I have a porch light out front that I like to control via my google home infrastructure. It’s currently using a Sengled smart bulb. But the problem is that the bulb mounts “upside down”. (i.e. the socket is on the bottom and the end of the bulb points upward into the lantern-hood top of the fixture.) All the smart bulbs I can find have the big chonky plastic base near where it screws into the socket. This means most of the light goes upward into the fixture, and not down onto the porch where I’d want it. Sengled makes an “edison style” bulb without the plastic base, but they are more for ambiance: amber, not white, and not as bright.
Does anyone make something like what I’m looking for?
If you are not trying to control bulb color or brightness using Google Home, just turning it on and off, you might consider replacing the wall switch with a smart switch, instead of using a smart bulb. Then you can use any kind of bulb you want. I did this with a ceiling fan, using a WeMo switch, which integrates to my Amazon Echo (Alexa). That switch communicates directly to my router. I’m sure it would also be compatible with Google Home.
(I also have some Philips Hue smart bulbs but that requires a Philips Hue Hub to be connected to the router.)
I don’t have an answer to your question, but we recently decided to try and “smart up” our house. For the holidays, we asked family to give us a number of “smart” objects, including a set of light switches. Bt we debated between smart switches or smart bulbs.
In the end, we went with the switches. Once you put them in they won’t burn out, and they tie into existing electrical wires, so I can tie all 10 recess lights on a switch to one smart device, instead of needing 10 smart bulbs.
What is the benefit of a smart bulb over a smart switch?
Interesting! I didn’t know that about neutral wires. I used to do some construction and I have worked on homes as old as just post WW2 here in CA and I can’t remember a home with no neutral wire - maybe adoption varied by region, or maybe I just happened to work on homes without their original wiring.
Technically it does require rewiring, but we aren’t talking anything complex here. You need a screwdriver, 10 minutes, and to know how to throw a breaker switch. But maybe I’m overestimating how handy your average Joe is.
Eta: you gotta throw the switch first, even though I listed it last o.O just in case anyone was confused!
I expect it won’t be too long before the price falls low enough that many new homes come with smartswitches, or to where it becomes a common and easy thing to add to your house when you remodel it for resale
Thanks all. Hadn’t considered replacing the switch. I’ve done so elsewhere, but it’s kind of a hassle and I’d like to avoid it. Might go with that Kasa bulb. It does have more downward pointing glass, it seems, and isn’t amber, though it’s only 600 lumens, not 800 like the Sengled I have, so I don’t know if the next downward light would be a positive. I’m surprised no one makes a smart bulb with the smart “base” up top and the LEDs pointing toward the socket for installations like this.
In older houses (for example, my brother’s circa 1970 house) it was common to use “switch loops” to control circuits. For example, for a ceiling light power would be run to the light fixture (hot and neutral). The neutral would connect to the light fixture, the hot would connect to the black wire in a 2 conductor Romex cable. This cable would run the the switch, where the switch is connected to send power back along the other (white) conductor to the light fixture. The white conductor would be connected to the hot terminal of the light fixture. The switched hot conductor is supposed to be “marked” at each end by black (or any color other than white or green) electrical tape to distinguish it from a neutral. Thus, there is no neutral wire at the location of the light switch.
And don’t suggest using ground instead of neutral, that is a major code violation.
More modern houses have power run to the switch box first, so there is a neutral at the switch location.
A few smart switch manufacturers make a switch that does not require a neutral, but as another poster mentioned they tend to be pricier models.
How much are smart bulbs? These switches came out to around $10 each which would be pricier than the bulbs I suspect (for 1 to 1 places like your porch- obviously a bunch of smart recess light bulbs would cost much more than 1 switch) but as soon as the bulb burns out and gets replaced the switch should come out ahead.
I wonder why they can’t put a little smart base that controls power and screws into a light bulb slot, then screw the bulb into that. This way you can replace the bulbs cheaply without needing a wgole new smart device each time.
They don’t mean homes without neutral wires; that is of course impossible. They mean individual switch boxes without neutral wires, which is how the vast majority of homes are wired prior to code changes in the 2011 NEC that require neutral wires to be present at all switches for the purpose of support smart switches.
There are a few smart switch products that do not require a neutral, like Lutron Caseta, but they all require a separate hub device and are not independent units like most WiFi-enabled smart switches.
Yeah, I understand; but it’s definitely a regional things, because I’ve lived in and worked on plenty of homes in CA that were built before 2011 and the vast majority of them did have a neutral wire in every switch box.
I have Philips Hue lights. They have three primary colors so can be set to be virtually any color you want. You can also control the brightness. You can create pre-set color and brightness “recipes” to combine bulbs in different colors to give various ambient effects (“tropical sunset”, “nightlight”, etc.). I can select presets from my Alexa and control it using a smartphone app. People who just want to turn it on and off won’t see these features as benefits.
That actually sounds pretty cool, and while I don’t think it would be worthwhile to replace every recession light with a smart one when I can just plug in the switch, that is a great sales pitch for getting one for other places - say a porch light
Since the OP seems pretty much resolved, may I piggyback a question?
I want to add Phillips Hue lights to the recessed lights in my living room. Unfortunately, the largest Hue is BR30. The cans in my ceiling are sized for BR40. Does anyone know of a solution that will fit my existing light fixtures or a way to make BR30s look better in these large cans?