Sat. May 18th, 2024


Smart light bulbs can supercharge your home’s ambiance and security with options to set light temperatures, brightness levels, schedules, and more right from your smartphone or smart home hub.


UPDATE: 03/23/2024

We’ve updated our buying guide with a variety of new smart bulbs. Take a look!

What to Look For in a Smart Bulb in 2024

Among home gadgets you can control with your phone, smart light bulbs have been around for a while. Fortunately, this means that they’ve not only gotten steadily more advanced but more affordable as well.

There are three primary considerations when shopping for smart bulbs. The first is whether the bulb produces colored or white light—or both. In general, white-only lights will be a bit cheaper than colored lights, but both styles are generally tuneable through a range of light temperatures and brightness levels.


The second consideration has to do with the receptivity built into the bulb. All of the bulbs on our list connect via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a hub, or some combination of all three. If a bulb connects only via Bluetooth, it’s important to remember that you’ll only be able to control it when you are within a specific range. On the other hand, with Wi-Fi-connected or hub bulbs, you can access your lighting no matter where you are through your smartphone.

Finally, you’ll also want to consider platforms. These days, most—but not all—smart bulbs connect to the major voice assistant platforms: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. If you have one of these ecosystems already established in your home, you’ll want to ensure the bulbs work well with it.

You should also be aware that smart bulbs can give you a great degree of control over your room’s ambiance. If you want the ability to turn lamps on and off either when you want or according to a particular schedule, you could consider purchasing a smart plug.


How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

26

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38

How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product.
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Best Smart Bulb Overall: Philips Hue

Pros

Cons

✓ Bright white bulb lets you adjust color temp and brightness

✗ Bulbs are among the most expensive

✓ Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit

✗ Requires Hue Bridge for full features

✓ Wide array of products makes whole-home lighting a breeze

✓ Intuitive app makes adjusting and scheduling lights easy


Philips is a well-established brand in the smart bulb arena, and it’s consistently delivered a wide array of reliable smart lighting products that are a breeze to set up, bright and customizable, and easy to use. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that we picked the Philips Hue Smart White Bulb as the best smart bulb for most people.

Newer Hue bulbs feature Bluetooth, so you can connect and control up to 10 bulbs in one room through the Philips Hue app. However, for full features, you have to buy a Hue Bridge hub, which lets you connect up to 50 bulbs throughout your entire home, add smart switches and motion sensors, and control lights when you’re away.

You can control the bulbs with Google Assistant and Alexa, or utilize the hub for more features and Apple HomeKit integration. Using the Hue Bridge hub also lets you set up routines, timers, and automations, which are helpful for indicating when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. Additionally, the hub can sync your lights with movies, games, and music for a more immersive experience.


Philips Hue bulbs are some of the most expensive available, especially with the extra cost of the hub added on, but they’re widely regarded as the most reliable, intuitive, and high-quality bulbs. If you intend to invest in smart lighting for your entire home, Philips Hue bulbs are worth their higher price.​​​​​

philips hue smart white bulbs

Philips Hue Smart White Bulbs

Best Smart Bulb Overall

Philips Hue smart bulbs are pricey, but they’re worth every penny for their reliable connectivity, customizable light options, and ease of use.

Best Budget Smart Bulb: Kasa Smart

Pros

Cons

✓ Adjustable whites and over 16 million colors to choose from

✗ Doesn’t integrate with Apple HomeKit

✓ Easy-to-use app makes setup and everyday control simple

✓ Works well with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

✓ No hub required


Kasa Smart light bulbs strike the perfect balance between affordability and reliability. A four-pack of Kasa Smart’s color-changing bulbs comes out to about $10/bulb, making it easy to deck out your entire home with smart bulbs.

Despite their budget-friendly price, these bulbs are capable of a lot. You can choose between warm and cool whites, change its color to one of 16 million choices, and dim the lights to set the mood. Or, set the bulb to automatically adjust the color temperature based on natural light patterns in your area.

In addition to controlling brightness and color, you can create schedules to automatically turn your lights on and off at specified times throughout the day, use timers, or control your lights while you’re away from the house. If you’re on vacation, you can enable Away Mode and set your smart bulbs to turn on and off at random intervals.

You can carry out any of these features using the Kasa Smart mobile app or via voice commands—all without needing a hub. These smart bulbs are compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings.


kasa smart light bulb

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs

Best Budget Smart Bulb

$16 $25 Save $9

With Kasa Smart bulbs, you can customize a room’s brightness, white temperature, or color—all at an incredibly affordable price.

Ring Floodlight turned on
Ring

Pros

Cons

✓ Impressive options for wired and solar-powered outdoor lights

✗ Requires Ring hub or Amazon Alexa to operate

✓ Can integrate with Ring’s larger home security ecosystem

✗ Doesn’t work with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit

✓ Works great with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant

✗ Wired version could require professional installation

Ring, an Amazon-owned company, might be most famous for its video doorbell, but the company also offers a dizzying array of smart outdoor lighting solutions. Our top pick from the company is its wired outdoor motion-sensing floodlight. It’s sturdy, bright, and relatively affordable.

