Smart light bulbs are internet-capable LED bulbs that allow customized scheduling and remote control. They're more efficient than other bulbs because you tailor them to your life and can be used to help secure a property by making it appear that someone's home and they work just as well as other bulbs. In addition, these bulbs can be more expensive than regular incandescent or LED bulbs, but they should last up to five years. There are a ton of features on them so don't run out and buy based on price alone.
Do you need 16 million different colors? Philips seems to think so because that's the main reason to buy the Philips Hue White and Color Dimmable LED Smart Bulb. Colors affect our mood. If you check the color guide on the Hue app, you'll find that red pumps up our mood. Green helps us get our creative juices flowing, and blues and purple shades make us feel calm and peaceful. You can control the lights and their color through Amazon Alexa or the free mobile app. You'll find this retailing for around $70.
Cree Connected LED
Cree's 60W soft white LED bulb is the other end of the price spectrum. They are some of the brightest on the market. Each bulb is about $4, and you can control them through a mobile app, WeMo, Wink or Amazon Alexa. Cree connects to any ZigBee-enabled hub so if you have Amazon Echo or Nest hub and you're new to smart lights, why not try these out?
LIFX Mini White
Most smart lights need a bridge or a hub to connect them to Wi-Fi. That's where a big part of the purchase price comes in. With LIFX, you only need to buy the bulbs, screw them into your light fixtures and then download the app. The simplicity of these bulbs makes them ideal for anyone who's not technically minded, and at less than $30 they're not expensive either. Some users report issues when controlling through Android phones and tablets, but this is also compatible with Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm Smarter Kit
A lot of personalization is possible with these smart lights. These smart tiles can be configured into various designs to turn a room into a work of art. You can use them to set the mood for a party or create a quiet area to calm your children. They are expensive, and they can't be used to help secure your property, but they can be programmed to dance to your favorite song. None of the other smart lights featured here can do that.
Will I Save Money?
Smart lights are expensive to buy, but they save energy and they'll save you money in the long run because they are designed to last many years. They're dimmable and remotely controlled so you'll only use them when you need them which is why the US Department of Energy recommends using them in your home.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
To use smart lighting you normally need a hub or a bridge to connect them to Wi-Fi. Make sure that comes in the box.
- If you want to make your home as energy efficient as possible, install light sensors that work with your smart lighting.
- Get a smart lighting system that works with voice commands through something like Amazon Alexa if you have young children in the house and you want them to be able to control the lights.
What Do They Say on Other Sites
“These I believe really will be the future of home lighting, I received these and easily plugged them into the 3 lights, and then connected the wireless bridge to my router (you must have a bridge to operate). The instructions were clear and simple and really talked me through each step of the process.” (N Barnett reviewing Philips Hue on Amazon)
“Very pleased so far, there's no noise or flickering coming from the bulb and it's a nice warm white colour temperature.” (Tommy G reviewing LIFX Mini White on Amazon)
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