It sure seems like nearly every product in our homes has been recreated with Wi-Fi connectivity or smartphone control. Perhaps the most well-known item in this growing category is LED lights. You’re likely familiar with Philips’ line of Hue products but in actuality there are many more options on the market today. We’ve rounded up the best options currently available, from the HomeKit-compatible to Bluetooth and more below…
There are a number of different reasons to consider switching out your traditional light bulbs for these modern day equivalents. Aside from the obvious benefits of smartphone control, LED lights are much more energy efficient and are designed for a longer lifespan. Coupled with the ability to schedule and monitor usage, a new bulb can bring noteworthy savings over an extended period of time.
Like most smart home products, you’ll have a few different options when it comes to connectivity. Some lights use add-on hubs (such as Philips Hue) to communicate between user and device. Others have Wi-Fi built-in or lean on Bluetooth for control. The main benefit here is simplicity. There’s no need for extra installation, simply screw the bulb in and connect your phone directly to the light.
One other area to consider is HomeKit-compatibility. With the introduction of iOS 10, there are more products that work within Apple’s ecosystem than ever before. You can find out more information about this topic here.
Without further ado, here are our top smart LED lights for your home:
Philips Hue 2nd Gen. Starter Kit: $170
The world of smart home light bulbs starts with Philips Hue. Since the beginning, these LEDs have been synonymous with this product category. This starter kit includes the second generation hub and three A19 LED light bulbs. It has HomeKit compatibility, can produce 16 million different colors and is rated 4.2/5 stars by nearly 300 Amazon reviewers. Check out the more affordable standard bundle at $70, that still brings the same level of features without as many colors.
GE Link A19 60W Smart Wi-Fi Connected LED Light Bulb: $13
Much more affordable, GE’s Link light bulbs offer fewer features but maintain smartphone compatibility. You’ll be stuck at a 2700K soft white temperature, so don’t expect to put on any crazy light shows. These bulbs are perfect for adding smartphone control to an existing lamp. It can communicate with popular platforms like Wink, Amazon Echo, SmartThings and Zigbee. Rated 3.8/5 stars by over 1,100 Amazon customers.
TP-Link Smart Wi-FI A19 50W Dimmable LED Light Bulb: $20
TP-Link recently came out with its line of smart LED light bulbs to much fanfare. Its competitive pricing and hub-less design are very attractive for entry-level users. Amazon Echo users will be able to control each light with Alexa and the smartphone app offers schedules, timers and more. Rated 4.5/5 stars.
Osram Sylvania Lightify 60W A19 Smart Home LED Light Bulb: $30
Osram’s line of Sylvania Lightify bulbs bridge the gap between features and affordability. There are different styles from soft white, tunable white and multi-colored to fit nearly any setup. Unfortunately, it does require either a Wink or SmartThings hub to get started. It is also compatible with Amazon Echo. Rated 4/5 stars.
Cree 60W A19 Connected Dimmable LED Light Bulb: $15
Cree is an established veteran in the world of LED lighting, so it’s no surprise that it would come out with its own smart home product. This is a standard dimmable bulb that works with Amazon Echo, Wink, WeMo and Zigbee platforms. Nearly 300 Amazon customers have left a 4.3/5 star rating.
Flux Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb: $34
Now we’re getting into alternatives to Wi-Fi. Flux uses Bluetooth connectivity to communicate between your smartphone and the light bulb. The good news is that you won’t need a hub or any other add-ons. That bad news? It’s difficult to pair together multiple bulbs, so you can only control one at a time. Rated 4.4/5 stars.
Ilumi Bluetooth Smart A19 Dimmable Multicolored Bluetooth LED Light Bulb: $50
This LED light bulb has a few more features than the Flux above with a price tag to match. One notable capability is that you can group these Bluetooth lights together into groups if needed. It’s capable of recreating millions of colors and has all off the smartphone features you’d expect. Rated 3.7/5 stars.
iDevices Socket – Wi-Fi Light Bulb Adapter: $60
Last but not least is the iDevices Socket. This add-on brings smartphone control to any A19 light, simply screw the adapter in and then your own bulb. It is compatible with HomeKit and the free smartphone app. Furthermore, the colored light ring allows you to create “dynamic, low-light environments.” Rated 3.7/5 stars.
There are a few other ways to bring smartphone control your home’s lighting. Two popular options involve a little a handy work but might be the most refined of the bunch. WeMo’s Wi-Fi-enabled light switch goes directly into the wall and can be controlled without the use of a hub. It sells for around $50 and has received solid ratings.
If you’re looking for something more full-featured, be sure to check out Lutron’s Caséta Dimming System with HomeKit support. It has all of the features of the WeMo above, but with extras like remotes and an included Hub. It is HomeKit compatible as well. Learn more in our in-depth hands-on review. The Lutron Caséta starter kit retails for $190.
Finally, and perhaps easiest of all is iHome’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug. You’re not getting a LED light bulb that plugs into a traditional socket but it will at least bring smartphone control to a lamp. It’s a simple product that is compatible with HomeKit. Check out our review for more information.
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