Not long ago, smart bulbs were costly, often over $50 for just a single bulb. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore because increased competition has driven prices considerably down, which means you can add more to your smart home without spending a fortune. In addition, they can also help save you money on your electric bill and enhance your home’s decor.
In the last few years, however, smart lights have expanded beyond just traditional smart light bulbs. You’ll find a wealth of smart options like wall lights, string lights, strip lights, lamps, and more. The segment has grown tremendously, offering consumers even more variety when lighting their homes and spaces.
Finding the best smart bulbs can be a dizzying experience, especially when there’s a lot to consider before making a decision — as well as all the other smart lights out there. You may wonder if it’s a good idea to stick with an option compatible with your existing smart home setup; the two biggest platforms are Amazon Alexa and Google Home. On top of this, there are many other factors to consider to find the smart light that’s best suited for you.
To help make this decision easier, we’ve tested many of the most popular smart lights. From brands you know to others you might not have heard about, we rigorously tested each to determine the best smart bulbs. But remember, there are plenty to consider, like the best outdoor smart lights, gaming lights and some neat-looking wall lights.
The Best Smart Lights At a Glance
1. Best Overall: LIFX Color A19 — $42.99 at Amazon
2. Runner Up: Philips Hue White & Color A19 — $48.95 at Amazon
3. Most Reliable: Sylvania Smart+ A19 — $12.22 at Amazon
4. Best Table Lamp: Philips Hue Iris — $87.99 at Amazon
5. Best Affordable: Wyze Bulb Color — $15.98 at Amazon
6. Best for Google Home: GE CYNC Bulb — $12.99 at Amazon
7. Coolest Wall Light: Nanoleaf Lines — $199.99 at Amazon
8. Best Zigbee: Sengled Zigbee Smart Bulb — $22.49 at Amazon
9. Neat Neon Wall Sign: Twinkly Flex — $97.50 at Amazon
10. Brightest Bulb: Philips Hue White A21 — $21.97 at Amazon
11. Best for Amazon Alexa: Govee Smart LED Bulb — $13.99 at Amazon
12. 3D Wall Art: Govee Glide Hex Pro Light Panels — $249.99 at Amazon
13. Best For Apple HomeKit: Nanoleaf Essentials A19 — $19.99 at Amazon
14. Best Nightlight: LIFX Candle Color E12 — $44.99 at Amazon
15. Best Star Projector: BlissLights Sky Light Evolve — $59.99 at Amazon
16. Best Home Security Integration: Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb — $14.99 at Amazon
17. Also Consider: Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb — $18.99 at Amazon
18. Best Strip Light: GE CYNC Smart LED Light Strip — $35.85 at Amazon
SPY Smart Lights Reviews
We’ve taken some of the most popular brands in the smart bulbs space, like Philips Hue, Sengled, Sylvania, and LIFX, and rated them in each of the categories we mentioned below in our section on how we chose the best smart bulbs. Along with brands with a proven track record, we also tested smart bulbs from Wyze, Govee, Novostella and other lesser-known brands. Finally, we also looked at LED strip lights and flexible rope lights to ensure you have the perfect lighting for every room.
LIFX Color A19
Best For: All-around smart bulb perfect for anywhere around the home.
Why We Chose It: It’s the most robust option compatible with the three biggest smart home platforms, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s HomeKit.
Philips Hue has the edge regarding brand recognition, but the LIFX Color A19 takes our top spot because it takes quality more seriously than the rest. Our initial impression of the bulb is that it feels dense and has a sturdy construction.
More importantly, we love that it supports Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s HomeKit. No matter what smart home platform you’re using at home, it’s ready out of the box to work with it. Plus, it offers the convenience of connecting directly to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Regarding light, the LIFX Color A19 lights up the room as one of the brightest bulbs on our list. It also helps that it has incredible saturation levels with its color options.
Philips Hue White & Color A19
Best For: Multi-socket floor lamps and other fixtures to help establish mood lighting.
Why We Chose It: Philips Hue has proven to have an excellent track record, and its A19 smart bulb has been extremely reliable.
Regarding smart lights, no one has a higher reputation in the space than Philips Hue. We’ve been using the Philips Hue White & Color A19 for nearly four years, and even though it’s been available for quite some time now, we still find it one of the most reliable smart bulbs.
Even though some people may not be a fan of having to use a bridge to control the Philips Hue White & Color A19, we found that it helped lessen the burden on our home’s Wi-Fi network. This is evident when we use the app to turn it on/off because there’s barely any delay. To top it off, the Philips Hue White & Color A19 offers superb color saturations to help set the mood wherever it’s placed.
