Smart LED bulbs illuminating new technology for the home

A new generation of light bulbs, called smart bulbs, bring innovative style and energy-efficient lighting systems that you can control even when away from home.

Smart LED bulbs, which generally offer a longer lifespan, smart phone-controlled capabilities and multi-color lighting options, are another way companies are offering technology advancements for homeowners.

“Our goal is to reinvent the light bulb the way Apple reinvented the iPhone,” said Alex Ruan, CEO of the international lighting company, Sengled, whose U.S. office is in Alpharetta.

Smart light bulbs have advanced home security systems by allowing the home owner to control the lights from anywhere via a Wi-Fi connection. You can go on a work trip or vacation and control the brightness of your lights from an app.

New on the market

The Element Touch, which Sengled released in December 2015, is a smart LED bulb that the company says will last 22 years.

The Element Touch ($17.99 on and available at stores such as the Home Depot, Brookstone and Apple) can be controlled by buttons on the bulb or wirelessly through a compatible Zigbee hub, such as Smart Things ($99,,, Consumers can connect light bulbs, motion detectors, door bells and even cameras to one central hub. Because of this connection, the bulb can be programmed to flash or change colors. This alert tells you something is happening in the house, such as a ringing door bell or motion detector picking up movement, Ruan said.

Just as the iPhone gives users the convenience of having a phone, camera, Internet and GPS in one device, the Element Touch gives consumers that same luxury, except in their home lighting system, he said.

Not all smart bulbs are the same. Each have unique qualities that personalize a home environment.

The LIFX Color 1000 ($59.99,, released in 2015, offers millions of different colors and 1,000 shades of white. It's a new generation of product by LIFX, a luxury lighting company that produces Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs. The LIFX Color 1000 does not require a hub connection.

The free LIFX Color 1000 mobile app features a color wheel that allows the user to select the “Light” or “Group” they want to target. Then, they have the ability to set “Scenes” at specific times, such as mimicking a sunrise or sunset.

Another smart bulb that requires a connection to the Zigbee hub is the GE 90W Equivalent Bright White Connected Home Flood LED ($24.97). Like the Element Touch, the GE Home Flood LED can be controlled via Wi-Fi from anywhere by using the free Wink home automation app. The GE smart bulb, which has a life span of 22.8 years, was available in early 2016 through retailers such as, and