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Let there be light: Here are the best smart bulbs of 2022

·5-min read
Three pink bulbs in front of packaging, on a pink flash background
Bright idea: Amp up your home with color and light. (Photo: Amazon)

Imagine you’re all tucked under the covers and ready for slumber. But you suddenly remember that you left the lights on in the living room. The last thing you want to do is go downstairs, but you also don't want to waste electricity. Now imagine something really cool: You have smart lights installed, so you only need to say, “Alexa, turn off the lights” and you've powered them down without having to leave your bed. It's magic! Smart light bulbs are an easy and affordable way to add some internet-connected intelligence to your home. Many allow you to schedule them to come on or off at certain hours and on certain days. That means you can use them as a gentle alarm clock or as a way to scare off any would-be intruders when you’re out of town. That’s some "smart" thinking.

Quick overview
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Here are our favorite brainy bulbs available now.

One of our favorite smart lighting products comes from Philips Hue, and this 3-pack is a particularly great entry point. You can set the mood with 16 million colors! These bulbs last a ridiculous 22 years — or 25,000 hours.
$96 at Amazon

These LED Smart Bulbs are also Bluetooth- and Zigbee-compatible, which means you can connect them to the internet with the companion app. And, yes, they sync with either Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. I have these in my home and I love them. They're especially useful when you're traveling, as you can program them to come on when you're not home to simulate your occupancy. That's a smart way to trick potential robbers!

Plenty of shoppers — over 30,000, in fact — have successfully integrated the Philips Hue Smart Light bulbs into their homes, like this reviewer: “I love these lights…I have six bulbs spread between two bedrooms and a bathroom. I never bothered to look at the instructions the bulbs come with. If you have connected any smart devices to apps before, there isn’t much to it… I use the base wattage bulbs and they have been perfect for me. At 100% it’s more than bright enough."

If you’re not into lighting your rooms in rainbow hues, then this simple White Ambiance 2-pack is an affordable way to try out the Philips Hue ecosystem.
$45 at Amazon

Although these lack color, you can still adjust the white ambiance range up to 50,000 shades of warm or cool. One five-star review said: "I am very picky about light, as is my husband. During the day I like a brighter, cooler-temperature light. In the evenings, I prefer dimmer warm lighting. These bulbs solved all of my problems. Installation was a breeze. I downloaded the app, and it located the bulbs immediately.... Once in the app, you can change the color temperature of the bulbs and the brightness! Even better, you can have the lights connected so they both change to the same settings."

This color-changing light bulb offers up any shade you can imagine — white, warm, amber and cool tones. It syncs with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can tweak your lighting with the power of your voice.
$13 at Amazon

Forgot to turn off your lights before you left the house? No problem! Simply use the Cync mobile app to take care of everything from your phone. A nice perk: These smart LED light bulbs use 84% less energy and last 15 times longer than conventional bulbs.

GE Cync LED smart bulbs have plenty of fans. Said one of them: "I love these lights. They're such a great way to change the atmosphere of a room. Great for the bedroom, activity room, music room, smoke room, you name it. They sync up perfectly with Google and Alexa as well! I haven't had any issues. I must say, the color is amazing as well. So deep and beautiful."

Philips' Wiz bulbs don't just light up your home, they're great for parties too. They come with a slew of presets like "Fireplace" (it'll flicker between red and yellow) and "Christmas" to set the right mood for the occasion. Fun!
$21 at Amazon

We especially like this bulb's Vacation Mode, which randomly turns on and off the lights to make it seem like someone is home. And of course, it works with Alexa as well as Google Assistant.

"Wow, I am impressed with this little light," said a five-star reviewer. "You can fade/dim the light and even set it to pulse. You can also set it to any color imaginable, throughout the entire color spectrum. The app includes lots of cool preset features, like setting a romantic mood or alternating between spring colors. I was really surprised with all of these cool options."

The Sengled 4-pack of bulbs is a steal. They're easy to use and work with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
$30 at Amazon

Use the Sengled companion app to control these bulbs remotely wherever you are in the world — set timers, schedules, wake-up and sleep modes and more. There’s no hub required; you can just connect them directly to your home Wi-Fi network.

A shopper said: "The smart bulbs come in handy greatly because they connect to your Alexa or Google Assistant. The best part about them is that they change colors just by giving instructions to your speaker. Another important thing to consider is that [you can] turn off and on the lights in the room just by giving instructions."

The Wyze Bulb is another fantastic budget option. It doesn’t have all the special effects that some of the pricier options offer, but it has pretty much everything else.
$12 at Amazon

“Paint” your room in up to 16 million colors and with multiple white-light temperature modes. You can also create time-based color events or automate the syncing of several Wyze devices. This bulb also offers "sleep routines," so you can wake up or fall asleep to your own custom sunrise or sunset.

"This bulb was so easy to set up with the app and with my Google Home, and I feel like it's high quality for a low price," said one review. "I had some off-brand bulb in the past and it worked fine, but it was soo dim, even at 100% brightness. With this Wyze bulb that is not an issue; it has a MUCH brighter capacity."

The Yeelight app comes with a cool Chroma Visualizer that lets you sync your smart bulb with any media or music, resulting in a fun, semi-psychedelic experience!
$35 at Amazon

This Yeelight bulb works with all of the major home ecosystems: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's HomeKit. It'll also work with Razer Chroma if you happen to have any of those peripherals. Like many of the other smart bulbs here, you can set the Yeelight according to schedules and timers, and you can do so remotely. Plus, it's easy to install — simply screw it in and tap the app to get started.

"These bulbs are just fantastic," said a reviewer who gave the bulbs five stars. "Zero issues with quality, setup or performance. They're plenty bright considering the 60w equivalency. LAN control and lack of a hub requirement makes them quite responsive — perfect for ambient lighting for movies or gaming. Mine are tied into Razer Synergy 3 and Alexa and perform as expected. You can use commands like "Alexa, turn lights on" and "Alexa, set lights to magenta at 75%" with ease."

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication

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