Smart light bulbs might not be something you’ve considered, but they’re convenient, energy-saving, and they can even help keep your home safe. Picture this: you’ve just gotten into bed after a long day, and you’re just about to doze off. Then you realize you left the kitchen light on. It’s not really a big deal, though. That is, until you have a dream about your mom asking why the light is on if no one is in the room. You wake up in a cold sweat. Or maybe you’ve come home after dark and all of the lights are off, and you have to make your way across the room to flick on a light. You step on a Lego, even though you haven’t had Legos since you were a kid. Okay, maybe all of that is a touch dramatic, but we’ve probably all found ourselves in similar situations.
Smart light bulbs are the answer to the problem that many people have just begrudgingly accepted. While one of the major appeals is convenience, smart bulbs also help save energy by ensuring that the lights are on only when you want them to be on. You can set them to come on right before you usually get home or off before you go to sleep. Plus, they can keep your home safe. If you’re out of town, you can set your smart bulbs to come on in the evening so it seems like people are at home. That way, you won’t have to pay a house sitter who’s just going to eat all your snacks anyway. Smart light bulbs are typically controlled via an app, and they can also be hooked up to smart home systems like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
1. Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit
This smart bulb speaker system from Phillips comes with 4 white bulbs and one hub, which connects through the provided ethernet cable. The system is compatible with Amazon, Google, and Apple for voice control. The bulbs are dimmable, and the app makes it easy to set timers.
Pros: Dimmable bulbs, compatible with Amazon, Google, and Apple home systems.
Cons: The hub has to be connected through an ethernet cable, and some users found it difficult to turn lights on and off if they were not on their home network.
2. Lumiman Smart WiFi Bulb
These smart bulbs don’t require a hub. They feature RGB lighting, making it easy to set the mood. The app allows you to set timers, dim the lights, change colors, and adjust the lighting from cool to warm. The pack has two bulbs which are compatible with Amazon and Google.
Pros: No hub required, RGB lighting, warmth of lighting is adjustable.
Cons: Many reviewers found that the suggested PlusMinus app didn’t work well with Alexa, and recommended downloading the SmartLIFE app instead.
3. TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb
If you don’t need to outfit your entire home with smart bulbs, this one-pack option from TP-Link is dimmable, and it doesn’t need to be connected through a hub. It’s voice compatible with Amazon and Google.
Pros: No hub required, brightness and color temperature are adjustable.
Cons: If the light is turned off using the switch instead of wirelessly, it can be a hassle to get it to reconnect.