The Best Smart Light Bulbs for Intelligent Illumination

The Wyze Bulb Color is our top pick

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A person controlling a smart light through a smartphone.

Westend61 / Getty Images

For minimal installation and a low cost per unit, smart bulbs can greatly impact your ability to light your home with control, convenience, and efficiency. 

We researched the best combination of quality and value on the market and consulted with a smart home integrator and leader at the home technology industry association CEDIA. Based on our findings, the Wyze Bulb Color stood out as the strongest overall choice for its excellent colors, brightness range, extra control features, and affordability. 

Here are our recommendations for the best smart light bulbs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Wyze Bulb Color

Wyze Bulb Color

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gets quite bright and dim

  • Connects with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

  • Custom schedules and automations

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • No extra color effects

  • No Apple HomeKit

Whether you buy in a pack of four, two, or one, the Wyze Bulb Color is one of the best deals on smart light bulbs and one that delivers everything most homeowners need. Its max brightness of 1100 lumens tops the 800 lumens typical of other options and can dim down to 30 lumens. 

You can also tune its white light temperature across a wide range, from an 1800 Kelvin soft, warm light to a cool, daylight-like 6500 Kelvin. It's fully adjustable across 16 million colors, with a 90+ color rendering index (CRI) out of 100 that shows objects in vibrant, true-to-life shades. 

The Wyze Bulb Color can connect to your home Wi-Fi network or directly to your phone through Bluetooth if you're in range. Like most smart lighting, it supports voice commands through Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant. 

However, you access the majority of controls and settings through the Wyze mobile app. While it lacks advanced color-changing effects, the app offers plenty to customize, including pre-set scenes, wake or sleep routines, and vacation mode. You can even group multiple smart bulbs or sync with other Wyze products like security cameras to turn on when anyone walks past. 

Watts: 12 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Best Value: Sengled Classic Smart Wi-Fi Multicolor LED A19 60W Bulb

Sengled Classic Smart Wi-Fi Multicolor LED A19 60W Bulb

Amazon

What We Like
  • Low price per unit

  • Easy installation and setup

  • Presets, schedules, and automations

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks advanced color effects

  • No Apple HomeKit support

The affordability of smart light bulbs compared to other high-end home tech makes it easy to buy them in bulk to use around the house. Sengled's Classic Smart Wi-Fi Multicolor Bulb offers the lowest price we've seen for each full-color smart bulb, particularly for a pack of four. These bulbs are a solid investment when you factor in the 25,000-hour lifespan and energy savings from smart light bulbs in general. 

Installation is as simple as screwing in a lightbulb (with a standard E26 base and A19 shape) and connecting it to Wi-Fi—without a hub or other setup. You can use voice controls by syncing them to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant devices and creating color scenes, routines, schedules, and groupings through the Sengled app. 

While this bulb lacks Apple HomeKit integration and many advanced color effects, it's dimmable with a brightness of up to 800 lumens, supports 16 million colors, and includes white with a color temperature tunable between 2000 and 6500 Kelvin. 

Watts: 8.7 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Best Features: Philips Hue White 4-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulb

4.7
Philips Hue White 4-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulb

Amazon

What We Like
  • Premium quality and features

  • Hub-free Bluetooth option

  • Expanded compatibility through Hue Bridge

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Most features need Hue Bridge (sold separately)

The Philips Hue brand, now manufactured by Signify, remains the biggest name in smart bulbs, reflected in the quality and depth of its indoor and outdoor lighting solutions. The biggest disadvantage is the noticeably higher pricing than most other smart bulbs, even for the standard White LED Smart Bulb that is only dimmable. Costs rise further for White Ambiance bulbs with adjustable color temperature and White and Color Ambiance bulbs with complete color control. 

Unlocking the total potential of these bulbs requires a Hue Bridge, which uses a Zigbee network and serves as a hub for up to 50 smart lights. You get complete remote control of your system, including sunrise/sunset schedules, location-based home/away routines, and other advanced automations. Besides Alexa and Google Assistant, the Hue Bridge also adds the less common support for Apple HomeKit and additional smart platforms. 

New to the latest version is the option to connect via Bluetooth without needing the hub. This alternative introduces much-needed simplicity with limits: You must be within range of about one room, you can control a maximum of ten bulbs only, and the separate Hue Bluetooth app sticks to more basic functions. 

