Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022

Are you thinking about switching to smart lightbulbs? You’re not by yourself. According to the 2022 Statista Global Consumer Survey, 32% of Americans own smart lighting equipment like plugs and bulbs.

Smart lightbulbs are typically available in three price ranges, with most companies offering some combination of:

  • Dimmable lights, the most economical option, allow you to simply modify the brightness.
  • White tunable bulbs allow you to adjust the color from warm white to cold white, or wherever in between, as well as reduce the overall brightness.
  • Color-changing or multicolored bulbs can be programmed to one of the millions of distinct hues. They also include white-tuning and dimming options.

Here’s a brief rundown of the best 7 smart lightbulbs 2022 we tested. The first three are my best recommendations based on a variety of factors such as value, white tuning, and simplicity of setup, among others.

We concentrated on multicolor smart lights since they provide all of the benefits of dimmable and white-tunable lamps. We then concentrated on the top lightbulb brands and producers in terms of market share, which include Philips (manufactured by Signify) and Ge lighting bulbs. We also wanted to add LIFX, an early smart lighting pioneer, as well as a couple of budget-friendly brands: Cree Lighting and Sengled. Finally, we included Wyze, which is recognized for producing a wide range of smart home items other than lights.

To test the smart lights for this piece, we bought two five-head floor lamps (which reminded me of my bachelor pad days) so we could compare all ten smart bulbs at my home office. We began by determining how simple (or difficult) it was to set them up in their individual applications. After they were all set up, we started comparing their multicolor, white-tuning, and dimming capabilities to determine which models had the richest colors, the largest white color temperature variations, and the greatest and lowest brightness levels

If the bulbs supported digital assistants and smart home ecosystems—we focused on the big four: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/Siri, Google Home/Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings—I considered how easy they were to integrate with each platform and how well each integration worked. I also checked the responsiveness of each bulb’s controls, both through their respective apps and through each integration’s app (the Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings apps).

Finally, we noted if each bulb’s app included native automation functions, such as automatically turning on the lights at sunset or turning them off when you leave the house. All of these lights will enable those types of automation via Alexa, HomeKit, and so on, but it’s helpful when those functions are embedded into the bulb’s app and don’t require additional hardware or a separate app download—especially if smart lighting is your first venture into home automation.

Lighting Terminology: What You Should Know

Before we get started, here’s a lesson on some of the lighting jargon you’ll encounter while shopping for smart lightbulbs.

  • Kelvin: A unit of measurement for color temperature in lighting. The majority of the bulbs we tested ranged from roughly 2000K to 6500K.
  • Lumens: A measurement of a lightbulb’s maximum brightness. The brighter the bulb, the higher the number. The most common lumen count for lightbulbs is 800 lumens, however stronger 1100-lumen and 1600-lumen bulbs are also available.
  • White tuning: White tuning refers to a lightbulb’s capacity to modify its color temperature from warm white to cold white. Warm whites seem orangey and/or reddish, whilst cold whites appear blue. Some bulbs also have “follow the sun” or circadian lighting modes, which simulate sunlight by gradually transitioning from warm white to cool white and back to warm white during the day.

Here is the list of Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022

Overall the Best Choice: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022
  • Price per A19 bulb: $44.99
  • Hub price: $60
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Bulb types and sizes offered (in multicolor and white): A19, A21, BR30, PAR38, Filament (A19, ST19, ST23, G25, G40)
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit/Siri, Google Home/Assistant, Samsung SmartThings

We know it’s pricey, but the Philips Hue bulb was by far the easiest to use and had the best performance. Because I already own some Philips Hue White lights and have the Hue hub set up at home, we merely got the bulb to test rather than the entire starting package. The hub and a few bulbs (three to four, depending on the package) are included to get you started. While the lights function without the hub due to Bluetooth, I recommend purchasing the whole starting kit to take use of all of the connections and capabilities that the hub offers. Starter kits are available for purchase on Amazon.

