Noob question on smart lighting & smart switches

Before I go and buy like 50 smart light bulbs and change everything in my house, I want to make sure I am going down the correct path.

Let’s say I want to change all my bulbs in my living room, there are 12, all recessed lighting. If I buy some Phillips HUEs or some SYLVANIA Smart Connected A19 RGBW LEDs… do I buy a smart light switch as well to control them? I’m assuming I do if I still want a physical switch in the room and not just control everything from a tablet or phone.

How do you guys have it setup? Even if I have a Z-Wave or ZigBee enabled switch, when I turn that off won’t it cut power to all those bulbs? I would have to go into the SmartThings app and turn that switch on first and then turn the bulbs on also separately? Do the bulbs take a while to get back on the network? It doesn’t seem quite right to me. Mind you I don’t currently own any smart switches or bulbs, just a SmartThings hub and a few temperature sensors at the moment. I’m just starting out.

Is there a smart switch that when clicked just sends a command to the bulbs directly? or to the hub which triggers a routine or series of commands to that group of bulbs?
Power would never really be turned off on that circuit. That would make more sense to me in a setup like this. Is this right?

Hello and welcome.

A smart device like a bulb and switch require constant power. This allows the radio in the device to always be in contact with the hub.

When installing a say bulb you do not install it online with a smart switch. The physical switch must also always remain on.

I have a lot of Phillips bulbs in my home as well as about 50 smart switches.

I use motion sensors as my primary switching action for them. I also use the Amazon Alexa when I want manual control.

There are a ton of discussions in the forum about this exact subject.

I’m sure @JDRoberts will make a response posts. His are always very informative and full of valuable information.

Welcome aboard the train!

Thank you, I look forward to hearing some ideas and other people’s setups.

The more I think about it, my optimal solution for me, what I would want, is a smart switch that had two functions. Maybe one exists so I’ll post my thoughts here.

It’s connected like a normal smart switch with a neutral connection, but has two triggers… For example, a quick tap, or a long press. Long press would be for emergencies where I would actually want to cut power to that circuit, it would act like a real switch and turn off the circuit physically. Short tap would send a command to the hub which would trigger the routine to send commands to those bulbs and have them turn on or off. Nothing fancy, on/off. If I want to change colors, dimming, and all that fun stuff it would be done via phone/tablet/Alexa, whatever.

Would such a thing exist? or some little relay that hides in the back of the electrical box and let’s me keep my existing switches? That would be even better for my setup. I have some old-school push button switches everywhere part of my decor. I would hate to lose that look.

If you have several recessed lights controlled by one switch, it would be better to use a smart switch and dumb bulbs. That way, they can still be controlled by the wall switch. You can get a smart dimmer switch, as long as any LED or CFL bulbs are dimmable. Besides, it’s a lot less expensive this way - on $35 switch vs several $15 bulbs.

In the case of a single light, such as a lamp, I prefer smart bulbs. Most of mine lights are controlled by motion sensors and/or timer routines.

You’re definitely thinking of all the right issues. The FAQ should help ( this is a clickable link)