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Best Smart Light Bulbs

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 158 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best smart light bulbs

    Last Updated September 2018

    It seems these days that placing the word “smart” in front of a product name instantly make the item better. Smartphones are far more functional than other kinds of phones. Smart TVs bring a whole new set of programming options. Smart watches can tell you when it’s time to exercise, and who’s calling your smartphone.

    Keeping with the times, smart light bulbs are the next evolutionary step of one of the most common objects in your home today. A smart light bulb is one that can be controlled remotely, through a WiFi connection.

    BestReviews helps readers find the best options for each product. You can count on the research we’ve compiled to give you the information you need for a smart purchase. Continue reading to learn more about smart light bulbs.

    If you don’t own a smartphone, tablet, or some other device to host your smart bulb’s app, you won’t be able to gain the full benefit of using smart light bulbs.

    Considerations for smart light bulbs

    Smart light bulbs offer numerous benefits for residential and commercial users. We’ve collected some of the best reasons to employ smart bulbs.

    Energy reduction

    If you currently use fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs, a smart LED bulb can provide significant energy savings. Traditional LED bulbs also will reduce your energy use, but smart LED bulbs offer several additional features.

    Fun

    Although smart light bulbs offer quite a few benefits, don’t forget about how much fun using them can be. Colored lighting can amaze your kids, or can create a product showcase for visitors to your business.

    Scheduling

    Using a smartphone app with your smart light bulb gives you many options for scheduling when the lights will be active. You can turn lights off and on when you aren’t home, or you can dim lights near bedtime with smart LED apps.

    EXPERT TIP

    Smart light bulbs will not save you money initially. They will cost quite a bit more than a standard LED bulb. You’re paying for extra features in the smart bulb.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Features for smart light bulbs

    When comparing different smart LED bulb products, you’ll find many of the bulbs have similar features. So when shopping for smart LEDs, it pays to keep an eye on the small differences between each product.

    Color changing

    Different smart light bulbs will offer multiple colors, but the range of colors in each bulb differs. Make sure the bulb you select can create the colors you want.

    Speakers

    Some smart bulbs even contain basic audio speakers. These allow you to stream music through the bulbs. These speakers won’t give you top-notch audio quality, but they do give you a way to have audio throughout your home, without an additional device.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Even though color smart bulbs rank highly in popularity, you can find white-only smart light bulbs, too.

    Light direction

    A smart light bulb should direct its light in multiple directions. However, different models of bulbs will distribute the beams of light differently.

    Check packaging and reviews carefully to determine whether the bulb you select provides the kind of light coverage needed for your situation.

    Compatibility

    If you already use a smart home hub, check whether the smart bulbs you’re considering are compatible with it.

    You don’t want to have to use multiple apps to control a smart thermostat, security cameras, and your smart lights. Using just one app with these products will make it easier to control everything.

    Using a smart-home hub may allow you to successfully mix different brands of smart bulbs in your home.

    FAQ

    Q. Am I better off with a smart light switch?

    A. There are some benefits for smart switches over smart bulbs. The smart switch can control several standard LED bulbs at one time, for example, saving you money. However, smart switches don’t have as many different features as a smart light bulb, including color changing options.

    Q. What are some disadvantages of smart light bulbs?

    A. The smart light bulb will react more slowly than a traditional wired light bulb. Using an app and a WiFi connection to control the bulb introduces a tiny bit of lag versus flipping a switch wired directly to the bulb. These delays can run anywhere from one to five seconds, depending on your system. And while you still may be able to control the basic on/off function with a manual switch, any other features of your smart bulb won’t be available if your WiFi service goes down.

    Q. What colors can I have with smart light bulbs?

    A. Color accuracy can be a bit of a hit and miss prospect with some brands of smart bulbs. Some may only give you a deep pink color instead of a proper red color, for example. Check product specifications and reviews to learn how many colors a bulb offers before purchasing.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alvina
      Alvina
      Photographer
    • Amos
      Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Branson
      Branson
      Videographer
    • Ciera
      Ciera
      Production Assistant
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Steph
      Steph
      Web Producer

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