16% of Consumers Use Smart Lighting

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Smart lighting products, such as smart lightbulbs and smart light switches, are some of the most popular smart home devices on the market. According to an April 2019 market research report from TraQLine, 16% of consumers in the U.S. own smart lightbulbs, which is only three percentage points behind top-​selling smart speakers."

"Smart lighting allows you to do a lot more than program your lights to switch on and off. You can check from work whether your kids left the lights on (again!), and remotely turn them off to save energy. Or set the mood in a room by customizing color and brightness."

"But is it really worth the trouble and expense of upgrading? After all, one smart bulb can cost $7 to $79 compared with about $5 for a typical LED bulb. And while making the switch can be as simple as screwing in a smart lightbulb, some products can be more involved. Consumer Reports makes these suggestions per investment level:"

"Get Your Feet Wet

It's doesn't take a big investment to try out smart lighting. You can get started with a few smart lightbulbs or smart plugs. Smart bulbs generate light from LEDs and are made in almost every bulb type and socket size. Smart plugs work in existing outlets, and then you plug in your lamps with regular bulbs or other small electric appliances, such as fans or space heaters. Some smart bulbs and smart plugs are also water and temperature resistant, so you can use them outside."

"With smart bulbs, just swap out the regular bulbs in any lamp or fixture you want, download the corresponding smartphone app to set up and control them, and off you go. Both smart bulbs and plugs let you turn lights on and off as well as set schedules. Smart bulbs also allow you to dim the lights, change their color temperature, and change their color. These range in cost from $7 to $200 per device."

"Convert an Entire Room

To make all of the lighting in a given room 'smart,' choose smart light switches/​dimmers for light fixtures and smart outlets for any lamps you have plugged into outlets. Smart light switches and dimmers come in both toggle and paddle designs, and work with just about anything that’s wired to them, including lights with regular bulbs. Smart outlets replace existing wall outlets, letting you add smarts to regular lamps. Like smart plugs, smart outlets work with almost any plug-​in appliance, such as fans and coffee makers."

"While in-​wall outlets and switches are more difficult to install (and may require an electrician), they can save you money if you have multiple light fixtures in a room, because one switch or outlet controlling all of your regular lighting is much more affordable than buying a half-​dozen (or more) smart bulbs to replace regular bulbs. But smart switches often require an additional neutral wire in the receptacle, which is sometimes missing in older homes."

"You need that neutral wire because smart switches need to receive constant power for them to stay connected. According to Ben Kolo, owner of the electrical contractor Mr. Electric of Central Iowa, neutral wires are more common in homes built between 1970 and 2010, but they didn't become a requirement until 2011. Given the cost of having an electrician install a neutral wire, it may make more sense in those cases to go with smart plugs. These changes cost about $25 to $100 per device."

"Add Ambiance

Smart lights are great for accent lighting because you can easily change the color and brightness. With a few taps on your smartphone, you can go from bright light for homework time to warm tones for a romantic dinner after the kids are in bed and cozy near-​darkness for watching television. You can also program impressive multicolored party lighting for when you have friends over. These cost between $25 and $90 per device."

"Light Outdoor Areas

Smart outdoor lighting can increase your home’s nighttime curb appeal and discourage intruders. You can install smart bulbs into existing fixtures or add brand-​new lighting, such as smart pathlights. The battery-​powered Ring Smart Lighting Pathlight ($140 for a four-​pack starter kit), for instance, will turn on when they detect motion. Replace regular switches for hardwired porch lights and floodlights with smart light switches. These products cost approximately $25 to $340 per device."

Lighting/​Fan (Interior) Buyers are 143% more likely than others to plan to buy smart home technologies and devices, according to AudienceSCAN. Knowing that there are different levels of investment can help positively influence these shoppers’ buying decisions since nearly half of this audience shares the goal of reducing debt or increasing savings within the next year. Within the last month, more than half of these shoppers used a search engine to find coupons or discount codes and nearly 3/​4 say their favorite types of emails to receive from businesses contain coupons and discount codes. Last year, these consumers were driven to action by direct mail ads and coupons, email ads, TV commercials and ads on daily deals sites such as Groupon. They're also 83% more likely than others to find advertising on their mobile apps useful.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on department stores and lighting and fan stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.