problems with newer internet routers
It is an excellent little smart bulb with a multi-color option for a couple more dollars. Compatible with Alexa, but setting it up did take a bit of tinkering in the settings to get it working. It also has a problem with older routers that use something called a “2.4ghz Wi-Fi band”. In other words, if you have a relatively old internet router box then you’re fine. But if you have something updated then it will need some configuration to get it working. Outside of that, it’s a brilliant smart bulb option with an app that works flawlessly.
The Final Verdict
So to conclude, what’s the best rated bulb I would recommend?
For now, the winner of the products reviewed has to go to the Boxlood bulb. While its price is comparable to the Philips Hue, it offers 5,000 more hours of lifetime lighting. It also gives 16 million color combinations. The only slight con would be that support is hard to reach. Even if you have a little tech knowledge, you can easily install and make it work with the smart home hub support. It’s affordable enough to replace all the bulbs in my home. It comes with all the bells and whistles that one would expect from a modern smart bulb.