The best smart light bulbs will transform your room if you want to illuminate your home and set the mood. In fact, the best smart light bulbs will be top quality, easy to use, and also intuitive. And with the rising energy prices, the best smart light bulbs are cheaper to run, and will save you money in the long-run. This is thanks to their LEDs rather than the more costly incandescent and halogen light bulbs, which we touch on in our light bulb guide.
What’s more, smart light bulbs can do so much more than light up your space. If you enjoy the smart home lifestyle, you can also connect the best smart light bulbs with your other best smart home devices such as your home security system. This feature can automatically switch on the lights when someone tries your smart lock, so even if you’re away from home, your house will still be lit.
Smart light bulbs are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so there are things to consider before you buy. What type of smart light bulb will suit your home and lifestyle? We’ve tried and tested a great selection of smart light bulbs which are reliable enough to pair with a home network. Simply use your smartphone or smart device to control and monitor your mood lighting. You can also use voice assistants, such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.
In the meantime, we’ve rounded up the best smart lights to suit every room lifestyle and budget right now.
Want to make your regular lights smart? Check out 10 things you never knew you could do with a smart plug. If your room lacks natural light, you’ll need to know how to brighten a dark room for tips and tricks.
What are the best smart light bulbs?
After testing dozens of models, we think the best smart light bulbs are the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs. Not only do Philips Hue lights connect to virtually every smart home product, but Philips Hue has a number of features in its app that let you do more with its lights than any other smart light maker. If you just want white lights, check out the Philips Hue White bulbs, too.
One caveat of the Philips Hue lights is you’ll need to get the Philips Hue bridge (which connects the lights to your Wi-Fi) if you have several in your home and want to use all the bulb’s features. If you just have a few fixtures, though, look for Bluetooth compatible ones you can control with your smartphone.
New smart lights from Philips Hue
Philips Hue recently launched a new range of smart lights, including an innovative Light Tube which blends multiple colors of light into a single lamp and sits above or below a TV. We’re bringing one in to test and will upload the results soon.
And if you want something with a simpler setup, we recommend the Sengled Smart Wi-Fi bulb, as it connects directly to your Wi-Fi network. At around $12 per bulb, Sengled Smart bulbs are relatively inexpensive in this category. Sengled also makes some of the best smart light bulbs with built-in motion sensors for outdoor use.
You may also want to check out Wyze’s Wi-Fi bulb, which is even cheaper: $8 for a single bulb, and $30 for a pack of four. As the best smart light bulbs for those on a budget, the Wyze bulbs work with most home assistants and offer a temperature range of 2700K to 6500K.
The best smart light bulbs you can buy today
Philips Hue’s White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit includes your choice of two or four dimmable colored bulbs plus a hub. What separates Philips from the competition — and makes it the standout among the best smart light bulbs — is the depth of its app, which is packed with features, including routines, sunrise/sunset automation, scenes, geofencing and a vacation mode. Plus, Philips Hue works with just about every other smart home system or device you can think of: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, Nest, SmartThings and more. If you’re looking for a white smart bulb that can be a versatile addition to your smart home, this is it.
As a disclaimer, Philips Hue systems have known security flaws. Make sure you update your bulb firmware to prevent malware from jumping through your bridge to your network. To update your Philips Hue bridge, go into the Philips Hue mobile app, open Settings and click Software update.
Read our full Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit review.
The biggest problem with smart light bulbs is that they’re expensive, even compared to other LED bulbs. That’s why Wyze’s smart bulb is perfect for those on a budget. It’s one of the best smart light bulbs if all you’re looking for is a light bulb you can control and connect to other smart home devices. You can change both the brightness and color temperature (2,700k – 6,500k), and not just from Wyze’s app; you can also make these adjustments with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT too.
From within the Wyze app, you can create schedules for when the light should turn on and off—but only based on a specific time, not dawn or dusk—and set a Vacation mode, which turns the bulbs on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home. You can also create triggers based on other Wyze’s home security camera and motion sensors, too. At $8 per bulb, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option at this price.
Read our full Wyze Bulb review.
Starting at $12, Sengled makes one of the best smart light bulbs for those who are looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-install option. Sengled is great for less technical-minded folks because unlike Philips Hue bulbs, the Sengled smart Wi-Fi bulbs connect directly to your home network. There’s no bridge needed to light up your space.
You can choose from three options to get started: a $12 soft white bulb, a $15 daylight bulb, and a $25 multicolor bulb. If you’re getting several Sengled devices, you might want to consider purchasing the Sengled hub (or one of the best smart home hubs.) The Sengled app works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and offers all the basic smart-bulb features, including timers, scenes, schedules and routines, but is less sophisticated than what you get with Philips Hue.
We think Sengled’s Smart LED with Motion Sensor is one of the best smart light bulbs for people who need an outdoor floodlight for their walkways. Not only does it crank out more than 1,000 lumens, but it has a motion sensor built into its center, so it can automatically turn the light on if it detects motion within 30 feet. This way you won’t find yourself stumbling in the dark as you try to make it from your driveway to your door.
The Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings. You can get push notifications and trigger other smart home actions when motion is detected using routines, too. However, you’ll need to purchase the Sengled Smart Hub, or another compatible smart home hub, to control this bulb.
