Smart bulb vs smart plug: A simplified buying guide for your home
Smart bulb vs Smart Plug - Representational ImageThe Bridge Chronicle

Smart bulb vs smart plug: A simplified buying guide for your home

So many options and very little difference can be a cause for confusion. The Bridge Chronicle brings you a buying guide if you're planning on investing in either.

Home renovation is good fun -- in fact, picking the right accents and lighting can transform the way your apartment looks. While we're all for it, it may seem challenging to choose the correct colour to illuminate your room. After all, what if you're bored with the warm shades? What if you want to set a different mood for the evening?

And since all of these are not really possible with regular lamps, smart lights have gradually begun to take over the traditional household -- and we're all for it. Gone are the days when affording a voice-controlled light for your apartment was outrageously expensive. Today, various brands have introduced the concept at an affordable range, and technology has advanced enough for the process to be an uncomplicated one.

However, that hasn't stopped multiple options to flood into the periphery — confusing us to no end! Just when we started getting used to the idea of a smart bulb, we were presented with other viable options — such as a smart plug! And take it from someone who writes about technology — it is tricky to keep up with the changing trends. Whether you already had plans of investing in one or have decided just about now, we have you covered with our buying guide. Read on to find out the difference between the two:

Smart bulb

Realme recently launched a smart bulb with a 16 million colour range.
Realme recently launched a smart bulb with a 16 million colour range.Realme

Bored of your regular warm lights? Want to switch to something more spunky? But how do you replace your bulb each time with your mood? Although it sounds like it, it definitely isn't as challenging as it used to be. Thankfully, most smart bulbs come in A19-style, meaning that they fit into conventional light bulb sockets, including lamps and light fixtures.

What can a smart bulb do?

Almost every smart bulb today has a selection of colours that can be switched to if required. However, several variants in the market today can do a lot more than merely change shades. Equipped with a Bluetooth option, now a regular smart bulb can also play songs on selection!

How do you use a smart bulb?

Although seemingly complicated, it isn't that tricky to use a smart bulb. You can control your smart bulb using an app on your phone, making it effortless to dim, change or switch off the bulb. Apart from this, you can also use your Amazon Echo and take Alexa's help to control your illumination. So, the next time you're cosy in your bed, too tired to move — you needn't step out to switch off your light bulb. You can plainly use an app to make that happen!

Pros: Smart bulbs are compact and not a cumbersome extension to your household. They're also brighter than your regular lights, making it easy for you to illuminate an entire room. They now have an improved colour panel and a wide range of shades. They can be controlled using an app, and you don't have to reach out to switch it off.

Cons: Despite their easy availability, smart bulbs can be an expensive asset to your home. You may not be able to afford to break one! And although they're available in a standard size, there's a good chance that your smart bulb will not fit the lamp you've intended to put it in.

Smart plug

Amazon's smart plug can be connected using Bluetooth.
Amazon's smart plug can be connected using Bluetooth.Amazon

What can a smart plug do?

Smart plugs are not very popular, but they allow you to manage your devices from almost anywhere. If you have a good app supporting your smart plug, you can also set schedules to turn your devices on and off as per your set timings on specific days. There are also variants that tell you how much power you've consumed if you're the energy-conscious kind.

How do you use a smart plug?

All you require is a working wi-fi connection to install your smart plug. The plug uses your wi-fi to transmit information to an app on your phone when you can further utilise while controlling your devices.

Pros: Unlike smart bulbs, a smart plug is a one-stop-shop for all your devices. They're also big on energy-saving and can help you monitor (and keep a tab) your consumption. Apart from these, a smart plug makes your life a lot more convenient than a smart bulb does. You might never have to worry about your devices left switched-on during your vacation.

Cons: The smart plug, too, is unfortunately quite steep. And while it is easy to install, its functions are limited to your devices. You cannot modify or change the way your device behaves. Although rare, it is also possible for hackers to take over your smart plug. In fact, fully relying on it to bring your power consumption down can also backfire if the device malfunctions.

The verdict

Whether you're planning on investing in a smart bulb or plug — there are pros and cons to each. However, if you're making a decision after carefully weighing your requirement, there's barely anything that could go wrong. A smart plug is handy if you're looking to automate your devices and is more suitable for a larger home. However, if you solely want to set the 'tone for the evening', investing in a smart bulb is a viable option. Having a singular smart plug for your home may seem redundant, but having one bulb can still be serviceable.

The future is gradually moving us towards a contactless, digital space. Whether or not we're on board, there's no denying that it has helped make our lives convenient and comfortable.

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