Although the Wired Floodlight will cost a bit more to install than the solar versions, the latter has issues running out of power and not being as programmable as the wired models. It’s better to pay a little extra for the reliability.


All Ring products require a hub or bridge, which can be purchased with the bulbs as a starter kit that saves you some cash. Being an Amazon company, the lights only integrate with Amazon Alexa, so if you have a different voice assistant ecosystem in the home and voice control of your lighting is essential, you’ll need to choose a different setup.

ring light floodlight

Ring Wired Floodlight

Best Outdoor Smart Bulb

With a range of solar-powered outdoor lights, Ring leads the way in bringing smart lighting outdoors. Spotlights and pathway lights can be linked via a Ring bridge to set up different routines and alert you to movement.

Best Smart Bulb for Google Assistant: Sengled Wi-Fi Bulb

Pros

Cons

✓ Syncs up to Google Home

✗ Only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band

✓ Easily create scenes and schedules

✓ Bright, tunable whites and over 16 million colors


If you want to use Google Assistant with your smart lights, look no further than Sengled’s Wi-Fi color-changing bulbs. When you head to the Google Home website to look for compatible lights, Sengled is a frequently mentioned brand, and pairing these smart bulbs up through Google Home is an easy process.

Like many smart bulbs, these are capable of adjusting brightness, choosing between warm white and cool white color temperatures, and livening up a party with over 116 milliion RGB colors. What’s unique about these bulbs is their 25,000-hour lifespan, much longer than most other smart bulbs.

Through the Sengled Home app, you can create custom schedules, timers, and routines, so your smart bulbs automatically turn on and off when you want them to. These scheduling features are helpful for knowing when it’s time to wake up and go to bed, as well as making it look like someone’s home when you’re on vacation.

Connecting these smart bulbs to the Sengled Home app is a simple process, and from there, you can connect them to Google Home for even easier use. You can use the Sengled app or Google Home to control your bulbs, or dole out quick voice commands to Google Assistant.


sengled smart wifi bulbs-1

Sengled Smart Bulb

Best Smart Bulb For Google Assistant

$26 $30 Save $4

These Sengled smart bulbs work exceptionally well with Google Assistant, so you can use virtual commands to set schedules, turn lights on and off, and adjust color temperature from anywhere.

Best Smart Bulb For Amazon Alexa: Sengled Alexa

Singled

Pros

Cons

✓ Very affordable

✗ Needs Amazon Echo or Sengled smart hub for full functionality

✓ Impressive range of bulbs with dual functions

✗ Can be tricky to pair when setting up

✓ Forms its own mesh network without a hub

Sengled has Bluetooth bulbs that form their own mesh network using an Amazon Echo device as the hub. This network links the bulbs together, causing them to serve as repeaters so that even the bulb that’s farthest away from your Echo can still be controlled via voice. If you don’t have Amazon Alexa or an Echo set up yet, you can purchase a Sengled hub that allows full functionality.


What’s more, Sengled makes a dizzying array of smart bulbs for any function you may need. This includes bulbs with built-in speakers, those that will work in a blackout thanks to a battery backup, and ones that have built-in timers—just to name a few.

On top of that, Sengled bulbs are highly affordable, as it’s possible to find an impressive range of high-quality smart bulbs for under $10, even when purchasing them individually. Sengled makes it easy to deck out your home in smart bulbs!

sengled smart bulb

Sengled Smart Bulb

Best Smart Bulb for Amazon Alexa

$6 $10 Save $4

You’d have to have a whole lot of lamps in your life, but it’s possible to connect up to 64 of these tunable smart bulbs by using an Amazon hub.

WiZ Connected Color on pink background
WiZ

Pros

Cons

✓ Color changing and dimmable

✗ Not suitable for outdoor use

✓ Energy efficient

✓ Programmable and preset lighting modes

✓ Very reasonably priced


When looking for smart bulbs, it will quickly become apparent that Apple HomeKit is not as widely supported as Alexa or Google Assistant. The WiZ Connected Color is one of the few reasonably-priced smart bulbs that will work equally well with all three.

After connecting the bulb to your Wi-Fi, it can be controlled through the Home app for iOS and iPadOS or the WiZ app. You can also use voice to manage the bulb via a HomePod speaker or Siri on your Apple device. If you ever decide to move away from an Apple smart home setup, the WiZ bulb can easily be added to the Alexa (Android, iPhone) or Google Home (Android, iPhone) apps.

The WiZ bulb is multi-color and dimmable, with 16 million colors available. The color and brightness can be controlled manually through the app, or with pre-set lighting patterns that change automatically based on the time of day. There is also a vacation mode, so you can make your home look lived in even when you’re away.


The 8.8W bulb, equivalent to a 60W traditional lightbulb, is energy efficient and long-lasting. The rated lifespan is an impressive 25,000 hours, or 25 years if used for a couple of hours a day. It is only suitable for indoor use, but that isn’t unusual for a smart bulb, especially one that costs just $13.

wiz light bulb

WiZ Connected Color

Best Smart Bulb for Apple HomeKit

$10 $11 Save $1

A long-lasting and feature-rich smart bulb that works perfectly with Apple HomeKit and Siri Shortcuts. And all for a very reasonable price.

