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Eufy Lumos Tunable White Smart Bulb Kasa Multicolor Smart Light Bulb (KL130) Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

The Best Smart Light Bulbs

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price-point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here.

Eufy Lumos Tunable White Smart Bulb

  • No hub needed
  • Perfect for simple lighting solutions
  • Tunable white lighting
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Kasa Multicolor Smart Light Bulb (KL130)

  • No hub needed
  • Bright and responsive lighting
  • Surprisingly robust ecosystem
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Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

  • Hue bridge hub included
  • Plenty of home automation support
  • Best ecosystem for partners and apps
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These are boom times for smart-home technology, particularly for smart lighting. Nowadays you’ve got smart light bulbs that’ll do your illuminated bidding, from changing colors and dimming on command to syncing up to match your mood or leisurely pursuits. In short: Smart bulbs are a good time, and only when you’re able to control the light like a supreme domestic being can you understand how practical they can be.

 

Where to begin your smart lighting journey, however, depends on your ambition, and that’s what makes this review slightly different than others we’ve done. While we tested all light bulbs for brightness, usability, ease of setup, and sheer convenience, we also put a lot of consideration into functionality and home setups.

 

Because if you ask us, the best smart light bulb is directly informed by the needs of its owner — which could mean replacing just one reading light or turning an entire home into a techy utopia of automated devices. Finding the right solution is about looking at the full ecosystem, rather than just any one bulb. So, here are our favorite smart lighting systems across three price points, along with all the details you’ll need to decide which one works best for you.

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Eufy Lumos Tunable White Smart Bulb

Starting from $22

The Details

60W-equivalent incandescent

A19 bulb type

Tunable white lighting

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Works via Wi-Fi

Control from anywhere

Scheduling functionalities

Dedicated EufyHome app

What / Who It's Best For

  • Anyone replacing just one or two light fixtures
  • Folks who already own Eufy smart-home products
  • People who could care less about colored lighting

Why We Love It

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.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Eufy packaging

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.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Eufy light bulb in hand

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.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Eufy app in hand

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.

User Reviews

“Just received and was very anxious to try the bulb. I installed the Eufy Home App on my iPhone and followed the instructions for setting up a new device. For some unknown reason the bulb would not connect to my Wi-Fi network. I was 100% sure I had the name and password correct, but it simply would not connect. I was just preparing to print a return label when I thought I would try using the same app on my iPad to connect the bulb. That worked and the bulb connected — I have no idea why it did not connect when using my iPhone. Both have the latest iOS. Now that the bulb is connected to my Wi-Fi all is great! I have it connected to Alexa and can also use the app on my phone and iPad to control the bulb. The warm white is nice, the bright white is great for reading, and the bulb is fully dimmable no matter what shade of white. Simply ask Alexa to set lamp to cool white and it happens. Ask Alexa to set light to warm white and it happens! Ask Alexa to set to 50% brightness and it does. How can you ask for more? Assuming the bulb continues to behave like it currently is, I could not be happier.”
— JM From Amazon
“As is usually the case, all things Anker are awesome. After spending probably way more than I should on Philips Hue lights with five color and three tune-able white lights, I decided there had to be a better and cheaper way. I have had really good luck with my GE ZWave smart switch and was debating on putting in another by our front door but saw these Anker lights, which were right in the same ballpark of putting in another switch and I decided to go with the Anker lights. Things I love about them are things that I expect out of any smart light: voice control with Alexa, remote control via app, and scheduling. What I didn't expect was being able to set the brightness of the light and favorite it and it be the default setting when the light is turned on, so that was a plus. My only problem now is the amount of apps I have to control different products; I wish there was some common protocol that one app could handle all things. I feel like SmartThings is getting there, but it would be nice to see all of these companies work towards a unified solution instead of having multiple accounts and apps. That being said, these lights are great and are reasonably priced so I am happy with them.”
— Pitchy From Amazon
“These Wi-Fi bulbs work great! Eufy has an app that lets you control them remotely without using a hub. I have two of them set up in the same room as a group and can control both of them at once. Being able to change the brightness and warmth of the lights is really nice. I can also set them up on a schedule. I have them set to turn off at certain times, change the brightness at certain times, and turn on before I wake up each day. I am a big fan of Eufy and Anker products. They are such a good value.”
— JD Clarke From Amazon

