Lots and lots of new smart devices are being released to the market these days, and transitioning to a smart home seems almost inevitable. From smart plugs and door locks, to outdoor cameras, and even lamps and light bulbs – converting your home into a digitally-powered smart environment has never been easier.
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Smart light bulbs represent a special category of smart home devices. They are an awesome way to harness the power of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant. Smart light bulbs let you adjust color, brightness, set schedules and scene options, and even adjust your home lighting on the go.
However, not all smart light bulbs are the same. Most of them are equivalent to 60 W incandescent models, however, some are brighter than others. Also, different light bulbs disperse light in different ways. Some do it in a narrow beam, while some disperse light in wide swath.
Another factor to keep in mind about smart light bulbs is color temperature. Bulbs that offer higher color temperatures, like 8,000 K, are much better suited for work environments, while lights that feature lower color temperature of 3,000 K or less are able to transform your bedroom or living room into a cozy environment perfect for relaxing.
Coolest thing about smart light bulbs is that you can control their color and brightness via mobile app. If you have multiple smart light bulbs, then you really want to make sure that you have an appropriate smart home app, so that you can easily arrange them in groups, and adjust their color and brightness with a single tap. Bulbs that support Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant can be adjusted by using voice commands, so be sure to get this kind of bulb if you don’t prefer adjusting their settings via mobile app.
Most smart light bulbs also offer additional smart features, such as remote control options and scheduled timers. For example, you can use scheduled timing options to save energy costs and automatically turn off the bulbs at a certain time of day. Some bulbs even support geofencing, meaning they can work with GPS to pinpoint your exact location by tracking your mobile phone, and turn on and off once you get in their proximity. You can also integrate some bulbs with security cameras and other smart home devices by using IFTTT.
With all that in mind, we’ve prepared a list of the best smart light bulbs for you. Depending on your needs, any of these options can help you connect your home lighting to more than just a wall switch.
Best Energy Rating:
Editor’s Choice: Wyze Bulb Color
Special Feature: Color Changing | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 12 W | Brightness: 1,100 lumens
The Wyze Bulb color is a surprisingly affordable premium smart light bulb that can be controlled with a mobile phone app or voice assistant tech, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. The bulb also supports automations via IFTTT, as well as schedules, sleep routines, and more. Compared to many other smart light bulbs on the market, the Wyze Bulb Color can boast with a 1,100 lumens brightness output, which is equivalent to a 75-watt incandescent bulb. The best thing about this smart bulb is that it can change color, and it allows you to tweak its color temperature range from 1,800 K to 6,500 K. The bulb has an embedded 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio, and it’s rated to last up to 25,000 hours.
Best Energy Rating: TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb KL110
Special Feature: Low Power Consumption | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 8-9 W | Brightness: 800 lumens
When it comes to power efficiency, the TP-LINK Kasa KL110 is the champion among the smart light bulbs. On average, this bulb consumes between 8 to 9 watts of power, which makes it one of the most energy efficient and environmentally-friendly light bulbs out there. The bulb features a typical brightness output of 800 lumens, and it has a color temperature of 2,700 K. The bulb is also dimmable, meaning you can adjust its brightness via Kasa Smart mobile app, or by using simple voice commands with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Since it has a built-in Wi-Fi, the bulb requires no hubs or extra equipment. Another big plus is that this bulb is fairly inexpensive, since you can get four of these for around $30.
Best Budget: Sengled Wi-Fi Smart Bulb (4-pack)
Special Feature: Color Changing | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 9 W | Brightness: 800 lumens
At just $7.50 a piece, the Sengled Wi-Fi Smart Bulb probably offers the best bang for the buck. Compared to other smart light bulbs of the same price, this one features color changing effects, as well as brightness range of 2,000 to 6,500 K. The bulb supports color changing via Alexa and Google Home voice commands, and it comes with its own Sengled Home App, which can be installed on Android and iOS devices. The Sengled Wi-Fi Smart Bulb also supports grouping, timers, scheduling, and automation features. The only flaw of this smart bulb is its built-in Wi-Fi radio, which isn’t known for the best signal quality.
Best for Apple HomeKit: Philips Hue Smart Bulb
Special Feature: Color Changing & Support for Apple HomeKit | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 10 W | Brightness: 800 lumens
If you are looking for a high-quality smart light bulb that natively supports Apple HomeKit, then look no further past the Philips Hue Smart Bulb. This premium smart home bulb features native support for multiple voice control platforms, and it can change color based on your current Spotify playlist. The bulb features brightness output of 800 lumens, and it has a color temperature range of 2,000 to 6,500 K. Besides having a built-in 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, this bulb also comes with Bluetooth support. The only two downsides of this premium smart light bulb are its fairly high price, and need for a Philips Hue Bridge, which is sold separately.
Best with Geofencing Support: LIFX Color Smart Bulb
Special Feature: Geofencing capabilities | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 9 W | Brightness: 800 lumens
Although quite expensive, the LIFX Color is one of the best smart bulbs when it comes to geofencing support. This bulb can automatically turn on and off depending on your proximity to it by reading GPS location of your mobile phone, and it can even blink when your Uber is arriving. The bulb also offers native support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, and it comes with its own mobile app. Featuring RGBW LEDs, this bulb features 550 billion possible color steps, and can also boast with wide color temperature range of 1,500 to 9,000 K. The LIFX smart bulb can last up to 25,000 hours, and consumes only around 9 W on average.
Best Outdoor Smart Bulb: Ring Solar Pathlight
Special Feature: Suitable for outdoors | Light Type: LED | Wattage: 5 W | Brightness: 80 lumens
When it comes to outdoors, the Ring Solar Pathlight is one of the best smart lights to lit your walkways, pathways, or garden. This solar-powered smart light features IP66 weather resistance rating, and can withstand temperatures below -4°F. The pathlight has a color temperature range of 3,500 K, and its maximum brightness is 80 lumens. The light also features adjustable motion detection, with up to 120° field of view, and 15″ detection range. When connected to a Ring Bridge, this lamp can receive Alexa voice commands, get mobile notifications, set schedules, turn the lights on and off remotely, and even alert you in case of trespassing. The lamp also has a 18,650 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Things to consider when buying a smart plug
Before your decide to purchase a smart light bulb for your house, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll install it and how much room it will illuminate. Consider how many lights you’ll need and whether or not a bridge will be required to power them. You might be able to avoid the bridge if you only need a few, but the more you require, the more you’ll want to relieve the burden on your home network. Bridge bulbs are often more compact and less expensive than Wi-Fi-enabled lights.
Keep in mind that smart lights are more expensive than ordinary LED lights in terms of cost because of the technology they include. However, their prices have recently decreased, making them more affordable – a decent quality smart light bulb can cost anywhere from $10 to over $40. The price of one with a fixture, such as a wall panel or an outdoor floodlight, can be in the $100 range. A smart light switch could be a sensible purchase if you frequently replace several lights in a single room.