SmartThings Community

New to Smartthings: Outlets vs plugs vs lightbulbs

Hi all,

Have a quick question, I’m new to smart things, and I want to add two lamps to get my whole family room (3 lamps in 3 different locations) connected. Currently I have one plug (the one that came with my smartthings starter kit) but am wondering pros and cons of using lightbulbs vs outlets vs plugs and what folks reccomend.

Thanks!

-Bob

Welcome! :sunglasses: Smart switches versus smart bulbs is one of the oldest discussions on the forums, and one in which people tend to passionately take one side or the other. But the short answer is that it just depends on your own needs and situation, and many people find that a smart switch is a good choice in one place in the house and a smart bulb is good someplace else.

(BTW, it used to be true that people with smart bulbs had an awful time because someone else would turn the power off at the regular light switch, meaning the bulb could no longer hear network commands. That’s no longer an issue as there are many different ways to approach that situation, although it may require buying an additional device.)

FAQ on switches vs bulbs. ( topic titles are clickable links)

FAQ on keeping the power on to a smart bulb:

You might also find the following thread interesting. :sunglasses:

Thanks all! In this case there are no switches connected to the outlets so someone turning off the switch won’t be an issue, but I appreciate the links. I tried to search for the topics but didn’t come across this. Gotta figure out how best to search this forum!! :slight_smile:

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There’s a lot of information in the forums, but it can be really hard to find. There’s a welcome topic in the community – created wiki which might help:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Welcome_FAQ

If you’re lamps plug in the wall and you don’t want to pay the hefty price for the color bulbs than I would recommend smart outlets. One plug is smart and one isn’t.

But if you have no worry about folks turning off the switches than bulbs are the way to go, especially in a family room. You can adjust the brightness as well as the color… Really makes a difference.

If you have constant power to your outlet i would recommend sticking with a plug if its not too intrusive.

Keep in mind you can always use the plugs in different type of appliances later down the road… unlike bulbs

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I have both in my family room to help me decide. I have seen arguments from people saying that smart features re disabled when someone turns off the device. This is true with bulbs and with smart plugs. To me that was a moot point. I like plug when I am swapping out what I want it to do. Currently, it controls a lamp. Over the Christmas holiday, it controlled lighting. The bulb is in place because it cost less ($14 at Lowe’s) than another plug. My wife complained that she couldn’t easily turn it on or off. I solved this with an Iris smartswitch that uses a short push to control the the smart bulb, and a long push to control the plug.

Buy a bulb and try it out. Only you ca answer what is best for you.

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I have one lamp on an Aeon SmartStrip $80, we use an Aeon Mini-mote or Alexa to control that it. Also have a “fake fireplace” connected to the smartstrip too, my wife found deal on it used and it’s pretty cool :sunglasses: Not sure what to do with the other 2 SmartStrip outlets though?

Anyway… if you have all the lamps all within reach, one of the smart power strips might work for you (Zooz makes a cheaper one at $65 with 5 smart outlets)

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