Using smart bulbs for lighting is an easy and affordable first step in converting your home to a smart home.
They’re easy to install and last for years, making them an excellent investment.
However, some people are left wondering just how much of their home’s data will need to be dedicated to these additional devices.
Smart bulbs do not use a lot of data. On average, they use between 20 and 30 MB per month, which is such a small amount that most customers don’t notice any changes in their data usage. Unless you plan on replacing 100 lights with smart bulbs, you won’t see a big impact on your internet bill.
In this article, we’ll discuss the convenience and safety benefits of adding smart technology to your home, along with exploring the light impact on your data usage and WiFi service.
How Much Wifi Do Smart Bulbs Use?
As mentioned above, smart bulbs will use an average of 20 to 30 MB, and according to Viasat, an LED smart bulb only uses a maximum of 50 MB per month.
The usage is low because the bulb uses data only when turning on and off or updating.
When put into context, 50 minutes of streaming music uses 150 MB per month based on the Verizon Data Chart, and many people stream hours of music a day while they work in and around their homes.
When compared to the convenience and safety, 50 MB is not much.
You likely won’t even notice the data usage of your smart bulbs unless you connect 20 or more.
Then, you might notice an uptick, but it’s still insignificant you are engaging a few bulbs throughout the house.
Even 30 lightbulbs in use would be negligible.
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Will Data Usage by Smart Bulbs Slow My WiFi?
There is an average of 67 lights in the average American home, but it’s not common to see people changing every single light to a smart bulb.
Instead, people opt to change feature lights, such as the one on the porch and in bedrooms, where their control is more useful while you’re away from home.
Even if you have 30 smart bulbs throughout your home, there will be almost no impact on router speed from smart bulbs.
Except for cameras, Reddit assures us that smart devices require very little bandwidth.
Each bulb connects to the next, creating a network.
Smart Bulb Conveniences With No Significant Data Impact
The cost of data is a factor when connecting new items to our home WiFi network, so check the price against the convenience before purchase to avoid surprises.
For instance, home video surveillance cameras can use up to 60 GB per month, which you will see on your data bill.
However, smart bulbs allow you to enjoy increased home security without adding to your data costs.
Here are some of the top features you’ll enjoy when you choose to switch to smart bulbs:
- Turn your exterior lights on from your bedroom when your dog barks.
- Turn your interior lights on from your driveway when arriving home.
- Set your lighting to vacation settings when away from home.
- Change the ambiance by changing light colors or dimming the light.
- Wake up slowly by using the gradual lighting setting.
Easybulb: The Smart Bulb App That Keeps Data to a Minimum
Easybulb smart bulbs for iPhone, iPad and Android demonstrate the control functions possible with smart bulbs.
Most features are also available with other brands of smart bulbs, including:
- The ability to link multiple lights in your home together so you can control them at the same time and individually.
- The lights form a network, allowing for flexible control that is less of a draw on your router than controlling each light individually.
- Control your lighting from anywhere in the world.
- Timers will turn on specific lights when needed, such as while you’re away, to give the illusion someone is home.
- A remote control for when you don’t have your phone handy or have WiFi.
Another popular function is sleep mode, which will slowly dim the lights in your child’s bedroom to help them fall asleep.
You may also wonder: Is iOS or Android better for home automation?
Are Smart Light Bulbs Worth It?
Smart bulbs are part of a growing trend toward home electronics to automate the control of home functions.
With new technology, it’s possible to control everything from lighting and the thermostat to home appliances and video cameras.
We can monitor our interior and exterior security using our smartphones, making our homes more secure than ever.
Building contractors of new homes are now actively incorporating smart home technology into their blueprints designs, and young homebuyers are incredibly enthusiastic.
Of course, smart homes are not for everyone, but smart bulbs for home use appeal to homeowners and apartment dwellers from all walks of life.
They like the ease of use, convenience, and added security features.
Smart Bulbs Are Energy-Efficient
Smart bulbs are energy efficient compared to incandescent bulbs.
Although, they are not as energy efficient as non-electronic LED bulbs since they are always on.
Powerley, a well-known home energy management company, refers to such devices as always-on or vampire products.
Smart bulbs are never turned entirely off, so there is always a trickle of electricity.
However, smart bulbs are still energy efficient, just a little less so.
They join your TV, Xbox, cable box, coffee maker, microwave, and a dozen other appliances in your home that are always on.
However, that does not mean they are always using data.
As mentioned above, they only use data when they are turning on or off (or updating).
Smart Bulbs Are Not Expensive
You can get a 6-pack of smart bulbs from Amazon for under $30, like these NiteBird Smart Light Bulbs.
The bulbs are the equivalent of a 75W incandescent bulb but 80% more efficient. Plus, they are dimmable.
For the added convenience of voice command, these also work with Alexa, GoogleHome, and Siri.
Color-changing bulbs are less than $50 for a 6-pack and are all programmable and managed by your phone app or voice control.
As with anything, prices vary with each brand. You can pay more, or you might find smart bulbs for less.
The NiteBird Bulbs mentioned above last about 30,000 hours – about 20-25 years.
That’s less time than a regular LED but more than most regular bulbs.
Smart Bulb Data Usage Without the App
Smart bulbs made for use in ordinary electric fixtures also have switches. So, if your phone is not handy, you just need to flip the switch.
The data savings are negligible, though, and you lose the convenience of being able to turn the lights on and off from anywhere.
Keep in mind that the switches must be left on if you want to control the lights remotely.
If your smart bulbs are compatible, you can also tell Alexa or Google to turn the lights on.
However, this will use a little more data, as you’ll be using two devices – the smart hub and the bulb itself.
But again, the amount of data will be very small.
If you have an Alexa device or Google hub, you will know that they do not add to your internet usage in any significant way.
Smart bulbs are not the same as smart switches.
Smart switches need to be fitted in place of your standard light switch and used in conjunction with regular light bulbs.
However, these are a less flexible option as they must stay on for lights to work.
If somebody flips a switch off, the light will not work through your app or voice-controlled device.
One solution is to cover the switches with a blank cover plate or switch to smart bulbs.
Smart switches, like smart bulbs, require WiFi to operate and, therefore, use data.
Smart bulbs are loaded with technology and are controlled via WiFi.
But if you don’t have WiFi or buy the wrong kind of bulb, you will need a hub to connect your smartphone to your smart bulb.
Without it, you will not be able to control the bulbs with your phone.
In many cases, to use certain brands of smart bulbs with other devices – such as an Alexa device – you will need a smart hub installed in your home.
They also act as WiFi boosters, which will help if you have a larger home and if you have multiple smart devices, such as doorbells or coffee machines.
Turning your house into a smart home is a natural progression, and luckily, a household already equipped with WiFi is easily converted with smart bulbs that just need to be screwed in place.
A reliable WiFi connection is all you need and though they can be expensive at first, these bulbs are known to last for years.
Fortunately, most smart products, like smart bulbs, use very little data.
Continue reading: Do Smart Bulbs Slow Down Wi-Fi? The Truth + Video