Smart lighting is lighting that you can control from an app, usually on your Apple or Android phone. Smart light allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely. Smart bulbs are among the most immediately successful offerings in the growing category of smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) products.
With the integration of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee or a proprietary connection for smart home systems, smart bulbs can be controlled through a mobile app or a home/building automation hub and individual bulbs can be programmed to change output in a specific manner.
Imagine your house has 50 lights, and each light is normally controlled by the flick of a switch. Smart lighting eliminates the need for you to get up and flick that switch.
Now, as consumers increasingly turn to these energy-efficient bulbs, lighting companies are trying to lock shoppers into their ecosystem by putting out smart, smartphone-controlled bulbs. These Wi-Fi connected LEDs can be programmed to turn on and off at the tap of a touchscreen.
The app enables you to change the brightness of the bulbs, and if the bulbs have colored LEDs you can change their colors too. That opens up a whole world of possibilities, which you might call light recipes: you might have one light recipe for watching movies, another for dinnertime, and yet another for reading.
Smart lighting networks vary drastically, but generally, their lights can either work independently or together when connected. Keep in mind there are two main types of smart lights: sensor-integrated and non-sensor integrated.
- It can save you money on a utility bill. That’s because a smart lighting network is very energy efficient; it allows you to calibrate when exactly a light should be on.
- Smart lights can also simplify your life. When preparing to travel, you won’t have to physically alter the settings of each smart light or check to see if it is off before you leave. You can do all this remotely, from afar.
Considerations Before Buying Smart Light
There are a couple of considerations when deciding how best to use your smart light bulbs.
If you opt to control your smart lighting using Bluetooth, know it limits you to only being able to adjust lighting and turn lights on or off when you are at home. If you leave home and forget to turn a light off, you won’t be able to remotely turn it off from another location because you’ll be out of the Bluetooth communication range of the bulb.
The best 5 smart lights
1. Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack 60W Equivalent Dimmable LED Smart Bulb (Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant)
Automate your lighting experience with Philips Hue and control your lights from home or away. Create light schedules from the Philips Hue App and never come home to a dark house. Requiring the Hue Bridge (sold separately) for the full Hue experience, these bulbs fit standard-size table lamps. Install the LED lights as you would install ordinary bulbs and pair them with the Hue Bridge, which allows you to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App.
2. TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb, Wi-Fi, Dimmable White, No Hub Required, 50W Equivalent, Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (LB100)
- Control your lighting from anywhere with the LB100. The smart bulb installs as easily as a standard light bulb, and connects to your home Wi-Fi in no time through the free Kasa app.
- Kasa also lets you manage your lights with your smartphone or tablet, including adjusting brightness and setting schedules and scenes.
- For added convenience, you can use your voice to control the LB100 when paired with Amazon Alexa.
- No hub required; works with your Wi-Fi router.
- The LB100 has 600 lumens brightness and dimmable white light.
3. LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, Adjustable, Multicolor, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant
- LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi smart LED light bulb, adjustable, multicolor, dimmable, no hub required, works with Alexa. With LIFX, how your bulb connects is important, so all of our WiFi technology is built right into each individual bulb – no hub required.
- Works with Nest.
- Works with Amazon Alexa to support dimming, shades of white, and color settings through voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
16 million colors and warm to cool whites
- Easy to set up, built in wifi – no hub required
- Bright – equivalent to a 75W bulb. Beam Angle: 135 degrees
- Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant
4. SYLVANIA SMART+ On/Off/Dim LED Light Bulb, 60W Equivalent A19, 10 Year, Works with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings and Wink, 74283 (Formerly LIGHTIFY)
This light bulb is the future of lighting for your home and business. The bulb has the familiar shape of a traditional light bulb, and the comfortable light you enjoy but offers so much more in energy efficiency and control.
It is aThis connected LED bulb that delivers over 800 lumens of light with a soft white 2700K color temperature. You can now experience intelligent, connected lighting solutions that easily adapt to your lifestyle and preferences. With a compatible smart hub such as SmartThings or Wink, take control of your lighting experience from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. With on, off, and dimming capabilities, create schedules and automation that fit into your daily routine.
With voice integration using a compatible hub, use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights. No additional hub is needed to control your SYLVANIA Smart lights. Simply connect your SYLVANIA Smart lights to your compatible hub, and start creating your own personalized lighting experience.
5. Sengled Element Classic A19 Smart Home LED Bulb, Compatible with SmartThings, Wink and Echo Plus, Requires Hub for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Sengled Element Classic Hub-Controlled Dimmable LED Bulb – White
- SMART HOME INTEGRATION: connect the bulb Amazon Echo Plus, as well as Samsung SmartThings and Wink hubs. The bulb can also be added to any Sengled Element Starter Kit. (Classic or Plus, hub sold separately. A hub is required for bulb use.)
- VOICE CONTROL INTEGRATION: connect the bulb to your favorite hub to use with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (hub required for use)
- CONTROL YOUR LIGHTS, AT HOME OR AWAY: use the iOS or Android app to set lighting schedules, dim or turn your lights on and off. Control your lights remotely and have the lights on before you get home at night.
- MONITOR ENERGY USE: monitor electricity use (kWh) from anywhere from the iOS or Android app. See if you forgot to turn off the lights, then remotely turn off for added savings.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: LED bulbs to use 80% less energy than incandescent lighting. Sengled bulbs last for over 20 years and are ENERGY STAR certified. Kits and bulbs come with a three-year warranty.