I want to buy a set of dimmable smart lights for different rooms in my house. It’s important that they are dimmable, and I don’t need coloured lights, just normal white will do. Although I don’t currently have a smarthings hub, I want to make sure that whatever lights/lighting-system I buy will be compatible and controllable through smarthings when I finally do get into it. What would you recommend? Obviously, it’d be great if the light bulbs were cheap too.
If they’re going to be on a switch, I would recommend getting a zwave switch rather than light bulbs. There has been a lot issues with smart bulbs on manual switches. That being said, I use a Cree bulb from Home Depot in a spot that is always powered on and it has been working great for me. It was only $15.
That’s right Chris. Smart bulbs tend to be good for lamps that aren’t connected to a switch and can be always powered on physically. But for anything controlled by a wall switch, it’s typically better to get a smart switch to replace it. That way you still have a physical control that works with your automation. Here area couple threads that discuss this choice.
As far as compatibility, if you stick to zwave and zigbee, integration should be easy and painless; and they are generally compatible with other systems if you ever move away from ST.
If you go with in-wall Z-wave switches and are planning on buying LED lights to go with them, I would recommend a brand like Philips. I’ve got a lot of them, and they work well with my dimmer switches. I tried some Cree bulbs because they are cheaper, but I had trouble with them. A couple of them died within months, whereas Philips bulbs in the same sockets have been rock solid. I mentioned this to an electrician I’m hiring for a project. He had so much trouble with Cree bulbs that he stopped using them in his jobs.
If I replace one of my normal light switches with a z-wave switch, would it just start working straight away without me needing to configure anything? or does a full z-wave setup need to exist before it will even turn the light on?
So what LED bulbs would you recommend? Someone recommended Cree, but they aren’t sold in the UK.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
My GE Link bulbs are working fine (via a Hue Bridge to SmartThings), though the lowest dim level is disappointingly bright. I’m planning on trying Cree. Philips Lux seem too expensive though the quality may be better (but they are fragile!).
Some folks love TCP, but they aren’t ZigBee, so locked into their Bridge.