There are lots of devices you can get to begin your smart home journey, but many make smart lights their first purchase. What should you get? In this article, we have curated a list of the best smart light bulbs.
First: What is a smart home and why you should want one?
With smart lighting, it’s less about one specific bulb model and more about what brand and ecosystem you prefer. The two biggest names in the smart light game are Philips Hue and Lifx, though there are plenty of smaller players as well. Below are just a few choices we recommend.
The best smart light bulbs:
- Philips Hue
- Xiaomi Yeelight
- TP-Link Kasa
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smart light bulbs regularly as new ones launch.
When you think of smart light bulbs, Govee may not be the first name that springs to mind. However, its smart bulbs seek to change that notion thanks to plenty of power and an incredible price. They come in a pack of two, and you can control the bulbs hands-free with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to make things easy.
As for the bulb itself, you can choose from more than 16 million colors and adjust the brightness to perfectly suit your needs. Govee’s smart bulbs are also Wi-Fi enabled, so you can control them wirelessly from just about anywhere provided that you have a stable connection.
Perhaps Govee’s best feature is its Govee Home app. It allows you to fine-tune each light individually or set a preset profile across every bulb in your house. After all, you can’t possibly know the names of 16 million colors to deliver voice commands. Don’t forget, these lights come in a handy two-pack so you can spread your light even further.
2. Philips Hue
Philips Hue smart light bulbs are likely the best choice for most people, and they’re my primary choice as well. The brand is easily the most recognized in the space, and its products are fairly reliable. Philips offers some of the best smart light bulbs and lamps that can be controlled via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. Don’t have a smart speaker? You really should, but if you don’t, you can also control smart light bulbs directly from your smartphone via Hue compatible apps.
You can turn all the lights on/off at once, or a single one in any room. It’s also possible to dim lights to specific percentages, and even check with Assistant if you forgot to turn off any of them. To make your investment simpler, Philips offers smart light bundles, which often include lights and the hub.
The only major downside to Hue was its reliance on a hub, but that’s no longer the case. While hubs make it easier to organize your light bulb setup, it’s now possible to buy a Bluetooth-enabled Hue bulb without needing an extra hub for it to work.
Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Not impressed by Hue? Lifx smart light bulbs are similar to those from Philips. You can turn them on/off, dim them, change their color (if the bulb supports colors), and more via Google Home and Amazon Echo devices. One can even create schedules to automate lighting. Just like newer Hue bulbs, Lifx bulbs don’t require a hub. They are also known for reproducing better colors and having a stronger build.
4. Xiaomi Yeelight
We usually recommend Hue and Lifx, but there are other great options out there. This one is for those looking for the best smart light bulbs on a budget. If that sounds like you, check out Xiaomi’s Yeelight offerings.
Also: These are the best smart home gadgets you can buy
We previously reviewed Xioami’s desk lamp, a smart plug, and other accessories and found them all great. Particularly impressive is the Yeelight Smart LED bulb, which offers RGB lighting. It works well and is pretty cheap compared to other color light bulbs.
5. Sengled Smart LED bulbs
Sengled is yet another budget option when it comes to smart lighting. While I’d personally recommend Yeelight or TP-Link for budget options, Sengled still has a pretty solid following and has some of the best smart light bulbs around. While older Sengled products required a hub, that’s not true of the Smart Wi-Fi line. There are options for daylight, soft white, and color lighting. The latter is a little more expensive, but still cheaper than Philips Hue or Lifx options.
You might recognize the brand if you purchased an Amazon Echo device in late 2020. Sengled smart light bulbs were being offered for free with Amazon Echo purchases. Those were a special version that only work with Echo speakers, though.
6. TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb
Kasa smart light bulbs strike the right balance between quality and affordability. It’s also nice that it comes from renowned brand TP-Link. These need no hub and can be used through Wi-Fi. These bulbs are dimmable, and a color version is available for those who want more customizability. There’s also a white bulb with a tunable light temperature to adapt to your preferences.