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How Do Smart Light Bulbs Work & How Do You Use Them?

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How Do Smart Light Bulbs Work & How Do You Use Them?
May 6, 2019
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How Do Smart Light Bulbs Work & How Do You Use Them?

Ever sit down comfortably in a chair, only to realize you need to get up to turn off a light? Or start pulling out of the driveway, only to realize that you left a light on? Smart home light bulbs let you simply press a button on your smartphone, tablet, or computer—rather than having to get up or walk over to flip a switch.

So, what exactly is a smart light bulb? It is an LED light bulb that is WiFi or Z-wave enabled. The light bulb can be easily turned on and off remotely or scheduled to turn on and off at a specific time.

Today’s blog will dive into how smart light bulbs work and how to use them.

How do smart

light bulbs work?

Smart light bulbs are similar to “normal” light bulbs in terms of electrical components and outward appearance. The main difference is that smart light bulbs are connected through WiFi or Z-wave technology. Both WiFi and Z-wave equipment communicates with a central device (such as your router or a control panel) that interacts with your computer or phone.

Frontpoint devices use Z-Wave technology. Z-Wave frequencies are low enough not to interfere with other household appliances or your WiFi, yet allow smart bulbs to send and receive signals. The ability to receive and transmit Z-Waves is built into a smart light bulb that screws into a lamp just like any other bulb.

Picture of the Frontpoint Smart Light BulbPicture of the Frontpoint Smart Light Bulb

Smart bulbs

vs. smart switches vs. smart plugs

To get even more control over your home’s lighting, you can add another level of automation with smart plugs and smart switches.

Smart switches can manually control lights like standard switches while also enabling you to operate lights wirelessly. They are mounted in your wall and can control fireplaces, bathroom ceiling fans, lights (of course), and more.

Smart plugs are great for wirelessly controlling lights that don't use a standard size bulb. For example, you could automate your desk lamp to come on as the sun sets so that your work is always illuminated.

If you’re looking for a quick way to update the lighting in your living room, smart light bulbs come in a few standard sizes and can be screwed directly into your existing lamps and lights. This way, you can turn a light on from your phone when you’re away to make it seem like you’re home.

Picture of the Frontpoint Wireless Light ControlPicture of the Frontpoint Wireless Light Control
The Frontpoint Wireless Light Control transforms any light or small appliance into a smart device.

Why you should

use smart light bulbs

We briefly outlined some use cases in our exploration of smart bulbs vs. smart switches vs. smart plugs, but let’s cover some additional reasons why you should use smart light bulbs.

They make it easy to control lights from anywhere in

the house

One of the top ways to use smart light bulbs is controlling lighting from anywhere in the house. If lights were left on in other rooms, you could save time by turning all of them off at night from your phone. Smart light bulbs also come in handy when you’ve finally gotten comfy in bed, only to remember you left a light on downstairs.

Smart light bulbs also have more settings and automation capabilities. Dimming lights is easier with smart bulbs—and some are even able to change colors. Smart light bulbs also enable you to set lights to your schedule. Turning them on in your kid's room each morning makes sure they never run late for school again, and you can even schedule back porch lights to turn on each evening for summer evenings outside.

They keep your house secure

A less obvious but equally important way to use smart light bulbs is for home security. Homes that look empty for days are better targets for burglars, so it's best to set up lights that you can turn on and off while you're on vacation. Smart lights that can be controlled with a wireless keychain also ensure you never walk into a dark house since you can turn on the lights from the driveway.

Check out our blog post on how smart lights outshine basic light times as home security devices.

Smart light

bulbs are a worthwhile investment

I know what you’re thinking—the convenience and security possibilities of smart lighting sound great, but how much do smart light bulbs cost? The cost per bulb is typically around $10-$30, though specialty sizes or color-changing bulbs can cost more. While this may be more than you’re used to spending on a single light bulb, there are two ways that smart light bulbs can save you money in the long run.

Keep electricity usage down with smart light bulbs

Being able to remotely control your lights and set up light schedules means you’re less likely to leave on lights you aren’t using. While a single light bulb likely isn’t the reason your electric bill is high, you can see energy savings from only using the lights you need at any given time.

Smart light bulbs are energy-saving LEDs

Each smart light bulb will use less energy than traditional bulbs. Since smart light bulbs are LEDs, they can provide the same brightness with less electricity. Plus, the average LED light bulb can last for 15 years or more.

Read more on how to save money on your electric bill.

Smart light bulbs are one of the many ways you can keep your home secure and energy-efficient. We hope you’ll try them!


Frontpoint keeps families safer and more connected in their everyday lives. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.

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