Wireless dimmers are often a smarter choice than wireless light bulbs for automated lighting system.: While smart light bulbs are an easy way to get started in home automation or lighting control, in many situations, they’re not the best long-term solution.
For starters, wireless smart light bulbs can be expensive. The ones that do tricks like change colors or play music cost $50-$70 or more. Even just basic wireless LED light bulbs cost about $15-$30. Wireless dimmers, on the other hand, can control multiple lights at once.
Wireless dimmers are also smarter because they don’t require us to change the way we use our lights. If you replace all your standard dumb light bulbs with smart light bulbs, then the only way you can control them is via the app on your phone or tablet.
A wireless smart dimmer/switch will function just like a standard dimmer—you can walk up to it and turn on or dim a light, but you also get the benefit of integration via a smart automation app. Plus, it allows you to control lights that otherwise aren’t compatible with wireless light bulbs (such as sconce or chandelier lights).
Most wireless light switches and dimmers will require some central automation hub or processor. You can usually purchase the hub separately and then add the number of dimmers/switches you need for your home.
When programming your wireless dimmers (or when your integrator programs them), an easy energy-saving trick is to set the maximum light output to five or 10 percent down from the light’s actual maximum output. You won’t notice the difference in the amount of light, but your electricity bill will notice the savings.
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