Everyone knows that smart lighting is more expensive overall than other types of light, but what are some of the other disadvantages? Smart lights undeniably look cool, and they can be an easy and convenient way to save on energy and make your home more intelligent. But here are some of the downsides that you may not have known about.
1. They Can Be Difficult to Control
For most smart lights, you’re going to need some type of hub. And your lights are going to all have to be the same type if you want to control them with the same hub and if you want to get the best results. With an incandescent light, you never have to worry that half your bulbs are 1.0 and half your bulbs are version 3.0. With smart lights, you do need to track this, and that can be both expensive and tiresome.
2. They Often Break
Here’s a secret: smart lights have had a problem with reliability for some time. Look up reviews on light bulbs of all brands, and you’ll see failures. Why? Well, when you make a technology as ubiquitous as a light bulb and then increase its complexity a thousand-fold, you create a lot of opportunities for failure.
The complaint here is with the bulbs themselves. Of the four we tested, one went on the blink — literally, it just blinked all the time. Over time they have all had to be reset on multiple occasions. A process that involves using the wall switch to turn them on and off five times, leaving them off for three seconds each time. You may or may not have to also reset them with Alexa after that.
As the technology ages, it’s likely to get more consistent. For now, you may find yourself having to return a lot of your light bulbs or getting them replaced under warranty.
3. You Can End Up Micro-Managing Them
Rather than being liberated through smart lighting, you may actually find it taking up more of your time. When was the last time you spent a long time thinking about your kitchen lights? With a smart system, you can find yourself obsessing over the color and tone of the light at all times.
Moreover, you’re also going to have to spend a significant amount of your time updating your lighting system. Your lights are going to patch just like any other electronic device, and when they do patch, you’re going to have to figure out whether they’re working as they should.
4. You Need to Have Some Tech Knowledge
Just to get your system setup, you’ll need to be relatively tech savvy. Alternatively, you’re going to have to have a professional install your system, and you may need help any time the system has to be altered or updated.
5. You Can’t (Easily) Take It With You
What happens when you move? In may respects you may find yourself having to start from square one, because you’ll need to:
- Remove and replace all your smart bulbs with regular bulbs.
- Recalibrate your next home to use the bulbs.
- Wire in any smart features that you’ve integrated with the bulbs.
That means that a lot of your work is going to have to be reproduced in the event that you move. All of this shouldn’t dissuade you from adding smart lighting, it simply means that you need to be reasonable about what you’re doing. A lighting audit can help you figure out what your goals are.
Another area where you might want to invest in instead is a security system. Contact Protect America if you need some help creating an integrated, complete, smart security system.