You want to install “smarter” home lighting, but you don’t want to deal with all the different standards like Zigbee, Z-Wave, and other proprietary connections. You don’t want to tie your entire smart home down to just one hub, either. All you want is a smart light that simply works out of the box. We get it, and we’re here to help with our guide to the best smart bulbs without a hub.
All smart bulbs appearing on this list are A19-class devices fitting into an E26 socket, which you can see illustrated in a chart here. These smart bulbs either have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning all you need is a wireless network and an internet connection, or built-in Bluetooth, so you can control them with your smartphone and an app.
The best smart bulbs without a hub:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best smart bulbs regularly as new ones launch.
1. Philips Hue
The Phillips Hue smart bulbs may be the most popular products in this small but growing category. Previous though, their bulbs required that you also purchase a separate Hue Bridge hardware hub so you could set them up and control them. That is no longer the case, although you can still use the Hue Bridge with them if you want for additional functionality.
Instead, as the name suggests, the Philips Hue with Bluetooth smart bulbs have Bluetooth, so all you need is the company’s smartphone app for setup and control. You can use the app to remotely turn the bulbs on or off, or you can dim or brighten the light that comes from the bulbs. The app also comes with pre-sets that let you instantly change the settings to serve your mood; ideal for a romantic night in, or while playing video games or watching movies. If you get one of the bulbs that support millions of different colors, the app lets you change the light to whatever color you desire. If you own an Amazon Echo smart speaker, you can also control the bulbs with voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant.
2. Anker Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb
This is your standard “tunable” white smart LED bulb without any special colors, though you can customize the lighting temperature between warm white (2,700K) and cool white (6,500K). Setup is extremely easy: simply install the bulb, power on the lighting device (lamp, etc.), launch the EufyHome app, and connect the bulb to the internet.
Related: The best smart lamps you can buy
You can link your EufyHome account to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Using voice commands, you can change the lighting temperature, turn off the lights, schedule on and off times, and control the bulb while away from home.
The Eufy Lumos smart bulb has a maximum brightness of 600 Lumens, the equivalent of a 60-watt bulb. You can get a version supporting 16 million colors for a slightly higher price.
3. Flux WiFi Smart LED
If you need more color in your life, this Flux LED bulb has plenty with more than 16 million at your fingertips. Simply install the bulb in your lighting device, open the Flux WiFi app, and connect the bulb to the internet.
After the initial setup, connect your account to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or an IFTTT-compatible device to change colors, dim the lights, and more using voice commands. Other features include schedules for appearing at home when away on vacation, music synchronization for dance floor effects, and a wake-up mode.
On the maximum brightness front, the Flux WiFi Smart LED Bulb is comparable to a 50-watt incandescent bulb. You can also get a version with Bluetooth connectivity, and another model with a higher brightness through the Flux website. This bulb has a 20,000-hour lifetime.
4. LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Bulb
This bulb works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Microsoft Cortana. The setup process is no different than the other smart bulbs on our list, requiring you to install the free Lifx app, connect the bulb to the internet, and link the account to your preferred assistant.
Features provided in this smart bulb include over 16 million colors, scheduling, lighting themes, dimming, and more. You can control smart bulbs individually using the Lifx app, or group all the installed smart bulbs together for unified management.
The Lifx Wi-Fi Smart LED bulb is equivalent to a standard 75-watt bulb. It promises up to 22.8 years of life based on the use of three hours per day. All these things combined make it one of the best smart bulbs without a hub you can get.
5. Sengled Wi-Fi LED Soft White
As the name states, there are no fancy colors here. Instead, this bulb ranges from soft white (2,700K) to daylight-style (5,000K) illumination. You install and control thus bulb using the Sengled Home app, but it also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant after linking your free Sengled account.
With the Sengled Home app, you can create scenes, dim the lights on command, set schedules, and more. The app also includes a performance guide showing power usage, online time, power cycles, and the money you’ve saved after installing the bulb.
This Sengled bulb promises an 80-percent energy savings compared to incandescent light bulbs. It has a two-year warranty and a maximum brightness equivalent to a standard 60-watt bulb.
6. Teckin RGB Smart Bulb
This model relies on the Smart Home app developed by Yu Xiang. It supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT devices, enabling voice-based commands. Simply install the app, connect the bulb to the internet, and link the free Teckin account to your favorite assistant.
Similar to other smart bulbs on our list, Teckin’s model supports various customizable themes, schedules, and over 16 million colors. The company says it consumes up to 60 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb, which you can track within the app.
The Teckin smart bulb has a maximum brightness equivalent to a 60-watt bulb. It promises a lifespan of over 30,000 hours, or 27.39 years when using the bulb for just three hours a day.
7. TP-Link Kasa KL130
Similar to the Anker Eufy Lumos model, this smart LED bulb features a “turnable” illumination ranging from soft white (2,500K) to daytime-style white (9,000K). It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana voice commands after linking your free Kasa account to these services.
Controlling TP-Link’s smart bulb is the Kasa Smart app, enabling you to set schedules, lighting scenes, adjust the brightness, track energy usage, and tune the lighting temperature. You can also change the color to spice things up a bit.
This smart bulb without a hub has a maximum brightness of 800 Lumens, or the equivalent of a traditional 60-watt bulb. It has a lifespan of 25,000 hours.
8. Yeelight Smart Wi-Fi Bulb
This bulb is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and works without a hub, just like the rest of the products on this list.
You can adjust the brightness of this bulb as well as its temperature from warm to cool white through the dedicated app. You can also set a schedule so that the bulb will turn on and off at the exact time you want. That means the bulb can turn on when your alarm rings, for example, making sure you won’t bump into any furniture when you get up.
More: The best smart plugs
The Yeelight Smart Wi-Fi bulb has a maximum brightness of 800 Lumens, or the equivalent of a standard 60-watt bulb. It promises a lifespan of up to 22 years.
These are the best smart light bulbs that work without a hub in our opinion. We’ll update the post once new ones launch.