Best Smart Bulbs in 2020 (July Reviews)

To determine the best smart light bulbs on the market today we considered vital factors like remote smart features, easy app interfaces, and plenty of lighting options to choose from – including brightness and color manipulation. We looked at hundreds of different brands to find our readers the best smart bulb lighting system perfect for any home.

Philips Hue bulbs, our top pick, are one of the oldest and most trusted brands of smart bulbs. They’re incredible at combining ideal features with ease of use. The white bulb pack in particular makes a perfect replacement for older bulbs where you prefer adding new capabilities to your lighting. But it’s not the only smart bulb with great features available, so check out our full list for bulbs that change color, bulbs that work with complex smart home setups, and much more.

Top 7 Best Smart Light Bulbs

 #1  Philips Hue White 4-Pack Smart Light Bulb

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: The excellent design of these bulbs is backed up by the great Hue app and all the smart features you can enable. They’re the best picks for replacing old bulbs around your house offering 22 years or 25,000 hours.


Pros

  • Easy to integrate with Google and Alexa
  • Super easy installation and control
  • Sturdy bulb design

Cons

  • No color change options


These Philips bulbs have all the features we like to see: That includes excellent app controls, a great 25,000 lifetime hours rating, Energy certification, and voice command options via Alexa or Google Home. There are also lots of brightness options, including a soft night light mode. The narrow design of the Bluetooth light bulb also makes it easy to install and fit them into most lamps and sockets without trouble (although Philips does provide a number of alternative base options you can check out, too). Philips also offers additional customizable features and control of all your Philip Hue devices through their Philips Hue Bridge 2.0. You can access the hue bridge even when you’re away from home, and the system is compatible with Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Assistant.

Just about the only thing these Philips bulbs don’t do is change color – they’re more designed to replace traditional white lights around the home, and aren’t really made to act as mood lighting. Though Philips sells those too, albeit at a premium over these, though our pick includes a pack of 4. You might also like the best smart thermostat for your smart home.

 #2  Peteme 4-Pack 60W Color Changing Smart Light Bulb

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: These bulbs can switch from warm white to any other color you want – either from the app or with a voice command! They also have great modes and lighting effects so you can get precisely the look you want.


Pros

  • Best color options; 16 million
  • No hub needed
  • Works with Google, Siri, and Alexa

Cons

  • App interface could be better
  • Only works over 2.4Ghz


If you’re looking for bulbs that change color, you need to check this useful pack. You can set the colors yourself to anything you want, or you can use voice commands with assistants like Alexa and Siri to change colors at any time, which is ideal for turning normal lighting into mood or accent lighting at a moment’s notice. Light effects are also included!

The app is also smart enough to group bulbs together or split them apart depending on how many lights you want to control at one time. Brightness adjustments and thorough scheduling are also supported! Lastly, for these smart lights no hub is needed, though these bulbs only connect over 2.4Ghz, which is a common standard on most routers. The best smart lock is another great home addition.

 #3  TP-Link Kasa Tunable Smart Light Bulb

Award: BEST QUALITY BULB

WHY WE LIKE IT: This tunable bulb from the Kasa line has all the typical smart features for control, plus the ability to directly set the white temperature to whatever you like. It’s a perfect pick for those who like to tinker until they find just the lighting for their favorite activities.


Pros

  • Can tune white temperature
  • Supports all voice assistants
  • No hub required

Cons

  • No color options
  • Shifting color temperature takes extra learning


The Kasa line of smart devices is easy to recommend – they’re durable products with a great app and excellent support from TP-Link. It’s no surprise that Kasa also has some of the best and brightest smart bulb packs around: This bulb has easy scheduling and remote control settings, and is compatible with all the voice assistants for quick commands.

This bulb is also “tunable” which means that you can control the temperature as well as the brightness. That affects how warm and natural the bulb’s light is: different temperatures are suitable for different rooms, times of day, and so on, so this is a great feature to see. Also, no hub is needed to operate these. Smart bulbs are one of the best smart home devices for saving money.

