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Why Are Smart Bulbs So Dim? 5 Real Reasons & Solutions

Why Are Smart Bulbs So Dim

Smart light bulbs have become a popular choice among homeowners as a way to control their lighting remotely.

But many smart bulb users wonder why their bulbs aren’t very bright. 

Here are 5 fixable reasons why your smart bulbs may be so dim: 

  1. Smart bulb brightness can be dim in hot temperatures.
  2. Old wiring can cause low voltage. 
  3. Bulb aging reduces brightness.
  4. The voltage rating of your home may not match the bulbs. 
  5. Ordinary wear and tear can cause dimming over time. 

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons and discuss some fixes to get your lights as bright as you want them. 

1. Smart Bulb Brightness Can Be Dim in Hot Temperatures

The most popular and widespread type of smart bulb is LED.

Though you can get other types, they’re by far the most common, so we’ll be talking more about LED smart bulbs. 

Many studies have shown the difference in brightness of LED lights depending on the temperature of the room or area. 

In fact, this study in the Journal of Semiconductors found that LED lights can become 16% brighter when introduced to lower temperatures. 

A significant temperature change is more common when your bulb is outside

That doesn’t mean it only affects outside bulbs. Indoor bulbs can see significant temperature change just as much as outside. 

Your home’s temperature can change based on the weather outside and your heating and cooling system.

It can even change when you’re cooking as it can produce a lot of heat. 

All these spurts of high and low temperatures can affect your smart bulbs. 

But it goes the other way too. 

Hot temperatures can cause your smart bulbs to be dimmer. Your lights aren’t going to shine as brightly in a hot room or area outside. 

Heat can come from many different sources, so pay attention to what’s in the same room as your lights. 

Having your lights close to heating vents can also affect their brightness. 

So, keep an eye out for possible heat sources in your home. 

How To Fix Smart Bulbs Dimming Because of Heat

If this is the cause of your lights being dim, the easiest fix is to cool the area down. 

Use a fan to filter out heat from cooking or showering. If it’s an issue with proximity to a heat source, consider moving the lights or the source. 

Remember, the cooler, the better. So, keep the area as cool as you can to ensure maximum brightness for your smart bulbs. 

2. Old Wiring Can Cause Low Voltage

This isn’t going to be much of an issue for newly built homes. But there’s something about buying an older home that has character. 

However, there’s a decent chance that your older home may not be able to handle new appliances and technology. 

Think about it in terms of history. Back when many people built their homes, we didn’t have nearly as many technological advances as today. 

How could they build wiring to compensate for something that didn’t exist yet? 

Of course, this doesn’t go for all houses. Some older homes can handle the high voltage that our appliances require today, but not all of them. 

Dim LED lights may not be a sure sign of old wiring, but it’s possible. 

Another sign that wiring is the issue is if you notice surges of dimming and brightness. This is especially common when other appliances are running. 

What To Do About Old Wiring 

The simplest solution is to get the old wiring replaced. But this is also expensive. 

One good way of handling old wiring is to speak to an electrician. Have them look for any imperfections in the wiring first. 

If you can’t find anything, then it may be time to consider replacing it. 

Here’s a helpful resource for evaluating your old wiring if you need further guidance. 

Read also: Why Are My Smart Bulbs Unresponsive? 3 Causes & Quick Fixes

3. Bulb Aging Reduces Brightness

Unfortunately, it’s a normal part of the aging process for bulbs. Bulbs will fade over time with age.

So, if you’ve had your bulbs for a while, that may be why they’re dim. 

The life of your smart bulb will depend on how often you use it. Bulbs used less often tend to last longer. 

According to the University of Michigan, LED bulbs are long-lasting and cost-effective.

But that doesn’t mean that they won’t wear out like other bulbs. 

If you can dim your smart bulbs, then there’s a chance they may wear out faster.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid them as they can be a great addition to any home. 

How quickly your dimming bulb runs out can also have to do with the wiring in your home.

So, if you think it’s happening too quickly, get it checked out by an electrician. 

An Easy Solution

If the dimness of your smart bulbs is bothering you, the easiest solution is to replace them. But that’s not necessary right away. 

To get the most out of your bulbs, it’s okay to keep them even when they start to dim. Keep them in your home for as long as you can. 

However, if the dim lights affect your home, then you can replace them as soon as you can.

You can also switch them out with other lights that you don’t mind being dim to get the full use out of them. 

4. The Voltage Rating of Your Home May Not Match the Bulbs

Voltage Rating May Not Match The Bulbs

Each outlet in your home only produces a certain amount of electricity. Sometimes, we can buy lighting fixtures that require too much voltage. 

Each outlet in your home is going to have about 240 volts of electricity. This means that each line will have 120 volts. 

You should test each outlet to see how many volts it’s producing, as this can vary. 

Using an outlet that isn’t producing enough volts can make your lights dim. 

A multimeter can let you know how many volts your outlet is producing. This way, you’ll know if your outlet properly supports your lighting. 

What To Do if the Multimeter Shows a Low Number

Outlets suffer from wear and tear just like anything else. 

Fortunately, you can fix it.

It’s safest to check with an electrician about getting your outlet to produce more volts.

Messing with it yourself can be dangerous. So, leave it to the professionals. 

You may also wonder: Do smart bulbs use a lot of data?

5. Ordinary Wear and Tear Can Cause Dimming Over Time

Beyond the age, other factors can make lights dim. And sometimes it has nothing to do with the bulb itself. 

The wear and tear that your light fixture goes through can cause issues with dimness. 

Lights don’t last forever. Sometimes they wear out too. If you’ve had yours for a while, it may be time to consider a replacement or getting it looked at. 

However, dimming isn’t always because of the bulb. 

Many things can wear out on your light fixture, including faulty wiring or even a worn-out cord. 

If this seems like the problem, take your light fixture apart. Inspect it closely to determine if there are any noticeable issues. 

How To Fix a Faulty Fixture

If a faulty fixture is your problem, then there are a few solutions. First, see if it may be an issue you can fix yourself. 

Electrical tape can help with worn-out wires if needed. For further issues, you may want to get the fixture checked out by a professional. 

Ultimately, if it isn’t fixable, you may need to replace it. 

In Summary

If you’re having trouble with the brightness of your smart bulbs, then we’ve got you covered.

Consider these 5 possible reasons to help you figure out what’s going on. 

Diagnosing the problem can be the most difficult part. So, make sure to follow our advice for figuring out why your smart bulbs are so dim.

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