I get a lot of questions about whether or not smart bulbs can be used outdoors. There are several precautions you should take to ensure that your light bulb, no matter what kind you have, will perform well outside.
Outside, will a smart bulb work?
If the smart bulb you’re using is protected from the rain, snow, etc., it will function outdoors all year long. My recommendation is to place your router or smart hub no more than 100 feet from an LED bulb in a well-protected lighting fixture.
The things to keep in mind while utilizing an outdoor smart bulb
Some considerations to keep in mind when making the decision to utilize your smart light bulb outdoors:
- The sort of outdoor lighting fixture you’re putting in place.
- The kind of bulb you have
- Where you’re now situated in relation to the weather/climate
- How far away from your WiFi network or smart hub the bulb will be
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Some of the most well-known smart bulb manufacturers warn against using their products outside. However, I’ve found that most smart lights work flawlessly outdoors, even under the most harsh weather conditions! Don’t forget to take into account the following aspects and you should be OK.
An outdoor lighting fixture of this kind.
There are several factors to take into account when determining whether or not to utilize smart bulbs outside the home.
Your light bulb will be well-protected by a variety of post lights, outdoor wall lights, hanging lanterns, and other fixtures. In truth, most outdoor lighting fixtures provide some degree of protection from the elements.
Specifically, you’ll want to locate a light fixture that shields your bulb from rain and snow exposure.
The main enemy here is water.
If you have a fixture that exposes your bulb to rain or other water, you may want to consider a waterproof smart bulb.
You may use a regular smart bulb in this case.
Type of smart light bulb
There are several types of light bulbs, including Incandescent, Halogen, LED, Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), Xenon, and so on.
Moreover, not all of them are suitable for use outside.
Because LEDs can be used both inside and outdoors for smart light bulbs, they are a great option for both indoor and outdoor application.
The Philips Hue smart LED light is a wonderful choice. You may get an idea of the cost by visiting this page.
Climate smart light bulb
In addition to weatherproofing your smart bulb, you must also ensure that it is protected from freezing temperatures.
Assuming the outdoor lighting fixture you are using is not in a heated environment (like an enclosed deck), your bulb will have to resist freezing temperatures.
Fortunately, smart LED lamps can handle the cold rather well.
Your smart bulb won’t be affected by the cold weather in most places.
In the event that you reside in an area where the cold is a concern, the bulb’s operating temperature will be clearly stated on the package.
Before purchase, you may verify this temperature range. As a point of reference, the typical working temperature range for smart light bulbs is -20°C to 40°C.
However, I’ve found that this is a rather cautious range. At temperatures as low as -23°F (-30°C), Philips Hue White LED smart lights work well. What a shocker!
And Philips claims that these lights are solely for use in the home!
A smart bulb’s distance from its hub or WiFi network
Outdoor smart bulbs must also be concerned with the range of their smart protocols. What is its signal strength?
The following protocols are used to control most smart bulbs:
- WiFi (without a hub)
- Waves of Z (hub required)
- Zigbee is a wireless communication protocol (hub required)
Each of these protocols has a distinct spectrum of operation:
- A distance of 92 meters separates you from your opponent (300 ft)
- Indoors, there are 46 meters of space (100 ft)
- Over a hundred meters (328 feet) of line of sight
- Indoors, there are 9 meters (30 ft)
- 300+ meters (984+ feet) of sight
- Distance: 75-100 meters indoors (246-328 ft)
The term “line of sight” refers to the greatest distance that your smart bulb may be from your WiFi connection or hub without losing its ability to communicate with it.
How far can you put your smart bulb from your hub or WiFi network and it still work? “Indoors” refers to this distance.
Depending on the materials and construction of your house, these figures may vary somewhat, but the list above should give you a reasonable idea of how far you may set a bulb from its supply.
With the addition of more items, several procedures may be widened in scope.
The mesh network gets stronger as a result of this.
In order to get to the device, the signal might hop across devices until it reaches the one that is being utilized.
For this range expansion to work, the new items must all be using the same protocol.
If you’d want to understand more about the distinctions between Z Wave and Zigbee, check read my article, Z Wave vs. Zigbee.)
So, can smart lights be used outdoors, or just indoors?
Definitely, in my opinion.
You don’t have to worry about leaving your smart light bulb outside since LEDs can be used both inside and outside.
In order to protect the bulb from rain and snow, you need ensure that your outdoor lighting fixture offers appropriate protection for it.
What are your thoughts on smart lights for outdoor use? Is there anything you’d want to discuss?