 #4  TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb

Award: BEST WHITE LIGHT BULB

WHY WE LIKE IT: This bulb ditches color temperature changes for a simpler brightness setup that’s easier to learn and saves some money. The result is a high quality white bulb that’s great for anyone, even those without much smart device experience.


Pros

  • Swift, simple installation
  • 1 to 100% brightness adjustments
  • Affordable alternative to tunable version

Cons

  • Some may want color temperature features


This bulb is like our first Kasa pick, but without that tunability feature that lets you set the color temperature – just normal brightness controls from 1% to 100% on this model. That actually creates a couple different advantages: It makes this bulb even more affordable than its alternative, and it’s one less thing for buyers to learn when they’re setting the bulb up and getting it to work.

Otherwise, all the great features are still here, including easy schedule via the Kasa app, voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant – in fact, with the swift setup, these may be the best smart light bulbs for Google Assistant that we’ve seen.. It’s also Energy Star certified! The best smart outlet will also add some versatility to your smart home.

 #5  Saudio Smart Wi-Fi Bulb 4-Pack

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Alexa’s amazing smart home compatibility combines with support for IFTTT scenes on this bulb, making it excellent for setting up complex smart situations. Also, if you buy them in the recommended 4 pack, they’re our budget pick!


Pros

  • IFTTT and Alexa support
  • Easy multicolor changing
  • Great “group” controls on the app

Cons

  • Not as useful without other smart devices


So far, all our bulbs have had compatibility with Alexa (assuming you have an Echo device around to talk to, of course). What makes these the best smart light bulbs for Alexa? Well, it’s also compatible with IFTTT (if this then that), a smart platform for setting up more complicated scenes and controlling multiple smart devices more easily in unique situations. That combines perfectly with Alexa’s broad smart home compatibility – and there’s also Google Assistant and Siri support if you prefer those voice commands.

The other smart features here are also great, including color change options, quick scheduling, and a variety of light modes that make it very easy to set up groups of your own and control multiple lights throughout the house. If you prefer strip lighting to a bulb, take a look at the best waterproof strip lights instead.

 #6  Above Lights Smart Light Bulb 2-Pack

Award: BEST LIFE SPAN

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you like changing colors for various mood lighting or setting the scene, you’ll love these bulbs that last a whopping 35,000 hours! They’re durable, easy to set up, and have voice control options that make switching colors a breeze.


Pros

  • Choose from 16 million colors
  • Rated for 35,000 lifetime hours
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility

Cons

  • Not much use unless you regularly change colors


These bulbs offer a default soft white light, but are happy to switch to any of over 16 million different colors for mood lighting, fun scenes, and much more. Combine this with the great brightness settings, and it’s easy to see why the bulbs are so great at making your home colorful – when you want it to be.

The bulbs also come with voice assistant compatibility for Alexa and Google Assistant, which can indeed change colors as well as brightness with a word. The bulbs are also well-rated at 35,000 lifetime hours, one of the highest on our list. Compare this to the best warm LED strip lights to figure out what’s best for you.

 #7  Wyze Bulb 4-Pack

Award: BEST TRADITIONAL BULB REPLACEMENT

WHY WE LIKE IT: Wyze’s well-designed bulbs give you the perfect scheduling options and voice control, plus great integration with other platforms. They’re ideal for replacing old bulbs and upgrading lighting around your house at the same time!


Pros

  • Excellent, highly functional design
  • Wyze app has a great interface
  • Pairs with Wyze Sense security system

Cons

  • No color options


Wyze’s no-nonsense approach to smart bulbs makes these 60-watt equivalent models the best option for swiftly replacement old bulbs with new versions that look and act a lot like the replaced bulbs – plus some great extra smart features. In this case, those features include scheduling, IFTTT integration, an extra vacation mode, and easy group controls.

The Wyze bulb also supports dimming, which you can do either on the app or with voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant. If you want to invest in other Wyze products, the bulbs are also compatible with the Wyze Sense platform, so they can respond to motion sensors, etc. If you prefer strip lighting for your home, take a look at the best LED strip lights instead.

