You could save £/$100’s every year by moving to Smart Technology and planning ahead. Most houses now contain what they think is a Smart Home, a Smart Home Hub, Smart Speaker and maybe some Smart Plugs / Smart Bulbs.
If you haven’t already, I highly suggest checking out my blog post Do LED Lights Really Save Money? As that will be a great entry into saving money with Smart Home Technology.
Starting a Smart Home can be costly, but the money you save over time more than covers the cost of your devices. If you have a fairly large home, your lighting can cost anywhere between $100 to $1000.
There are pros and cons to picking various brands for each of the various setups, but I’ll approach them later as they aren’t important here!
- ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 3 Stars – My best recommendation for price and quality
- ⭐ ⭐ 2 Stars – Great for newbies but not the best in terms of quality
- ⭐ 1 Star – Ultimate Budget goods, will need some DIY and manual tweaking
- ❌ 1 Cross – Don’t buy this, this is the total opposite of what I suggest getting.
What does the Average Smart Home Use?
In this blog post, I’ll be basing all of this on a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom property, this will cover most houses/apartments between the UK and the US. Whilst this is a mostly a guesstimate and based on various parts of information I’ve read online and my personal experience, I think it’s a good starting point.
I will be touching on Kitchens and Bathrooms, but I won’t be adding any extras such as a games room/ Home Theatre and Gymnasium. Although I may do a smaller blog post for that.
Smart Home Hubs & Smart Speakers
This is the cheapest part of any Smart Home and quite possibly the most fun if you’re only getting into this casually. Starting anywhere from $25 (If you’re in the UK it sometimes goes to £8.99 when ordering Amazon Music or Amazon Prime but can be cancelled before any further payment is taken! BARGAIN!).
If you’re looking to mix everything, from Bulbs to Speakers and plugs, you will likely want something a little more advanced, like the Wink 2 ⭐⭐ or the Samsung SmartThings Hub ⭐⭐⭐.
If you have a Raspberry Pi, you can actually make your own Alexa. Check out my blog post:
Let’s assume, you’re going to want one in each room (Including the Bathroom). If you’re using the Samsung Smart Hub, you’ll want that as well as an Alexa for each room. 5 Alexa’s at $25 is $125 with the additional Samsung SmartThings Hub which totals at $205.
Still, at a low-end budget, this could be much higher if using the Google Home Max which is around $400.
I use both the Google Home Hub and the Amazon Echo (Along with my Raspberry Pi). The Google Home Hub is in my living room as the speaker is much better quality, Alexa’s are dotted around in each room.
This may be one of the biggest cost-efficient parts of Smart Homes, with plenty of brands to pick from you’ll have no difficulty finding a budget that suits your needs.
I personally use Philips Hue ⭐⭐⭐ , however, I know a lot of people don’t as they prefer the cheaper option. Yeelight ⭐⭐⭐ is another fantastic competitor to both LIFX ⭐⭐⭐ and Philips Hue. However, since Linus Tech Tips did a video, its price has shot up!
But, have no fear! there’s a lot of alternatives as long as you’re using the correct setup. For example, a hub (see above), or a Mesh (So there is one master bulb which shares to the others).
In terms of investment, there are two routes you can go down, using a hub to purchase much cheaper bulbs, or not using a hub and paying more per bulb (Like the LIFX).
The Philips Hue app definitely has the best app, it’s just easy to use but it doesn’t have a great option for setting scenes across multiple rooms. LIFX and Yeelight do have this functionality.
So, let’s work out the price of this at the YeeLights original price being $18. According to CBS, there is an article which states the average US Household has 45 lightbulbs, going from my experience in the UK of 1 bulb per room and living in the busy South, I’d say we total around 10 bulbs in a household, so I’ll make an average of 28 bulbs in each household.
That would come out to $504 (Not including shipping, although, if you have Prime it’s free anyway). Adding the Samsung Smart Hub, it’s still under $600!
Not bad for a future investment 😉
|Approximate cost per bulb||£3 – £7||£4 – £8||£9 – £40|
|Average lifespan||1,200 hours||8,000 hours||25,000 hours|
|Total purchase price of bulbs over 23 years||£63 – £147||£12 – 24||£9 – £40|
|No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use||21||3||1|
|Total cost of electricity used (25,000 hours at £0.12 per kWh)||£180||£42||£30 – £35|
|Approximate Total purchase price of bulbs over 23 years||£243||£54||£39|
As for my favourite part of lighting, there are the LED Light Strips (They’re beautiful). Ideally, you’ll want LED strips which work with a hub, however, if you’re looking for a much cheaper option, you can simply buy Smart Plugs with standard LED strips and that will do the job).
RBG LED Strips
You can pick any LED Strip as long as the RGB controller can be controlled via your hub, so if you’re using a hub and not a Smart Plug, check out this controller.
For reference, you can see what a Wifi Controller looks like here:
However, if you’re looking for an LED strip, I suggest this one. In terms of colours and modes, it’s quite basic, but it really does the job well for its price, pair this with this LED Strip controller and it’ll work with your hub.
For an all in one package, I still recommend the Philips Hue Starter LED pack as it comes with a Hub which you can use with other devices. It’s worth the money for what it is.
Smart Plug I suggest:
There’s a few options for this, a lot of cheaper options. But I always fall onto the KASA TP-Link Smart Plugs. It works with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and it doesn’t require a hub
An alternative to having an Alexa Speaker in your room is to use an Echo Flex, it’s a Smart Plug WITH Alexa in it! It’s pretty impressive for the price it’s at! (£24.99/$24.99).
For our example of Smart Homes, I won’t be counting the Echo Flex as we’ll assume you already have an Alexa Device / Smart Assistant.