The Best Smart Light Bulbs to Bring Dynamic, Automated Lighting to Your Home
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with traditional light bulbs. You screw them into a socket, turn on the switch, they light up, and illuminate the room. It’s simple and it works. However, smart light bulbs bring a lot of convenience that make them a worthy upgrade for many homes, which is why we’re increasingly seeing more and more households switch to them for illuminating both indoor and outdoor areas.
Smart light bulbs are just as easy to install as traditional lights, requiring you to simply screw it into a socket to get it to illuminate a room. To get full access to its complement of smart features, though, you’ll need to pair it with a companion app, which allows you to do some cool things you can only dream of with traditional LED bulbs. This isn’t a problem, either, by the way, as the current generation of smart light bulbs now connect directly to Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for a hub to keep things extremely simple and straightforward.
With smart light bulbs, you can control the whole thing directly from your phone, allowing you to turn off the lights in the kitchen without having to get up from your comfy couch. You also don’t need to hunt for a switch when entering a dark room or hallway, since you can simply pull out your phone to turn all the lights on. Almost every smart light bulb we know offer dimming and scheduling options, while many can even change colors to let you set the mood in a room. Heck, some are even so smart, they can detect when people are present and switch on automatically, then turn off right back soon as everyone is gone.
Suffice to say, the best smart light bulbs just give you a lot more options when it comes to lighting up the room and, far as we can tell, majority of people really appreciate it. These are the best smart light bulbs to automate and level up your home’s illumination.
Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb
The most affordable smart light bulb in the list, this 60W-equivalent LED costs well under $10 apiece, allowing you to enjoy customizable smart lighting for cheap. It brings most of the same capabilities as more expensive alternatives, so you can change colors (16 million hues), adjust color temperature, adjust brightness, and set schedules from the companion app, allowing you to manage everything from your phone. Despite being on the affordable side, we actually like the bulb’s color quality, all while delivering a bright 800 lumens, so you’re really getting excellent value. It even works with Alexa and Google Home, so you can control it using voice commands, if you don’t feel like hunching over your phone.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb
For whatever reason, TP-Link makes two kind of smart light bulbs under different lines, Tapo and Kasa (at least, that’s how we understand it). The latter appears to be the more feature-packed of the lot, so that’s what we’re including in the list. It brings all the same features you typically find in smart lights, from changing colors and fine-tuning temperature to setting schedules and voice control via Alexa and Google Home. Our favorite feature, though, is the Auto White color profile, which constantly adjusts the light to bring natural-feeling illumination to the room. It’s seriously impressive the way it adjusts based on the kind of ambient lighting the room is getting along with it, allowing you to maintain an evenly-lit room without having to constantly fiddle with the app. On the downside, it doesn’t allow you to schedule groups of light, so you’ll have to do it individually, which is easy enough, but can get annoying when you have smart lights all around the house.
Goveee Smart A19 LED Light Bulbs
While it’s priced comparably to 60W-equivalent smart light bulbs, this Govee model delivers brightness more comparable to 75W bulbs, so you get much brighter lighting. Well, that’s the case, at least, when you’re using the white or yellow settings, as it doesn’t quite get that bright when switching to other colors. It’s still plenty bright, though, although it does feel a bit muted compared to the whites and yellows. It has all the usual features you could ask for, including being able to group lights and schedule them as one, although the app takes some getting used to, as it can feel a bit cluttered. Alexa and Google Assistant support are onboard, too, so youc an control it via voice command, if you’d rather not use the app.
Wyze Bulb White
When Wzye first showed up with their smart bulbs, it was all about value, basically giving you the same things as other brands at a lower price. While they’ve been outdone on that end by other new entrants to the category, their smart bulb remains one of the best in the category. Their white bulb, in particular, is really good, with all the usual features you find in the category (from voice control and scheduling to dimming and more), along with some more unique settings, such as Vacation Mode (it automatically turns the lights on and off periodically to make it look like the house is occupied), Sleep Routines (it gradually brightens or darkens the light to help you sleep and wake up), and Sun Match (adjusts the color temperature based on time of day to optimize your internal clock).
