The 6 Best Smart LED Bulbs For Home Lights
Having a good light at your home is extremely important. Last decade we saw LED lights start to replace halogen lights. Which is fantastic as have a longer life span and use much less electricity. The next big thing has been smart home solutions and that has also affected LED’s. You can now even connect the best smart LED bulbs to a smartphone or tablet and control it from a distance with just a few taps. There’s plenty of options for changing color and brightness. Which is a fantastic idea, as lights can be used to affect a mood. Maybe you want to use a different color while watching a movie at night.
1. Philips Hue White A19 – $15
The best smart LED bulbs have been pretty expensive so far. Well that’s not exactly the case anymore. Philips has lowered the price of their Hue White A19 smart light bulbs in order to make them much more affordable! Even though it’s not exactly a bargain when comparing to standard LED bulbs, the new $15 price is still much better than what it was before. Plus the Philips Hue line is known for their excellent quality. So if you are looking for the best bang for buck option, then the Philips Hue White A19 is definitely that.
The Philips Hue White LED bulbs are equipped with an E26 screw. It shouldn’t have any problems fitting in most lamps. The bulb has a height of 4.2″ and the widest area has a diameter of 2.4″. The base of the bulb is made out of a really nice and smooth white matte plastic. Top of the bulb has a shiny opaque finish and the material is also plastic.
As you can probably tell from the name, the Hue White isn’t a color changing bulb. It only radiates a soft white light. The color temperature is around 2700K. It also has a pretty decent brightness. Around 800 lumens, which is pretty much the same as a standard 60W incandescent light bulb. Also according to Philips, the life cycle of the LED bulb is around 25000 hours. So it should last around 23 years if you use it for 3 hours a day.
While the Philips Hue White A19 is the cheapest available smart light bulb, you’ll still need to spend extra if this is your first time buying one. You are going to need a Hub in order control the Hue White bulbs from your phone. The best one available for the hue white is the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0. There is also a bundle available, which includes the Bridge 2.0 and two Hue White A19 bulbs. It costs around $80. The Hue Bridge has an iOS and Android app, from where you can group up all the lights, change the brightness and turn them on/off. Out of all the other smart Hub apps, the Philips bridge has one of the most user friendly designs. It’s simple and it works, what more could you ask for.
Obviously the Philips Hue White A19 is still pretty expensive compared to the standard LED and incandescent light bulbs. Plus the need to buy an even more expensive home Hub. But if you are looking for an affordable way to get into smart lightning, then it’s pretty much the best option available. You can use multiple LED bulbs and the Philips Hue ecosystem is pretty well built. It has tons of features and way more options than any other smart light bulb.
2. Cree Connected – $16
Cree is a company that’s known for their best selling LED light bulbs. They have finally added a smart LED bulb to their lineup! And the best part, it’s an affordable option, much like the Philips Hue White A19. The new Cree Connected also has a built-in Zigbee radio, which does mean that you also need a control Hub if you wish to the smart features.
The Cree best smart LED bulbs aren’t designed to look fancy. Instead you won’t even be able to tell that they are smart. They look pretty much the same as any other incandescent light bulb. The bulb itself is made out of plastic and it can look kind of cheap when turned off. But how often will you be looking at the bulb up close anyways. A definite plus for the Cree Connected bulbs is that the bulb has vents to circulate air through it. Plus it’s surprisingly light, it weighs less than 0.13 lbs!
The Cree Connected isn’t a multi color LED bulb. It has a nice warm yellow glow with a color temperature of around 2700K. It’s also extremely accurate, more than any other smart bulb I have personally used. The light output is also pretty impressive. The company behind the bulb has specified 815 lumens, but when I tested it under a spectrometer, I actually managed to get 871 lumens!
Like most smart bulbs, the Cree Connected also requires a Hub. The great thing about this smart LED bulb is that there’s official support for different ones. That includes Wink Hub, SmartThings, Staples Connect and Philips Hue Bridge. Basically any control Hub that is capable of translating a Zigbee signal into WiFi. The Cree Connected is actually one of the best smart LED bulbs for testing out different Hubs! They all come with an App from where you can turn on/off the lights, change brightness, etc. There are unique features for all Hubs. For example SmartThings and Philips supports IFTTT, where you can set different tasks.
3. MIPOW E26 – $20
Having the best smart LED bulbs all over the house is always fantastic. But sometimes you don’t need that many and maybe just only want one. Which makes it rather pointless getting a control Hub for just one LED. And also expensive. That’s why MIPOW has a smart LED line that doesn’t require a control Hub. You can pair the bulb straight to your iOS or Android device and control it from there. Which also does make the setup much cheaper and more attractive if it’s your first time getting a smart light.
Unlike most other smart light bulbs, the MIPOW E26 doesn’t try to blend in with other bulbs. It has a unique design that and more of a tube like look. It still fits all the standard E26 sockets. The middle part of the bulb is made out of black plastic. The LED part is also made out of plastic but this one is see through. So pretty standard smart LED light bulb in terms of material usage.
The MIPOW E26 can be used all over the world. It supports voltage from 100 to 240V. I also like the color from the LED. It has a soft white color with the color temperature of 3000K. The brightness level is 280 lumens, which is equal to a 40W incandescent bulb. Which is okay but definitely not enough to light up the whole room. The LED also has a decent life time of 20000 hours. You can change the color of the light with the MIPOW E26. It supports all RGB colors that can be selected from an iOS or Android app (Playbulb X). The bulb can be directly connected to your device via Bluetooth. From there you can also enable different effects, change the brightness and also turn it on and off. The wireless range is 15 m / 50 ft. Oh and you can also group up multiple of these bulbs, just like on a control Hub.