Watts: 9.5 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Hue Bridge (Zigbee), Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri (via Hue Bridge), Microsoft Cortana (via Hue Bridge) 

Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulb

The Spruce / Deanna McCormack

What Our Testers Say

"If you have a couple of fixtures you want to control very simply with an app, the Philips Hue bulbs are good, but I would opt for something more basic and cheaper. Alternatively, if you want a ton of functionality and envision controlling all the lights in your home with an app packed with high-tech features like geofencing, I’d choose Philips Hue, hands down."—Deanna McCormack, Product Tester

Best Compatibility: Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Amazon

What We Like
  • HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant support

  • Custom presets and schedules

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • No extra color effects

  • HomeKit requires a device to serve as a hub

While most smart light bulbs are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit support for Siri on iPhones or iPads is harder to find. The Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb is a flexible option that works with all of the above and, importantly, is still quite reasonably priced—especially for a multicolor smart bulb. (Look for model MSL120HK specifically to ensure HomeKit compatibility.) 

As a 9-watt LED bulb equivalent to a 60W incandescent, Meross's Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb lists a 78.3 percent energy savings over the more traditional incandescent bulb. Even with reduced energy usage, it can reach a respectable 810 lumens of brightness. 

It's fully dimmable through the app or voice commands, and the white temperature can adjust from 2700 to 6500 Kelvin. You can set color scenes and schedule timers, with other automations possible through HomeKit. Just note that you need a primary device to serve as your HomeKit hub. Options include an Apple TV, Apple HomePod, or iPad.

Watts: 9 watts | Usage: Indoor | Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri

Best Starter Kit: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Smart LED Starter Kit

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Premium quality and features

  • Hue Bridge and multiple bulbs included

  • Supports HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Investment into specific platform

Since the Philips Hue line of smart lights needs a Hue Bridge, the most cost-efficient way to get started with the high-end system is with a starter kit that includes the Hue Bridge itself. You can find it bundled with four smart bulbs or three bulbs plus a smart button that you can mount on your wall. 

Rather than crowd the Wi-Fi network many of your home's devices likely use, the Hue Bridge operates on the Zigbee wireless protocol that uses a low-power mesh network that gets stronger the more devices you connect to it. The current kits come with Bluetooth-enabled bulbs for quick, hub-free connection, but you'll miss out on many features only possible through the Hue Bridge. 

When connected to the hub, the bulbs work with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT automations, and other third-party platforms. On the Hue app, you can set up detailed schedules and geofencing (to trigger certain routines when you're close to or arrive home) and even sync your lights to music or movies. If you get a kit with general-use E26 multicolor bulbs, they'll be 75-watt equivalent bulbs with a nice maximum brightness of 1100 lumens.

Watts: 10.5 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Hue Bridge (Zigbee), Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri (via Hue Bridge), Microsoft Cortana (via Hue Bridge) 

Best Outdoor: Cree Lighting Connected Max PAR38 Smart Outdoor Flood Light

Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart Led Bulb

Amazon

What We Like
  • Bright floodlight

  • Connects with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

  • Colors aren’t very strong

Smart light bulbs can offer various benefits when used outside your home, from general visibility to security and colorful accent lighting at different points in the year. You just want to ensure you're using an appropriately weatherproof bulb like the Connected Max PAR38 Smart Outdoor Flood Light from Cree Lighting. It offers excellent outdoor performance for a relatively low cost, with a set of four available if you know you need them in multiple spots around the house. 

The Connected Max flood light is UL wet rated, indicating that the UL organization tested its ability to hold up against rain and other water exposure, even when installed in a fixture that isn't waterproof. It also includes a five-year warranty from the manufacturer if you run into problems. 

The 14-watt LED bulb (a 120-watt replacement) produces a dimmable, tunable white light that gets decently bright at 1200 lumens, though the colored lighting is on the dim side. You get complete mobile app control when connected to your Wi-Fi, and the bulb supports Bluetooth, which can be handy if you have issues with your network.

Watts: 14 watts | Usage: Outdoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Best for Security: Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb

Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easily syncs with Ring products

  • Can be used indoors or outdoors 

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Hub required

  • No built-in motion sensor

  • White light only

  • No Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit 

Even something as simple as a light that kicks on when it senses someone's presence can provide plenty of security and peace of mind for your home. Ring, a brand known for smart security products, allows its otherwise run-of-the-mill A19 Smart LED Bulb to serve that purpose when integrated into the ecosystem. 

Unsurprisingly, this bulb requires a Ring Bridge, which you can purchase separately or as a part of a bundle. Once connected, you can easily sync the bulb with Ring motion sensors, video doorbells, security cameras, and other smart lighting like path lights and spotlights. Certain compatible Amazon Echo devices can also serve as a hub, and since Amazon owns Ring, Alexa integrates quite well. On the flip side, this bulb doesn't work with Google Home or Apple HomeKit.

