Nowadays, with the constant increase in electricity prices over the recent decades, many consumers are more alert and conscious about how and when they use electricity. Even though most of these conscientious people turn off the devices they use on a daily, or even hourly basis, a lot of them find it frustrating – to put it mildly – that they’re not seeing the results they’d hoped for.

Electricity can be surprisingly expensive for traditional light strings and bulbs. So, a new alternative to conventional incandescent bulbs has emerged with the potential to save a tremendous amount of money. Compared to traditional bulbs, smart bulbs are not just brighter and better, they also help you save money by using significantly less electricity than other light bulbs.  But, the question arises; “Do smart bulbs use electricity when they’re turned off”?

Smart bulbs are technically “on” at all times so they can respond immediately to commands.  Since they consume power when not in use, these types of lights are considered “vampire devices”.  Even when the lights are off (in standby power or using phantom power), they will continue to draw a small amount of electricity.  But, because of the advanced technology used, the amount of electricity used is minimal. 

Smart lights do not operate independently; they need to be connected to your home’s WiFi.  The electrical flow enables the smart bulb to “listen” for a command so that they can be turned on remotely whenever you need them.  Depending on how you have your smart lights connected, you can issue this command through WiFi, your home assistant, or an app on your smartphone.

Smart lights, such as incandescent, fluorescent, CFL, or halogen, save electricity in comparison to traditional light bulbs. However, compared to “non-smart” or regular LED lights, saving electricity depends on your family’s needs and habits. 

If a smart bulb was switched on for the same amount of time each day as a non-smart LED bulb, the smart bulb would consume more energy because the non-smart LED light does not have a vampire draw.  However, smart bulbs have the benefit of turning themselves off automatically.  If your family tends to forget to turn the lights off at night, smart lights might be your best option to save electricity.

Depending on how bright the light is, the amount of energy used by a smart light may differ. The brightness of smart lights can be customized to fit the time of day, the mood you desire, and the activities you are engaged in. For example, you would probably dim the lights while watching a movie or having a romantic dinner for two, but you would turn them up if you were working from home or doing homework, or while having a huge family dinner.

A higher brightness setting results in higher electricity consumption from smart light bulbs. There is an interesting correlation between brightness and power consumption: A 50% increase in brightness results in a more than 50% increase in power usage. 

When compared to regular LED lights, smart bulbs can save much more electricity than incandescent bulbs; therefore, it reduces your electricity bill. However, it will take you much longer to break even with a smart bulb since smart LED bulbs are much more expensive than regular LEDs (2 to 4 times more expensive).  So, savings are further reduced if the vampire draw is considered as well.

There is no denying that smart bulbs have revolutionized the interior design industry over the past few years. However, there are still many questions as to whether they are more efficient than standard bulbs in terms of energy.

What are your thoughts on smart bulbs? Do you use them in your home or at work? If not, we invite you to browse through our website for the best brands and the best-LED bulbs online.