Whether it’s just a few connected bulbs or a full-blown lighting system, what they say about smart light bulbs is true: They’re the easiest way to up the IQ of any home, and the good news is they’re more accessible (read: affordable) than ever.
Case in point: Anker’s smart-home brand Eufy and its Lumos smart bulb collection. When compared to our $$ and $$$ picks, the Lumos Tunable White Light Bulb is nothing particularly fancy, but it does offer dimming, scheduling, and temperature-tuning features, plus an easy-to-use app and compatibility with your voice assistant of choice — all without the need of a hub.
Here’s something to keep in mind about smart lighting from the get-go: Some smart bulbs require a hub, a dedicated device that allows all your smart-home devices to communicate together. Other bulbs, like those from Eufy, work by connecting straight to Wi-Fi. There are pros and cons to both, but generally speaking, hubs provide better reliability and more control and customization. They do, however, cost a pretty penny — while bulbs that connect via Wi-Fi are affordable and easy to install but rely entirely on the strength and bandwidth of your home network.
So if you live in a small home or apartment with no spotty areas, or if you’re venturing into this space knowing you’ll only ever want to replace two or three bulbs, Eufy makes sense both functionally and economically. But if you know you’ll want to replace every fixture in your abode at some point down the line, we recommend scrolling down to our $$$ pick, the Philips Hue Starter Kit, which comes with a proprietary hub that’ll set you up with a better foundation to run a large-scale operation.
For most home situations and introductory needs, though, Eufy should do the trick. And while we’re partial to recommending the tunable white for its simplicity and reliability relative to its low cost, Eufy also peddles a wallet-pleasing soft-white variant ($15), as well as a color variant ($35).
As far as actual light quality is concerned, Eufy shined brighter than all other bulbs we tested in this price category, which included bulbs from Minger, MagicLight and GE, to name a few. We’ve gotta be honest: The budget price range left a lot of be desired, with most options unable to provide decent lighting across a standard-size living room. And don’t get us started on cheap color-changing bulbs. “Harsh,” “nightmarish,” and “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, my eyes!” — these are at least three ways our testers described them.
Maybe you already own a Eufy robo vacuum or a Eufy security camera. Maybe you didn’t know Eufy made either of those things. Either way, you’ll be able to control the brand’s mini-ecosystem of smart-home products via a delightfully simple companion app. Like other light bulbs with built-in Wi-Fi, setup is as easy as 1-2-3: Screw it in, turn it on, and pair it with the app. If you’ve got Google Assistant or Alexa and prefer controlling the light with your voice, you can do that too. Sure, the features are basic, but that’s the point of this budget-friendly range. The tunable 800-lumen white bulb is dimmable and you can change the color temperature, but there are no features beyond native on-off scheduling. So make no mistake: This smart bulb’s convenience is in how it can be turned on and off remotely via the app or your voice.
Some smart-home enthusiasts seem convinced that Philips Hue is the *best* option out there, but if you’ve got modest lighting needs, we say the Eufy Tunable White Light Bulb is a great choice that provides superb brightness for the price and just enough control to turn your home into a smart one.