• Last Updated:
  • Oct 12th, 2017 11:00 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 6, 2006
1686 posts
153 upvotes

Smart light bulbs

STUPID question here

For smart light bulbs to work. The light switch needs to be on all the time. Will it still consume electricity even the bulb is off?
13 replies
Jr. Member
Nov 21, 2016
120 posts
57 upvotes
It will, but negligible.. Check this..

In the off state (but still drawing some power so that it can communicate with the network), each bulb draws around 0.01 to 0.02 Amps (about 0.4 Watts).

A week in the off state would use as much power as a 60 Watt bulb turned on for one hour.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Hue/comments/4 ... ed_if_off/
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25869 posts
2877 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
sacthegreat666 wrote:
Oct 9th, 2017 7:41 am
It will, but negligible.. Check this..

In the off state (but still drawing some power so that it can communicate with the network), each bulb draws around 0.01 to 0.02 Amps (about 0.4 Watts).

A week in the off state would use as much power as a 60 Watt bulb turned on for one hour.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Hue/comments/4 ... ed_if_off/
Your math is wrong.

V * A = W
120 * 0.02 = 2.4 Watts

In a 24 hour period, your consumption is 24 * 2.4 = 57.6 Watts per day. 30 days would consume 1728 Watts or 1.728 kilowatts.

Using 0.10 cents as an average cost per kilowatt, you’re annual cost to run that light bulb in standby by is $2.10
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
6817 posts
997 upvotes
I have them, the seem like great idea at first but they are a bit of pain with the Philips Hue line. Everytime the internet goes down, the default to turning them on all the way, not off as you would think. Everytime, we switched the modern, got to reconnect them all at the base. Original wanted them for vacations to set them on timers but you have to keep them and the modern on, too and got to disconnect the base with the modern from the powerbar, etc... just got to be too much work for us so we don't even use them.

Just think about it before you buy.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
Sr. Member
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Oct 14, 2010
856 posts
341 upvotes
Barrie ON
Gee wrote:
Oct 9th, 2017 12:06 pm
V * A = W
120 * 0.02 = 2.4 Watts

In a 24 hour period, your consumption is 24 * 2.4 = 57.6 Watts per day. 30 days would consume 1728 Watts or 1.728 kilowatts.

Using 0.10 cents as an average cost per kilowatt, you’re annual cost to run that light bulb in standby by is $2.10
You did everything correctly and ended up with the correct answer ($2.10 annaul cost), but the measurement for energy consumption used on your hydro bill is in kilowatt hours (KWH), not kilowatts.

The smartbulbs does use 2.4 watts of energy, and since they are powered all the time (24 hours per day), they use 2.4*24= 57.6 watt-hours each day, which is the same as .0576 KWH in 1 day.

In 365 days, this would be .0576*365 or 21.024 KWH. At $0.10 per KWH, the annual cost would be $2.10.

The 60 watt light-bulb running for 1 hour each day would use .060 KWH in 1 day, or 21.9 KWH in a year. The resultant cost would be $2.19 annually.
Member
Jun 11, 2010
296 posts
149 upvotes
ottawa
hdom wrote:
Oct 11th, 2017 3:33 am
I have them, the seem like great idea at first but they are a bit of pain with the Philips Hue line. Everytime the internet goes down, the default to turning them on all the way, not off as you would think. Everytime, we switched the modern, got to reconnect them all at the base. Original wanted them for vacations to set them on timers but you have to keep them and the modern on, too and got to disconnect the base with the modern from the powerbar, etc... just got to be too much work for us so we don't even use them.

Just think about it before you buy.
Agree with this. If you're going to get them OP put them in a place you would never want to deal with the light switch for. Personally I put one in my bedside lamp and 2 above the fireplace and automated it so the bedside one wakes me up gradually and the fireplace lights dim and brighten as the tv is turned on/off/paused.

If I put them anywhere else they would drive me insane as there's a slight lag between turning off and back on the switch every time.

Edit:: That being said, if you're replacing a regular incandescent bulb it will still be cheaper over the year because they use like 10W when on vs 60W for a regular bulb. But they will use more than a regular LED.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25869 posts
2877 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Rick007 wrote:
Oct 11th, 2017 8:37 am
You did everything correctly and ended up with the correct answer ($2.10 annaul cost), but the measurement for energy consumption used on your hydro bill is in kilowatt hours (KWH), not kilowatts.
I assume everyone knew that electricity was measured per hour.
Deal Guru
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Feb 8, 2014
13626 posts
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Toronto
Lets keep in mind every bulb has a different phantom load, one might be 0.4W one might be 1W, yet another might be 0.1W. You need to test or lookup the bulb you have or plan to buy to get accurate data for calculating. I would recommend test since a newer version hopefully is more efficient then an older model of the same bulb.
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
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Oct 9, 2010
1682 posts
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Windsor
hdom wrote:
Oct 11th, 2017 3:33 am
I have them, the seem like great idea at first but they are a bit of pain with the Philips Hue line. Everytime the internet goes down, the default to turning them on all the way, not off as you would think. Everytime, we switched the modern, got to reconnect them all at the base. Original wanted them for vacations to set them on timers but you have to keep them and the modern on, too and got to disconnect the base with the modern from the powerbar, etc... just got to be too much work for us so we don't even use them.

