Providing market intelligence for more than 35 years

Smart Home

Smart Lights & Plugs: Differentiators in a Commoditizing Market

Smart lights and plugs are quickly commoditizing. Parks Associates’ Smart Home Tracker counts more than 80 brands offering smart lights, switches, and plugs in the US market, with all offering core smart features of remote connectivity, and many offer color changing options and integration with voice assistants for affordable prices. Manufacturers seek premium features, form factors, and services that differentiate them from the competition and earn a premium price point.

Parks Associates’ latest consumer research on the smart lighting and power market, recently published in Smart Lighting Market Assessment, highlights several product design choices that remain differentiators, and the industry players offering them:

  • Security Perimeter & Prevention: External security lighting is increasingly offered integrated with a security camera, for a price premium. Integrated solutions are an improvement on long-available motion-triggered flood lights, as they not only deter with light, but record activity. Vivint released an innovative lighting product in 2022, the Spotlight Camera, that can detect a person on the property and shine a spotlight on them as they move across the property.
  • New Form Factors: Manufacturers have expanded beyond smart light bulbs to include smart lighting strips, wafers, and shapes (triangles, hexagons, squares). Nanoleaf is a leader in the hexagon approach, but Cync and Philips Hue are following the trend.
  • Connectivity in the Receptacle: Electrical technology platform company SKYX Platforms offers a universal “plug and play” receptacle technology designed to be embedded in the base of light fixtures and ceiling fans. The technology is designed to be a safer way for consumers to change out fixtures without the help of an electrician. The technology was voted into the NEC (National Electrical Code) which governs electrical safety building code in some form in all 50 states. The company’s next generation product incorporates connectivity and controls directly into the receptacle, essentially turning any light fixture or ceiling fan into a “smart” product. This approach mimics in some ways the smart switch approach and moves the intelligence and controls from the device into the infrastructure.

Parks Associates consumer research also confirms that consumers want smart products to help them conserve energy. In 2022, more consumers report that their energy consumption is too high and that they are actively working to reduce energy consumption in their home.

40% of consumers say they would like to use less energy but don’t know how, or don’t want to make too much effort to do so.

Smart lighting products with occupancy sensors can save on energy consumption without effort from users, automatically shutting off when residents leave the room. Some smart plugs offer energy monitoring features for whatever devices are plugged into them. This gives consumers actionable information to change habits or devices to save energy.

As energy prices and inflation remain high, lighting and plug manufacturers can emphasize their products’ energy saving potential to drive product sales and user satisfaction on their return on investment.

Energy Monitoring

For more insight into the market for smart lights, switches, plugs, power strips, and lighting control systems, see Parks Associates Smart Lighting Market Assessment. This Smart Product Market Assessment identifies key and emerging players in the residential smart lighting market.  It tracks consumer adoption and purchase trends over 5 years, including  use cases, control preferences, and top purchase channels. It includes unit sales and revenue forecasts for smart lights, smart plugs, and smart switches. 

More from Jennifer Kent

August 08, 2023

ADT Divests Commercial Business

 ADT Divests Commercial Business, Doubles Down on Smart Sustainable and Secure Homes The last fiv...

Read More

June 05, 2023

Apple Vision Pro: New Reality for Immersive Experiences

Today Apple unveiled its Apple Vision Pro Augmented Reality headset, designed for developers first a...

Read More

April 13, 2021

Project Connected Home over IP Releases Details and Roadmap

Authors: Jennifer Kent, Avni Mithal It’s no secret that fragmentation plagues the smart home. Due...

Read More