How We Decided

Just having an app doesn’t say a lot about a smart bulb: It’s all about what features that bulb has. So to get started we first looked for bulbs that give you the most smart features packed into one light.

That includes being able to change the bulb’s brightness levels, setting schedules, controlling the bulb color with pinpoint accuracy, and even adjusting the bulb’s color temperature. Having access to both white and colored light variations will also allow you to freely set the mood you desire for each room. The more customization the bulb has, the better!

We also care a lot about usability. In our tests and research, we favored bulbs that have great apps with easy-to-learn interfaces. We also like to see handy modes that can kind of act as shortcuts to various settings, like sunrise/sunset modes, reading modes, “travel” modes for when you’re away, and similar options. Voice assistants like Alexa and Google assistant are also great for easy usability. Oh, and no modern smart bulb should require a hub to use. Whatever brand you decide to go with, without a hub is always the superior choice.

Then we look for nice extras that make a great pairing with smart features. For example, we awarded extra points for Energy Star certifications. We also liked to see support for setting “scenes” with other smart devices around your home so they can all be controlled at once (dim the lights, play some music, etc., all with one command).

Best Smart Light Bulbs Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Color Options
    Smart light bulbs can come in several different varieties. The first is a simple white bulb designed to mimic natural light as closely as possible. They often have dimming features, but don’t change colors. The other option is a color bulb that changes to pretty much whatever hue you want, whenever you want. They can function as normal lights but switch to mood lighting whenever you want. The third option – which includes some of our top picks – allows you to change the “color temperature” of the light, which controls how close to natural light the bulb is, a.k.a. how “warm” or “cold” the light looks, even if it’s not fully changing color.
  2. Dimming Options
    Some smart bulbs, including most of our top picks, have dimming features, allowing you to use anywhere from 1% to 100% of the light bulb’s brightness. This allows for more personalization, as well as tweaking brightness based on how dark it is outside, which is great for tinkering until you find the perfect levels. However, dimming bulbs require wiring that allows for dimming, which usually means the switch has a neutral wire connection. Without a neutral wire connection, dimming may not be possible.
  3. Size
    This isn’t usually a problem, since most smart bulbs are designed to be around the same shape as traditional incandescent bulbs. However, it’s still important to double-check and make sure that the bulb is small enough to fit into the fixture you have in mind, and that the base design is the right type for your socket.
  4. Voice Assistant and Platform Compatibility
    Just what does your smart bulb work with? There are a couple of things to watch for here. If voice commands are important to you, make sure the bulbs work with your favorite voice assistant, from Alexa to Google Assistant and even to Siri. Also look for bulbs that already work on a smart home platform you have: TP-Link’s Kasa bulbs, for example, work on the same app as other Kasa products, and can save you an extra app download if you already have a Kasa smart device in your home.
  5. App Interface
    You might also want to take a look at the app used for the smart bulbs and how it looks. This is how you’ll be setting schedules, changing colors or brightness, and controlling the bulb remotely (except for voice commands). It should be easy to understand and operate.

Are Smart Light Bulbs Worth It?

Smart bulbs are noticeably more expensive than even their LED counterparts, but prices have gone down greatly in recent years, making initial costs much more affordable. Then there are the long-term savings: smart LED light bulbs use very little electricity and can last for a very long time -- Philips Hue bulbs, for example, are rated for 25,000 hours, which is much longer than most normal LED bulbs. You can also net some extra savings by carefully scheduling smart bulbs to only turn on at certain times in the day. After a few years, thosee smart led bulbs will be paying for themselves. Then there’s the extra usability that smart bulbs provide. If you really want a bulb that you can schedule, dim, or shift colors on demand with, then paying a little extra for those capabilities is probably worth it for you. Ultimately, it’s rarely worthwhile to make every light in your house an LED smart bulb, but very worth it to choose one or several important lights to give these capabilities to

Will Smart Light Bulbs Work in Any Lamp?

