The best smart light bulbs will do much more than illuminate your home. A good smart bulb should offer the perfect tone and level of brightness as well as be compatible with all of the popular smart home systems. Ease of use is another important factor as well — it should be quick to install and simple to control. As they’re LEDs, smart light bulbs use less energy compared to incandescent and halogen light bulbs, which we explain in our light bulb guide. However, saying that, that does not mean every smart light bulb is a great investment.
We recommend the best smart light bulbs, which we list below, because they’re reliable enough to connect to a home network. Once you’ve done this, you can monitor and control them via your smartphone. You can also use voice assistants, such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.
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Smart light bulbs can be paired to your other best smart home devices as well. In doing this, everything can work as one; so when you come home, the lights switch on, or when someone tries to break in, your smart lights will automatically switch on to make it look like you’re home.
There are countless options of smart light bulbs to choose from and new brands launch all the time. However, we’ve tested a range of models to find the best smart light bulbs.
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 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.
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' 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.
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
In order to choose the best smart light bulbs for you, you’ll have to get a sense of your space, how many smart lights you’ll need and if you’ll need a bridge to power them. If you’re getting a handful of smart lights for your bedroom or apartment, you might be able to skip the bridge. The more bulbs you need, though, the more likely you’ll want to take the strain off of your home network. The advantage of bridge bulbs, too, is that they tend to be smaller and, on a bulb-per-bulb basis, they’re less expensive than Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs.
As for price, smart lights are generally more expensive than traditional LED bulbs because they cram in other tech options. That said, they’re not as expensive as they used to be, and quality smart bulbs can range from $10 to over $40. Fancier fixtures, such as wall panels and outdoor floodlights, can cost hundreds of dollars. If you have to replace a lot of lights in a single room, a smart light switch may be a more economical option. Be sure to check out our best smart light switches page.
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.