Sylvania Smart+ A19
Best For: Ceiling lights where you need ample lighting coverage.
Why We Chose It: Sylvania has a proven track record of producing reliable lights.
The bathroom may not be the first place you think of installing a smart bulb like the Sylvania Smart+ A19 because the moisture from steamy showers and baths can challenge whether the bulbs will continue to work overtime. However, after nearly two years of using them, we’re happy to report that they still work perfectly fine despite being exposed to constant moisture.
This color-changing smart LED light bulb was simple to set up because it connected directly to our home’s Wi-Fi network. We also found that it was quick at connecting to the network, often in about ten seconds when we manually turned them on through the light switch in the bathroom.
Philips Hue Iris
BEST TABLE LAMP
Best For: Side tables for ambient light. Any wall art or decor you might have hung up and need highlighted.
Why We Chose It: It’s not just a secondary light source; its strong brightness output and color saturation make it a formidable primary source.
When it comes to unwinding down at the end of the night or perhaps highlighting one of your favorite pieces of wall art, you’ll adore the Philips Hue Iris’ ability to nail down the ambiance. This smart table lamp is unique, especially with its transparent body. It sort of looks like a spotlight, but the see-through casing has a hypnotic appeal to it.
We also love how it can get really bright, which makes it a great reading light. But on top of all that, the Philips Hue Iris offers incredible saturation. Seriously, you can enhance the look of rooms by pairing this with Philips Hue’s smart light bulbs for even more exotic color scenes to see and experience through the Philips Hue app.
Wyze Bulb Color
Best For: Budget shoppers who want an inexpensive color-changing smart bulb.
Why We Chose It: If you’re looking to outfit your entire home with smart LED light bulbs, these will save you money compared to other bulbs.
Wyze has made significant headway in the smart home space for its aggressively priced products, and the Wyze Bulb Color is no different. You can buy a single one for under $16, which is substantially less than what you’d pay for a Philips Hue or LIFX smart bulb, which can cost around $34-$49 per bulb.
Even with all the savings, the Wyze Bulb Color still offers direct Wi-Fi connection, voice command support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and produces vibrant colors. Color-changing smart bulbs don’t come cheap, so we love the Wyze Bulb Color for its ultra-affordable cost.
GE CYNC Bulb
BEST FOR GOOGLE HOME
Why We Chose It: You can add additional automation in the Google Home app to have it work jointly with other smart home devices.
The GE CYNC Bulb is a color-changing option for Google Home users. After we set it up through the Cync App for mobile, we found it helpful that we were able to set up an automation in the Google Home app to turn it on automatically whenever our front door is opened.
Beyond setting it up for a variety of automation, we also like how the CYNC app for mobile is one of the most intuitive apps out there. While using the app, we could see what the scene looks like without us being there to see it ourselves. When setting up the TrueImage feature, we were required to take a photo of GE CYNC Bulb at its location so that it gave us a preview of what the scene would look like when changing colors.
COOLEST WALL LIGHT
Best For: Gamers looking to upgrade their gaming setups.
Why We Chose It: These abstract lines offer some degree of customization, especially when they light up in different color patterns.
If you’re a hardcore PC gamer, you’ll fall in love with the Nanoleaf Lines. First, these modular wall lights can be arranged in all sorts of patterns to make them your own. They radiate with light for that neat, sci-fi effect to enhance the look of any gaming setup.
Even better, the Nanoleaf Lines can synchronize with your monitor to match up the action with its lighting effects. Add to that, it can also light up to the beat of your music for an even more immersive experience. It’s pricey but certainly unique among smart lights.
Sengled Zigbee Smart Bulb
BEST FOR ZIGBEE
Best For: Users with an existing Zigbee hub in their homes, like the Amazon Echo Show 10.
Why We Chose It: You can quickly set it up through a Zigbee Hub.
Read more: Amazon Echo Show 10 Vs Amazon Echo Show 15
Setting up smart home devices can be tedious with downloading apps and making new accounts. That’s why we appreciate the simple setup of the Sengled Zigbee Smart Bulb because all we needed to do was set it up through Alexa.
Since it leverages Zigbee wireless protocol standard, smart home devices like the Amazon Echo (4th Gen), Echo Studio, and Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) can act as Zigbee hubs to interact with the bulb. The setup process will be streamlined if you own any of these devices.