Just think about it before you buy.
I thankfully have very few power outages (about 30 events/year, most in the 1 second area), but I set a switch called "all lights" which I just tell my dot "Computer, turn all lights off"; works well enough.

I wish my smarthome hub had power detection; if it did, you could have it just turn everything back to its original state.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
Quentin5 wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 6:14 am
Lets keep in mind every bulb has a different phantom load, one might be 0.4W one might be 1W, yet another might be 0.1W. You need to test or lookup the bulb you have or plan to buy to get accurate data for calculating. I would recommend test since a newer version hopefully is more efficient then an older model of the same bulb.
Tested with my Canadian Tire multimeter + a lamp (so, accurate to roughly 0.01w .. my multimeter agrees with my Kill-A-Watt for higher power draws):
- Cree Connected bulbs (those ones they sold for $6 bucks or whatever at HomeDepot) draw 0.05w @ idle. Cool to the touch.
- HomeDepot EcoSmart bulbs: 0.34w continuous (base is lukewarm)
- 3rd gen Philips hue bulbs 0.27w most of the time (base is lukewarm).

Those are the only 3 smart-bulbs I have. I'm pretty unhappy with the Hue bulbs; that's a LOT of parasitic power draw for such an expensive device. The EcoSmart bulbs were cheap, so I'm not very surprised. I'm shocked at the Cree ones; I had a bunch in a box, so I've now replaced all of my EcoSmart bulbs.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
Member
Sep 12, 2017
247 posts
21 upvotes
ChubChub wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 3:24 pm
Tested with my Canadian Tire multimeter + a lamp (so, accurate to roughly 0.01w .. my multimeter agrees with my Kill-A-Watt for higher power draws):
- Cree Connected bulbs (those ones they sold for $6 bucks or whatever at HomeDepot) draw 0.05w @ idle. Cool to the touch.
- HomeDepot EcoSmart bulbs: 0.34w continuous (base is lukewarm)
- 3rd gen Philips hue bulbs 0.27w most of the time (base is lukewarm).

Those are the only 3 smart-bulbs I have. I'm pretty unhappy with the Hue bulbs; that's a LOT of parasitic power draw for such an expensive device. The EcoSmart bulbs were cheap, so I'm not very surprised. I'm shocked at the Cree ones; I had a bunch in a box, so I've now replaced all of my EcoSmart bulbs.
Using your readings and Ontario hydro prices is would cost the following to run the bulbs idle 24/7:
- Cree Connected bulbs draw 0.05w @ idle.
0.04 $/year
- HomeDepot EcoSmart bulbs: 0.34w
0.28 $/year
- 3rd gen Philips hue bulbs 0.27w
0.22 $/year

With those prices this is negligible. As for when one has a power outage or no wifi. Do the Philips hue save their settings? Or do they go on full when turned on?
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
reggyDeal wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 5:32 pm
Using your readings and Ontario hydro prices is would cost the following to run the bulbs idle 24/7:
- Cree Connected bulbs draw 0.05w @ idle.
0.04 $/year
- HomeDepot EcoSmart bulbs: 0.34w
0.28 $/year
- 3rd gen Philips hue bulbs 0.27w
0.22 $/year

With those prices this is negligible. As for when one has a power outage or no wifi. Do the Philips hue save their settings? Or do they go on full when turned on?
Well, I have 27 hue bulbs, and 15 other smart bulbs; it adds up.

I have these things costing me ~$5.70/year ... probably double that once you factor in taxes, and delivery fees. So while $11 isn't a big deal, this is the level of "engineering" I'd expect from a crappy brick charger, not a $40 lightbulb.

As for hue savings its settings; I believe the hub might eventually reset the bulbs, but the bulbs themselves default to "on" after a power loss, though potentially it might be not at 100% power. As well, my hub is battery backed up, so if it potentially lost power as it might be designed to do, that also might trigger the bulbs to turn off.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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Feb 8, 2014
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ChubChub wrote:
Oct 12th, 2017 3:24 pm
Tested with my Canadian Tire multimeter + a lamp (so, accurate to roughly 0.01w .. my multimeter agrees with my Kill-A-Watt for higher power draws):
- Cree Connected bulbs (those ones they sold for $6 bucks or whatever at HomeDepot) draw 0.05w @ idle. Cool to the touch.
- HomeDepot EcoSmart bulbs: 0.34w continuous (base is lukewarm)
- 3rd gen Philips hue bulbs 0.27w most of the time (base is lukewarm).

Those are the only 3 smart-bulbs I have. I'm pretty unhappy with the Hue bulbs; that's a LOT of parasitic power draw for such an expensive device. The EcoSmart bulbs were cheap, so I'm not very surprised. I'm shocked at the Cree ones; I had a bunch in a box, so I've now replaced all of my EcoSmart bulbs.
Excellent, accurate data :)
Most companies just want to meet he EPA guidelines (under 1W iirc) which is not enough, multiplication is a real money sucker
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts

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