The price of electricity has been a matter of great concern in recent times due to the rise in energy prices and the general rise in prices caused by inflation. As we are trying to save a little there and a little there, today we are questioning whether or not we should do without smart light bulbs (at least from the point of view of consumption).
Smart light bulbs can be controlled from a mobile device or from a voice assistant, such as Alexa, Google Home or Siri, greatly helping to automate everyday tasks such as turning the light on or off and non-daily tasks such as animating a room with colors specific to create atmosphere are easily achieved. However, do these additional functions add extra cost to the bill?
One of the aspects that can generate the most doubts is the fact that these smart bulbs need to be permanently connected to be able to navigate between their functions.
These types of smart bulbs are technically still “on” even when they’re not emitting light. The reason for this is that they must maintain communication with your home Wi-Fi (or, alternatively, with Zigbee or Z-Wave wireless communication protocols). In this way, they will be ready at any time when you decide to turn on the lights remotely. So, logically, smart bulbs are still consuming some electricity even when the light is technically off .
If this is the consumption concern you have, you should leave it in the background. The count of this residual energy (or vampire) that is spent in stand-by is negligible, practically insignificant. Smart LED light bulbs use minuscule amounts of electricity when they are turned off. Minimal energy expenditure allows the WiFi chip inside the smart bulb to remain in standby mode while waiting for instructions.
However, the amount of energy consumed while idle is so small that it would take months for the bulb to consume even 1 kWh of energy. Based on data from different brands, most consume between 0.2 and 0.5 watts in standby mode . This equates to 0.0002 and 0.0005 kWh (kilowatt-hours). At 0.2 watts, it would take 5,000 hours for the bulb to consume 1 kWh of energy, approximately 208 days.
LEDs vs WiFi LEDs
Saved the first doubt regarding consumption, it remains to ask if then the consumption of a non-intelligent LED bulb is equal to that of the smart bulb.
Taking the Philips Hue smart bulb as a reference, one of the most popular, with a standard bulb of the same brand, the normal LED bulb uses 5 watts of energy to produce 550 lumens of light. The smart bulb, on the other hand, requires 7 watts of power to produce 550 lumens of light. Smart light bulbs need more energy to produce the same brightness .
However, on balance, this difference is not that high and over the course of a year it would hardly mean a difference of a few euros, so it is not advisable to deprive yourself of the possibilities, for example, of dimming the light, in which the smart bulb beats the normal, since the lower intensity implies a lower energy expenditure. Regulate the brightness rent to not have more intensity than necessary.