Ring also offers a waterproof PAR38 smart floodlight, but the standard A19 indoor/outdoor bulb is UL rated only for damp locations, so it's best to install it in covered entryways or closed fixtures. Its brightness caps at 800 lumens of dimmable white light only, locked at a cool-ish 3500 Kelvin color temperature. While it's not a pure outdoor light or a full-featured indoor smart light, Ring's A19 bulb provides a lot of versatility and cost-effective security as part of a Ring system.

Watts: 8.5 watts | Usage: Indoor/Outdoor | Platform/Connectivity: Ring Bridge | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa

Best with Energy Monitoring: Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb Multicolor

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb Multicolor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Energy monitoring in app

  • Presets, schedules, and automations 

  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana

What We Don't Like
  • No extra color effects

  • No Apple HomeKit

Smart LED light bulbs, in general, save energy over traditional incandescent bulbs, but the smart bulbs from TP-Link's Kasa Smart brand can help you see how much energy you're using. With the bulb connected to Wi-Fi, you can use the Kasa Smart mobile app to monitor the device's energy usage in real-time, allowing you to adjust your schedules as needed. 

All smart bulbs do need to draw some power at all times to function, but Kasa Smart claims its products use 60 percent less standby power than other smart bulbs (less than 0.2 watts rather than 0.5 watts and higher), which would add up to even more savings in the long run. 

The KL130 model is a 60-watt equivalent bulb that uses 9.5 watts and produces up to a solid 850 lumens of brightness. It's well-priced for a fully adjustable multicolor smart bulb, but you won't get any advanced color effects like presets and syncing to media. However, if you need extra brightness, you can pay more for the 1000-lumen KL135 model that's otherwise the same. All Kasa Smart multicolor bulbs have the usual array of smart features, from schedules and preset scenes to away mode, so it looks like you're home. 

Watts: 9.5 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana

Best Edison Style: Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Vintage Filament Light Bulbs

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Vintage Filament Light Bulbs

Amazon

What We Like
  • Retro Edison style

  • Presets, schedules, and automations

  • Relatively low price

What We Don't Like
  • Only dim, amber light 

  • No Apple HomeKit

If you're looking to set a particular, vintage atmosphere in a controlled, modern way, Edison-style LED smart bulbs offer the best of both worlds. Designed to match the antique aesthetic of Thomas Edison's original light bulbs from the late 19th century, today's incarnations use thin LED strips to imitate the visible carbon filaments in those classic bulbs. 

Modern Edison-style LEDs often use a standard E26 base but an elongated ST19 shape, which is the case with Sengled's Smart Wi-Fi Vintage Filament Light Bulbs. This model is available in packs of two or four, representing a cost-effective way to achieve the retro style. Still, these bulbs are costlier than other LED alternatives.

These vintage-style bulbs cast a specific sort of light as well, which for the Sengled bulbs means a very warm 2000 Kelvin amber color. Unfortunately, this color temperature can't be adjusted, changed to any other colors, or get brighter than 600 lumens. It is fully dimmable, though, and you can still control this bulb from your phone or voice assistants, set timers and schedules, and enjoy other high-tech bonuses that Edison never had. 

Watts: 7 watts | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

Best Design: Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons Smarter Kit

 Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons Smarter Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Unique modular tile design

  • Easy setup and mounting

  • Lighting effects react to media and touch

  • Works with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • More for decor than practical lighting

For smart lighting that breaks out of the traditional mold, the Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagon Smarter Kit gives you seven modular hexagonal panels to arrange and interlock in whatever pattern your imagination comes up with. Each panel can light up to 100 lumens and supports 16 million color temperatures between 1200 and 6500 Kelvin. The panels snap together, and adhesive tape makes it easy to stick the mounting plates securely to the wall. 

Once arranged, there are nearly endless options for how to light your Shapes. Use pre-made animated lighting effects or customize your own. Or sync the lights to your music, TV or PC screen, or games, including compatibility with the Razer Chroma RGB lighting system. The panels also have a tactile element that lets you control the light via touch or play games like whack-a-mole. That's all on top of its broad support for smart platforms like Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT. 

The initial seven panels may not be ideal as an everyday light source. However, the entertainment and creativity factor might convince you to shell out for more Shapes (Triangles and Mini Triangles are also available) to brighten your walls. 

Watts: 2 watts per panel | Usage: Indoor | Platform/Connectivity: Wi-Fi | Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri

Final Verdict

Our top choice, the Wyze Bulb Color, embodies the affordability and ease of use of individual smart light bulbs while delivering strong color and stand-out brightness. If you're ready to invest in a premium bulb-based lighting system, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit includes what you need to start enjoying the quality, expandability, and advanced smart features that come with the Philips Hue platform and bulbs.