Eufy

Modest price, modest light

Where to buy

$22 at Amazon
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Kasa Multicolor Smart Light Bulb (KL130)

Starting from $30

The Details

60W-equivalent incandescent

A19 bulb type

Multicolor

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Works via Wi-Fi

IFTTT compatibility

Control from anywhere

Scheduling and grouping functionalities

Dedicated Kasa Smart app

What / Who It's Best For

  • People who want next-level lighting but don’t want to go all in
  • Folks who want to add some colored flair to their home
  • Those who want simple automation like lights that come on at sunset

Why We Love It

You may know TP-Link for making some of the best Wi-Fi networking solutions in the business. Turns out they make excellent smart light bulbs, too! Like Eufy, TP-Link’s smart-home brand Kasa offers a lineup of Wi-Fi-connected smart bulbs with full color and temperature control through a companion app. But unlike Eufy, Kasa provides a more versatile ecosystem thanks to the brand’s lineup of popular Wi-Fi smart plugs and IFTTT compatibility — but more on that later.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Kasa packaging

So you wanna get fancy and add a pop of color to your home? Our $$ pick, Kasa’s KL130 Multicolor Smart Light Bulb, has you covered. Out of all the mid-priced lights we tested, this bulb casted the most pleasant glow, with a rich but not-too-rich color saturation that didn’t make us not want to dig out our eyes after a few hours. Rounding out Kasa’s bulb offerings are the dimmable and soft-white versions that we believe, when linked all together, make for the best smart home lighting solution without going all in.

Kasa may not have as many lighting options as Lifx, our $$ and $$$ runner-up, but none of our testers felt particularly compelled to spend over $200 on tile lights. Plus, at full price, Lifx’s flagship multicolor bulb costs more than Kasa’s, and our testers couldn’t find a reason to crown Lifx a winner, especially when adding the convenience of Kasa’s companion app into the equation.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Kasa with app

The key to a good smart bulb app is speed — how quickly you can navigate through menus or sub-menus to perform a desired function — and Kasa ticks this box, no question. Easy enough for anyone to manage, the app gives users the power to schedule lights and set scenes in an instant. In addition to on/off scheduling, scene-setting, and energy monitoring, the Kasa Smart app also boasts an Auto-White feature, which automatically sets your bulb to mimic natural light patterns throughout the day. The app also lets you “group” light bulbs and other smart Kasa products together, which now includes a well-reviewed security camera and a whole host of popular indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi plugs that’ll turn any home appliance into a smart one (we’re partial to the Kasa Smart Plug Lite).

Another perk Kasa has over most smart lighting systems is IFTTT compatibility, meaning you can automate your lights to behave in certain ways based on your needs and home setup. If you’re wondering what the heck that means, you’re not alone. IFTTT, short for “If This, Then That,” it just another way to give you more control of your smart home. Basically, the free service allows you to manage simple if/then statement for all your connected devices. For example, you can input something like “If it’s 7 p.m., then turn on the porch light,” or “If my doorbell is pressed, then flash the living room lights.”

Best Smart Light Bulbs Kasa bulb only

We know what you’re thinking: “It’s smart. We get it. But what about light quality?” We’re happy to report that Kasa performs as advertised. The 800-lumen bulbs we tested were bright and responsive, and the color quality was more or less on par with our $$$ pick. We should note that the KL line is a welcome update to Kasa’s original LB line, which is still available but seeing a slow phase-out. According to the company, the new KL bulbs are 10% slimmer and shorter than the LB line, and we’ll add they 100% look and feel like a more substantial product.

