As recently as 2010, the use of LEDs in household light bulbs was still under development.
Nowadays, smart bulb technology is everywhere, and more consumers want to use those old multi-bulb fixtures with their smart home apps.
Fortunately, doing this is really easy if you know how.
To use multiple smart bulbs in one fixture requires you to program your smart home app so you can talk to each bulb. For both Alexa and Google Home, this involves creating a group for all bulbs in the fixture. This way, they all work together.
The rest of this article will describe how you can use multiple smart bulbs in one fixture and how to set them up for Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
We will also discuss reasons why you might use multiple smart bulbs in a fixture, and how various bulbs in the same fixture can work together.
How To Use Multiple Smart Bulbs in One Fixture – Alexa
Because Alexa comes in many devices and can perform various tasks, learning how to do something can be difficult.
Luckily, Amazon has given us detailed instructions on using multiple smart bulbs in one fixture with Alexa.
This task involves making a device group within the Alexa app.
Before you begin, keep in mind that you can only use one device group with each smart speaker.
This limitation means you need to group both the bulbs and any other fixture you want to operate simultaneously.
Planning is important.
Once you have installed each bulb into the fixture, you’ll need to add it to your Alexa account. To do this:
- Open the app, select “more,” then “add a device.”
- Follow the steps to add your device.
- Repeat for each bulb you want to add to the group. With all bulbs added to the Alexa app, it’s time to create your group.
- Return to the home page, then select the “Devices” icon.
- Under “devices,” there’s a “plus” sign with the option to “add group.” Select this, then name your group.
- Add each smart bulb you want in the group, then click “save.”
You can now specify what Alexa does with your multi-bulb fixture based on each command.
Using multiple smart bulbs in one fixture Alexa is relatively easy.
You need to add each bulb to Alexa, then to a group, like any other device.
Alexa will then operate the whole fixture as one piece.
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How To Use Multiple Smart Bulbs in One Fixture – Google Home
With Google Home, the process is a little bit different.
In particular, the best way to group multiple bulbs is by making them part of a “room.”
This is a relatively easy solution with a bit of creativity:
- Pair each bulb with your Google Home app.
- Once you’ve added each bulb, give a name to them (think “bulb one,” “bulb two,” and so on).
- Tell Google to open the assistant settings.
- Choose a device, then click on “rooms.”
- Create a room and add each bulb in your fixture to that room.
- Select “save.”
When you want to use multiple smart bulbs in one fixture Google Home, instruct Google to operate the light group you’ve created.
This command will run all bulbs in the fixture, whether it’s adjusting the brightness or changing the color.
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General Advice for Programming Your Smart System To Operate Multiple Bulbs Together
Perhaps the most intimidating part about using multiple smart bulbs in one fixture is setup.
Fortunately, this process is easy to learn.
No matter which smart home application you use, one principle always stays the same: If you want smart bulbs to work together, you must program them as some sort of group or cluster.
The terminology and method differ depending on the system you use. Possible terms include “group,” “zone,” and “program.”
In some cases, the system must be programmed to consider your multi-bulb fixture as its own room.
This process can be relatively clumsy, but fortunately, you won’t have to do it very often.
This is because smart bulbs, like all other LED options, work for years.
Keep in mind, like many other tech toys, smart bulbs do have compatibility concerns.
So be sure to verify that all your bulbs will work with the app you chose.
Why Use More Than One Smart Bulb in the Same Fixture?
While most light fixtures in a home only use one light bulb at a time, there are exceptions.
For instance, your bathrooms might have a multi-light fixture over the sink. Or, you might have an old multi-arm lamp (which you love and wouldn’t consider replacing).
Unfortunately, when switching to smart home technology, these fixtures are more challenging to use.
This is because each smart bulb was designed for individual operation.
Therefore, fixture owners have three options:
- They can go without smart home technology for these fixtures.
- They can use traditional bulbs but plug the fixture into a smart plug.
- They can program their smart home app to operate all smart bulbs in the fixture at the same time.
Let’s break these options down briefly.
Use Standard Bulbs for Multi-Bulb Fixtures
This option is by far the easiest because no adaptation is necessary.
Of course, it means you will need to turn that light on and off manually, forfeiting some of the convenience of switching to smart bulbs.
Using standard bulbs also means that for this fixture you’ll have fewer bulb color options: soft white and daylight, or perhaps a few more that are hard to find.
So-called “mood lighting” is harder to achieve with old-school bulbs.
Use a Smart Plug
Using a smart plug rather than multiple smart bulbs means you only need to program the plug into your smart home system to turn the light on and off remotely.
With this method, the entire plug is operated from your smart home device.
However, using this approach has limitations.
For one, you can’t use a smart plug where the fixture is hard-wired into the house.
Also, you have fewer programming options: traditional bulbs have limited dimming ability and won’t change color as the Philips Hue line does.
Plus, you generally only get to turn the plug on and off, meaning everything connected to it will operate together.
Program Your Smart Home App To Operate Bulbs Together
Using multiple smart bulbs with proper programming has two big advantages:
- You’ll enjoy all the benefits of having smart bulbs.
- This technique works in difficult locations such as the bathroom.
Here’s the problem: you need to know how your smart bulbs and the program work together.
The method depends somewhat on the app or smart devices you’re using, although the principle is the same.
However, once you have mastered the specifics of your chosen system, it’s easy, and your smart home system can be enjoyed without being limited by the number of bulbs in your fixtures.
As you can see, it’s possible to use multiple smart bulbs in one fixture and enjoy all the benefits of doing so.
However, you’ll need to first create a grouping that contains each intelligent bulb, as this critical step tells your smart home app to operate all the lights together.
- Regardless of the smart home app you’re using, it’s critical that the smart bulbs are compatible with that system.
- If you’re using multiple smart bulbs in one fixture with Alexa, it’s called a group.
- If you’re using multiple smart bulbs in one fixture with Google Home, it’s considered a room.
Learn more: Do smart bulbs use a lot of data?