LED bulbs connected: Everything you need to know to choose one and start automating your home

LED bulbs

Technology and connectivity can because when we are talking of lights and bulbs, the term Smart or advanced may be associated with the lighting systems at home.

If you are thinking about changing bulbs home and want to go beyond the LED lights, the world of the connected bulbs is there for you to discover and you can get started in a simple way in the world of home automation. However, how do these devices work? What are the differences between the models on the market? In addition, what I can do with a bulb connected worthwhile?

Why do I want to have bulbs connected at home?

More control and possibilities thanks to which are connected bulbs. With that starting point, we can begin to talk about the main difference advanced than traditional bulbs, whether LED or simply low consumption.

Calls connected LED bulbs are models capable of connecting to the home automation network connection or WiFi to communicate with command, control or automation systems as usual, with our smartphone. With this connection, the LED bulb wins the possibility of being remotely controlled both brightness and color or respond to actions scheduled.

LED bulbs
Image Source: Google Image

From there, depending on the design and implementation of each manufacturer, the possibilities multiply even be able to create “recipes” to enable the shares under certain circumstances and incorporate third elements that enhance its functions.

If LED bulbs with classic one can consider renewing all the lights from home with the connected LEDs are more expensive, have to think about specific uses that depend on the stay…

The connected LED bulbs are expensive, yes; they have less variety in designs and features LED offline. However, bear in mind that in any case it makes sense to consider a reversal of classic bulbs advanced even though several of the recently presented models of brands such as GE or think are very close in price to the most complete LED models.

However, if you are willing to make a substantial down payment, there are situations, stays or applications that make sense and require a bulb connected. One can change the atmosphere of a room quickly and / or programmed, or perhaps ready to leave a warning system present within a house when we are on vacation. However, the possibilities are limitless if you are creative.

Differences between models of LED bulbs connected

As with any beginning, the connected bulbs buyer submits to numerous questions and doubts because it is a relatively new category. The first arises about what it takes in the world of automation lighting bulbs connected.

The connected bulbs is another of those segments where despite promising to unify forces to find a standard to share between devices, the reality leaves us no simple interoperability at the user level…

The bulbs have effectively connected technology to communicate, but there are very few that do not depend on a control center or hub supports. The communication standard that they have chosen will be the key, as in other segments; there are several initiatives that are not fully compatible with each other.

The most widespread today in the new protocols that facilitate communication devices in the Internet of things is called Zigbee. This standard is open, very energy efficient with excellent scope and focus is on lights, switches and sensors from home. Among the manufacturers of connected bulbs that support this union are Philips, Osram and GE.

The other powerful player in standard bulbs is Z-Wave, ZigBee quite similar yet incompatible with one another. This has caused manufacturers who do not want to give up more connected devices choose to integrate both solutions in their control centers or hubs. In the case of Z-Wave we have more than 1200 certified products.

The third way is directly used for bulbs the WiFi connectivity, but their energy efficiency is far from ideal for these purposes. That branch has chosen its WeMO Belkin ecosystem, implementing thereafter bridges and hubs, making them compatible with other systems but must be purchased separately. Follow the same idea independent solutions as LIFX bulbs, they do not need to communicate Hub but the third-party system is compatible.

In any case, implementation by some manufacturers specifications are not ideal and we can find models that use the same protocol but do not work well with third-party systems or hubs in theory itself should provide full compatibility.

The most striking case in recent years has been to Philips, which uses Zigbee and found compatible models bulbs with Hue system that was more affordable than the official ones. For a while, it was possible to use but if the company announced plans to close the system that until then had open to third parties. After a small hint of lifting the community using its Hue or compatible systems, Philips reversed, corrected and canceled the update that left her Hub without possibility of using LED bulbs other than their Hue.

You may also like to read another article on Sevenfrigo: How to light your house

Currently you can use third-party bulbs with Hue systems but some features may not be available or may not be as complete and well implemented as official, according to Philips.

In the coming years, with many more devices connecting to each other and the Internet, there will be many efforts to find common ground in standards. We have evidence such as ZigBee 3.0 (with the interesting addition of support direct IP connection to a router) and proposals for giants like Samsung with its Smarthings (compatible with ZigBee and Z-Wave) or the latest Thread created exclusively for Internet of things and supported by a giant like Google and its product Nest.

Shopping guide connected bulbs

If you have already encouraged started in the world of the connected bulbs and lighting customization, now it guide you in the best models and systems that we can find on the market.

If you still do not have any element of home automation, it is reasonable to start the so-called starter kits of the leading brands available and include at least the hub and a pair of bulbs. To test and see the possibilities is not bad.

