Lighting The Way
These days with smart hubs, smart homes, smart networks and smart… well, everything, the simplest pieces of tech can get the “smart” upgrade and become part of your interconnected home ecosystem.
The humble light bulb is no exception. An inherently simple thing – send current through a filament, which heats up and produces light – like the light bulb can be taken to the next level. Bulbs have come a long way since 1879.
Smart home networks typically allow you to control a wide array of tech and appliances from your phone and/or from your smart hub. Depending on what tech we’re looking at, this can have many advantages, but convenience and power saving are usually universal benefits.
With smart light bulbs, you can save on your electricity bill, control the brightness and hue of the light throughout your house, synchronize lighting effects across all the bulbs in your smart home network and more.
A large number of smart light bulbs these days feature full RGB colour spectrum lighting options allowing you to illuminate your rooms in just about any hue visible to the human eye, and synchronize a selection of effects like spectrum cycling, pulsating and more. Talk about high-tech mood lighting!
Of course, if colourful lighting isn’t your thing and you don’t want to pay up for a feature you won’t use, regular white light bulbs also come in the smart variety.
A few things to look out for when picking the right smart light bulb are device compatibility to see whether it fits your smart home network, light colour, wattage equivalence and socket type. Of all the smart home devices out these, these bulbs are among the cheapest – though don’t go in expecting to pay the same amount as you would for regular bulbs.
Quick Look: Top 5 Smart Bulbs
|1||MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb||• Multiple wattage options|
• No Hub Required
|• SSID Pairing errors|
|2||Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19||• Multicolor|
• Uses 80% less energy than normal bulbs
|• Wide color selection|
• No hub required
|• 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi only|
|3||Teckin Smart LED Bulb||• Multicolor|
• Compatible with Alexa/Assistant
|• App family sharing|
|• Saves less energy than other models|
|4||Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb||• White|
• 60W equivalent
|• Wide range of hub compatibility|
• Energy efficient
|• Requires hub|
|5||Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb||• White|
• Requires hub
• Remote control
|• Features locked unless user buys other Philips products|
MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb
The MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb is one of the most popular and versatile smart bulb product families on the market currently. Offering a wide array of size, wattage equivalence and color choices, these bulbs can perform just about any task you can think of. We don’t see any use case scenarios where you wouldn’t be able to populate the system with these bulbs.
The MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb features IFTTT compatibility (“if this, then that”), allowing you a huge degree of control. Using IFTTT, you can customize your lighting system on a deeper level than with generic smart home apps. By creating your own applets and connecting all of your smart bulbs to the system, no condition is too complex. Do you want some lights turning on to automatically turn off others? Schedule lighting zones independently of one another with conditional overlaps? IFTTT lets you do it.
You can get the MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb in 40, 50 and 60 watt equivalent versions, with the 50 watt equivalent featuring warm white and dimmable white variants. By default, each model is multicolor. You can adjust the color of the light from the mobile app.
The app allows you to select from several scene presets which automatize the color change and dimming function across the network of linked bulbs. While it doesn’t give you as much control as IFTTT, it’s certainly adequate for the everyday user. The app even allows you to sync the bulbs with music for the perfect house-party disco effect, or set sunrise and sunset times for automatic activation and deactivation.
The MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb is easy to install – we’d weave this into a ‘how many people does it take to install this light bulb’ joke, but probably wouldn’t be let near a keyboard ever again. Without requiring a hub, you just connect the bulb to your wifi and install the app on a phone which is on the same network to pair them. The broad Magiclight ecosystem is cross-compatible, so you can complement your bulbs with LED strips and more. Occasionally there are hiccups with the pairing process, so having a tech savvy person on hand may be prudent.
While the MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb supports smart hub integration, it can function without a hub and is an ideal starting point for people who are only just now beginning to upgrade their home. Relatively cheap too, this bulb is a fantastic starter choice.
Why It’s Our #1 Choice
The MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb offers the widest array of features and the greatest measure of customizability among all the smart bulbs we’ve reviewed, but doesn’t charge a major premium for this – in fact, it’s cheaper than some competitors. And that tradeoff also doesn’t mean low quality.
You can’t go wrong with the MagicLight WiFi Smart Light Bulb. The cross-compatibility, ease of installation, wide selection and lengthy list of features come together to create the best smart light bulb on the market today. Whether you’re a starter smart enthusiast looking to dip your toes, or experienced and looking to expand your home network, this is a great choice.
Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb
The Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb is a 60W equivalent smart-hub compliant smart bulb with its own mobile app. This dimmable white light bulb can connect with a wide range of hubs to fit into existing smart home ecosystems, but isn’t suited to starting users and is somewhat trickier to set up than hubless smart bulbs. Keep your level of experience with this tech in mind when picking the right bulb.
The Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Wink, SmartThings and a wide range of additional smart hubs. Though hubless bulbs offer ease of use, they typically don’t support voice activation or only support Alexa and Assistant. This bulb can be integrated seamlessly into smart home networks that run on other hubs and infrastructures. If you choose, you can purchase a Sengled hub if you don’t have any that are compatible with the bulb, allowing you to connect up to 64 bulbs into one network.
