Smart lighting comes in many guises. Today, we will be focusing on the best smart light bulbs for your home.
If you’re looking for a whole-house solution, there’s no substitute for going all-in with smart switches. While you might need to spend a little more upfront, this is the most cost-effective option if you’re dealing with a lot of lighting.
What if you don’t love the idea or the expenses that come with rewiring, electricians, and smart switches, though?
Well, this is where the super-simple, but highly effective smart light bulb steps in.
Why Bother With Smart Light Bulbs?
Whether you’re a home automation novice or a weathered pro, you’ll enjoy a shower of benefits from investing in the best smart light bulbs.
Being able to take charge at a distance adds a great layer of convenience to your lighting. Whether you prefer to manipulate your lighting in-app on your phone or to use voice commands, remote access is a key selling point. Take control the way that suits you and kiss goodbye to endlessly scurrying over to the switch.
Dimmable Bulbs Without Rewiring
Maybe you like the idea of dimmable bulbs to save energy and create mood lighting, but you don’t like the thought of going for smart switches. All you need to do is look for a dimmable smart bulb and you can tweak the ambiance hands-free.
Many smart bulbs give you the option of changing colors. Kick back bathed in blue light to ease into your evening or use some energizing green in the morning
Integrate Lighting With Your Other Smart Technology
Look for compatibility with other smart home devices in place. Think about any others you’re planning to buy. In most cases, smart light bulbs offer pretty broad and sweeping interoperability so you can build your lighting into your smart ecosystem. Set routines for mornings, evenings, movie time, and study hours. Get your lights working just the way you want them.
You Can Often Avoid a Home Hub
While you’ll often need a hub to extract the most from your lighting, most smart bulbs also allow you to get going with basic functionality, hub-free. This makes them ideal for the elderly or anyone who's not extremely comfortable with smart tech.
The average smart LED bulb gives out the equivalent brightness of a 75-watt or more incandescent while using just 10 watts of power.
The Lifespan of LEDs
Not only will you use less electricity with smart LEDs, but they also last up to 50,000 hours, too. Save money over time on replacements.
Inexpensive Entry Point To Home Automation
If you’re still not convinced that home automation offers you much, smart bulbs are a highly convenient and inexpensive entry point.
We could go on, but we think you should have an overview of just how useful these cheap little smart bulbs can be.
We’ll get right down to business now and highlight seven best smart light bulbs for your smart home.
7 Best Smart Light Bulbs
When you’re hunting out the best smart light bulbs, there’s not too much to differentiate them. This LIFX smart LED slots in neatly to replace any screw-in bulb and comes with WiFi onboard, so you can take charge remotely even if you don't have a third-party home hub in place.
That said, if you fancy adding in a SmartThings hub or taking charge of your lighting using voice commands, that’s no problem either. Grab yourself an Echo device or a Google Home smart speaker and you’ll have your lighting dancing to the tune of your words.
With a palette of 16 million colors to choose from, you can match your lighting to your mood. You’ll also have access to an array of white shades from cool to warm. You’ll be able to manipulate all these remotely in-app. The LIFX app is lean and intuitive which makes navigation easy, even if you’re a complete beginner.
Grouping your lights and creating scenes is straightforward in-app.
For an affordable and effective method of smartening up your lighting, LIFX continues to nip at the heels of Philips Hue in the contest to dominate this sector.
- You won’t need a hub to get started, so it's ideal for beginners to home automation
- The tweaked third iteration is now even more seamless than ever
- Connects with LIFX and gives outstanding interoperability with all major smart home players
If you’re looking for maximum value for your money, this starter kit bundles a Google Home Mini with a GE C-Life smart bulb at an incredibly keen price point. What’s not to love?
This package makes perfect sense if you’ve never tried home automation before and you're interested in getting started with a very low barrier to entry.
While Google Home Mini might not be the strongest performer on the audio front, you’ll get an exceptional search ally in the form of Assistant. Bark out some simple commands and control everything from your smart lighting to your video doorbell and smart lock.
This compact smart speaker also allows you to stream your favorite media and Google Home Mini is also compatible with Chromecast so you can get in some big-screen action.
With the holiday season rapidly looming, why not consider picking up this starter kit for an elderly relative? Brighten up their days literally and metaphorically with this highly attractive package with some of the best smart light bulbs.
- Google Home Mini bundled with bulb for unbeatable value
- GE C-Life LED smart bulb you can control remotely
- Get 760 lumens of brightness while drawing down less than 10 watts of energy
If you’ve been wondering if cheap smart bulbs are any good, meet Sengled. Among the least expensive bulbs in a crowded segment, what do you get with the Element line?
You’ll be able to use this smart LED with Echo Plus, SmartThings or Wink, rather than needing a standalone Element hub. This makes the Element a neat fit if you already have a Zigbee-based ecosystem in place. You will need the Element hub if you want voice control, though. Opt for this and add in an Echo device or Google Home smart speaker and you can take the helm hands-free.