What to Look for in Smart Light Bulbs

Compatibility

A smart bulb's compatibility is one of the most important things about it. Most support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can talk to it through devices that use those virtual assistants. Additionally, linking your smart bulb with a platform like Apple HomeKit or Samsung SmartThings allows you to control them alongside other smart home elements. It's important to use bulbs that work with a platform you already have or one that works best with your home.

Giles Sutton, Senior Vice President of Member Success and Sales at the home technology association CEDIA, also points out something to watch for on the horizon. "This is unprecedented, that Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple…They've all agreed to a new interoperability standard called Matter," says Giles. "In about 6 to 12 months' time, Matter will become the de facto standard for smart home products. It's what we've needed for such a long time. It's been a real challenge, all these manufacturers making products that don't talk to each other. Finally, everyone's agreed to a standard, which is fantastic."

Brightness

It's best to consider the brightness depending on where you're installing your smart bulb. An already-dim hallway is no place for not-very-bright light. Lumens describe the brightness of any bulb. A dim bulb might only reach 450 lumens, while a bright flood light may get closer to 1400 lumens. A typical maximum brightness for smart light bulbs is 800 lumens, but brighter ones are available if your space needs them. Smart bulbs are also generally dimmable, so you can reduce the brightness for smaller rooms or gentle mood lighting. 

Color

Many smart bulbs are known for their color-changing capabilities, but this fun feature often increases cost. For that reason, multicolor smart bulbs make the most sense in spaces where you'll use them to set the mood or entertain. Color also comes into play with "tunable" white lights where you can adjust their color temperature, measured in Kelvin (K). This range usually includes soft, warm light (around 2200K) to cool light imitating daylight (5000K or more). 

"There's a lot of research right now around human-centered lighting, which is how color affects us," says Sutton. "You can use different colors to help you feel more alert during the day or help you fall asleep or wake up in the morning. For example, I use smart lights timed with the alarm on my iPhone, so the lights in my bedroom slowly start to ramp up at the same time. You're not waking up in complete darkness; you've got light that's helping you adjust to the day."

FAQ
  • What are smart light bulbs?

    Smart light bulbs provide light in the same way that normal LED light bulbs do, but they connect to the internet and can be dimmed and controlled in various ways through apps, voice commands, and smart home systems.

    "Smart light bulbs are a gateway product," says Sutton. "A homeowner's smart home journey often starts with one device, and the smart light bulb is often that device because it's very easy to install." 

    "It also provides scene-setting and different moods for a room, which has become quite important as people have been working from home during the pandemic," he adds. "You used to need a full lighting control system to do this. Smart bulbs make it very simple: you can just pick up your phone or touch a button on the wall, and it will go exactly to your preset mood or scene."

  • How do smart light bulbs work?

    Smart light bulbs use wireless technology to connect to apps and smart home systems. Most commonly, they connect to your home's Wi-Fi network, and you can control them anywhere you have internet access. Some bulbs offer Bluetooth support to connect to them directly from your smartphone, provided you're within range (often in the same room). 

    Some bulbs require a "hub" (like the Philips Hue Bridge) that acts as a waypoint between your phone's wireless network and the wireless network your bulbs are on. These options might use a separate wireless standard like Zigbee or Z-Wave to connect any smart bulbs or other devices compatible with that platform. 

  • How long do smart light bulbs last?

    On average, many smart bulbs have a life of about 20 to 25 years if used for three hours daily. However, this time can be shortened or lengthened depending on how frequently the bulbs are on.

    "The first generation of smart lights lasted around 15,000 hours, which was already quite a lot," Sutton notes. "The current generation is now up to 25,000 hours—compared to the average incandescent lifespan of about 1,000 hours, that's a considerable difference. Smart bulbs also on average use 80 percent less power than incandescent lights."

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Anton Galang, a freelance contributor who first started working in the consumer tech industry with PC Magazine in 2007. In addition to covering smart home products for The Spruce, he has reviewed and written about a wide variety of gadgets, games, and hardware for Lifewire since 2019. 

In creating this list of top smart light bulbs, Anton considered over 50 different products across more than 15 brands, comparing reviews and specs of bulbs of various types, uses, platforms, and capabilities. He also discussed broader context and recommendations with Giles Sutton, a long-time smart home integrator and current Senior Vice President of Member Success and Sales at CEDIA, the global industry association for home technology.

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