Smart LED bulbs have been around for a few years, but the latest generation of lights has more sophisticated technoliogy built in, including motion sensors, video cameras, and the ability to change color based on the time of day. Here are some of the brighter smart bulbs due out in 2017.
Geeni’s lineup of dimmable bulbs, which range in price from $24.99 for the Lux 800 (60-watt equivalent) to the Lux 1050 (75-watt equivalent), can connect directly to your Wi-Fi network without a hub, eliminating a big pain point with many smart bulbs. The Geeni lights can be grouped and controlled via a smartphone app, and are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. Other bulbs include the Drop (65-watt equivalent) for ceiling fixtures and the Flood (75-watt equivalent) for floodlights. All but the Lux 800 have adjustable color temperatures. The lights, all of which are shaped like A19 bulbs, will be available in the first quarter of 2017.
Researchers are finding out that bulbs that emit a lot of light in the blue spectrum — most LED bulbs, as it turns out — aren’t good for getting a good night’s sleep. Helia’s bulbs emit very little light in this spectrum, but also will change their brightness and color temperature based on the time of day — cooler in the morning, and warmer in the evening. A "Snap" module, which has a motion detector, plugs into the lights, and will turn them on and off when someone enters or exits a room. The Helia Dynamic White BR30 bulbs will be available in the spring for $49.95 each; the Snap module will cost $29.95, and the Cloud Connect accessory, which will let you control the lights remotely, will cost $49.95.
Ilumi’s bulbs communicate with each other — and your smartphone — via Bluetooth mesh networking, which makes them useful in larger homes. For 2017, the company is also introducing a bridge which will let you control the lights remotely. Each of the bulbs has its own memory and battery backup, so that it can remember schedules and settings, such as when to turn on or off. Prices start at $49 for indoor A19 bulbs to $69 for an outdoor flood light.
Instead of multiple bulbs in a room, how about a single bulb whose light you can direct wherever you want? That's the premise of the Luke Roberts smart lamp fixture, which can crank out an astonishing 2,000 lumens from its downfacing white LED, and 800 lumens from its up-facing color LEDs. That way, you can get tunable white light anywhere in your room (up to about 400 square feet), while the colored LEDs can provide some nice ambiance on your ceiling. This Indiegogo project doesn't come cheap: It will cost about $500 per lamp, and is expected to ship in March.
This outdoor floodlight has a 1080p Wi-Fi camera that detects movement within a 70-foot radius and relays the video to your smartphone. Owners can set event detection and alerts on the app. The light, which also has a speaker and microphone, will let you communicate with those whom you see on the video. The Maximus will cost $249 when it’s available in the second quarter of 2017.
MORE: Best Smart Locks
Oomi's smart bulb, which is capable of producing up to 15 million colors, is part of the company's new smart home system, which includes a central hub called the Cube, and a 7-inch tablet called the Touch, where you can control all of the connected devices. Oomi simplifies the setup process by installing NFC tags in all its devices; simply tap the Touch to the bulb, for instance, and it's added to your network. Currently, the bulbs will only be available as part of the Oomi Starter Kit ($599), due out in June, which includes the Hub, the Touch, a dock, one smart plug, and two bulbs.
One of the first companies that made smart LED lights, Philips is expanding beyond single bulbs to four new fixtures, all of which will be available in the second quarter of 2017. The Wellner ($99) is a bulbous table lamp capable of outputting up to 800 lumens; it can be outfitted with either a white or a colored Hue bulb. The Wellness table lamp ($129) is slightly smaller, and has a more angular shape. The Being ($199) is a flush-mounted aluminum fixture that can put out 2400 lumens, while the Fair (starting at $249) is either a flush- or pendant-style light that can emit up to 3,000 lumens. Like the rest of Philips' Hue portfolio, these lights will also work with a number of smart home systems, including Alexa, Nest, and IFTTT.