With smart hub integration, you can control your bulbs with voice commands, allowing you to easily turn the lights on or off, adjust brightness or switch to a scene preset. You can set up schedules and scenes, which control dimness and active states across multiple bulbs, letting you control zones and instead of having to adjust the settings of each bulb individually.
Energy saving is another major feature when it comes to smart bulbs and the Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb delivers here. It’s energy efficient with the manufacturer claiming that the bulbs use 80% less electricity than incandescent lighting. You can monitor and control energy usage via the Sengled mobile app remotely, even when you’re not home or not connected to the same wireless network as the bulbs and the hub.
While the Sengled Smart LED Daylight A19 Bulb is a functional and high quality bulb, we can’t fully endorse it as its hub reliance and limited set of features restrict the consumer base for whom this is an ideal choice. Availability is limited outside the USA and other, potentially cheaper choices offer greater functionality.
- Flexible Set-Up: Pair the bulb directly to a compatible hub, like Sengled Smart Hub (B07HKSTLB5), SmartThings and Alexa devices with built in hubs
- Smart Lighting: Turn lights on and off, dim and brighten, and more. Use the Sengled Home app (iOS/Android) when connected to a Sengled Smart Hub. Dimming supported via Sengled Home app and compatible...
- Voice Control: Works with Alexa and Google Assistant devices for complete voice control. Connection to a compatible hub required
- Create Scenes and Routines: Set scenes or put your lights on a schedule, whether at home or away
- Energy Efficient: Monitor electricity use (kWh) with the Sengled Home app. Sengled Smart LED bulbs use 80% less energy than incandescent lighting
Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19
The Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19 is another multicolor RGB smart bulb which doesn’t necessitate the usage of a smart hub for it to function. That said, it is compatible with the most popular hubs if you want to integrate these bulbs into your smart home network. The 75 W equivalent bulb is capable of producing a maximum of 800Lm light and fits into an E26 socket.
Sporting a massive color spectrum, the Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19 can be used to light up your home in just about any hue yourcould possibly want. With a total of about 16 million colors and a color temperature range of 2700-3000k, you can use these bulbs to set the mood for any occasion. Add brightness control and lighting effects, and you’ve got the most customizable lighting system possible with simple smart bulbs.
With built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, you can set up the Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19 without the use of any smart hubs. Just connect the bulb to your 2.4 GHz network. By downloading the mobile app and connecting to the same network you can pair the bulbs to the app, after which you can remotely control them even from other networks. That said, these bulbs are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so if you have any Alexa or Assistant hubs, you can hook the bulbs up to your smart home network and control them via voice command.
The bulbs come with 4 preloaded “scenes” which adjust all bulbs in the network, and four blank scene slots for custom presets. The default scenes include party, meeting, reading and sleep. You can customize colors, dimness and more with the other scene slots. Scheduling is also available. The Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19 is rated for 20,000 working hours, and uses 80% less energy than standard bulbs.
The Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb A19 is a fantastic choice for those new to smart home tech and veterans alike, offering a wide selection of features and capabilities. It falls behind our #1 choice by a small margin.
- [Smart Energy Saving Bulb] 8W 800lm LED bulb with E26 base, equivalent to 75W traditional incandescent bulbs. Saves up to 80% energy, Last longer and energy saver: Approximately 20,000 working hours.
- [Wifi Build-in, No Hub Required] Only support wifi 2.4 GHz wireless network, not compatible with 5GHz, dual band router should broadcast on 2.4GHz frequency band if not connect.
- [Remote Control & Voice Control] Just download free APP: Gosund, you may control the light individually or create different groups to control the lights in your home from anywhere. Smart light work...
- [Multicolor and Bright Setting] 16 million colors are available, color temperature 2700k-3000k. Choose different colors to suit your mood, and adjust the brightness based on your needs.
- [Eight scenes & Time Schedule ]-Eight scenes for your selection, and four scenes designed as Party, Read, Sleep, Meeting mode, and other four scenes can be randomly edited based on your favor. You may...
Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb
The 60W equivalent Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb requires the use of a smart hub. Part of Philips’ Hue product family, these bulbs can interact with other Hue smart products in various ways to expand functionality. This comes with the drawback that even when connected to a smart hub, you’ll only unlock the full functionality of the Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb if you purchase a Hue Bridge, which is sold separately.
The main feature of the Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb is the interconnectivity with other Hue products, and the features this connection unlocks. While cross-compatibility and more features is never a bad thing, the way it is structured here actually makes the standout feature a negative factor. Many features are only available when you use this with other Philips products, which feels like the kind of corporate tactic used to trick customers into having to buy further products from the same manufacturer.
Though not multicolored or RGB, the Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb does allow you to change the “color” of the light with over [i]50 thousand shades of white[/i] to choose from. The Hue bulbs are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to provide voice control, allowing you to easily turn the lights on and off with a few simple verbal commands.
