Courtesy of Best Buy
One of the easiest ways to make your home more efficient is by swapping out standard light bulbs for smart ones. But what, exactly, is a smart light bulb? "These internet-capable LED bulbs can be controlled remotely via Bluetooth or your voice (think Alexa and Google Home)," explains home improvement expert Kathryn Emery. Unlike standard incandescent iterations, smart bulbs can be controlled from anywhere, are dimmable, and often change colors. According to Emery, it's important to stick to a uniform brand when you shop, so "everything is connected and easy to control." And while you might need to factor in a "hub," which is a separate appliance that activates your lighting, "some smart bulbs don't require an extra piece of hardware—meaning you simply screw it in and connect it to your WiFi network."
As you might expect, smart bulbs are pricier than the ones you grew up using—but you will save money in the long run. "Most LED lights only cost a few dollars a year to operate," explains Emery, noting that if you left home but forgot to turn the lights off, you could do so remotely, saving on your energy bill in the process. They can also offer peace of mind and ambience: "If you're on vacation and don't want your home to be dark while you are away, you can set a schedule. Watching a movie or want to set a mood? Dim the lights." Ready to ditch your traditional lighting, but don't know where to start? Ahead, find several of the best smart bulbs on the market.
Best Smart Light Bulbs to Buy Now
Best Budget Buy: LIFX A19 White LED Smart Bulb
Best for Color Lovers: Phillips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth LED Bulb
Best for Outdoor Use: Phillips Hue White Ambiance Lily Outdoor Spotlight Base Kit
Hardware-Free Smart Bulb: Cree Lighting Connected Max A19 LED White & Color Changing Bulb
Smart Bulb with Motion Sensor: Wyze Labs WLPA19 White Smart Bulb
If you already own a Ring doorbell camera, then you should stick with the brand when stocking up on smart light bulbs (they require a Ring bridge or a compatible Echo device, which you already have). Use these bulbs to increase your home's security by setting schedules and turning your lights on remotely through the included app.
Shop Now: Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb, $14.99, amazon.com.
With 16 million different color options, these smart bulbs are perfect if you want to turn your living room into a home theater or love hosting parties and creating a festive atmosphere. Invest in the Hue bridge for the full experience, but the bulbs are also compatible with Alexa, Google Home, or Siri.
Shop Now: Phillips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth LED Bulbs, $135 for 3-pack, bestbuy.com.
If you don't want to spend money on extra hardware, consider this smart bulb that pairs with Alexa or Google Home. You can automate it to gradually change throughout the day to mimic natural light, which is ideal if you live in a darker space.
Shop Now: Cree Lighting Connected Max A19 LED White & Color Changing Bulb, $12.66, amazon.com.
Wyze Labs' smart bulb pairs with Alexa or Google Home is great for travelers—you can set a lighting schedule while you're away. Motion sensor controls are also possible with the Wyze Sense, which is sold separately.
Shop Now: Wyze Labs WLPA19 White Smart Bulb, $14.19, amazon.com.
Made specifically for lighting up yards, this spotlight kit pairs with Alexa, Google Home, or Siri and is ideal for highlighting outdoor features like trees, hedges, and fountains.
Shop Now: Phillips Hue White Ambiance Lily Outdoor Spotlight Base Kit, $390, walmart.com.
If you want an affordable smart bulb that's dimmable and programmable, this model from LIFX—which is under $10 a pop—is your best bet.
Shop Now: LIFX A19 White LED Smart Bulb, $9.99, amazon.com.
This smart bulb from Kasa Smart is dimmable, doesn't require extra hardware, and is perfect for adjusting the lighting in your bedroom (which can help you wake up in the morning). It pairs with Alexa, Google Home, or Microsoft Cortana.
Shop Now: Kasa Smart Color Changing A19 LED Bulb, $13.99, amazon.com.
Eufy's model also doesn't require a hub. Better yet, it's tunable, meaning you can control the "temperature" of the light from warm to cool.
Shop Now: Eufy A19 Tunable White LED Smart Bulb, amazon.com.