We chose a variety of smart light bulbs for all price ranges, so you can find the lighting you need in your bedroom, party room, bathroom, and every other room in your house.
TL; DR-These are the best smart bulbs
1. Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
The best smart light bulb
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
Philips Hue is probably the most well-known name for smart lighting. It appeared in the game early on, and today you can choose from an impressive lineup of light bulbs and accessories. And when you’re ready to go beyond standard light bulbs, you’ll find more interesting fixtures and accessories such as the Hue Dimmer Switch and Hue Lightstrips.
Hue lights offer a wide range of features such as color control, scheduling, and integration with third-party apps. It is platform independent and works with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and more.
However, you need HueBridge to get the full effect. Yes, the latest lights also offer Bluetooth. This is a great way to try Hue for the first time, but it has a more limited range of features. Hue’s white and colored light bulbs are a great place to start.
2. Sengled color change bulb
Sengled color change bulb
Sengled offers more wallet-friendly options. Most bulbs require a hub, but the Wi-Fi version, which communicates directly with the router, offers white, “daylight”, and color bulbs.
The app is good enough and offers all the features you’d expect, but it’s not as perfectly rounded as Hue or Lifx. The same applies to the quality of the bulb itself, but the bulb itself is not very bright. I like the power tracker, which allows you to see how much energy each light bulb is using.
Alexa and Google Assistant support is here, but HomeKit isn’t.
3. C by GE Full Color Direct Connect Smart LED Bulb
Best without a hub
C by GE Full Color Direct Connect bulbs are a bit expensive, but if you set up a few bulbs, you can save a lot of money. This is because these bulbs can connect directly to your Wi-Fi network without the need for an additional hub. It also supports a Bluetooth connection that can be used as a backup in case of Wi-Fi malfunction.
These bulbs provide a complete smart light experience. You can choose to set the bulb to a full range of colors or use white that is adjustable from warm to cold color temperatures. You can also set the light bulb to run on schedule, create custom scenes, and control the light bulb with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. These are great options if you are just starting out with smart home devices or home automation, or if you have a small living space. Hub-based solutions can be cheaper in the long run if you plan to grow.
4. Yeelight LED bulb 1S
Cheap but functional enough
Yeelight LED bulb 1S
Yeelight’s smart color LED bulbs are almost inaudible. It has no hub, is inexpensive, has a wide color temperature range, and is integrated with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. Still, it features great smart light bulbs that Hue, Lifx, and the company should be monitoring their backs.
The app has features such as scheduling and timers, and is generally highly responsive. The bulbs are also bright enough (800 lumens) and the color bulbs offer 16 million colors. Although it doesn’t support as many third-party platform integrations as Philips Hue, Yeelight has many appropriate boxes checked.
5. Wise bulb
For the absolute basics
Wyze wants to reduce admission to smart homes, and that smart light does just that. $ 8 or $ 30 for 4 light bulbs. It’s hard to discuss it.
But despite being a fraction of the price of some rivals (Hue and Lifx), Wyze’s Wi-Fi bulbs offer all the basic features you’d expect and don’t require a hub. This means app control for adjusting temperature, scheduling, and turning light bulbs on and off when you’re on the go. It also integrates with Alexa and the Google Assistant.
The problem with Wyze is that it currently has only one white light bulb and no color options.
6. Nanoleaf canvas
Great for decorating your home
Nano leaf canvas
Nanoleaf is different from the other brands on this list. Instead of light bulbs, you can create light panels of various shapes and combine them into interesting configurations.
Some smart lights are made to blend in with the background, while Nanoleaf is made to be visible. You can choose a triangular or square panel, and a hexagonal version will be available in the spring.
You’ll need a starter pack to get things started, and that’s when you add an extended set until you realize all of your geometric fantasies. All you have to do is plan the shape you want to make, attach a stick pad to each panel, and arrange it. Not surprisingly, it’s more work than just screwing in a light bulb, but the end result is much more impressive.
7. Peace by Hampton
The best smart light bulb to buy in bulk
Peace by Hampton
on Best buy
If you know you want to buy a huge stack of smart bulbs, the Peace by Hampton bulbs are for you. Get a pack of four light bulbs for $ 60 and easily equip your entire room with smart light bulbs. Alternatively, you can get some packs to work on the whole house. You don’t even have to add old light bulbs to your home with these picks.
Peace by Hampton light bulbs, like many smart light bulbs, can be connected via Wi-Fi and remotely controlled by your mobile phone. It also supports Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control from a variety of devices. These bulbs offer a variety of white temperatures and can dial lights for mild night shades and energetic sunlight. It also supports a full range of colors, so you can learn more about your home color scheme.
What to look for in a smart light bulb
Smart lighting can really change your home life, but there are so many available options that it is important to do your research first. The first port of call is to make sure the base fitting fits your home. Fortunately, many smart bulb manufacturers make a variety of different fittings. This is another thing you need to think about.
Hub, Zigbee, Z-Wave
The light bulb recommendations above can be divided into two camps, one that requires a hub and one that does not. If not, it means that you are using Wi-Fi to connect to your router or Bluetooth to connect to your phone.
If you need a hub, the bulb is probably running on Zigbee or Z-Wave. For beginners, these are two wireless protocols that act like mesh networks. The advantage is that Zigbee and Z-Wave networks are more stable and less burdensome to Wi-Fi.
However, Wi-Fi bulbs are becoming more popular because they don’t require a hub and can be connected directly to a router. The main drawback here is connectivity. You need a strong Wi-Fi signal wherever the bulb is. This is useful for mesh Wi-Fi systems and Wi-Fi extenders. However, be careful not to overload your home network with all the lights.
Finally, some bulbs come with Bluetooth. Hue currently sells light bulbs with built-in Bluetooth, and you can choose to control the light bulbs from your mobile phone. The obvious drawback here is that when you leave the house you lose control and the overall scope of functionality is diminished.
Platform of choice
Not only how to connect the light bulbs, but also the smart home platform needs to be considered. Do you live in Alexa’s house? Do you worship at the HomeKit altar? Make sure the smart lighting you buy works well. Most work with Alexa and the Google Assistant, but few are suitable for HomeKit.
Brightness, temperature, dimming
Not all smart bulbs are born the same. The color temperature of a white light bulb (which can transition from cold white to warm yellow) is an important feature. Not all white bulbs support color temperature, and the range of bulbs they support may vary.
Finally, do you want to make the smart light dimmable? Some smart light brands now sell dimmer accessories, although they may not work with existing in-wall dimmers in your home. It’s worth thinking. Of course, in most cases you can dim it with the app / voice control, but you may also need a good old-fashioned light switch.
Summary of more specialized technologies
Hugh Langley is a tech journalist who is fascinated by wearables, health tech, smart homes and more.You can find him tweeting (often nonsense) @hughlangley..