Bulbs and Tubelights are the home appliances which have evolved so much over the course of time: from incandescent to halogen, from halogen to CFL, from CFL to LEDs. Enter 2020 and these LEDs are rapidly becoming smarter. You no longer need to traipse towards the switchboard to turn it on (or off). You can do that now with the app or smart hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Not only control with app and assistant, you can also tinker with brightness and colour of LED bulbs. So, let us look at the various smart bulbs offered by the companies in the market and the smart features they come with.
Setting up your house and you are looking to buy the best tube lights or bulbs for it? With lots of options available, it can be a difficult task to buy one and decide which one is good. In the past, we mostly used to get normal bulbs or fluorescent tube lights which eventually graduated to CFLs and energy-efficient fluorescent tube lights. But the current times are that of LED tube lights or bulbs. There are many more energy-efficient options available in India. The modern energy-efficient LED Tube-lights or bulbs may be slightly more expensive as compared to old options but they do provide a lot of value. In this post, we will discuss the costs or prices of these options, their wattage and the benefit that you can get from them.
LED (Light Emitting Diode)
LEDs are the latest and most efficient lighting option which is available in the market. Their electricity consumption is less than that of CFLs and fluorescent lamps for the same amount of light. LEDs also are long-lasting with a life of about 10-25 years and their performance remains the same throughout their lifetime (Tubelights and CFLs get dim with time). Although a little expensive during the period of first launched and up to 2015, a major shift has taken when Government of India directed Energy Efficiency Servies Ltd to undertake large scale production and rates dropped to Rs. 38 per 9 W LED Lamp and production skyrocketed to the level of 4 Cr. per month as compared to just 10 lakhs earlier. Ideally, they are a long-lasting option as the life of LEDs is about 10 years. But local drivers installed in a luminaire may fail earlier. If you encounter a failed LED luminaire, try to see if your electrician can change the driver and get it working again.
LED Tube-lights are replacements for regular tube-lights. They are a line source of light and thus they cover a larger area. These days several options of LED Tube-lights are available in the market: 18 Watt, 20 Watts, 22 Watts, etc. In terms of light output (or lumens output), a 20 Watt LED Tube-light is similar to an old 40 Watt T-8 or 27 Watt T-5 tube-light.
LED Bulbs are replacements for CFLs and incandescent bulbs. When planning for replacement, look at the base B 22 pin type, E27 screw type and E15 screw type used for decorative lighting. They are a point source of light and thus cover a smaller area. If you are looking to replace your existing CFL, then you can look at the table below to get a comparison:
Choose LED Lights from Amazon
LED bulb is designed to replace the traditional design of incandescent or CFL lamp. There are traditional three types namely (a) B22-Pin type with lamp base diameter of 22 mm and used for traditional lighting; (b) E14-screw type with lamp base diameter of 14 mm and used for decorative lighting (c) E27-screw type with lamp base diameter of 27 mm and used for traditional wall/ceiling lighting. Now the manufacturers (e.g. Phillips) have also come out of mounting of tube light in these holders. Here are few of the commonly used sold at the amazon e-commerce website.
Smart Lighting availability at Amazon
Let’s start with Panasonic. Panasonic doesn’t really make a smart bulb but rather a remote-controlled bulb. This bulb offers similar convenience of wireless control. And since it has dedicated remote, this product is more appropriate for old age family members. Panasonic bulbs work with regular B22 sockets and do not need any configuration hassles. Really suited for people who aren’t much tech-savvy. Remote allows choosing between colors like white, yellow, red, green, blue etc. Through remote, you can also change brightness levels. But note that remote works within a distance of 10 feet approximately. So, if you have a bigger room you might find it difficult to control from far off corners.
Companies like TP-Link, Wipro, Syska, Mi, Philips are offering bulbs that are truly smart. They have a dedicated app for controlling the bulb and alternately can be controlled from popular virtual assistants and smart speakers. TP-Link does not come with multiple color customization option in its smart bulb offering like Panasonic. Smart bulbs by Wipro and Syska have a similar app interface for control. They both allow remote color customization using the app and facilitates scheduling. Like if you want the bulb to be turned on Sundays automatically at 7:00 pm and closed at 10:00 pm, you can set a schedule for this action. Wipro smart bulbs require an active internet connection for controlling bulbs whereas Syska can work without the internet. Wipro is presently the only manufacturer amongst the established brands that offer smart tube lights too. Wipro Next 20 watts smart LED batten can be remotely controlled by dedicated Wipro Next app and works with popular voice assistants.
Philips offers even more advanced features than the contemporaries. Besides the usual integration with Google, Amazon, Apple, IFTTT and dedicated app control, it also has a couple of additional cool features. Like you can set an alert reminder in Philips Hue and it will blink at that time to alert you. Another useful feature is that it can turn on slowly in the morning—emulating the natural sunlight progression—which helps to wake you up in a more subtle manner than with regular alarms. Modern Philips Hue bulbs also allow you to mimic the disco feel at home by syncing with the song you cast. It flickers and changes the light based on the streamed song’s music and flow replicating the feel of disco.