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Do Smart Lights Use Electricity When They’re Turned Off?

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Smart bulbs are becoming more popular and common in the home, LED lighting has taken over the classic incandescent light bulb and is certainly more environmentally friendly. 

Brands such as Philips Hue, Innr and even Ikea all have their own smart bulb range, allowing you to control your lights via an app or voice using Amazon Alexa for example. 

How much power do smart bulbs use when off?

When on at full brightness many smart bulbs operate at about 7 to 9.5 Watts, producing the incandescent bulb equivalent of 60 watts. The brightness of the bulb can also affect the amount of power used, the dimmer the brightness setting the less power it will use. 

With the bulb off and in standby mode the amount it uses is tiny and can be as little as 0.2 watts. 

In terms of current and cost, this can mean that a turned off smart bulb requires less that $0.001 per hour or around $8 per year if it is left off or in standby for the whole year, based on an average electricity cost of $0.1 per kWh.

Standby power

Smart lights use a little amount of power when off or in standby mode, just like a TV with the small red light on even when the TV is off, it using a small amount of energy, and this is so that it knows when you want to turn it on using the remote. 

This is the same for smart lights, even when off they are in standby mode using a tiny amount of power so that is knows when it needs to turn on, waiting for a signal and trigger, be it you turning it on via the app, Alexa turning the light on or a routine or timer that makes the light come on at a set time. 

Common products that use standby power include:

  • Smart bulbs
  • Smart plugs
  • Voice assistants such as Alexa, HomePod, Google Home
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Gaming consoles
  • Microwaves
  • Coffee machines
  • Security Alarms

Many products that have a small light left on even when turned off are using a small amount of power, you can read about how hue lights are environmentally friendly here

Turning the bulb off at the wall switch?

By turning the light off at the wall switch you are removing all power to that smart bulb, this will stop the bulb using any power and remove it from it’s standby state making it unusable for your app and removing the smart function of the bulb. 

Just like a TV it needs power for you to turn it on via the remote, and the same is for your smart bulbs too.

Are standard LED Bulbs Cheaper to run?

A standard none smart LED bulb is cheaper to purchase, with an equivalent smart bulb being up to 10 times more cost wise. While the purchase cost is more, a smart bulb can be cheaper and use less energy than a standard LED bulb, this is because you can have timers and automations to turn lights off, so energy is not used when the lights do not need to be on. The ability to control the brightness easily, reduced brightness uses less energy an again can save money this way. 

Do smart lights use less power when dimmed?

Yes, the brightness can affect the amount of power used, for example a Philips Hue white A19 bulb at 95% brightness uses 8.5 watts, while if reduced to 50% in brightness it only uses 3.2 watts. 


Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

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