If you’re about to convert your home into a smart one, chances are smart light bulbs are one of the first things you’ll buy. Not only are they the most popular smart appliance available right now, but they are also highly useful and their smart functions are relevant, as they can create the right atmosphere and save up energy as well.
Best Smart Light Bulbs Reviewed
The smart light bulbs offering has grown rapidly over the past couple of years as smart home systems have become more popular. There are hundreds of smart light bulbs to choose from, but not all of them offer an equal level of performance, ease of setup, customizability, smart features, and compatibility.
We’ve reviewed our 5 favorite LED smart light bulbs in the market right now. Be sure to read our buyer’s guide at the end to know what all the smart light bulb fuss is about.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
The Most Popular for a Reason
The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 starter kit is the most popular set of smart light bulbs in the market right now. They have a plethora of advanced features and support just about all well-known smart home systems currently available.
Though expensive, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 light bulbs are the industry standard and favorite of most smart homeowners.
Sengled Element Classic
Great White Smart Bulb
The Sengled Element Classic comes only in two variations of white: daylight and off-white, but it offers all the perks of smart light bulbs at an affordable rate. Integration with most of the well-known smart home systems is also a huge perk.
The Sengled Element Classic smart lightbulb is an excellent choice for anyone’s initial foray into smart home peripherals. It’s affordable, bright, and connects to most major smart home systems.
The Philips Hue White and Colored A19 smart light bulbs are the best you can buy on the market right now. They offer plenty of vibrance across all the available colors. Additionally, they feature wake timers, away automations, motion sensor integration, and wireless switches thanks to the variety of accessories you can get for them.
These smart light bulbs also support other smart home systems. You can link them up with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alex, Google Assistance, Samsung SmartThings, and Works with Nest. That is a range that practically covers all major smart-home devices available right now.
The Philips Hue smart light bulbs do require a separate hub, the Hue Bridge. However, you can buy the bulbs in a starter kit (which we recommend), effectively lowering the additional cost of buying a hub.
The one major downside to the Philips Hue smart bulbs are that they come a little expensive, particularly the colored ones. However, the reliable performance, compatibility, and durability make them the best smart light bulbs you can buy right now.
- Vibrant colors
- Work with all major smart home systems
- Very easy to set up
If you don’t want to use your LED smart light bulb with a hub, then the LIFX A19 is a great choice. They don’t come cheap, retailing around the $50 mark per bulb, but they offer very bright lights and pack a punch with their vibrant colors.
In fact, the LIFX A19 is probably the brightest smart light bulb among those that can change color. The unique design is also aesthetically pleasing, and it makes for a wonderful single light bulb.
LIFX A19 smart light bulbs connect directly to your WiFi networking, eliminating the need for a hub. This means you can buy the bulb without the need of a starter kit. Additionally, the LIFX A19 also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistance, and Apple HomeKit. It does not have official compatibility with Samsung SmartThings or Works with Nest.
You’ll need a good connection to use the LIFX A19 though because its performance is largely dependent on the network quality. Thankfully, the app for the LIFX A19 is really good, making it easy for you to control it.
- Very bright
- Requires no hub
- Great app
For those who don’t know, eufy is made by Anker – the company renowned for its excellent mobile products including Power Banks, cables, wireless chargers, and more. Anker has a huge reputation for making incredible products, so it’s no surprise that their attention to quality and detail would make its way to their smart light bulbs.
The Eufy Lumos, like the LIFX A19, doesn’t need a hub to work. Instead, it uses your local WiFi network, after which it can be further integrated to either Alex or Google Assistant. Unfortunately, the smart home support is only limited to these two devices.
The app associated with the Eufy Lumos is clean and simple. The setup itself is extremely easy. The smart bulb also has a music sync mode that syncs the bulb to music that is being played from your phone on the same network. You can create schedules on the Eufy Lumos as well.
- Lots of ambience and color options
- Requires no hub
- Great app
- Only compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
The great thing about LED lights and smart bulbs is that they don’t even need to be in the shape of a conventional bulb. Nanoleaf’s Light Panels are some of the most gorgeous lights you can have in your home, giving it a premium and modern look of a true smart home.
Formerly known as Aurora, the Nanoleaf Light Panels attempt to mimic the wondrous dazzlement of the Aurora Borealis effects (also known as Northern Lights). You get a set of hexagon/triangular panels that can connect to each other to create dynamic shapes of your choice on the wall or ceiling.
Then, each panel can be individually shifted to a color among the 16 million different colors the product offers. A separate Rhythm Module is also available which greatly enhances the experience. With it, the Nanoleaf Light Panels can respond to audio cues form the room it is in, including music to adjust the lighting. You can also use customized screens and presets to run it through configurations of your choice.
