The 10 Best Smart Light Bulbs
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in December of 2016. A smart lighting system can be fully automated, controlled by voice command, and set to random patterns to keep your home safe when you're away. These LED bulbs are finally reaching a point where they're capable enough and worth the money. Here are some of the most versatile options that are compatible with hubs and standard Wi-Fi networks, and all are designed for use with Amazon's Alexa. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 31, 2020:
Today the Wyze WLPA19 comes on board, as a reliable and budget-friendly choice for anyone in the market for a set of white bulbs. While they don’t offer the color-changing options many others do, they can be set to either a cozy warm white shade or a bright daylight one. Each of these four efficient 5-watt bulbs is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent one, and they can produce up to 800 lumens. They're conveniently dimmable and work with Alexa, Google Assistant, or If This Then That (IFTTT). They replace the LIFX Wi-Fi, which currently suffers from availability issues in both the colored and white varieties. In this update, we kept the Philips Hue in the top spot, as it’s hard to be beat when it comes to reputation, quality, and capability. This set of three comes with three bulbs that will fit most lamps, overhead lights, and recessed cans, as well as a smart hub that can control up to 50 bulbs at a time, and a smart button that can be placed in a convenient spot in your home for easy control. It works with all Hue accessories, allows for installation-free dimming, and can be set on a timer to either wake you up first thing in the morning or turn on and off according to your own schedule. It can sync to movies, video games, and music, and can be set to your choice of 16 million colors.
We kept the Kasa KL130 in a prominent spot on the list, as this is a reliable and affordable option for anyone who isn’t looking to use it with a dedicated hub, but just a home Wi-Fi network. You can choose a multicolored version or a white one, and it’s compatible with all three major voice assistants. For another viable hub-free choice, look to the YeeLight Smart LED, which produces a significantly brighter light than many, so it’s great for use as either accent lighting or your main source of illumination. Just screw it into the socket, open up the app, and use your smartphone or home speaker to customize it to your liking.
No matter which bulb or set of bulbs you go with, it’s important with any smart bulb to access the corresponding app regularly to check for firmware updates and always install them. This ensures your bulb keeps running smoothly, efficiently, and securely.
July 22, 2019:
We'd love to say that smart home technology is at a place where you can just plug in a fancy new bulb and flip the switch. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy -- not yet, anyhow -- for a number of reasons. Competing hub protocols, inconsistent router settings from user to user, and generally crowded wireless environments are among those reasons. Nonetheless, there are some great choices available right now that will satisfy most users.
The LIFX, Teckin, Anker, and Xiaomi are good options for those who only want to dabble in smart lighting, as they work directly off your Wi-Fi network and don't need a hub. This is nice for many people as it precludes any advanced or pricey equipment, but if you plan on having more than a few configurable bulbs, having so many devices connected can strain the average home network. The Sengled is worth a look if you're willing to fuss with it a bit, as while it seems to work great for most users, it may require a little extra finagling to get connected just right.
But if you're serious about smart LED lighting, get the Philips Hue. There aren't really any competitors that currently come close to its reliability, color depth, customizability, or brightness. And after all, the whole point of this endeavor is ease of use and automatic configurations. So as long as you're willing to make the investment, the Hue line is almost certainly the way to go. The starter kit we've listed at the top is the perfect way to get going with this attractive and worthwhile option.