The best smart bulbs of 2024 to add convenience to your home


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Philips


Ever had your hands full while trying to navigate a dark room? Or maybe you just jumped into your warm, cozy bed but forgot to turn off the lights?

Controlling your lighting by app or voice command is incredibly helpful. If you don’t have smart home lighting yet, now’s the perfect time to upgrade with the best smart light bulbs of 2024.

Smart bulbs make home lighting completely hands-free. However, setting up smart lighting can be tricky, so it’s important to consider your options before buying. Wondering which smart light bulbs are right for you? Shop our picks to find the perfect fit for your home.


The best smart light bulbs

The best smart lights offer both white and color options, Bluetooth and hub connectivity, and easy installation. They are reliable high-quality fixtures making them ideal for setting up a smart home. Check out these top-rated options from Philips, GE Cync, TP-Link and Lifx. 

Our top choice: Philips Hue High Lumen smart bulb

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Amazon


The Philips Hue line is tough to beat when it comes to smart lighting. The premium-priced 100W High Lumen series boasts serious brightness, which is especially useful for larger living spaces. Choose from white light or over 16 million shades, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth setup that’s simple to control straight from your phone or digital smart home platform. Change lighting effects with the touch of a button, or by voice commands. Add the Hue Hub (sold separately) to enable additional options, including timers, lighting scenes, and much more.

An Amazon customer called this smart light bulb one of the best on the market: “These are some top-of-the-line smart bulbs. Can you find cheaper bulbs as far as cost is concerned? Yes, you can. But the saying goes, ‘You get what you pay for.’ And that holds true with these bulbs. If you are willing to invest into the Hue System, you won’t be disappointed.”

Philips Hue High Lumen smart bulb, $49 (reduced from $65)


GE Cync Direct Connect smart bulb

GE Cync Direct Connect smart bulb

Amazon


GE’s Cync Direct Connect smart bulbs are affordable and full-featured lights that come with a wide variety of options. They’re a little less bright than other smart bulbs in their price range, at 750 lumens, but they support millions of colors and different features. 

Without the need for a hub, they can connect via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi via an app to allow set schedules, saved color scenes, and some of the simplest setup options you’ll find. 

 An Amazon buyer proclaimed these smart lights as a “kaleidoscope for the hearth”: “It has all the colors on the spectrum, and can imitate settings like the flickering of a candle or sunset. The light can be dimmed or enhanced in intensity. These are also rated to last 15 times longer than regular bulbs.” 

 GE Cync Direct Connect smart bulb, $16 (reduced from $24)


TP-Link Tapo smart Wi-Fi light strip

TP-Link Tapo smart Wi-Fi light strip

Amazon


If strip lighting is more your speed, this smart light strip is a simple, straightforward option that has everything you need to illuminate your room with ease. You’ll have access to a kaleidoscopic 1,000 lumens of brightness and 16 million colors. But if that’s a bit overwhelming, no worries: It comes with preset color scenes to choose from, right out of the box. 

Plus, it’s nearly foolproof to set up, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, which means you’re covered, no matter which platform you’ve opted for. They’re great for adding lighting effects to doorways, entire rooms, or even the back of a TV to enhance shows and movies.

An Amazon buyer called them perfect: “Couldn’t ask for a better setup, the app works flawlessly and the lighting is better than I was hoping. I’ll be getting more sets!”

TP-Link Tapo smart Wi-Fi light strip, $29 with coupon (reduced from $50)


Lifx Mini White smart bulb

Lifx Mini White smart bulb

Amazon


If you’re looking for a no-frills smart light that you can plug in and use within minutes, the Lifx mini bulb is a fantastic option. It boasts a smaller form factor than its brethren, and it offers only white light, but it’s impressively bright, with 800 lumens. It connects quickly and painlessly to your Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth and doesn’t require a hub. It’s barebones in terms of additional features, but it’s so simple and reliable that it may as well be like screwing in a traditional light bulb.

An Amazon buyer was thoroughly happy with the purchase: “I got a top tier, non-hub, competitor multi-color bulb that works well. They all integrate seamlessly with Alexa routines including on/off times or commands, sunset/sunrise times, dim down or ramp up brightness rates (e.g. go to 80% in 50 minutes). Quality product.” 

Lifx Mini White smart bulb, $15


The best smart lights for voice control

The best smart light bulbs for voice control offer a variety of color choices, Bluetooth support, hub compatibility and stress-free installation. Check out these top-rated options from Philips, Wyze and Sengled for a versatile and reliable voice-controlled setup.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulb

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulb

Amazon


This smart light boasts exceptional quality, with more than 16 million shades, including brilliant white. It’s also very simple to set up. Adjusting voice control settings can be done directly from the Bluetooth-enabled app, which lets you manage up to 10 smart bulbs at a time. It boasts a whopping 25,000-hour lifetime. Heavy users can purchase a Hue Hub (sold separately) to unlock additional features, including timers and routines. 