NEAT NEON WALL SIGN
Best For: Places where you need a primary source of light.
Why We Chose It: This produced the strongest light output at 1,600 lumens.
Neon wall signs are undoubtedly neat but often costly, and you’re stuck with just a single design. That’s why we love the Twinkly Flex, a flexible wall light that can be designed into just about anything you want. Whether it’s a heart, a word, or even some other abstract design, you can create nearly anything your imagination can come up with.
The Twinkly Flex also has a variety of color-changing patterns to choose from. Sure, you can stick with a solid color like your standard neon wall sign, but you can spice it up with the other fun effects in the Twinkly app.
Philips Hue White A21
Best For: Places where you need a main source of light.
Why We Chose It: This produced the strongest light output at 1,600 lumens.
When you need a strong light source, you won’t find anything brighter than the Philips Hue White A21. That’s because this luminous smart bulb produced a peak brightness output of 1,600 lumens in our testing. It’s so incredibly bright that a single bulb is enough to light up an entire room. It also makes for an ideal reading light as well.
The only drawback to the Philips Hue White A21 is that it only offers incandescent light, so you won’t find any color-changing properties with this one.
Govee Smart LED Bulb
BEST FOR AMAZON ALEXA
Best For: Amazon Alexa users who want to access their lights through their Amazon Echo devices.
Why We Chose It: You can get some neat lighting effects when paired with multiple bulbs.
Read more: Govee Glide Hexa Light Panels Review
Govee is a brand making serious noise in the smart lighting space. The Govee Smart LED Bulb is not only affordable, but it offers outstanding color saturation that doesn’t weaken when the brightness is cranked up.
Since it supports Amazon Alexa, we love using our Echo Show devices to change its color with nothing more than voice commands. Although, you shouldn’t neglect trying out the Govee Home app either because you’ll be treated to a dizzying amount of color lighting effects that can be synced with its other smart lights.
Govee Glide Hex Pro Light Panels
3D WALL ART
Best For: Home office spaces that need decorative wall art. Artsy folks looking to add a layer of depth to their walls.
Why We Chose It: It’s not often a set of smart lights that give off a 3D-like look, but the Govee Glide Hex Pro Lights perfectly emulate tiny cubes on the wall. Plus, they look so cool.
After its smart LED light bulb, Govee again got our attention with the Govee Glide Hex Pro Light Panels. These are 3D-shaped cube panels that you can arrange on walls as another decorative element on your walls.
In addition to looking unique, they instantly command attention thanks to their superb color saturation that makes your walls glow with color. You can choose from Govee’s wide range of cool color effects that have continually dazzled us.
Nanoleaf Essentials A19
BEST FOR APPLE HOMEKIT
Best For: Apple users who want access with the help of Siri.
Why We Chose It: Because it’s one of the few that supports Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform.
Shopping around, you’ll notice that most smart bulbs support voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You won’t find many options supporting Siri with Apple’s HomeKit platform. But fear not, the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 was specially made to work with HomeKit.
Therefore, if you own a smart speaker such as the HomePod Mini, you can tell Siri to perform actions like setting its brightness down to 25%. Besides that, the Nanoleaf Essentials A19 offers everything you’d want in a smart bulb.
LIFX Candle Color E12
Best For: Bathrooms and hallways where you need some light to help you find your way.
Why We Chose It: You’ll not often find a nightlight that looks like a convincing candle.
While most of the smart bulbs on our list can change colors, there’s only one that can simultaneously display multiple colors. That’s the LIFX Candle Color E12, which makes for the perfect night light because it can emulate the colors of actual candlelight. Through the app, you can also customize the light to whatever colors you choose.
The one drawback to this decorative smart light is that it will require an E12 socket adapter if you wish to use it in a traditional socket.
BlissLight Sky Light Evolve
BEST STAR PROJECTOR
Best For: Helping kids to fall asleep with the night sky above them. Parties that need a psychedelic feel to them.
Why We Chose It: This Alexa and Google Assistant-supported star projector perfectly captures the night sky indoors. We were most impressed by the swirling nebulas it produced on ceilings.
Read More: BlissLights Sky Light Evolve First-Look
The BlissLights Sky Light Evolve is a very different kind of smart light. Technically a projector, it projects the night sky just about anywhere indoors — making it the perfect atmosphere for kids trying to fall asleep or stargazers.
Not only can you choose the color patterns, but there are custom scene modes you can set to change up the color patterns, animations, and the intensity of the laser lights. All of this makes for one mesmerizing experience at night when you have all the other lights in your home turned off.
Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb
BEST HOME SECURITY INTEGRATION
Best For: Homeowners that use Ring video doorbells and security cameras to watch over their homes.
Why We Chose It: You can link it to other Ring products for more automation.
Read More: Ring Alarm Pro Review
Ring is known for its security products, but it expanded its smart home lineup with smart lights like the Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb. We didn’t have one to test out, but you should still consider it because of the extra automation you’ll be able to set up.
For example, you can have the light turn on the moment motion is detected by your Ring video doorbell or outdoor cameras all through the Ring app. That way, it can be used as an extra layer of protection to deter would-be intruders.
Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb
Best For: Hosting parties where you need strong and colorful lighting.
Why We Chose It: For the price, it’s hard to find something that can match its brightness.
The Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb doesn’t cost as much as others, which is one of its best selling points. Don’t let the low cost fool you because we were astounded by its brightness in our testing. Using a lux meter, it pushed out over 1,300 lux from a distance of one foot — only surpassed by the Philips Hue White A21.
Thanks to its potent brightness, it’s better equipped at shining its surroundings with enough saturation when selecting a color. More often than not, the color saturation tends to weaken when brightness is increased, but it doesn’t with the Novostella Smart LED Light Bulb.
GE CYNC Smart LED Light Strip
BEST STRIP LIGHT
Best For: Accenting furniture with ambient lighting. Adding lights inside and around cabinets for extra lighting.
Why We Chose It: It’s the easiest way to add a smidge of light to any room while also adding a glow to whatever you have them attached to.
Strip lights have become popular; the best one we love is the GE CYNC Smart LED Light Strip. That’s because it strikes a balance between its performance and price, offering exceptional colors and potent brightness to accent whatever you want inside the home.
We’ve used it to outline headboards, shelving, and more. You’re also getting plenty of length to easily cover spaces, plus we love setting custom routines through Google Home to have it turn on with other smart lights we own.
How We Chose The Best Smart Bulbs: About Our Testing Process
We looked at over 20 smart bulbs, strip lights, outdoor lights, wall lights, and more. Additionally, we looked at smart lights from an assortment of brands, using each for one week — with some we enjoy using so much that we’ve made them permanent fixtures in our homes.
To determine the best smart lights, we took each one and rated them in the following categories below.
- Supported Smart Home Ecosystem: The best thing about smart bulbs is that the smart home can control them. The three biggest smart home platforms are Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. While the vast majority support two of the three, the best smart bulbs support all three.
- Color Changing: All smart LED light bulbs produce white light. Through apps, they can be adjusted to be warmer or cooler in tone, but it’s even better when they can change colors too. Interestingly enough, a rare few can display multiple colors simultaneously.
- Connectivity: This is one of the most critical areas to look at when buying smart bulbs because there are many ways to connect them. There has always been debate about what’s the best, whether it’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or using a bridge. However, it helps if all three options are available.
- Brightness: We used a lux light meter held 1 foot away from each smart light bulb to measure its luminance, which is measured in lux. It allowed us to determine the peak brightness output of the light, so brighter is better. To get the most accurate reading, we tried to set each smart bulb to a daylight color for consistency.
- Price: Luckily, we no longer have to pay a fortune for smart bulbs. While there are still pricey options, adoption has increased thanks to their increasing affordability.
- Cool Factor: Smart lights cover the gamut, but some go beyond just offering color-changing effects. For example, there are smart lights like the Twinkly Flex that can be shaped into any design you can imagine. Plus, you can use a camera to detail a specific color pattern to match with other Twinkly lights.
About The Author: John Velasco
John Velasco is the Tech Editor at best home security cameras, flagship smartphones and Amazon’s first smart TV. Previously, John worked as the smart home editor at Digital Trends. He’s also worked for Android Authority covering Android-related news as the editor-at-large and at PhoneArena as the senior editor. John has been covering mobile and smart home tech for over a decade and is also passionate about virtual reality, drones and electric bikes.has tested hundreds of smart home products during his decade-long career reviewing gadgets. Since joining SPY.com, he’s reviewed the
Editor’s note: Brad Smith, Oscar Hartzog, Jonathan Knoder, and Nina Bradley also contributed to this article. This was last updated on August 4, 2022, when we added additional buy buttons for all our selections. We also included the Twinkly Flex, GE CYNC Smart LED Light Strip, Govee Glide Hex Pro Light Panels, Philips Hue Iris, and Nanoleaf Lines.