hueSo-called “smart” LED light bulbs may seem like a gimmick, but they boast of an array of useful features that actually make them a worthwhile addition to your [city] home. While their high price point may not be attractive to the average [city] homeowner (the 3-pack Philips Hue comes in at $199.99), they’re nevertheless an interesting potential purchase.

The ‘smart’ label comes from the fact that many of these LED bulbs have features like wireless connectivity with phone apps, which in turn opens an entire world of exciting applications. Here’s a quick look at a few of the most notable features of smart LED lights.

1. Dimming

Sure, incandescent light bulbs have been dimmable for years, but smart LED bulbs take things a notch higher by allowing you to control their brightness from your very own smartphone, tablet device, and computer.

Simply screw in the light bulb into its appropriate base, set up the bulb with your wireless home network, and control its lighting output from the proprietary app.

Dimming is not only cool, it also lets you have finer control of your lighting setup’s power consumption. If you don’t need full brightness, simply turn your lights down low, which also reduces your electricity usage.

2. Automation and Remote Control

Some smart LED light bulb models can be wirelessly programmed to automatically switch on and off at specific times of the day.

Imagine being away on holiday and programming your home lights to switch on at night to make it seem someone’s inside, which in turn can help discourage burglars from breaking into your home.

Moreover, having programmable lights means you never have to deal with fumbling for the switch in the dark when you get home. Simply schedule your lights to switch on at the time you arrive home.

3. Multiple Colors

Dimming your lights is one thing, but how does changing your LED lights’ colors sound?

Most smart bulb packages come with the ability to generate a wide range of colors. The FluxSmart WiFi LED Light Bulb, for example, allows you to, “Personalize your lighting with a color palette of over 16 million colors.” Using the smart bulb’s app, you can choose a specific color by tapping on a desired part of a complex color wheel.

Changing colors may seem gimmicky, but it’s useful for a number of reasons. For example:

  • If you want your room to have a relaxing ambience, simply switch your smart bulbs to a warm, yellow color, which is soothing on the eyes.
  • On the other hand, if you’re doing something in the room that requires your full attention, switch your lights to the color of regular daylight, which should help you to stay alert.

4. They Play Music

Smart LED bulbs don’t just generate light, they can also double as wireless speakers. The PLAYBULB Bluetooth SMART LED speaker lightbulb comes with built-in speakers, which play audio streamed from any mobile device or computer. Screw a bulb in your bathroom socket and listen to tunes as you shower without worrying about your phone or Bluetooth speakers getting wet.

While regular consumers probably think that smart LED light bulbs are too expensive for what they can do, these devices are bound to become cheaper and more widely available in the near future.

Makers of LED bulbs faced this exact same scenario when they first introduced expensive (at the time) LED bulbs into the market. But prices quickly became more affordable as the years passed. If anything, smart LEDs will likely follow the same path.