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Philips Hue vs lifx 1

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

First: What is a smart home and why you should want one

With smart lighting, it’s less about one specific bulb model and more about what brand and ecosystem you prefer. The two biggest names in the smart light game are Philips Hue and Lifx, though there are plenty of smaller players as well. 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 devices launch.

1. Philips Hue

Philips Hue Hub and Bulb

Philips Hue is likely the best choice for most people, and my primary choice as well. The brand is easily the most recognized in the space, and its products are fairly reliable. Philips offers some of the best smart light bulbs and lamps that can be controlled via Google Home and Amazon Echo 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 with Assistant if you forgot to turn off any of them. To make your investment simpler, Philips offers smart light bundles, which often include lights and the 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 5

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Not impressed by Hue? Lifx is the second most popular choice. Lifx smart light bulbs are similar to those from Philips. You can turn them on/off, dim them, change their color, 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 Smart LED Multi color Bulb

We usually recommend Hue and Lifx, but there are other great 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.

Also: These are the best smart home gadgets you can buy

We previously reviewed Xioami’s desk lamp, a smart plug, and other accessories and found them all great. Particularly impressive is the Yeelight color LED bulb. It works well and is much cheaper than the options listed above.

4. Sengled Smart WiFi 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.

5. TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb

TP Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb

Kasa smart light bulbs strike the right balance between quality and affordability. It’s also nice that it comes from renown brand TP-Link. These need no hub and can be used through Wi-Fi. These smart light 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.