The average smart bulb is designed to fit into the traditional United States sockets with a medium screw based - the same kind that used the old-fashioned incandescent lights. Fortunately, this medium based is so common that it’s probably the type of socket you have throughout your house (except for fluorescent tubes, of course). However, there are some exceptions: Chandeliers may use mini light bulbs, Some small lamps may use double-contact bases, and other alternative designs also exist. Finding smart bulbs that fit these kinds of sockets is possible, but will take some research.

Do You Need a Smart Plug with a Smart Bulb?

Absolutely not. A smart plug is designed to fit into a home outlet, and give smart capabilities to whatever device you plug into that outlet (setting schedules, measuring energy use, etc.). It’s an entirely different kind of smart device than a smart plug. In fact, the two are largely exclusive: If you have a plug-in lamp, you can either buy a smart bulb and and screw it in, or buy a smart plug and control the lamp that way while still using a normal bulb - but using both together is useless and confusing. The same is true of a smart light switch.

Do Smart Bulbs Need WiFi?

Yes....if you want to use any of their extra features. The bulb can still turn on and off with the switch like a normal light bulb, but it will need a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection to connect to the app and allow you to do things like set colors, dim the lights, create schedules, work with voice assistants...and every other additional feature. Without Wi-Fi, a smart wi-fi led bulb is a waste - but it will still light up.

Do Smart Bulbs Use Electricity When Turned Off?

A tiny bit, yes, as they need to stay connected to your Wi-Fi system, but when not being actively used or controlled they enter a sort of hibernate mode that saves a lot of power. So, maybe 0.15 watts per hour or so, which adds up to around 2 cents a month, depending on your electricity rates. In other words, it’s quite negligible.

Amazon Alexa vs. Google Assistant, which one is the superior choice?

Amazon Alexa Google Assistant? Judging which smart assistant beats the other can be a challenge since both offer similar features for roughly the same price. Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, Alexa or Google, Alexa Google Assistant... Your mind is probably jumping back and forth, trying to determine which choice is right for you. And to tell you the truth, both are excellent choices that offer a variety of features, and the decision honestly depends on what you're looking for in an AI assistant. If we had to choose, we would recommend Alexa as the superior choice for smart home integration. Smart devices can do a lot more when you connect them to Alexa. Even something seemingly simple such as smart lighting works with Alexa in unique and innovative ways. For instance, your Smart Led Lights will turn on if Alexa hears a window breaking or a fire alarm going off. To get started have a look at the Alexa Smart Light Starter Kit. The kit includes 1 Amazon Smart Plug, 1 LIFX Mini White Wi-Fi Smart Bulb, and an introductory smart lighting pamphlet. LIFX bulbs are dimmable and allow you to alter the brightness with an output of 800 lumens.

Homekit or Alexa or Google, which one is the better choice?

Homekit is Apple's smart home solution that lets you control and communicate with smart home devices. Their Homekit support allows users to control appliances with voice commands through Siri and boasts many similar features to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. But which AI assistant is the better choice? Homekit Alexa Google? As we've mentioned above, in comparison to Google Assistant, Alexa is the better choice and remains superior – only if you're not an Apple fanatic and own every Apple product available. For users who have yet to purchase multiple Android or Apple products, Amazon Alexa offers a variety of compatible smart gadgets to choose from, including a range of both essential and fun features to explore.

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Learn More About Smart Light Bulbs

The best smart light bulbs are an essential aspect of smart lighting with home automation. Smart light bulbs can be controlled with an enabled mobile phone, they are programmable LED bulbs that are connected via Wi-Fi and can switch on and off at pre-determined times and you can easily control their brightness.

Check out the smart light bulb reviews on Gadget Review; compare the different options based on form factor, ease of installation, degree of control, compatibility with different standards of connectivity, and costs.

Find out in exhaustive detail the feature set of the best smart light bulbs by Philips, LIFX, WeMo, and Olixar. Learn about unique pairings such as smart bulbs that feature speakers; these let you enjoy music or audio when the bulb is switched on. You can even use the lightbulb to play nursery rhymes to your kid. There are portable and waterproof smart bulbs in the market that you can take camping; and these smart devices will play music and also take your phone calls.

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