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The best smart light bulbs: Philips, Lifx, and more

Looking to smarten up your home? Let us shed some light on the subject.
November 25, 2021
Philips Hue bulbs

You can get many devices to begin your smart home journey, but many make smart lights their first purchase. What should you get? In this article, we have curated a list of the best smart light bulbs.

See also: What is a smart home, and why should you want one?

With smart lighting, it’s less about one specific bulb model and more about what brand and ecosystem you prefer. The two most prominent names in the smart light game are Philips Hue and Lifx, though there are many smaller players. Below are just a few choices we recommend.

The best smart light bulbs:

  1. Philips Hue
  2. Lifx
  3. Xiaomi Yeelight
  4. Sengled
  5. TP-Link Kasa

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smart light bulbs regularly as new ones launch.

1. Philips Hue

Philips Hue light bulb 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Philips Hue smart light bulbs are likely the best choice for most people, and they’re my primary choice as well. The brand is easily the most recognized in the space, and its products are pretty reliable. Philips offers some of the best smart light bulbs and lamps that you can control via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. Don’t have a smart speaker? You really should, but if you don’t, you can also control smart light bulbs directly from your smartphone via Hue-compatible apps.

You can turn all the lights on/off at once, or a single one in any room. It’s also possible to dim lights to specific percentages and even check if you forgot to turn off any of them with Assistant. To simplify your investment, Philips offers smart light bundles, which often include lights and a hub.

The only major downside to Hue was its reliance on a hub, but that’s no longer the case. While hubs make it easier to organize your light bulb setup, it’s now possible to buy a Bluetooth-enabled Hue bulb without needing an extra hub for it to work.

2. Lifx

LIFX smart LED light bulb stock photo 4

Not impressed by Hue? Lifx smart light bulbs are similar to those from Philips. You can turn them on/off, dim them, change their color (if the bulb supports colors), and more via Google Home and Amazon Echo devices. One can even create schedules to automate lighting. Just like newer Hue bulbs, Lifx bulbs don’t require a hub. They are also known for reproducing better colors and having a stronger build.

3. Xiaomi Yeelight

Xiaomi Yeelight Color Led Light Bulb

We usually recommend Hue and Lifx, but there are other terrific options out there. This one is for those looking for the best smart light bulbs on a budget. If that sounds like you, check out Xiaomi’s Yeelight offerings.

We previously reviewed Xioami’s desk lamp, a smart plug, and other accessories and found them all great. Particularly impressive is the Yeelight Smart LED bulb, which offers RGB lighting. It works well and is pretty cheap compared to other color light bulbs.

4. Sengled Smart LED bulbs

Sengled smart LED lights

Sengled is yet another budget option when it comes to smart lighting. While I’d personally recommend Yeelight or TP-Link for budget options, Sengled still has a pretty solid following and has some of the best smart light bulbs around. While older Sengled products required a hub, that’s not true of the Smart Wi-Fi line. There are options for daylight, soft white, and color lighting. The latter is a little more expensive but still cheaper than Philips Hue or Lifx options.

You might recognize the brand if you purchased an Amazon Echo device in late 2020. Amazon was offering Sengled bulbs for free with Amazon Echo purchases. However, those were a particular version that only works with Echo speakers.

5. TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb

tp link kasa light laying on dresser
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Kasa smart light bulbs strike the right balance between quality and affordability. It’s also nice that it comes from the renowned brand TP-Link. These need no hub and can be used through Wi-Fi. These bulbs are dimmable, and a color version is available for those who want more customizability. There’s also a white bulb with a tunable light temperature to adapt to your preferences.