How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last? Comparison of Popular Brands


Smart Bulbs are one of the first things you can automate in your home. You can control them over the internet. Want to change the color of the light? Smart Bulbs can do it. You can set the mood of the house using these incredible devices. All these “features” make them more expensive than regular LED Bulbs. This makes many consumers wonder: How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last?

It is a fair question as we don’t want to buy these pricey items frequently and expect them to last longer. In this guide, we will explore the World of Smart Bulbs. See what are the possible things to fail in a smart bulb. We will also see how long smart bulbs last.

An Overview of Smart Bulbs

We all have light bulbs in our homes. Over the years, we moved from incandescent to Fluorescent to LED Bulbs. Until a better lighting technology comes in the future, it looks like LEDs have a “bright” future.

The main advantages of LED Light Bulbs are high energy efficiency, long lifetime, and adjustable brightness. One other thing with LED Light Bulbs is that you can easily manufacture them to produce different colors. No. We are not talking about colorful diffusers. But LEDs producing actual colors on their own.

If you combine all these parameters with an electronic control circuit, you have a Smart Bulb. It is essentially an LED Light bulb but with a built-in “intelligent” controller.

So, what can you do with a Smart Bulb? Without going into the specifics, you can change the color of the lights and control them from your Smartphone. You can connect these bulbs to the internet and control them from anywhere in the World.

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Set the mood of the room with different light modes and adjustable brightness. You can also integrate them with your Smart Assistants and control them with voice commands.

But all these features and benefits come with a price. Normal LED Light bulbs became so inexpensive these days. Good quality LED Light Bulbs from reputable brands (Phillips or Sylvania) cost about $1.50 to $3 on average.

If you take smart bulbs, the cost is almost $35 to $50. This price gap makes many of us wonder how long do smart bulbs last? Because we don’t want to spend 10 to 15 times the price of a regular LED Bulb on Smart Bulbs and replace them every 6 or 8 months.

How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last?

Modern lighting has an incredible set of features and advantages. First, we truly embraced the use of LEDs for different lighting requirements. Almost all the current generation uses LEDs. Homes, Offices, Warehouses, Street Lights, Cars, Bikes, and many more have some sort of LED lighting in them.

Enter the Smart Bulbs into the picture. With every connected and controlled through the internet, light bulbs became an obvious choice to have this feature. Buy a smart bulb. Install an App. Control it from your Smartphone. That’s the motto nowadays.

As we are spending more on these smart bulbs, the question of “How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last?” is quite important. Sadly, there is no simple answer to this question.

What we did is referred to some of the bestselling Smart Bulbs today and compared their expected lifetime.

We also listed out some other useful data such as Warranty and lifespan in years (if we use the light bulb for 3 hours per day).

Brand Average Lifetime (Hours) No. of Hours per Day Lifespan in Years Warranty (Years)
Phillips Hue 25,000 3 22.8 2 (3 Years Service Warranty)
Sylvania 15,000 3 13.7 3
Cree 25,000 3 22.8 5
Feit 25,000 3 22.8 1
Sengled 25,000 3 22.8 3
Wyze 25,000 3 22.8 1
TP-Link Kasa 25,000 3 22.8 2

Based on the above table, it is clear that except for Sylvania, all the other popular brands have an expected lifetime of 25,000 Hours for their smart bulbs. If we use those bulbs for an average of 3 hours per day, then we can expect them to run these bulbs for more than 22 years. In reality, this number would be less than that. We can expect anywhere between 10 to 15 years of lifetime from good quality LED Bulbs.

What Can Go Wrong with Smart Bulbs?

Before understanding the possible failure a Smart Bulb can have, let us quickly take a look at what’s inside a Smart Bulb.

A typical LED Smart Bulb has the following components:

  • LEDs
  • Electronic Control Module
  • Power Supply
  • Heat Sink
  • Base

Now coming back to the main question, let us see what can go wrong with Smart Bulbs starting with the LEDs themselves. Several companies manufacture LEDs but only a handful of them are reliable (Osram, Phillips, etc.).

Possible Failures in LED Bulbs

LEDs from good quality manufacturers have a very long lifetime (30,000 to 50,000 hours). If the smart bulb manufacturers used these high-quality LEDs in their bulbs, then we can get their claimed lifetime of 25,000 hours.

Several Smart Bulb manufacturers are sourcing low-quality LEDs to reduce the cost. In this case, they cannot meet their expected lifetime. They run slightly over their warranty period (3 to 5 years) and burn out. You don’t get the warranty, discard the bulb and buy a new one.

A power supply is an important part of modern LED Lighting. We also call them LED Drivers. The power supply module in a Smart Bulb (or any LED Bulb for that matter) converts the Main AC into DC for the LEDs to run. The quality of components in the power supply, especially Capacitors is very important. Low-grade or cheap components have a high failure rate.

An important function of a Smart Bulb is to provide Wireless connectivity over Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi. For this, they come with a special IC that enables this communication. Modern communication SoCs are highly integrated with very little chance of failure. Unless the power supply messes something up, it is very rare to see an SoC fail.

Heat is the enemy of all electronics and Smart LED Bulbs are no exception. The job of the heat sink is to allow the dissipation of heat from the LEDs as quickly and efficiently as possible. The lifespan of the LED also depends on the type and material of the heat sink.

Conclusion

Smart Bulbs make our life easier. You can change their colors, control them through an App, and that too from a different location (over the internet). If you ever bought any Smart Bulbs, you would have definitely wondered: How Long Do Smart Bulbs Last? In this guide, we saw some basics of Smart Bulbs. We drew a comparison of the average lifetimes of some popular Smart Bulbs. Finally, we saw the main points of failure in a smart bulb.



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