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What's the best smart light bulb for smart home buyers?

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 our favorite smart light options.

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.

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 white background

Philips Hue is likely the best choice for most people, and my primary choice as well (I also have a few Lifx bulbs I use regularly, and have personally used all brands on this list expect Sengled). The brand is easily the most recognized in the space, and its products are fairly reliable. . Philips offers loads of 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.

Here are just a few options we recommend checking out:

2. Lifx Smart Bulbs

lifx bulb pi

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.

Here’s just a few of our favorite lighting products from Lifx:

3. Xiaomi Yeelight Smart Light Bulbs

Xiaomi Yeelight Color Led Light Bulb

We usually recommend Hue and Lifx, but there are other great options out there. This one is for those looking to make their homes smarter 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 color LED bulb. It works well and is much cheaper than the competition at just $9.99.

Here’s just a few options from Yeelight:

4. Sengled Smart WiFi LED bulbs

Sengled Smart WiFi LED Light BulbAmazon

Sengled is yet another budget option when it comes to smart lighting. While I’d personally recommend Yeelight or Eufy for budget options, Sengled still has a pretty solid following and so it might be worth a look. While older Sengled products required a hub, that’s not true of the Smart WiFi line.

Here’s what we recommend from Sengled:

5. Eufy smart light bulbs

Anker Eufy Lumos Dimmable Smart Bulb Warm

Anker is a great brand and I love a lot of its accessories and budget speakers, but let’s not forget about its smart lighting brand, Eufy. While I personally prefer the app used by Xiaomi Yeelight products, I have found Eufy bulbs to be slightly more reliable (though you shouldn’t go wrong with either option). While Eufy’s white bulbs aren’t any cheaper than Hue lights, the Eufy color bulb costs much less than most of its competition.

Here are the best Eufy smart lighting products we recommend:

Making your home smart may be daunting at first, but the results are definitely worth your effort. We hope to get you started with this list of the best smart light bulbs, but there are more ways to make your home smarter!

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