Like other smart bulbs, scene options and schedules are present, and you can control the bulbs via mobile app from any distance. If you’re away from home but want to make it seem like the house is occupied, you can turn your lights on and off with a few taps wherever you are.
Among the preset options are wake-up lighting that doesn’t just activate the bulbs at a set time, but increases the intensity of the light gradually so you’re not jolted awake by a sudden supernova, or have the lights ‘follow’ you as you move from room to room. You can play around with creative feature combinations with other Hue products as well.
The Philips Hue White A19 Smart Bulb is something we could only possibly recommend if you already have Hue products or intend to buy other products from this ecosystem, but even then we’d be reluctant due to the clear anti-consumer tactics in play.
- VOICE ACTIVATED: The Philips Hue White Starter Kit works with Alexa for voice control (smart hub required, Alexa device and hub sold separately). For the full Hue experience and to take advantage of...
- LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES: Add additional Smart light points to your smart home and expand your Philips Hue ecosystem with this 4-bulb White Smart Bulb pack. Requires the Philips Hue Hub for full...
- TAKE CONTROL: Turn smart lights on/off, dim to the desired level and set up schedules from wherever you have WiFi connection using the Philips Hue App (iOS and Android). Control your Philips Hue...
- EASY INSTALLATION: To install the Philips Hue white 4 pack starter kit, simply screw the smart bulbs into your desired light location, download the Hue mobile app and pair your Hue Bridge (sold...
- EXPAND YOUR SMART HOME: Connect the smart bulbs directly to your other Smart Home Devices like Amazon Echo Plus, Nest, or SmartThings systems. Easily expand your smart lighting system with accessories...
Teckin Smart LED Bulb
The Teckin Smart LED Bulb is a 60W equivalent multicolor smart bulb that doesn’t require a smart hub to operate, but is compatible with many major hubs. The bulb can be controlled with a mobile app, or with voice commands if you link them to a hub, and boasts a long lifespan as well as energy saving. With consistently high ratings, the Teckin Smart LED Bulb is a reliable device.
What helps the Teckin Smart LED Bulb stand out from the crowd is the family sharing functionality built into the mobile app used to control the bulbs. You can pair the bulbs with several devices that have the mobile app installed simultaneously so that all the members of your household will gain control over the bulbs. Everyone will be free to customize the lighting of their rooms without having to pass the control device between one another. Keep in mind though – this gives kids plenty of opportunity for mischief!
The Teckin Smart LED Bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Echo and Google Assistant to provide voice control functionality. It’s also IFTTT compatible giving you greater control over lighting schedules and zones. With a total of 16 million colors to choose from, you can customize the mood and atmosphere of your home to a great extent.
After connecting the bulbs to the mobile app via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, you can control them from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection. The Teckin Smart LED Bulb is rated to function for 30,000 working hours under average usage conditions, which the manufacturer describes as 3 hours per day. This seems a bit too small of an estimate to us. These bulbs also use energy efficient LEDs, leading to 60% less power consumption than regular bulbs.
The Teckin Smart LED Bulb is a strong competitor and goes head to head with our second place choice. Many smart bulbs make do with 80% less energy than regular bulbs while this model only cuts back by 60%. However, it is still a great choice thanks to IFTTT compatibility and a broad color spectrum available.
- 【Remote Control】 Even you are not at home, you can control your smart bulb on/off with your phone via Smart Life App. Easily set schedule for your smart bulb. Customize your home light system,...
- 【Voice Control】 Control your smart bulb via your voice with Google Assistant and IFTTT. Just give a voice command to turn on/off or dim/brighten your light, even switch your light to specific olor...
- 【Millions Color Changing】Express yourself and make your space more creative with TECKIN Smart Bulb. Choose from 16 million colors and shades of white to instantly change the look and atmosphere of...
- 【Energy Saving&Wide Usage】With LED technology, this bulb will save up to 60% energy consumption compared with ordinary bulb. Save your electricity charge with newest lighting technology. This bulb...
- 【Long Lifespan】 Over 30,000 hours or 27.39 years lifetime with normal use (3hrs/day). This bulb has FCC, CE, RoHs certificate, 7.5Watts (equivalent of a 60W traditional incandescent bulb), 800...
Smart bulbs are likely going to go through many cycles of innovation in the near future. Right now the market is mostly restricted to customizable lighting and remote control, however as smart technology grows we’ll likely see an expanded level of functionality with more devices working interconnectedly. The smart bulbs of today are very much just convenient upgrades on regular bulbs, while in the future we’ll see a proper transformation.
This doesn’t diminish contemporary smart bulbs at all – if you purchase bulbs with great energy efficiency coupled with a wide range of features, you’ll be doing your wallet a favor while upgrading your home. The energy saving aspect is also important for the environment. Reducing our carbon footprints is paramount and saving energy with smart bulbs is a stride in the right direction.