The best smart light bulbs in 2023

Best smart light bulbs
(Image credit: Future)

The best smart light bulbs not only make it easy to illuminate your home but they also transform any room and set the right atmosphere for the occasion – whatever it may be. In fact, the best smart light bulbs are top quality and easy to use while also being intuitive. With rising energy prices, smart light bulbs are cheaper to run and in the long term, they can save you money as they use LEDs rather than more expensive incandescent and halogen light bulbs.

If you enjoy the smart home lifestyle, you can pair the best smart light bulbs with our other smart home devices including your security system and even your TV. You can also have your smart lights automatically switch on when they detect motion or schedule them to turn on at certain times in the day, so even if you’re away from home, your house will still be lit.

Smart light bulbs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles, so there are plenty of things to consider before you buy. What type of smart light bulb will suit your home and lifestyle? Do you want smart light bulbs that require a hub or would you rather they connect via Bluetooth? We’ve tried and tested a wide selection of smart light bulbs to help you find the right ones for your needs. 

The best smart light bulbs you can buy today 

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance (Image credit: Philips)

1. Philips Hue White And Color Ambiance

The best smart light bulb starter kit

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit
Hub Required: Yes
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 800 lumens
Power consumption: 10 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

+
Easy setup with intuitive app
+
Extensive third-party integrations
+
Stunning color effects

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Requires bridge

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.

Another great thing about Philips Hue lights is that you can sync them with your computer using the Hue Sync app for PC and Mac. However, you can also sync them with your TV though you will need a Philips Hue Sync Box to do so.

Read our full Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit review.

Wyze Bulbbest value

Wyze Bulb (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Wyze Bulb

The best cheap smart light bulb

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 800 lumens
Power consumption: 9.5 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Tunable white
+
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with HomeKit

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 Wyze’s home security cameras 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.

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Bulb

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Bulb. (Image credit: Sengled)

3. Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED

An affordable Wi-Fi smart bulb

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 800 lumens
Power consumption: 9 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

+
Super easy setup
+
No hub required
+
App tracks energy consumption

Reasons to avoid

-
Missing more advanced automation features

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.

Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor

Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor. (Image credit: Sengled)

4. Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor

This smart outdoor floodlight has a motion sensor built in

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT
Hub Required: Yes
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 1050 lumens
Power consumption: 11.5 watts

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in motion sensor
+
Integrated daylight sensor
+
Weatherproof

Reasons to avoid

-
No HomeKit support
-
Hub required

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. 

Ring Solar Pathlight review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. Ring Solar Pathlight

The best smart light for getting you to your door

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
Hub Required: Yes
Lifetime: Battery-operated
Brightness: 80 lumens

Reasons to buy

+
Nice design
+
Built-in motion sensors
+
Lots of app settings
+
Can be linked to other Ring products

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

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.

Lifx Mini

Lifx Mini (Image credit: Future)

6 Lifx Mini

Best smart light bulb for smaller fixtures

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 200,000 hours
Brightness: 650-800 lumens
Power consumption: 9-11 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

+
Bright
+
Advanced automation options
+
No hub needed

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

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.

TP-LINK Kasa Filament WiFi Light Bulb

TP-LINK Kasa Filament WiFi Light Bulb. Credit: TP-Link (Image credit: TP-Link)
The best filament-style smart light bulb

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 600 lumens
Power consumption: 7 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of smart automation options
+
Tracks energy usage
+
Dimmable

Reasons to avoid

-
No HomeKit support

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.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip. Credit: Philips (Image credit: Philips)

8. Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip

The best smart lightstrips

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit
Hub Required: Yes
Lifetime: 20,000 hours
Power consumption: 1600 lumens
Wattage: 20 watts

Reasons to buy

+
Trimmable
+
Flexible
+
Accommodates 40 inches of extensions

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires bridge
-
Pricey

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.

Govee light strip

(Image credit: Govee)

9. Govee LED Light Strips

Fun, affordable smart light strips

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: N/A
Power consumption: N/A
Wattage: 18 watts

Reasons to buy

+
Low cost
+
Cool music sync feature
+
Highly customizable settings

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with HomeKit

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. 

Nanoleaf Shapes

(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

10. Nanoleaf Shapes

These smart light wall panels are party-worthy

Specifications

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 50 lumens
Power consumption: 1 watt

Reasons to buy

+
Customizable touch commands
+
Simple setup
+
Striking color effects
+
Unlimited designs and scenes

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

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 should first 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 in total and whether or not a bridge will be necessary to connect them. If you only need a few, you might be able to skip using a bridge but the more you need, the more likely you’re going to want to take some of the strain off of your home network. If you’re using bulbs that require a bridge, they are usually more compact as well as less expensive than Wi-Fi enabled bulbs, based on price per bulb.

Looking at the cost overall, smart lights are more expensive than traditional LED lights due to the technology they contain. However, they have come down in price over the years, 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 light bulbs in one room, then a smart light switch might be a better investment. To find out more, check out our guide on the best smart light switches.

Here are 9 things you never knew you could do with smart lights in case you want to find out more about some of their other unique qualities when compared to traditional light bulbs. 

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.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

With contributions from
  • Truckin_Fool
    Your info on the Wyze bulb needs updating. There is a color option available and we use them all over our house. In fact, they're the only smart bulbs we use now.

    https://wyze.com/wyze-bulb-color.html
    Reply