Are ‘Smart’ Bulbs Still Stupid?

Smart bulbs have always seemed like a dumb idea to me: Pay $60 to $100 for a screw-in LED and then control it with your phone. That’s a lot of money for a single light vs. a switch that can control a whole bank of bulbs. And then there’s the issue of having to keep the switch on at all times, not to mention the hassle of digging out a smart device to brighten the room.

I was having this very conversation at the recent Parks Associates Connections conference, and someone asked: Is the concept really that stupid or is it just the price? If the price were $10 or $15 per bulb, then would it become interesting? That shut us up because, indeed, if the price carried just a small premium over a standard LED, then it starts to make sense. And you can imagine that the light-switch issue will resolve itself eventually.

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