Updated: May 12
Lightings are the easiest and preferred route for starting with Home Automation. It is the entry to Smart Homes for most people. But even in the most easiest route of automation, there are multiple ways to achieve the end result
1. Using Smart Bulbs
2. Using Smart Switches
3. Using Smart Plugs
Using Smart Bulbs
Smart bulbs are most convenient option to make your life smart. All you need to do is screw in your smart bulb in the holder and connect it with your app. Control it through your voice and app and avoid hassles of bending down or manually controlling everything. Most important feature would be the ability to control lights when you’re not at home. Your house can always feel occupied even when you’re thousands of kms away. Most Wi-Fi smart bulbs allow you to get connected without any need of another hub or any other special fitting. Smart bulbs were originally designed to save energy and they solve the purpose really well. You can control dimness, colour and white ambiance with smart bulbs which is a great feature for mood setting.
If you have single lamps and do not want to take the pains of installing switches, smart bulbs are the way to go. Smart bulbs come with all sorts of connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc., Wi-Fi being the most common for small setup. Majority of Smart Bulbs are compatible with voice assistants, making them control through voice extremely easy. You can also hit the switch as normal but that pretty much flies in the face of uprating your bulbs in the first place!
So, while smart bulbs are very convenient, they come with a cost. If a multi bulb setup is required with single control, a single switch might be able to do the job whereas multiple bulbs will be required to do the same. Buying Smart Bulbs from individual bulb players can limit you to single category. Thus preference should be buying from a company having a system which support multiple categories, thus creating an entire home setup.
Using Smart Plugs
Smart Plugs convert your regular plug socket and make it smart. Just like bulbs, the advantages of remote control and voice control stays with the plugs as well. Using either your smartphone or a smart speaker driven by a voice assistant, these smart plugs enable you to control almost any appliance you plug in. Smart plugs are no more complicated to use than a standard outlet, from lights and fans to coffee machines and crock pots, while providing much more seamless functionality. Be it a toaster machine in different room while you’re preparing for your morning routine or you want to switch off the TV after movie, smart plugs can help you do all that. Plug consists of a WiFi chip and a relay that communicates with each your home network and your router. Set-up is as simple as downloading a free app. You'll be able to manage your plugs manually, through app on your phone or through voice commands if you’ve got an Alexa-enabled device or Google Home.
The scope of Smart plugs moves so much beyond merely swithcing appliances on and off, though. Smart plugs are best suited to cut down your power bills and help you identify where exactly to start. Well, Smart plugs usually offer you insights into energy usage in the app. By observing your electricity consumption and checking time period reports, you'll be able to see exactly which appliances are consuming max power and driving your utility bills higher.
Smart plugs are renter-friendly, too. If you don’t own your home, it’s not sensible to begin messing around with wiring like you’d have to be compelled to with Smart switches. And after you move to your next rental, you'll be able to simply disconnect your outlet and take it with you. As with any of the Smart home tech, it’s not all rosy with the plugs. On of the pressing issue is that the means Smart plugs usually and inexcusably block the adjacent sockets. You can work around this by using a mini Smart Plug or by using a Smart Strip.
Thus, Low cost and convenient, Smart plugs plugs allows you to get the taste of home automation without much hassles of installation without spending much. and while not defrayment an excessive amount of. Remote control and energy monitoring makes Smart plugs really lucrative purchase.
Using Smart Switches
Although you may have to put some efforts into installation, smart switches offer you an exquisite degree of flexibility and you won’t have to bear the expense of changing bulbs throughout your entire home.
If you’re a house owner and you’re trying to find a permanent and totally integrated smart lighting, wired switches makes good sense.
With Smart switches, you’ll be ready to use any kind of bulb. Look for the communication protocol with the good switch you’re about to shop for. With Bluetooth or WiFi, you’ll typically be ready to use nothing however your smartphone. Z-Wave and Zigbee, each radio protocols, can force you to use a hub.