Smart bulbs are a very common device to purchase as part of a smart home experience.
They are economical and add value to each space.
However, some worry that smart electronics will slow down their home network.
Smart bulbs don’t slow down Wi-Fi unless there are more than 20 bulbs simultaneously accessing a single router. If you include a hub, your network’s users decrease, freeing up router traffic. If you’re looking to buy smart bulbs, begin with a few and track their effect on your network.
This article will explain how smart bulbs operate and whether they cause the Wi-Fi to slow down.
How Do Smart Bulbs Work?
Smart bulbs interact with other devices through wireless transmissions.
Certain models incorporate built-in Wi-Fi radios that communicate with your router, while others connect via Bluetooth or a hub. And some versions include all three.
For some setups, the smart hub is the critical starting point for smart lighting schemes.
The hub serves as a wireless networking gateway between the smart bulb and your mobile device.
While smart bulbs don’t need a hub, the devices have network restrictions due to the wireless range of your router without one.
Can a Smart Bulb Work in a Home Without Wi-Fi?
In addition to Wi-Fi communication, bulbs with a Bluetooth radio will interact with your mobile app even when no network is involved.
You can control the bulb’s essential functions via the app.
However, the phone and bulb must be within 30 ft (9.14 m) of one another to receive the Bluetooth signal.
Additionally, you can monitor Bluetooth-enabled smart bulbs when away from home.
However, in this situation, you’d need a hub to which the bulbs are linked and an internet connection for the hub.
How Much Data Do Smart Bulbs Use?
On average, an LED smart bulb consumes approximately 20-30 MB of data each month to transmit and receive signals from your Wi-Fi router to the smart app on your phone.
In comparison to other smart devices, a single lamp uses very little data.
Moreover, the bulbs marginally expand the network’s internet reach by serving like a mesh, carrying the signal to the next bulb.
Each bulb communicates with the bulb next to it, forming a network that you can control wirelessly through a smart app.
Reading tip: 3 Reasons Why Smart Bulbs Need a 2.4 GHz WiFi Connection
Do Smart Bulbs Slow WiFi?
As a rule of thumb, Wi-Fi will get slower if too many smart bulbs, gadgets, and appliances are active on the network.
Investing in Wi-Fi extenders or smart hubs is the best solution to improve weak Wi-Fi after a smart bulb installation.
However, smart LED bulbs won’t use much bandwidth for operation, as you aren’t streaming content over the network through your bulb.
The LED bulb will only utilize your network when you signal for it to change color, turn off, and so on.
Will Adding a Hub Reduce the Bulb’s Bandwidth Usage?
There’s a simple technique for tricking your router into believing that several smart LED bulbs are one unit.
And that’s through the use of a hub.
A hub links to the main network as a single device that runs its own internet protocol.
Typically, hubs have switches that allow you to attach additional light bulbs outside the hub’s current limits.
When you introduce more smart bulbs to your growing smart house, you’ll see that getting a hub significantly improves efficiency.
Additionally, a hub enables simple automation and programming of the bulbs.
And, perhaps most importantly, it allows you to operate your bulbs even when your home network fails since a hub is a local link.
Consider the following: connecting 20 smart bulbs directly to the router will consume about 600 MB of data each month since each bulb consumes approximately 20-30 MB.
However, a hub typically uses approximately 300 MB per month.
Additionally, it supports various smart devices, such as cameras, remote controls, and others, thus lowering the bandwidth load and facilitating faster communication.
Learn more: Do smart bulbs use a lot of data?
Why You Should Install a Smart Bulb Regardless of Your Internet Speed
A few smart bulbs have a negligible effect on your internet speed. But there are additional advantages that come with the installation of a smart bulb.
As discussed previously, one feature that any smart bulb would have is the ability to monitor your lights with a dedicated app.
The most obvious benefit of this program is that it allows you to switch lights on from anywhere at any time.
Because of this, as long as your mobile is within arm’s reach, you’ll never have to get up and move around the room to change the brightness.
Additionally, the majority of smart lights on the market today can connect with other smart gadgets as part of a more extensive smart home network, which means you can create IFTTT configurations and have more control over your entire smart home.
Also, if you have a voice assistant, you can use basic voice commands to power and control your smart lights.
Lastly, there’s no limit to the ambiance that the bulbs will build.
Several of today’s smart lighting choices provide millions of different color hues, so you can create almost every mood you want.
In most models, you can merely tap the desired color preference, and the light will instantly transform to that hue.
What To Look For While Purchasing a Smart Bulb
There are many smart bulbs on the market, and deciding which one is right for your home can be challenging.
However, the following are critical features to keep in mind when shopping.
Your main priority should be an easy installation.
Most smart lighting systems on the market today are straightforward to mount.
Although specific configurations necessitate the use of a dedicated hub, others don’t.
It would be best if you also looked for a water-resistant device.
If you’re going to put a smart lighting device outdoors, it should be water-resistant to an extent.
What you want is a commodity with an IP56 water-resistance score, which is reserved for the very best outdoor devices.
A smart bulb with smart sensors is also an excellent choice.
Certain smart lights use sensors identical to those used in conventional night lights.
These sensors enable the bulbs to automatically turn on when it becomes too dark and then switch off again when the sun rises.
For better sleep, choose a smart bulb with a circadian mode.
Some smart lights have a circadian function that automatically changes their temperature and intensity to replicate the rhythms of natural illumination over an entire day.
In this way, the lamps will potentially assist you in adequately regulating your sleeping and waking habits.
It can also result in a more restful night’s sleep for your family members.
And look for a device with real-time energy consumption monitoring.
There are also smart lighting systems that allow you to monitor your energy usage using compatible smartphone software.
This keeps you aware of the ongoing energy use in your lighting, aiding you in monitoring your utility bills.
Editor’s pick: Solved: How to Use Multiple Smart Bulbs in One Fixture
You need not be worried about the effect of smart bulbs on your home network.
It’s only a cause for concern when you have a smart home with many other gadgets using the same network.
But if you’re starting with a few smart bulbs, you don’t need to consider buying a hub just yet.
Simply purchase your preferred smart bulb, and you’re ready to roll.
However, as your smart home progresses, a hub becomes critical.
Review Tube offers the following buyer’s guide to assist you in selecting the right hub for your home: