Do All Smart Bulbs Require 2.4Ghz? Everything to Know

Smart bulbs often come with their drawbacks and hassles. Connectivity issues are quite common with smart bulbs that are competing with other devices on the network. Therefore one might look for alternative solutions when faced with these issues. If you want to connect your smart lights to a different band, the first thing you might wonder is if it will even work.

All smart bulbs do need 2.4Ghz to be connected to a network. Smart Bulbs can best connect to a Zigbee bridge, which in turn connects to the 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi network. There is a possibility that future smart bulbs may be able to connect to 5Ghz, but the technology is far out and currently unfeasible.

In this article, you will find out why smart bulbs need the 2.4Ghz spectrum to work efficiently, which smart bulbs are the fastest on any 2.4Ghz network and which troubleshooting obstacles can be overcome.

Why Do Smart Bulbs Work Best on 2.4Ghz?

Smart Bulbs ultimately work best on 2.4Ghz because of better signal strength. Smart bulbs using 2.4Ghz are not as limited on signal distance, are more robust and work better through solid objects than 5Ghz. These determining factors all contribute to signal strength.

Other factors which make 2.4Ghz better for your home:

  • Better compatibility with other devices.
  • Better connectivity and stable connection.
  • Better security.
  • Longer range.
  • Cheaper cost.
  • Better for old component replacements.

Can smart lights work on 5GHz?

Smart Lights in general do not work on 5Ghz. With a few workarounds, you could connect and control your smart lights on 5Ghz after you have connected them via the 2.4Ghz band. Overall, manufacturers do not list 5Ghz as a usable option on their packaging.

There are many good reasons (which we discuss later in this article) why manufacturers don’t specifically advise you to set up your smart lighting system on the 5Ghz spectrum.

One workaround example for the Ring Lighting Equipment is that they would need a smart lighting bridge to connect to 5Ghz. Another solution may be to use the connecting hub of the smart bulb and then to connect it to the 5Ghz band.

Ninja Tip: You could also use the same SSID and password for both bands to let them roam when the signal is weak. It might ease the burden of the 2.4Ghz band while other devices periodically jump to the 5Ghz band. This can maximize your network’s performance.

According to our research, plans are in place to create dual band smart bulbs which might make smart lights work on 5Ghz, but the technology is far out. Unlike 2.4Ghz, the 5Ghz band cannot transfer channel data from one signal to the other.

It will still take some time to develop the technology to transfer the signal/data of a channel from one to the other.

Sized at about 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, the global LED market is expected to grow to almost 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2030.

Would you like to find out more about Why Your Smart Lights Might Be Offline? You can find the info in this helpful article that we wrote. Check it out!

Can Smart Lights Connect Via Bluetooth?

Some smart lights can connect via Bluetooth, but most smart lights on the market connect via Zigbee to Wi-Fi. Smart lights that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth do not need a hub or a bridge to make the connection possible. Bluetooth smart bulbs do come with their own pros and cons.

Some smart lights are compatible with Bluetooth and some are not. In that case they require a bridge that uses 2.4Ghz to connect to the Wi-Fi and Zigbee channels that connect to the bulbs.

An advantage of using a bridge is that it has a bigger capability to control your lights since the bridge can control up to 50 lights and accessories at the same time.

The Bluetooth capabilities depend on how many Bluetooth devices it can hold. Another difference is that most apps both apps have different capabilities. 

A disadvantage of using Bluetooth is that you can only connect up to 7 devices on one channel.


How Far Can Smart Bulbs Connect On A 2.4Ghz Band?

Smart bulbs don’t usually connect to the 2.4Ghz band directly, but the bridge does. In that case the bridge would be connected directly to the router.  

In most cases, smart lights use the preferred Zigbee channel where they can be 15 feet apart from each other (because they communicate with each other leading back to the bridge). From the bridge, they shouldn’t be more than 50 feet apart.

What Are the Possible Downsides to Using Smart Bulbs On 5Ghz?

  • Shorter Range: 5GHz provides faster data rates but at a shorter distance.
  • Penetrating Through Solid Objects: The 5Ghz signal has a lower strength than 2.4Ghz and can therefore not penetrate through solid objects as easily. If you have a big house this may become an issue.
  • Cost: You may have to pay a premium price for future smart bulbs that will be compatible with the frequency band.
  • Flickering: Your smart lights may start to flicker spontaneously because of signal interference or weak signal strength. This is also caused by the high signal frequency and slow Wi-Fi strength.

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This blog aims to share my research and first-hand knowledge in a helpful way. My goal is for you to be able to save time and find happiness in a streamlined home.