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The best smart bulbs without a hub you can get

If you want smart lighting but don't want a central controlling device accessible by all, this list is for you.
April 2, 2021
LIFX smart LED light bulb stock photo 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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. Sometimes it’s better to have 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.

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

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 White

Philips Hue White

The Phillips Hue smart bulbs may be the most popular in their 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.

Also: The best smart light switches

Instead, the Philips Hue White 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. 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. Wiz A19 Smart LED

Wiz A19 Smart LED

If you’re a fan of Philips Hue lights but deem them too expensive, a great alternative would be to go with Wiz smart bulbs. Wiz is owned by Signify, which is the same company that owns Philips. They are reliable alternatives that cost much less. And while they don’t offer the same fancy features, these are great options for those looking to get reliable smart LED light bulbs that require no hub.

Related: The best smart lamps you can buy

Wiz lights connect via Wi-Fi and can be controlled via the official smartphone app, as well as smart speakers. We recommend you start with the A19, 60W base model. These are affordable and can be dimmed, all while offering a 2700K warm color temperature running at 800 lumens of brightness.

3. Flux WiFi Smart LED

Flux Wi Fi smart LED light

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 Mini White

LIFX Mini White bulb

This bulb works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. 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.

Also read: Now is a great time to invest in smart light bulbs, but what should you get?

The newer Lifx Mini White is much more simple (and affordable) than what we are used to seeing from the company. The unit can output up to 800 lumens of warm light, and it’s also dimmable. It’s not as fancy as the super-bright, multi-color version, but it will serve most people better considering its accessible price point and simpler operation.

5. Sengled Wi-Fi LED Multicolor A19 Bulb

Sengled Wi Fi LED Multicolor A19 Bulb

Sengled was one of the first companies to make smart bulbs without a hub, and the tradition continues with their latest bulb. The Sengled Wi-Fi LED Multicolor A19 Bulb operates over your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled with an Android or iOS app. Voice controls are also available, thanks to Alexa and Google Assistant support.

As the name entails, this is an RGB light with 16 million available colors. You can also pick between different white temperatures (2000K to 6500K), set schedules, and take advantage of different modes.

6. Teckin Multicolor LED Light Bulb

Teckin Multicolor LED Light Bulb

Teckin makes some of the best smart bulbs without a hub simply because of the value they offer. These cost under $20 for a couple of units and offer RGBW coloring, as well as tunable white.

Also read: Smart home gadgets that are perfect for Android users

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 27.39 years when using the bulb for about three hours a day.

7. TP-Link Kasa KL50

TP Link Kasa KL50

Those who want something a little more unique will love the TP-Link Kasa KL50. It isn’t as powerful and feature-full as other units in this list of the best smart bulbs without a hub, but it is definitely one of the coolest looking.

This light bulb features a unique retro look that will look great in any setting. It mimics old school filaments and creates a soft white ambiance. It’s also a very soothing type of light thanks to its lower 600 lumen output. And don’t let its vintage look fool you, as it has all the capabilities other smart lights enjoy. These can be controlled remotely, through voice assistants, and one can even set schedules for it.

8. Yeelight Smart LED 1S

Xiaomi Yeelight Smart LED Bulb 1S

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.

More: The best smart plugs

You can adjust this bulb using the dedicated app, and it’s an RGB LED, which means you can get creative. One can also set a schedule so that the bulb will turn on and off at specific times. 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.