Best Color Smart Bulb: Lifx Color

LIFX Color bulb in outlet
LIFX

Pros

Cons

✓ Extremely vivid and impressive range of colors

✗ Bulbs can get hot on brightest setting

✓ One bulb provides both tunable white and colored light

✗ Unusual shape may not be appropriate for all lampshades

✓ Works with all major voice assistants

Many smart bulbs say they have millions of colors, but Lifx goes one step further with billions of colors. It’s a pretty hard claim to verify, but the fact is that these bulbs do indeed have a brilliant range of colors that fill your room with sharp, vivid light.


Our top pick for this category is the 1100 lumen bulb—which means it can get impressively bright—but you can save yourself some money and still enjoy vivid, colorful light by choosing the company’s 800-lumen bulb instead.

Lifx bulbs deliver all you’d expect from smart bulbs, including the ability to tune, schedule, group, use different presets to set the mood. Plus, they can be controlled with Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. No hub needed!

Lifx also offers smart bulbs that will beam out invisible infrared light to provide any smart cameras in the room the ability to pick up video clips more clearly. So, stepping into the Lifx ecosystem can be a wise move if you’re filming a lot of video content. Just make sure that the smart light can fit in your lampshade, as the wider bulb may not work in slimmer lamps.

lifx bulb

LIFX Color

Best Color Smart Bulb

$34 $40 Save $6

With lots of compliments regarding their brightness and vivid color output, Lifx’s smart bulbs are an easy recommendation.


Pros

Cons

✓ Support for dimming, tunable whites, colors, and schedules

✗ Only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

✓ Compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit

✓ Offline use possible through Meross app

✓ No hub required

Choosing a Wi-Fi smart bulb over one that uses Bluetooth or ZigBee lets you easily control your lights from anywhere without needing to buy an additional hub to control everything. If you know you want Wi-Fi bulbs, these color-changing smart bulbs from Meross are an excellent, affordable option.

This smart bulb offers bright white light, with a dimmable range between 1 to 100% and a wide color temperature range between cool white and warm white. Or, if you want to decorate your house with fun lights for a party, there are multiple RGB colors to choose from. You can also set up scenes and schedules to automatically turn the lights on and off at a specific time or a general time of day, like sunrise or sunset.


Meross’ Wi-Fi bulbs work with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit, so you can integrate the lights into your smart home setup and use voice commands with your preferred virtual assistant. Alternatively, you can use the Meross mobile app to control your smart bulbs over Wi-Fi. Even if your internet is down, you’ll still be able to control the lights through the Meross app, as long as your phone and the bulb are in the same Wi-Fi network.

meross wi-fi smart bulb

Meross Smart Wi-Fi Bulb

Best Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

These color-changing smart bulbs from Meross function seamlessly over your home’s Wi-Fi network, and you can still use them offline when necessary through the compatible mobile app.

Govee light bulbs in living room
Govee

Pros

Cons

✓ No hub or router needed

✗ Can’t control once beyond Bluetooth range

✓ Can sync to music

✗ No voice control available

✓ Light color can be selected from photos


Govee is one of the major players in the smart bulb scene, and it has a reputation for putting out affordable, reliable, and high-quality smart gadgets. The company’s smart bulbs are no exception.

Thanks to the Govee Home app, these Bluetooth-enabled bulbs can be set up in a flash, and you can link up to six into individual groups. They also have built-in microphones that let the colors flash to the beat of your music have sunrise/sunset options that make the bulbs dim and brighten with the pattern of the sun.

One exciting feature of the Govee bulbs is that, using the app, you can pick any color from any photo on your phone and the bulb will beam out matching light. Plus, because these bulbs all work over Bluetooth, there is no hub needed.

Combine these features with a price point under $15, and it becomes clear why we chose these as our best Bluetooth pick. These bulbs also make a stronger runner-up in our best budget category.


govee bulb

Govee LED Smart Light Bulbs

Best Bluetooth Smart Bulb

Govee smart bulbs work over Bluetooth, so you don’t have to worry about bridge or router compatibility. From there, you set up routines and do all the other things smart bulbs are known for.

FAQ

Do smart light bulbs use electricity when off?

While they do use some electricity, the amount is very small. There are other energy vampires that are eating up more electricity in your home to take care of first!

How long do smart light bulbs last?

How long your smart light bulb lasts depends a lot on how often you’re using it. Companies may quote a 10-year life, but if you have a smart light bulb on 24/7, it will not last nearly that long. Regardless, smart bulbs will last longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

How do I install a smart light bulb?

For most smart bulbs, you just need to screw the bulb into the fixture of your choice, then connect to the bulb either via Bluetooth and an app, or via a smart home hub.

Can smart light bulbs be used in ceiling fans?

Yes! Smart light bulbs can be used in any fixture without any issues.



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By John P.

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