The kit comes with nine panels, and additional can be added any time. This is an expensive product designed for opulence, but it’s truly worth it if you can afford it.
- Simply gorgeous
- Very easy to set up
- Highly customizable
- Difficult to remove once mounted
The Sengled Element Classic smart light bulbs are an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t care about colored LED light bulbs. The Element Classic smart light bulbs come in just two colors: soft white and daylight.
However, they are perhaps the most affordable smart light bulbs out there that also offer great quality. Each light bulb costs less than $10 at the time of writing, and you can save up even more by buying a multi-pack or an entire kit.
Even though the Sengled hub integration is recommended, you don’t need it to use these lights. You can use them easily with Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo Plus, and there is support for Google Assistant as well. It even has compatibility with the Wink smart hub.
Despite the lack of instructions out of the box, the setup of the Element Classic smart light bulbs is fairly easy. Sengled says they are looking into support with Apple HomeKit, but so far these bulbs don’t have that yet.
- Great value
- Easy to set up
- Can work without Sengled hub
- No HomeKit support
- Sengled software is poor
Many smart light bulbs require a hub, such as the Philips Hue bulbs that need the Philips Hue Bridge. This hub is essentially a middleman that connects to your phone, tablet, or smart home device.
A hub has plenty of advantages, but its main advantage, as the name may suggest, is that it acts as a central station for all the smart light bulbs in your home. This makes it easy to customize and use all the lights as they are tied to a single device.
However, hubs cost extra money, and they’re primarily designed to be used with multiple LED smart light bulbs. If you want to use a single smart light bulb or want individual access to each one, you should consider a smart bulb that can connect directly to your smartphone or tablet through WiFi, such as the LIFX A19. Some smart light bulbs use Bluetooth, but we don’t recommend them because of Bluetooth’s shorter range
The color and luminance of the smart bulb depend on multiple things. Let’s get one thing out of the way: LED smart bulbs aren’t as bright as regular LED or incandescent bulbs. It’s just the way it is.
However, this does not mean they’re dim beyond usefulness – far from it. Instead, they provide slightly mellower lighting. Most of the smart bulbs are equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent model, which is adequate enough for most people.
Luminance is measured in lumens, and the more lumens, the brighter the light. Generally, smart bulbs that have multiple colors (colored smart bulbs usually have 16 million colors) are dimmer than ones that offer white or off-white light.
You should also factor in the color temperature, especially if you’re buying a white smart bulb. Higher color temperatures beyond the 4,000K mark are harsher yet ideal for work, whereas lower temperatures like 2,500K offer mellower, warmer lights that are perfect for relaxing on a couch or in bed.
Smart bulbs are smart because they offer a considerable degree of automated control and interactivity beyond what you’d get from a simple light. Most smart bulbs offer scheduled timers and remote control options. Both these features not add convenience but also greatly save on energy consumption, particularly timers.
Additionally, some smart bulbs also use geofencing. This means that they can pinpoint your exact location and automatically turn the lights on or off when you are within proximity, provided you have your smartphone with you, of course.
Color changing bulbs, in particular, are the smartest. Many can be connected to your smartphone and alter their colors based on the music you are playing or sync up with certain movies and TV shows.
Finally, many smart bulbs can be connected to smart home devices like Amazon’s Alex, Apple’s HomeKit, Google Assistant, and more. You can then control the home’s lighting with your voice.
Smart light bulbs are the most immediately successful products in the growing category of home automation and Internet of Things niche. This is because smart bulbs are not only easily available, but many of them can be controlled through WiFi or a hub separate from smart home devices like Alex and Google Assistant. Often, smart bulbs are the first product in any consumer’s foray into the smart home niche.
Do smart light bulbs save money?
Although smart light bulbs are generally quite costly, in the long run, they are extremely efficient. The initial cost is high, but LED lighting, in general, is extremely cost-efficient when compared to traditional incandescent lighting.
Smart light bulbs take it a step further though. With smart features like scheduling, environmental detection, and a plethora of different modes, you can double or even triple the cost-effectiveness of the bulb compared to “dumb” LED light bulbs. Smart light bulbs same both time and energy as a result.
Can I use a normal LED bulb with a smart switch to achieve similar effects to a smart light bulb?
While you could gain some control of your LED bulb with a smart switch, the installation of a smart switch in itself is a far more troublesome process than just changing a light bulb. Additionally, if you’re in it for the bling, smart switches can’t adjust the temperature or color of the light bulb.