Within recent versions of Photoshop they have refined smart objects and filters. While it seems awkward to adapt and understand them, I urge you to look a little closer. The real strength of "smart" is you are always able to go back and re-edit your information. Very much like the adjustment layers. Also it creates a masking layer. With the masking layer you can choose just how much of the "effect" you want to use, rather than making a complete global change to the layer.