Smart bulbs can cost more than $60 each.
So you may be wondering whether this device is worth its high price tag.
Specifically, if they can last as long as you’d expect them to.
Well, you found the right person to ask.
Because I’ve been using smart bulbs for years.
Keep reading to find out:
- How long smart bulbs actually last.
- 3 factors that affect how long your smart lights last.
- Whether smart bulbs last longer than normal models.
- And this is just the beginning…
How long do smart bulbs last?
On average, smart bulbs last anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 hours of continuous usage. So, if you use your lights for 6 hours daily, you won’t need to replace them for 6 to 11 years. However, this range is simply an estimate. Smart bulbs don’t always last throughout their expected lifespan.
“Why don’t all smart lights last 6-11 years?”
Well, because there are…
3 factors that affect how long your smart bulbs last:
#1: Extremely high temperatures
Like most devices…
Smart bulbs don’t do well when consistently exposed to harsh temperatures.
So, if your lights are placed on a roof or wall that lacks airflow…
Most likely, your smart bulbs won’t last longer than 15,000 hours.
“What’s the best temperature for my smart lights?”
If you want specific values…
Your smart bulbs should be in a room at 65 – 85°F (18-30°C).
Now, if you have a thermostat, it’ll be pretty easy to maintain this temperature range.
But I understand that not every room has this smart device.
So, here’s a rule of thumb you can easily remember:
If the room is too hot for you…
It doesn’t have the ideal temperature for your smart bulb, either.
“Do smart bulbs’ lifespans also shorten with extremely low temperatures?”
Well, unlike what many think…
Smart lights actually don’t have problems dealing with extreme cold.
In fact, LED bulbs prefer operating in colder temperatures (below 75°F (24°C). Because this helps keep their semiconducting elements stay at moderate temperatures. Which ultimately extends your lights’ lifespan.
#2: Electric current
All devices have a specific current operating range.
Simply speaking, it’s how high (or low) the voltage should be for your gadget to work safely.
Now, most of the time, you won’t have to worry about this factor.
After all, if you’re in the United States of America with a 120-volt system…
Every smart bulb you can get from authorized stores also works for this electric current.
However, not every country uses the 120-volt system that the US has.
Other countries, like the following, use 220-230V for their outlets instead:
- Hong Kong.
- South Korea.
And if you try to use smart lights meant to work with 120V in the list of countries above…
Don’t be surprised if your bulbs only last for several months.
Because if LED lights use an electrical current that’s too high than it’s supposed to handle…
It’ll shine much brighter to disperse all the excess energy it’s getting.
As a result, your bulb’s circuit will overheat and eventually stop working.
“What happens if I use a smart light meant for 220V in a 120-volt system?”
Well, in this scenario…
Your smart light will actually last way longer than it’s supposed to.
Because your bulb won’t be able to reach its full light output due to not having enough voltage.
Of course, though, this also means your lights will be much dimmer than usual.
#3: Hours of use
As mentioned earlier…
Smart bulbs’ lifespans are often measured by hours of use.
Not necessarily years.
So, if you turn ON your lights 24/7, without any rest…
Even high-quality bulbs with 25,000-hour capacity won’t last longer than 3 years.
You might also want to know: Will Smart Bulbs Work in Any Fixture? 9 Lighting Facts
Do smart bulbs last longer than normal bulbs?
Smart bulbs usually last longer than normal bulbs.
However, the lifespan gap will heavily depend on what “normal bulbs” you have.
See, there are 2 common types of regular lights:
The first in the list, LEDs, are also what smart bulbs are made of. So, you can expect these regular lights to last for up to 25,00 hours. Just like the smarter models.
Incandescent bulbs, though, only last for 1000 continuous hours of use. So, they wouldn’t even last a year if you use your smart lights for 6 hours daily.
Now, this might make you think:
“So regular LEDs can last just as long as smart bulbs, then?”
Well, they can.
But for the most part, smart lights have the upper hand regarding longevity.