To get started in the world of lighting and customization to create your rooms or tricks, it is best to opt for a starter kit including bulbs and hub system…

The most popular range of light bulbs has connected the Philips. Its Hue system offers packs start with the bridge and two or three bulbs with E27 or GU10 caps type. In these packs, we must differentiate the models that allow the color change of light bulbs and those without.

The difference is more than twice but if you want to come to the world of connected light bulbs, worth choosing models to change the environment with lights, as subsequent chances are much greater and can e.g. synchronize lights containing a TV.

Philips Hue Starter Kit

If you’re using Apple devices, the good news is that the Philips Hue HomeKit support, which allows us to control part of its functions with voice and assistance of Siri. However, beware because the hub should be the new model. If you have an earlier version, you can always keep the LED bulbs Hue and buy only the hub or bridge.

To gradually increase the amount of light bulbs and must resort to individual models, as the bridge will continue to serve us. Philips has created with support for up to 50 bulbs. A model with Philips Hue color is not cheap.

LED bulbs
Image Source: Google Image

Within the Philips Hue family has more solutions aimed at least a classic lighting and the decor. If we opt for portable models that help us to create very customized environments, the most interesting option is the Hue Go. These lamps include battery and can manage some of its functions directly touching. However, the real control and value will take out when we have a compatible bridge and Hue Go to this part of our ecosystem and are controllable by smarpthone.

Another option within the Philips Hue family, once we have a bridge at home, is a color LED strip, which likes the first, is completely goes into the field of more than decoration illumination.

Philips also exists in model white light, no color. In this case, the advantage is that it is adjustable in intensity and that the regulation can be made via smartphone if we have a Hue bridge or using, the remote control that comes bundled as standard this model.

Market options that do not require hub or bridge to run the best known is Lifx, out of a Kickstarter campaign and already established as a product. There are models of both white light and color. With the advantage that they can work directly with our smartphone or connect to several bridges such as Nest, Harmony Logitech, Samsung or Amazon Echo Smarthings.

LIFX Color 1000

Another interesting options outside the major ecosystems is Tim2, which has a pack consists of two bulbs over the bridge (up to 50 bulbs) needed to make them work. Each bulb has a consumption of 9W and a lifespan of seven years.

The manufacturer ElGato recently embarked on the adventure of LED bulbs connected and Avea is the first commercial level model and one of the most attractive market prices.

This LED bulb allows the variation of intensity and color even from the Apple Watch (although it works with some Android, Apple is the user who will pull more out) without hub through and power of 7W for a brightness of 430 lumens. Here is Bluetooth connectivity, so there will be no possibility of control outside that range.

Avea ElGato

Although ElGato your Avea LED bulb is the best known, the company has already expanded catalog and can buy a model with spherical shape and another with cone design with built-in battery. In these cases we are talking about a power of 7 W.

Philips has the widest range of models, but the prices are high. Osram however focuses more on prices that are more competitive but with light functions more practical than decorative…

Together with Philips, the other main protagonist of the LED lights connected by relevance in the market is Osram, which has its model Lightify as one of the highlights. Color options here do not shine precisely and the company is strong in white, lights available individually. Its maximum brightness is 1000 lumens, so it is one of the best choices if you want more pure effect of lighting decoration.

Osram Lightify

In the case of Osram Lightify a hub that can be purchased along with a bulb. Something that we really like about this model is that bridge plugs directly into an outlet and is not overly bulky as in the case of Philips.

GE has a very attractive visually model bulb connected. Depending on where you buy it and if you have to be imported, the price increases, so it is advisable to look first if your domestic market you can buy directly.

The LED bulbs connected GE Link also has their starter pack consisting of two light bulbs and the bridge that communicates with your smartphone. The color models are not only white light with lumens 800, using the Zigbee standard and can replace incandescent models 60 to 90 W with only 13 W of consumption.

Wemo is the option you should choose if you want to start a home automation system that goes beyond the light, while the Create bulbs can boast compatibility with multiple systems…

Misfit, known for its cuantificadoras bracelets, also wants some cake bulbs connected and has its model Bolt, only for the US market now. The LED lamp, which can be bought individually or in packs of three bulbs, can change color and does not require hub for its advanced features.

If you already have a system of connected lights and bulb are looking for a fairly compatibility, the model believes should be your choice. These bulbs, which are only available in a format white light without the possibility of color, make sure to take your model hub Zigbee, Zink (GE), Smarthings Samsung or Wemo.


The last recommended option is Belkin and is called Wemo. Here is a wireless model that has compatibility with ZigBee systems, which requires Hub but turns the LED lamp connected more interesting if we want to start a home automation project with their other products. There are outlets, cameras and various sensors. For more update news and reviews visit http://therecreationplace.com/.

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