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Are We At the Beginning Of A Smart Bulb Price War?

Mike Wolf Belkin GE Philips Smart Bulb WeMo

While no device category in the relatively young smart home market can really be called mature, if there is one that is 'more mature' than others I'd say its the smart bulb space. The market, which I still expect to continue to grow exponentially in the coming 3-5 years, is the one with the greatest degree of competition. At CES, there were probably more smart bulb products than any other category and because of this competition we're seeing the early signs of a price war.

As noted at CNET, we saw today that Belkin is cutting its prices, which follows Philips Hue cutting its prices. No doubt, the GE set the tone early in the year with the debut of the $15 GE Link smart bulb line, and now I think the market is in large part adjusting to the bigger players getting into the market. 

In reality, this is a good thing. Lower prices mean faster adoption. As a smart bulb startup however, this could make life difficult. Bulbs are a high volume, low margin business, and if the big guys like GE and Philips keep cutting prices, you better offer more than a connected light bulb because it will be difficult to compete on price again these goliaths with lots of manufacturing depth and distribution reach.

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