Because there are…
2 features that make smart bulbs last longer than regular LEDs:
#1: Scheduled ON/OFF hours
As you know by now…
The longer you leave your lights ON, the faster they’ll degrade.
So, if you want your bulbs to have a much longer lifespan…
You must limit how many hours you use your lights daily.
But honestly, this won’t be an easy feat with regular bulbs.
After all, you’d need to manually turn OFF your lights every time you don’t use them.
A task that many people, including me, would regularly forget to do.
On the flip side, though…
Turning OFF your bulbs at specified times is a walk in the park with smart models.
Because you can simply open your smart light’s mobile app. And set when exactly you’d want to turn your bulbs ON/OFF.
So, in the long run…
The scheduling feature makes smart bulbs last longer than regular models. Because your lights won’t waste any of their 25,000-hour lifespans.
#2: Smart sensors
With this, your lights will only turn ON when there’s movement around.
So, you won’t waste your bulb’s limited lifespan hours. When you forget to turn it OFF before leaving your room/house.
Do smart bulbs burn out?
Smart bulbs don’t “burn out” the way incandescent models do.
Because they produce light differently.
See, here’s how the old-school incandescent bulbs work:
First, they generate a lot of heat.
Which passes through tungsten filaments to produce light.
Now, with prolonged use…
The extremely high temperatures thin out certain sections of the filament.
So, it’ll eventually burn out and stop electricity from flowing.
This is the main reason why incandescent lights barely last for a year.
Now, this phenomenon doesn’t happen inside LED bulbs.
Because they don’t have filaments. Which literally burn themselves to produce light.
Instead, LEDs have light-emitting diodes (hence the acronym).
They’re semiconductor chips. Connecting positively-charged electrons with negatively-charged electron holes.
So that when a current passes through…
The semiconductor chips will give off photons. Which lights up the entire bulb.
No extreme heating is required, unlike incandescent bulbs.
Interesting fact: Some LED lights may look like they have filaments inside. But those are strictly for design purposes.
Want a more detailed comparison of incandescent and LED light bulbs?
Watch this video:
Do smart bulbs stop working?
Smart bulbs do stop working. As mentioned earlier, these devices have limited usage hours. Which usually range from 15,000 to 25,000. Of course, your smart bulb may stop working earlier than this estimate. Especially if you don’t know how to care for your device properly.
Recommended reading: Why Are My Smart Bulbs Unresponsive? 3 Causes & Quick Fixes
Are smart bulbs worth it?
Smart bulbs are definitely worth it.
But not just because they have a long lifespan compared to regular models.
These smart devices have so much more to offer than just lasting long-term.
And if you’re interested in what they are, read these…
3 reasons why smart bulbs are worth it:
#1: Hands-free use
We all have busy moments.
And on many of those occasions…
Even hitting the light switch is too troublesome to do.
For example, this happened to me last week:
I was washing the dishes using my kitchen window as a natural light source. But then, it started getting gloomy outside. So I needed to turn ON my lights to work efficiently.
Now, with soap and dishes still in my hand…
Honestly, tapping the light switch in that situation would be slightly annoying.
But luckily, I have smart bulbs.
So, all I did was say:
“Alexa, turn ON the kitchen lights.”
And I continued washing the dishes in a bright room.
If you want this same level of hands-free convenience…
Definitely add smart bulbs to your household.
#2: Highly customizable
We don’t always need our bulbs in their maximum light setting.
Unfortunately, with regular models…
You won’t really have a choice to change how bright your lights should be.
On the flip side, though, smart lights are highly customizable.
You can dim them as much as you want.
And for many models, you even have the choice to change your lights’ colors.
#3: You save money
Smart bulbs are some of the best energy-saving devices you can add to a smart home.
Because as mentioned earlier, you can:
- Schedule them to turn ON/OFF.
- Set them up with motion sensors.
- Control them through voice commands or remotely.
So although smart bulbs have a higher upfront cost than regular models…
You’ll be more energy-efficient. Hence, you can pay off most, if not all, of the price difference with lower electricity bills.