The starter kit prices are the cost for about two bulbs and any required central hub. In most cases, a single bulb will not work on its own. So while the prices may seem expensive, you are getting a lot for the money and everything you need to get going.
Also, remember that most of these bulbs have a lifespan of 20+ years, which is a lot more cost efficient than getting a new bulb each year.
Most smart lighting is available as single bulbs so that you can turn your existing lamps into intelligent lamps with no effort.
There are also complete lights available, from table lights to ceiling lamps, as well as strip lighting.
As a starter, most lighting is controlled via the suitable app on your smartphone or tablet.
If you’re creating an entire smart home system, you may be able to add extras on at a later date which can also control your lighting. Smart Speakers which are voice controlled, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, can also be compatible with your smart home hubs, and there are often things such as motion sensors available which will trigger lighting.
The Philips Hue range lets you control up to 50 lights from one device.
There is the whole Alexa vs Google Assistant vs Siri debate, which comes up a lot in questions about your smart home. Some accessories are compatible with all systems, but some may only work with one.
As with all single light bulbs, they come with different fixtures. Most have a range to choose from but just note your lamp fitting first, whether it is a bayonet or a simple screw fit. Some screw bulbs are also available with bayonet adapters.
There is also a lot of smart bulbs available for spotlights.
This is also not as straightforward as it may seem. A lot of ordinary smart bulbs you see will be plain white, but you will be able to adjust the hue, warmth and brightness.
There are also bulbs available which allow you to pick colours out for ‘atmospheric’ lighting. The Philips Hue and Hive ranges have products with 16 million colours to choose from, which is probably just a few more than you can name.
This means that you can have a 10-minute nap in soft lighting with the same bulbs as you’d use to get the party started, without the need for extra lamps.