Applying Smart bulbs is the easiest and most convenient way to start automating your home. They offer you so many advantages. You can control them remotely by using your mobile phones and your smart assistant devices. But as responsible customers, you always care about safety. Any advanced technology can have defects that can affect the safety of your house and its residents. Which brings you the question, “are smart bulbs safe?”
Through this article, we hope to discuss the various aspects of the safety of smart bulbs.
Here’s the deal:
Are smart bulbs safe or a security risk?
As you all know, any smart device that is connected to a network can be vulnerable to cyber-criminal activity. The hackers can tap into your home networks through these devices and steal your personal information, and/or control your devices from the outside. This can make a threat to the security of your home premises. This is the same for the smart bulbs, too, because they are connected to the Wi-Fi network or a similar network at your home.
Hackers can access your personal or workplace Wi-Fi network without the owners knowing. Smart bulbs can be subjected to this process. Usually, hackers gain access and control of one smart bulb and plant malware on the network. Then the hackers can access the network and the other devices that are connected to it.
The API keys that are used to develop the smart bulbs are not encrypted, making it easier to gain access to them. This also poses a threat to the security of the smart bulb.
However, hacking into the network and stealing personal details is just one aspect of a security threat a smart device like a smart bulb can pose. Many people are concerned if the smart bulbs emit radiation along with the light.
We are going to look into that matter as well.
How do hackers spread malware using smart bulbs?
First, the hackers exploit the vulnerability in the Wi-Fi network or your wireless network that is connected to and controls the smart bulbs. Then they start controlling the smart bulbs and make the smart bulbs behave strangely. The smart bulb in the owner’s device will be listed as ‘unreachable’ at this point. When the owner of the lightbulb sees this, they eventually try to reset the smart bulb.
When this happens, the smart home hub adds the said compromised smart bulbs into the network. Consequently, the hacker gains access to the bridge and install the malware on it. The bridge is connected to almost all the smart devices in the home. So, once they gain access to the bridge they can gain access to all the connected devices. Moreover, it is possible to use the bridge to send data back to them.
Do smart bulbs emit radiation?
As we previously mentioned, as customers that are concerned about their safety, you are always concerned about matters like this. Many bulbs do release radiation, and the safety concerns for these kinds of bulbs are rising.
As for the smart bulbs, since they are smart devices that are controlled remotely, the smart bulbs use radiations to communicate with that source of the signal. What happens here is pretty much similar to the process that happens with your remote controller and the television, your smart cell phone, the laptop computer and the air conditioner, and its remote controller. However, the duration and the amount of radiation are so minuscule to be harmful to anyone.
Can a smart bulb short circuit?
Sometimes smart bulbs can cause a short circuit. You can recognize this if a breaker trips or you hear unnatural electronic noises, or sometimes when you see electrical sparks. A short-circuited light bulb, smart or not, can cause severe damages to your home.
Do not forget that they can cause other kinds of accidents too.
Therefore, when you are concerned about the safety of the smart bulbs, this is an aspect you should also pay attention to.
How do I make my smart bulbs safe?
There can be several security misshapes caused by smart light bulbs, as we discussed earlier in this article.
But do not worry, there are things you can do to prevent them, and they are super simple steps to follow. As we have expressed several security concerns for the smart light bulbs, let us take a look at how to make your smart bulbs safe from them, respectively.
How to keep your smart bulbs safe so they will not get hacked or exposed to unnecessary threats from outside parties?
As you know, smart light bulbs are connected to your home internet network. Usually, we all use the home Wi-Fi network for our smart bulbs as well, and therefore, they are connected to our digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo Dot, Apple’s Siri, or Google Assistants, as well as our other mobile and computer devices. This can get quite serious if an intruder hacks into your network. That is because all your personal details could be at risk. Here are the steps you can take, all by yourself, to ensure your smart bulbs are safer from getting hacked.
The first thing is first!
You have to choose a strong password. Remember to change the default password. This is not just for your Wi-Fi network; you should always be careful to password protect the devices with personal data. A weak password makes any device vulnerable to hacking. Also, if you can, choose different passwords for different devices and networks.
Smart hubs that use smart home hubs to bridge the connection are less likely to be hacked than the ones that are directly connected to your Wi-Fi network. This way, the smart bulbs connect to the other devices via the hub, making it less vulnerable for hackers to tap into.
What else can I do to make sure my smart bulbs and other devices connected to the network are safe?
Other than that, make sure to review and configure security features in the bulb. Many quality smart bulbs in the market offer security features. So you can avoid buying smart bulbs without any security features in them for your home security and safety.
Continually update your smart bulb firmware and apps. When a manufacturer identifies a security loophole, they always manufacture new software and features as measures to that. When you update your firmware, these features come into your devices. This can shield your smart bulbs from security vulnerabilities.
There are certain lineups of smart bulbs that offer two-factor authentication. You can enable it to give more security strength to your smart bulbs. This two-factor authentication includes a code generated by your smartphone and the password.
If you experience any glitching, flickering, or any other types of malfunctions in your smart bulbs, or if they act out of the ordinary, change your passwords immediately. Always be on the lookout for additional devices connected to your network or if any smart bulb goes missing from the list of your connected devices. You can use a test network to see if that is just a malfunction in the smart bulb or if it is exposed to a security risk.
You can also use a guest network for smart devices like smart bulbs. The guest network is a limited network that allows access to the internet but no access to other devices and functions. This will protect your de3vices to some extend, even if one device is compromised by a hacker or an outside party.
How to protect my home from the radiation emitted by the smart bulbs?
As we have mentioned earlier, smart bulbs do not emit enough radiation to be harmful to humans. Therefore, you do not even need to think about having to worry about protecting yourself from harmful radiation when using smart bulbs at your home.
How to protect smart bulbs from short-circuiting?
Smart bulbs usually do not short circuit. But in the off chance that could happen, you can avoid using the switches to turn on and off the lights as much as possible. Smart bulbs are not designed to be switched on and off manually. This can cause problems with the smart bulb.
Try to be careful about the wirings in your house. There can be exposed or damaged wires that can cause serious damages to your home, including fires. This might not be directly connected to smart bulbs. But if a smart bulb Is flickering or glitching, this could also be a sign of electrical shortage.
If your smart bulbs are not water-resistant, keep them out of humidity or water. As we all very well know, water and electricity do not go well together.
The Four steps to secure your smart bulbs
To summarize all the things we have talked about, protecting your smart bulbs from being hacked. Here is a simple guide that comprises four steps.
- Review and configure the privacy settings safety of the smart bulb. Always buy smart bulbs that have privacy settings.
- Update your app and smart bulb firmware. If it is not auto-updated, update them manually.
- Change the passwords. Update your network and app passwords frequently.
- Monitor the activities and status of your smart bulbs.
You can follow what we have talked about in this article to keep your home smart and safe. Now you do not have to worry, and you can enjoy the comfort the internet of things (IoT) offers you.