Wyze Bulb Color
Wyze’s smart color light bulb produces brightness equivalent to a 75-watt bulb, while being priced on par with 60-watt options. It’s also consistently bright across its wide color range, providing you with noticeably bright illumination any time you crank it up to the highest setting. All the basic features are onboard, from scheduling and timing to grouping and more. It also allows you to save custom presets for colors and temperatures, so you can bring up your favorite ones with one tap, while having the same Vacation Mode and Sleep Routines feature as their white smart bulb. We also like the Power Loss Recovery mode, which lets you choose whether to return a bulb to its previous state after a power outage, showing how much thought they put in the available functionality.
Nanoleaf Essentials Matter Smart Bulb
Nanoleaf’s Matter-compatible smart light bulb allows you to use it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home, ensuring it will integrate nicely into most any home, regardless of your platform of choice. Do note, it will require a Matter hub and a Thread border router to enable all the above compatibilities, but it’s not a bad investment considering the number of Matter-compatible devices (that will require Thread) expected to come out going forward. It has all the basic features, so you can set schedules, change colors, and all the usual stuff you do with other smart light bulbs. A few additional ones include color animations that let you perform effects like fade and highlight, circadian lighting sync, and even the ability to sync colors with your TV for an even more immersive living room viewing experience.
GE Cync Full-Color Direct Connect Smart Bulb
This smart light bulb’s strongest point is the companion app, which sets everything up in as little as a minute of tapping and swiping, while allowing you to do most anything with ease. Whether you want to manage multiple lights individually, synchronize them, turn them on and off, adjust brightness, switch to different colors, or use any of the available features, everything seems to get done very intuitively. It also supports scheduling, including using different light colors and temperatures depending on time of day, so you can set it once and enjoy the same lighting schedules week in and week out, while a Light Show mode offers preprogrammed and custom settings for a dynamic and vibrant illumination. This is the Matter-compatible version of the light, by the way, which means you can use it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home, ensuring you’re ready for the coming onslaught of Matter-compatible smart home devices.
Philips Wiz Connected Bulb
While Philips’ Hue line of smart lights are what everyone probably knows, they also have more affordable line called Wiz, which fall more in line with the offerings available elsewhere in the category. Like many contemporary smart light bulbs, they don’t need a hub and simply hop directly onto your home network. We opted to go with their color light bulb here, which features 16 million colors, 800 lumens max brightness, and adjustable color temperature from 2200 to 6500K. It brings all the usual smart features you expect, from remote control and scheduling to grouping and a good selection of preset scenes, so you can do the same things you get with other options in the category. As usual, it can be used with both Alexa and Google Assistant, with this particular model also offering support for Siri Shortcuts. Oh yeah, we love the fact that it doesn’t require any email or registration to use, though, which makes setup simpler and more private, although there’s also an option to connect it to a Google, Apple, or Facebook account if you like to save your settings to the cloud.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambience Starter Kit
While we prefer the simpler configuration of smart light bulbs with built-in Wi-Fi, if you do plan to use Philips’ wide range of smart home devices, it may be a good idea to go with the Philips Hue, which requires a Hue Bridge hub (included in the kit) to serve as a link between all the bulbs (along with other smart home devices) and the companion app. We do like the features available from the app, which offers over 30 preset scenes, along with the option to create custom ones. It also brings various Routines (basically, automated actions) that can be triggered by a number of things (e.g. lights turn on when you enter the house) with the option to create custom routines, while offering a long list of supported third-party services, so you have a lot more avenues for integrating this with other devices and apps you use. Basically, this brings more functionality than any of the other smart light bulbs in the list, which, we guess, is the main justification for the higher price, so this is a great option if you plan to put all those extra bells and whistles to good use.