One Amazon customer praised this light’s response time when used for general lighting or special effects: “I have been able to sequence lightning strikes with sound effects, sudden rapid color changes and a whole set of fun effects. When not being used for effects, these lights illuminate my porch with a realistic yet not too distracting flame effect.”

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulb, $50


Wyze Bulb color smart bulbs

Wyze Bulb Color smart bulb

Amazon


These affordable Wyze smart light bulbs are a midrange option that can hold their own against the incomparable Philips Hue smart bulb. It offers 16 million colors to choose from, and a connected Wyze app to adjust scene changes, hue, and lighting temperature control, with no hub or bridge required for additional features.

An Amazon customer praised the bulb for its excellent value and reliability: “These bulbs do everything promised and are very reliable. I’ve used them for a few weeks and I’m ordering another 4-pack to use in a second-floor lamp in my living room.”

Wyze Bulb color smart bulbs 4-pack, $50


Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED light bulb 2-pack

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED light bulb 2-pack

Amazon


This budget bulb is the cheapest option available, and you get a 2-pack for less than the price of its competitors. It offers 16 million colors and works with both Alexa and Google Home, though it does not support Apple HomeKit. 

It does, however, come with a variety of features, including scheduling and routines, without the need for an additional hub. For simple voice-controlled lighting with additional remote setup options, Sengled’s bulbs are viable and frugal buys that come with a few of the bells and whistles their competitors offer. 

One Amazon customer proclaimed they love these bulbs and that there’s no hub required: “Overall, I highly recommend the Sengled smart bulb to anyone looking for an easy and convenient way to control their lighting. It’s a great investment that pays off in both convenience and energy savings.”

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED light bulb 2-pack, $17


How to choose the best smart light bulbs

Setting up smart lights in your home can be a complicated affair, so here’s a basic rundown of what you need to know. A smart light is a bulb that can be controlled via app or voice command. It connects to your home Wi-Fi and can be turned on or off, scheduled, set to routines, and more with your phone or spoken phrases. 

There are a wide variety of smart light bulbs on the market. Choosing the right one for your needs means figuring out what type of control you’re looking for. Would you prefer direct access via a smartphone app where you can control everything with a few taps? Or would you rather have voice control with smart home assistant support, like with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit?

A voice-controlled smart light bulb lets you adjust your home lighting by speaking. It connects to a smart device, like a speaker, that “listens” to commands. When a command is received, a clip of the audio is sent to a remote server to “understand” what is being asked. 

Then, those instructions go back to the smart device to carry them out. You might, say, use Alexa on a device like an Amazon Echo to say “Alexa, turn on the lights,” or something similar. These lights are often connected either via Bluetooth, a smart light switch, or a smart hub.

With that in mind, you’ll need to consider whether you need a smart plug or a hub for your setup. Some smart lights simply connect to Bluetooth and grant control from there. But others require a hub for full functionality, including light timers and dimming options. If you choose to connect your lights to a smart light switch without a hub, you may end up with less functionality, but you can still use your voice to turn your lights off and on. 

How to set up voice-activated lights

To set up voice control with your home lights, you’ll need three pieces: smart lights, a device (think switch, plug, or hub with voice assistance compatibility), and a stable Wi-Fi connection. Once that’s settled, you can even control your smart bulb and switch remotely via app, along with your voice, with AI-driven assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. 

For most smart devices, it only takes a few moments to sync your lights and turn on voice commands. When you’ve installed the smart bulb of your choice, you’ll need to connect it to the platform it works with. For instance, a Philips Hue smart bulb can be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone-controlled app or a separate hub. You can buy the hub, or use a compatible device for voice control. Example: A Philips Hue bulb can connect to an Alexa-enabled device via Skills.

When your smart bulb is connected to the correct platform, all that’s left is learning what commands to use. You may already be familiar with Alexa, which wakes when you say — you guessed it — “Alexa,” or Siri, which triggers with “Hey, Siri.” 

You can issue directives like “turn on all lights” or “turn on kitchen lights,” for example. Each bulb and assembly comes with a specific set of phrases — or light “recipes” — you can use to customize how you’d like your lights to perform. From there, you can customize how you’ll interface with your lights. Not feeling voice control? You can always switch back over to an app or a good old-fashioned light switch if you choose. 




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