The Ring Solar Pathlight fixtures offers some of the best smart light bulbs for illuminating your walk from your driveway to your door when it’s dark outside. Sengled’s similar product might be brighter and less expensive, but Ring’s integrates seamlessly with devices like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and Ring Alarm system. As Ring is owned by Amazon, the Solar Pathlights are also compatible with the Alexa voice assistant, as well as Google Assistant and IFTTT.
The Ring app offers a ton of settings for the Solar Pathlights for you to configure. You can toggle the lights and motion detection on and off. There’s also a setting to tell the lights not to turn on if it’s bright outside, and a slider so you can adjust the brightness threshold. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensors, too.
Read our full Ring Solar Pathlight review.
The Lifx Mini is one of the best smart light bulbs for smaller fixtures, and not just because it’s more compact than the competition. That’s because Lifx’s app works with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit, and has a great set of features and effects, such as a candle flicker and a strobe, and can sync up to your music or other sounds nearby.
Lifx’s bulbs also connect directly to Wi-Fi, so there’s no hub needed. The Lifx Mini bulbs are a bit more expensive, though. Within the Mini line, you can choose from a Mini White ($18), Mini Day & Dusk ($28), which lets you control color temperature, and the Mini Color ($37), which lets you choose from 16 million colors. Lifx makes excellent full-sized smart bulbs and the neat Lifx Candle Color, too, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Read our full Lifx Mini review.
Filament, or “Edison”-style lights are all the rage, as they cast a warm, old-timey glow that’s great at setting the mood. Plus they look nicer than traditional LED smart bulbs, and can be paired with exposed lighting fixtures. The TP-Link Kasa Filament WiFi Light Bulb (KL50) are the best smart light bulbs for this purpose; they connect directly to your Wi-Fi (no hub needed), and the Kasa app lets you control them in myriad ways.
We also like that this bulb costs $15—pricier than a non-smart bulb, but reasonable for this market. TP-Link also makes a warm amber version of this bulb for the same price. All work with Alexa, and Google Assistant, and you can take advantage of several advanced automation features if you have TP-Link’s smart router.
Because they all use LEDs, the best smart light bulbs aren’t confined to traditional light bulb shapes. Case in point: The Philips Hue Lightstrip. This 80 inch-long strip can display millions of colors, adding a fun accent to cabinets, TVs, or around other pieces of furniture.
You can trim the Philips Hue Lightstrip strip to fit your needs, as well as add up to 40 inches of extensions; adhesive backing makes it easy to stick to a wall or other surface. Like other Philips Hue lights, the LightStrip works with Alexa, HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest and Samsung SmartThings. However, you’ll need to already own the Hue bridge to get these lights to work.
The Govee LED Light Strips are the best smart light bulbs for anyone looking to bring some RGB to their space. Whether you want to revamp your bedroom’s aesthetic or illuminate your living area, these light strips are the most affordable light strips that we’d recommend. There are dozens of low-cost light strips available on Amazon, but this is our favorite option.
Though they’re not HomeKit compatible, the Govee LED Light Strips work with Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control. The strips contain a built-in mic that lets the LED lights to sync to your music, while the app has plenty of scheduling and scene features. Like most light strips, these have a wall-safe, adhesive backing, but the pack comes with useful support clips, too.
They’re not bulbs per se, but if you want your home to make a statement, the Nanoleaf Shapes is one of the best smart light bulbs out there. The $199 Nanoleaf Shapes light panels are modular hexagon tiles that connect together like custom puzzle pieces, pair to Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, and provide a healthy dose of chaos to a boring bedroom or work-from-home setup.
With all their brightness settings, color patterns and pulsing music modes, these mountable panels aren’t like any of the other products on this list. They’re better. Or more fun, at least. Though they’re pretty pricey, especially for something ornamental, Nanoleaf Shapes will upgrade any smart home space instantly.
Read our full Nanoleaf Shapes review
How to choose the best smart light bulbs for you
Before you choose the best smart light bulb for your home, you first need to get an idea of where you’re going to put it and the space it will illuminate. You should consider how many bulbs you’re going to need and whether a bridge will be necessary to power them. If you only need a few, you might be able to skip the bridge, but the more you need, the more you’re going to want to take the strain off of your home network. If you use bridge bulbs, these are usually more compact and will be less expensive than Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs, based on price per bulb.
Looking at the cost in general, smart lights are more expensive than traditional LED lights because of the technology they contain. However, they have come down in price lately, so they’re more affordable — a good quality smart light bulb can range from $10 to over $40. If you’re getting one with a fixture, such as a wall panel or outdoor floodlight, the price can be in the $100’s. If you often replace lots of lights in one room, then a smart light switch might be a good investment. If you want to know more, check out our best smart light switches.
Be sure to also check out 9 things you never knew you could do with smart lights.
How we test the best smart light bulbs
We test the best smart light bulbs on a number of criteria, including ease-of-setup, brightness, value and library of features. We compare most bulbs against Philips Hue lights, which are pricey but offer everything you could want out of smart bulbs. Some budget smart bulbs brag that they have a lot to offer, but we only recommend the ones that live up to their claims.
Smart home compatibility is key to our testing. The bulbs above work with at least two top smart home systems, if not more. You don’t want your light bulbs to lock you into a specific smart assistant when there are plenty of options that work with Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, SmartThings and IFTTT.
All of the brands we test are trustworthy and feel comfortable adding to our own home networks. Use caution when shopping for smart bulbs from unknown manufacturers.