When it comes to choosing smart lighting for your home, the inevitable question always comes down to CONVENIENCE or FUNCTIONALITY.
Smart Light Bulbs seem like the obvious choice. They are easy to install in just minutes. The are inexpensive, and options are plentiful. In addition to that, they come with eye-catching features like the ability to change colors and smartphone app connectivity.
So what's not to love? Why bother looking any further? Well, once you start looking at smart light bulbs, their utility begins to fall apart. First of all, they rely on constant power from the light-switch. This means that if you instinctively turn off the light at the switch, your smart-light is useless until you turn that switch on again. That means any pre-programmed schedule or features that you have set on the bulb are useless. In addition to that, often when they lose power, they forget your network settings and need to be set up again.
Smart Bulbs also represent a load on your home network and router. They each need an individual connection to your router, clogging your home network with unnecessary load. They also have very weak security, meaning that they can easily be used to gain access to your home network.
Smart bulbs are also relatively expensive. To give functionality to an entire house would be expensive and cumbersome to manage.
Smart Switches are the alternative to smart bulbs. They utilize your existing bulbs, and instead, replace the switches in your house with wifi-enabled, secure physical switches.
These switches connect to a dedicated secure hub that then connects with a single connection to your home router. This introduces a second level of reliability and security to the system, ensuring smooth, seamless and reliable operation.
Lutron Smart Switches also offer a full-featured smartphone App that lets you take full control of your home's lights.
Installation of smart switches is more complicated than with smart light bulbs, requiring some electrical knowledge, or *cough* *cough*, a skilled electrical contractor.
If you are looking for a very specific, limited, single-purpose smart light, perhaps for a bedroom nightstand where you may want to adjust the color temperature of a light, smart bulbs may be for you. But if you are looking for a more robust, whole-house solution, smart switches may be your best bet.