4. C-Life & C-Sleep by GE Lighting – $35
Starting out with these smart home devices can be quite hard at first. There are so many different products and not all come with the required extras. GE Lightning has the perfect solution for that. They have put together the best smart LED bulbs bundle to get started with smart devices. It includes 2 bulbs: C-Life for the living room and kitchen, C-Sleep for the bedroom. And the best part, they don’t require a control Hub! You can easily control them from an iOS or Android device.
GE Lightning has designed them to look exactly like the typical A19 incandescent bulbs. Which also means that they will easily blend in with your current lights as well. They also have a pretty typical light bulb dimensions. The length is 4.5″ and the widest part is 2.5″ in diameter. GE Lightning has improved the materials used. The bottom part of the bulb is still made out plastic, like most of the best smart LED bulbs. The top part, however, is actually made out of frosty white glass. The reason for that is because the LED bulbs tend to get pretty hot. Which is why they shouldn’t be used in dimmers and enclosed lights. Always make sure that there’s enough air flow to cool them. Also the bulbs have an E26 screw connector so they should fit all standard lights.
The package comes with C-Life and C-Sleep bulbs. And they are actually different in terms of performance. The C-Life bulbs have a color temperature of 2700K and brightness is 800 lumens. Which is pretty standard for LED lights. It’s basically the same as a 60W incandescent bulb.
The C-Sleep on the other hand is a bit different. The brightness of the bulb is 730 lumens, which can also be dimmed down. And you can also change the color temperature between 2000K and 7000K. So you got a pretty nice range from warm to cold. Both of the LED lights have a lifetime of 25000 hours, which is around 23 years if you use them for 3 hours a day.
The GE Lighting smart LED bulbs don’t require a control Hub. Instead all you need is Bluetooth and an iOS / Android tablet or phone. There is a free C by GE app at Apple store. The app has instructions on how to pair them with your phone so you can change the brightness of the bulbs. You can actually control up to 50 bulbs with the app, which is a lot. Perhaps the only downside is that you can’t control them when you are away from home. But then again I haven’t really felt the need to turn on the lights when I’m not at home, so I guess it comes down to personal requirements.
5. LIFX A19 – $60
LIFX is a rather new company that make the best smart LED bulbs. Compared to most other similar bulbs, the LIFX ones are really expensive with a price of $60 for just one bulb. So are they worth it? Most definitely! LIFX has the highest quality smart bulbs that beat every competitor out there. They are more efficient, don’t require a Hub, use WiFi to communicate and even support Windows 10! So if you are looking for the very best smart LED bulbs, then the LIFX A19 is for you.
The LIFX A19 has a similar design as the MIPOW E26. The main difference is in the build quality and materials used. The LIFX A19 has the lower part of the bulb made out of metal to create heat transfer so the bulb won’t heat up. However the top part is made out of glass, which definitely adds both value and weight to the bulb. So the weight might be a bit too much for the flexible neck type lamps. Overall the design is very nice in my opinion and I actually prefer that it doesn’t try to look like a typical light bulb.
The fantastic part about the LIFX A19 is that you can change the color of the light from their App. There are 16 million available colors to choose from! Color temperatures range from 2500K to 9000K. So you aren’t just stuck with one white color. Which I really like as you can pick different colors to set a mood for example. The LIFT LED lights are also extremely bright. Their maximum brightness is 1100 lumens which is equal to a 75W incandescent light bulb. So it’s also much brighter than most of the other available best smart LED bulbs.
Another really fantastic thing about the LIFX A19 is the connectivity. You can connect any Android, iOS or Windows 10 device to the LIFX via WiFi. They have a free LIFX app from where you can control almost everything about the lights. There are tons of other features besides the typical brightness and color. For example it’s compatible with IFTTT, Amazon Echo and even the Nest Learning Thermostat. So you can really make the lights interactive. Plus again you don’t need to buy a separate control Hub to achieve all of this!
6. Philips Hue White & Color – $141
Philips is definitely the leading company when it comes to the best smart LED bulbs. Their Starter Kit is the perfect solution for those looking to upgrade their home lightning. And the best part about the kit is that it also comes with a new control Hub. Which has tons of features and a fantastic third party ecosystem. Obviously the kit costs quite a bit, but if you are looking to get started with smart lighting, then the Philips Hue White & Color is currently the best bang for buck kit available.
The smart LED light bulbs are pretty standard. They do however have a flat top part instead of a round one. So they most definitely don’t look like your everyday incandescent bulbs. I also really like the build quality. Which should be expected as the bulbs themselves do cost quite a bit as well. They are available for like $50 a piece, so definitely on the pricier side. The Philips Hue Bridge (Control Hub) is also made out of sturdy white plastic and has a dimension of 3.5×3.5×1″. Nothing really special about it in terms of design.
The Philips Hue White & Color kit has received upgrades over the years. We are now on the 3rd generation and so both the smart LED bulbs and the Hue Bridge have been upgraded. The Philips bulbs now have a maximum brightness of 800 lumens. Which is equivalent to a 60W bulb! Plus they now have an estimated lifetime of 25000 hours. I want to point out that I wasn’t too pleased with the white light when I first turned them on. Luckily though you can change the light colors from the Philips Hue app! You can change everything to fit your taste.
The Hue Bridge is also a fantastic device and it has now got more features than ever. It supports Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit platform and IFTTT! You can make your lights react to music and even a movie! In order to do that you first need to connect the Hue Bridge Hub to an Ethernet cable. So do take that into consideration when looking for a place for the Hub. The Philips Hue app is available for both iOS and Android devices. The positive side about this setup is that you can control the lights even if you aren’t at home.