If you’d like to light up a couple of rooms in your home, spending the extra money is worth it. With Kasa, you get distinguished light quality with a few more extras, and a solid ecosystem worth growing into. All in, Kasa’s KL smart light bulb line is perfect for anyone enthusiastic about smart lighting. And though it won’t provide everything our $$$ pick does, the ecosystem is surprisingly robust.

User Reviews

“I bought two of these TP-Link Kasa color and white smart bulbs for my mom. She had been complaining about the LED bulbs in her living room being too bright at night when she was watching TV. I installed these bulbs in a standard ceiling mount light fixture and voila, problem solved! She can now tell her Alexa devices to dim the lights by a certain percentage, or she can change the color for mood lighting. The full color and white warmth array is excellent. She can have these lights change to warm white so they match the other bulb shades throughout the house. I would highly recommend these Kasa bulbs. Setup is very easy and no additional hub is required. They were ready to go right out of the box for voice control with an Echo Dot!”
— BBishop From Best Buy
“These lights are a cheap alternative to similar products and, to me, work just as well. I've installed two in sockets that were controlled by one switch. So whenever I wanted my mini-office light on, my bed light would also be on...wasting power. The joy of apartment living. This changed that, at least, so that I can individually control and dim the two different light bulbs. Excellent for night activities and not being blinded. I control both from the Kasa app, which can set all kinds of schedules and change dimness as well as the on/off for your different light bulbs. There's no color changing — it's a standard light bulb with dimmer functions. More than bright enough for my admittedly small rooms, so much so that I have to keep the dimness down for my cave-adapted eyes!”
— Sabo From Amazon
“I have done quite a bit of research for smart-home products and ecosystems out there. TP Link caught my interest as having one of the most to offer, with the best benefits and features, and of course solid reviews backing their products. So far I am very happy with my choice. I now own a couple of the smart plugs and smart bulbs which on its own operate as expected. What really satisfied me is the Kasa app. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate, and adding/linking a new device is such a quick and frustration-free process. Average time was about two or three mins. The app also allows you to crate scenes and schedules with one or groups of devices. Color range/options/dimming etc. is all excellent, with hundreds if not thousands of different combinations. If you have several other TP-Link products and want to stay within the same brand and ecosystem, you can’t go wrong here.”
— Douglas From Amazon

Kasa

Let there be (colored) light

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Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

Starting from $160

The Details

60W-equivalent incandescent

A19 bulb type

Hue bridge hub included

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Two white and two color-changing light bulbs included

Other kit configurations available

Scheduling, routine and syncing functionalities

16 million colors

What / Who It's Best For

  • People dreaming of a hyperconnected smart home
  • Those with multiple devices on various platforms
  • People averse to risk and unproven products

Why We Love It

Philips Hue smart light bulbs prove that sticker shock is real, especially when you look at how much it would cost to put them in all the rooms of your home. But there’s a reason why the Hue system is trusted by everyone from Wirecutter to Business Insider. It works with everything. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Home Kit — no matter which major company you’re building your smart-home ecosystem around, Hue will fit right in, and it won’t drag down your Wi-Fi network while doing so, either.

When figuring out whether a certain smart-home product would be right for you, there’s a mental checklist to tick off: Does it work with Android or iOS (or desktops)? Does it work with Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant? And does it have the capability to be expanded in the future? With Hue, the answer to all these things is a resounding yes! It works across different software and voice platforms and even has expansion capabilities with other third-party apps.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Philips Hue on

Let’s address the Hue bridge hub first, because you’ll definitely need one. While smart bulbs that piggyback on home Wi-Fi networks (see: our $ and $$ winners) are an attractive budget solution, bulbs that require hubs, like Philips Hue, are for folks who prize scale and reliability. Let’s put it this way: Smart TVs, computers, phones, voice assistants, among other electronics, all fight for your router’s attention (read: bandwidth). Add in a host of smart light bulbs, and you’ll quickly notice a downgrade in service.

