Smart lighting can make a huge difference in your home. With a smart light system, you can control your lights remotely using an app, set up automations to turn them on or off at specific times or according to your location, and create scenes that change the color of the lights to suit the mood or activity. You can also use voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to turn your lights on and off or run a scene.
The best smart lights are easy to set up and can transform any room. They’re also relatively inexpensive compared to non-smart LED bulbs, though they are still more expensive than standard dimmable bulbs. Smart lighting is available in a variety of forms, including LED bulbs (including A19 and BR30), LED strips, LED light panels designed to be placed on the wall or ceiling, and other fixtures like lamps and dimmer switches. They’re also available with motion sensors and can work outdoors. Some have built-in cameras for security purposes.
There are two main categories of smart lighting: bulbs and switches. Most people will opt for a mixture of both, with some bulbs connected to smart switches and others wired directly into existing fixtures. The biggest name in smart lighting is Philips, which offers a huge range of smart bulbs. They include standard white, tunable white and full-color bulbs in A19 and BR30 fittings as well as a wide selection of lightstrips and fixtures, along with dimmer switches and sensors that can be integrated into a smart lighting setup.
If you’re just getting started with smart lighting, we recommend starting with a kit like this three-pack of Philips Hue bulbs. They’re easy to set up and a good choice for most homes. The Hue system is one of the most advanced, with a strong emphasis on smart home integration and a slick app. There’s a wide range of accessories, too, from a dimmer switch for your garage to a bulb that’s designed to sync with your TV’s HDMI signal to automatically adjust your lights in response to what you’re watching.
Other brands of smart lights are also worth considering. The Cree Smart Bulb is a great option for budget-minded shoppers. It costs less than $10 each and has a full-featured app that makes it easy to set up and control. It’s compatible with most major home assistants and can be used to create a wide range of lighting effects, like changing the colors to sync with music or creating custom programs that run for a specific time period.
The other big brand to consider is GE’s C by GE line of smart lighting. They’re a good mid-range pick for most homes, with a large selection of white and color-changing bulbs in both A19 and BR30 fittings, plus fixtures and strips. The bulbs connect to your home WiFi network via Bluetooth and Zigbee and support multiple platforms, including Android and iOS. They’re easiest to set up with Google Assistant and Alexa, though they can also be integrated into Apple HomeKit systems. best smart lighting