Light bulbs have become exponentially smart in the last few years. Now you can replace your classic light bulb with a whole range of intelligent solutions that you can control with just a few touches of your smartphone or tablet. However, with so many options flooding the smart home market, which light bulb to choose? We have selected the best-rated intelligent bulbs, and along the way, we have added some tips that you should keep in mind when shopping.
Smart light bulbs use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other technologies to make them work, which makes them more expensive than traditional light bulbs. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to equip the whole house. However, smart light bulbs use less electricity and last much longer, which means you can save money in the long run. As you will see, most of the options on this list are under $ 100, so the price is not as high as it was even a year ago.
Color and light intensity
Some of the bulbs on the list are white, while others can emit any color from the rainbow spectrum. Colors are a fun way to change the atmosphere in your home, but often the result is more expensive light bulbs.
Most of the bright light bulbs we are writing about are labeled on the market as the equivalent of ordinary 60w light bulbs. To determine how bright a light bulb is, you need to look at how many lumens (derived unit of light flux) it emits. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light. But even then, the light can shine in a tiny beam or a very wide one, so it’s a good idea to read comments and reviews to find out how each light bulb works.
Another item to pay attention to is the color temperature. High temperatures, such as 8500k, look like a bright light in offices, which is good if you want to be awake or use it while working. Low temperatures, such as 2500k, emit warm and mild light, which is excellent for relaxing.
Of course, you can plug each bulb into the socket and switch to control on and off as needed, but here we are interested in the applications that control these smart bulbs.
Since you will mostly control these lights with your smartphone or tablet, you want to make sure you can do it quickly. If you have several light bulbs, for example, you will need a suitable application that will allow you to quickly group them and adjust the brightness or color of the whole group at the same time. For example, Amazon Echo solves all this, and with the help of the virtual assistant Alexa, you will be able to control the light bulbs with your voice.
Smart light bulbs provide a degree of control and interaction that you cannot get from traditional light bulbs, including programmed timers and remote control options. They are also more convenient, and it is much easier to touch the screen of a smartphone than to get up and walk to the switch on the wall.
Most of the light bulbs we are talking about work either remotely or can be programmed, which is excellent if you want to save on electricity bills or if you often forget to turn off the lights when leaving the house. Some bulbs use geofencing, which means working with the GPS on your smartphone to determine where you are and turn the lights on or off at a particular time, depending on whether you are close to home or away. Color-changing light bulbs are great for creating an atmosphere, and specific models can even watch the movie or series you are caring for a complete atmosphere.
You can connect sure light bulbs to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit, or Google’s Assistant to control the home lighting with your voice. You can also integrate some of these bulbs with security cameras, thermostats, or some other smart devices in the house. If This Than That (IFTTT) compatibility allows you to adjust everything to suit you, and, for example, the light automatically responds to a particular trigger, such as phone notifications or weather changes.
We do not currently recommend light bulbs that do two things at once (such as a light bulb and a speaker simultaneously), as we have not found those that have performed well in testing.
Do you need a hub?
Another essential item to keep in mind is that many smart light bulbs need to be connected to your smartphone via a home auto hub like Wink2. Some bulbs do not require an intermediary and connect to your smartphone directly via WiFi, including LIFX models. Those that don’t connect via WiFi connect via Bluetooth, but in that case, you’re limited to Bluetooth-only control, which means you can’t change the light when you’re not at home. Also, having a hub means spending a little more money and adding another step to the installation process. However, based on what we have seen so far, the best light bulbs use a hub.
We have selected the best smart light bulbs with all this information in mind. Depending on your needs, any of these options are suitable for starting to connect home lighting that is more than a wall switch.
Hue White is an excellent choice for all those interested in intelligent lighting. It is affordable enough to buy more light bulbs for the house without going bankrupt. The Hue ecosystem has more options, support, and variety than any other line of smart light bulbs.
$ 150 for the White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit and $ 50 for each additional bulb are pretty expensive for the average customer. However, if the price is not an issue, Hue White and Color Ambiance are smart light bulbs that we recommend. They are easy to install, set up, have a remote control, and integrate with many other devices and services you probably already use. Despite the frightening price, this is an excellent example of what an intelligent light bulb should look like.
As the name suggests, the GE C by GE BR30 Starter Kit Soft White intelligent light bulb is a great way to get bright lighting into the story. They have certain shortcomings, such as the lack of Android support and advanced programming options and the inability to connect the light bulb to the ecosystems of other smart home devices. But if this is your first set of smart light bulbs, there is no better option, except for TikTeck Smart LEDs, which cost around ten dollars. GE has a better application and is brighter, but the Tik Teck bulb changes colors and works with Android.
If you want to enter the world of intelligent lighting but don’t want to spend a lot of money on lighting the whole house, you can’t go wrong with Cree Connected LED. They are easy to set up and operate, emitting a charming white light.
The Ge Link matches quite well with the Cree Connected light bulb. However, the Ge Links have a more excellent design, but we like how the Cree light bulb sheds light when they turn on. For the same price, you can’t go wrong with either.
The LIFX Nightvision 1100 bulb is stronger than the Philips Hue and equally easy to use. Except for HomeKit support, this light bulb almost matches the Hue ecosystem. But $ 60 is a lot of money for one light bulb, especially when you plan to put more of them in the house. But if you want to try WiFi lighting without investing in a hub, the LIFX Nightvision 1100 is a solid option.