But since Philips Hue works on its own mesh network, it’s much more stable, and results are seamlessly instantaneous. To communicate with others light bulbs and smart-home devices, the Hue bridge uses the Zigbee protocol, a term you may have already come across in your smart bulb research. It’s just the underlying language the hub is using to talk to the bulbs, and what allows you to schedule and synchronize lighting alongside your smart household appliances.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Philips Hue four bulbs

A starter kit gets you a Hue bridge, plus your choice between a few different configuration packs. We recommend the four-bulb white and color ambiance kit, but you’ve got options (the Hue White and tunable Hue White Ambiance packs are naturally slightly cheaper upfront). Once you’ve got the bridge set up, it’s smooth sailing from there. Once screwed in, bulbs are set up automatically and seen by the app once the single button on the hub is pressed. All in, Philips Hue can control up to 50 light bulbs, no problem.

After a Hue bulb is connected and configured in its native app, there are plenty of presets and options to play around with, including preset lighting scenes to accommodate reading, cooking, or partying. One of our favorite advanced options is a timer that can flash lights in a specific room when a timer has finished. All this, of course, comes from years of honing a vast ecosystem, of which we should note is worth exploring once you’re ready. Hue offers more lighting options than just bulbs! Think lighting strips, ceiling fixtures, and even portable smart lights.

Best Smart Light Bulbs Philips Hue with app

Beyond first-party software options directly from Hue, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of third-party software options that can control your bulbs and add-in things like music syncopation. Not cool enough? There’s an app called Sync My Lights that will match the bulb color to your movie choice and change colors to match the movie scenes. The app Visualfy will let you use your bulbs to create visual alerts for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. You can even sync your lights to match, say, the Golden State Warriors’ game as the action unfolds on the court — incredibly cool.

Point is, in addition to quality lighting, you’re paying for an ecosystem that is massive and doesn’t lock you in to a certain phone or software platform. In terms of quality and functionality, there’s no hesitation: Hue delivers on its smart lighting promises, and proves that the future is, indeed, bright.

User Reviews

“If you live in a dorm or share Wi-Fi, then this is the bulb you need. None of the others will connect to your Alexa unless you have access to the router. I wasted $80 on other bulbs that promised to connect to Alexa, only to find out that you have to have a separate router. Great product.”
— Jerry Corbett From Amazon
“So much fun! Warning: You need to have a little bit of patience if these don't hook up to your Wi-Fi immediately. They WILL work. Do yourself a favor — write down serial numbers before you plug them into lamps and get started. If they're not found automatically, use the serial number trick and it will work. Take your time. Remember to use the Hue app for setup, then let the Alexa app discover all your new bulbs, and soon you'll be sitting on the couch barking out colors and lights to Alexa! Very pricey to get the whole house up and running, but worth it in the end!”
— S. Schiede From Amazon
“These light bulbs are life-changing. I was having a hard time waking up in the morning and my boyfriend introduced me to these bulbs and the sunrise feature. I loved them, but since they were pricey, I went for a cheaper version (Flux bulbs). Don't make that mistake! The Flux app has similar features but is clunky and not intuitive, the bulbs have connectivity issues and sometimes didn't work, and the bulbs weren't very ‘smart.’ If I turned them off/on outside of their programmed times to turn off/on, they would do weird things and not work properly. For those reasons, the Hue bulbs are worth every penny. I have them set to turn on when I come home and turn off when I leave or at my bedtime — I don't even think about turning lights on/off anymore. They sunrise *every* morning without fail. If I wake up early and turn them on before the sunrise starts, they just skip the sunrise. And the scenes are really fun! I don't have great lighting in my apartment and it's never felt very home-y, but these bulbs give it some warm light. The ability to dim them to the level of light you need makes my place feel really cozy and inviting. I can't wait to buy more and I will definitely be giving these out as Christmas gifts — everyone needs them!”
— Amazon Customer From Amazon

Philips Hue

The industry-leading choice

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