Alternatively, take charge of your lighting in the nimble Element app. You’ll be able to manipulate brightness levels and turn your lighting on or off at a distance. You can also take advantage of the energy monitoring report using the app. This can help you identify any improvements you could make to get your connected home running more energy efficiently. Don’t forget, a true smart home should be eco-friendly, too.
The inbuilt kicker of going green and consuming less energy – LEDs use 80% less juice than incandescents – is, of course, reduced utility bills. Given the exceptional price-point, the only question remaining is how many will you buy?
- Remarkable price/performance ratio
- Works with both Alexa and Google Assistant
- Intelligent energy monitoring available in-app
iDevices serves up a powerful and flexible device here at a pocket-friendly price, but what makes it so good?
With Wi-Fi on board, you won’t need a third-party hub. Get going right out of the box with installation being as simple as slotting any old dumb bulb into this unit. You’ll then upgrade its intelligence immediately and you can take control remotely.
You’ll be able to use Alexa and Siri if you prefer taking charge with voice commands.
Controlling brightness levels or switching your bulbs on and off is a snap using the Connected app. This allows you to take control even if you’re not at home.
Another slick differentiating touch with the iDevices is the ring of color around the top. Add your own muted colored mood lighting when required.
Check out this awesome little socket that will transform old bulbs up to 60 watts into smart lights controllable remotely. You won’t be disappointed.
- Super-simple to set up with no hub required
- Elegant design with customizable color ring
- Fits in all standard receptacles
No list of the best smart light bulbs is complete without an entry from the legendary Philips Hue.
You have a rich seam of choice if you decide to opt into this mighty ecosystem.
This kit comes with the hub you’ll need to maximize control. Throw in a smart speaker and you’ll also be able to take control using your virtual butler of choice and voice commands.
The trio of colored bulbs gives you access to the usual 16 million colors so you can customize mood lighting throughout the house. The ability to customize Philips Hue lights is one of the key selling points. You’ll also be able to schedule routines for mornings and evenings. Automation takes the sting out of day-to-day operations.
With the hub as a foundation, add in as many as 50 Philips Hue bulbs so you have all the lighting in your home automated and running as lean as possible. Energy-efficient LEDs work out to be an investment rather than an expense and as an added kicker, you’ll enjoy up to 50,000 hours of use from each bulb.
This starter kit makes it easy to see why Philips Hue has such a stranglehold over the smart lighting space, so see which bundle best meshes with your needs and treat yourself!
- Huge range of choice when it comes to bulbs with multiple great value bundles available
- All digital assistants supported for hands-free convenience
- With the hub thrown in, you have the ability to add up to 50 Hue bulbs
Etekcity entered the cut-throat smart light bulb vertical with this budget bulb packing quite a punch.
WiFi-enabled, you will need a 2.4GHz network so make sure you’re not running on 5GHz only. You can then use the VeSync app to control your lighting, even if you’re not at home.
Scheduling and timing your lights is straightforward in-app. You can also save your favorite settings whether it’s full brightness for homework, muted movie time or slowly ramped up the brightness in the morning to ease into your day. Accessing these settings is a cinch so you won’t be constantly fiddling around.
You’ll use less electricity with LEDs and the exceptional 15,000-hour lifespan means you won’t be heading out to buy replacement bulbs in a hurry either.
Whether you’re a smart home beginner looking to introduce a single hub-free bulb or a committed enthusiast hunting for a bargain, the Etekcity smart bulb is well worth checking out.
- This Wi-Fi-enabled bulb offers you remote access at a bargain basement price-point
- Easy to save settings so you have your favorite mood lighting stored
- 15,000-hour lifespan, so you can save money on replacements as well as running costs
Rounding out our glimpse at the best smart bulbs on the market is this color-changing LED 4-pack from Saudio.
The white light is easily adjustable from cool to warm and the bulb also offers you the chance of using colored light, too.
Taking control of your bulbs in-app is a seamless experience. You’ll be able to comfortably and easily group your lights using the Smart Life app. The interface is sleek and control couldn’t be more simple, even if you’re not too tech-savvy.
This bulb works with Google Assistant, Alexa and IFTTT, giving you the chance to bark out voice commands and see your lighting adjusted accordingly.
Kicking out comparable power to a 75W incandescent bulb while using a fraction of the energy, you’ll get close to 2 decades of use from these bulbs. Investing in a pack of these could be the wisest move you make this holiday season.
- No hub required so you can get started directly out the box fuss-free
- Standard white color adjustable from 2700 kelvin through 6500 kelvin
- 700 lumens of brightness equivalent to a 75-watt incandescent bulb
You should now have a shortlist of the best smart light bulbs ideal for all purposes. There’s really very little to bear in mind when you’re buying smart LEDs. They represent plug-and-play simplicity and a cost-effective entry point to home automation.
It’s not only beginners that smart bulbs make sense for, though. Regardless of how robust and wide-reaching your connected home is, there’s always a place for an LED or two.
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