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance just accomplished everything perfectly in my opinion. The setup was simple. Because I already had the hub, the app located the bulb in seconds. The hub’s setup process is simple for people who are putting up a bulb for the first time. To sync it to the app, just link it into your Wi-Fi router, follow the app instructions, and then click the big, round button on the hub. The hub has also been pretty stable in the years I’ve owned it. I’ve only had to restart it once due to a power or internet loss.

The bulb produces brilliant, vivid colors and has a wide color temperature range, including a lovely pinkish-orange tint at its hottest temperature setting, something several bulbs struggled with. When it came to brightness, the bulb was quite bright at 100%, but what really stood out was how dark it could become at 1%. It could reach the lowest brightness level of the lot in a side-by-side visual comparison.

The bulb works flawlessly with each of the main four ecosystems, with the bulb reacting to their directions in less than a second. The Hue app replies much faster, with actions executing practically instantaneously. In addition, the Hue app offers automation for sunrise and sunset, as well as leaving and returning home.

Overall, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance ticks all of the boxes for a solid smart bulb. Its only evident disadvantage? The purchase price. But if you want the finest, Philips Hue is unrivaled.

Best Value: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Lightbulb Multicolor KL125

New Kasa Smart Bulb Full Color Changing Dimmable Smart WiFi Light Bulb
  • Price per bulb: $9.99
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Bulb types and sizes offered (in multicolor and white): A19 in regular LED and filament styles
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home/Assistant, Samsung SmartThings

In our comparisons, the TP-Link Kasa Smart KL125 came in second place, and at less than a third of the price of a Hue bulb, it’s a good buy. It produces a wide range of colors well, and at 1% brightness, it was one of the dimmest bulbs behind the Philips Hue. Its response was also outstanding, with the bulb reacting very instantaneously to app instructions via the Kasa Smart app, Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings. The bulb has several important automation functions, such as sunrise/sunset automation and changes in other TP-Link smart home devices.

However, the TP-Link bulb is not without problems. It appeared to be the dimmest of the four at 100 percent brightness exhibiting white (rather than colors, which tend to be dimmer with smart bulbs in general). It was still quite bright, but it fell a little short in my visual comparison. During the setup procedure, I too had a snag. The bulb develops its own Wi-Fi network so that the app can discover it, and the app failed to connect to the bulb’s network on the first try. It worked on the second try, and the bulb was installed in minutes. Finally, the bulb lacks automation for when you leave and return home, necessitating the use of another smart home system (like Amazon Alexa)

Nonetheless, none of these faults are significant. The bulb works surprisingly well for its low price, and it has enough functionality to delight most people, even those new to smart lighting.

Best $10 Bulb: Cree Lighting Connected Max LED Smart Bulb

Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022
  • Price per A19 bulb: $10
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Bulb types and sizes offered (in multicolor and white): A19, A21, and BR30
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri Shortcuts (not HomeKit), Google Home/Assistant, Samsung SmartThings

If you want to replace a lot of bulbs while getting the most bang for your money, you should definitely go inexpensive. Fortunately, there are some multicolor smart bulbs that cost less than $10 (and their white-tuning-only and dimming-only siblings cost much less, often as little as $7 to $8 per bulb). The Cree Lighting Connected Max LED Smart Bulb is the finest $10 bulb I evaluated.

The Cree bulb is simple to install and manage via the Cree app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. When compared to the other bulbs, it provides strong dimming performance, but its multicolor and white-tuning performance falls in the center of the pack.

The bulb is also compatible with Apple Siri Shortcuts and Samsung SmartThings, though both connections may be improved. (Siri Shortcuts enable you to create voice instructions for Siri without utilizing Apple HomeKit, which requires manufacturers to pay Apple a “program fee” and users to buy extra Apple gear.) It’s unclear from the Cree app or packaging if the bulb utilizes Siri Shortcuts, and when I tested it, I found it difficult to set up since you have to make a separate shortcut for each voice command you wish to use (“Turn on the lights,” or “Dim the lights to 50%,” for example).

Finally, the bulb lacks automation options for sunrise/sunset and when you leave/return home. However, it does include similar functionality for time, weather, and changes in other Cree smart devices. Overall, the Cree smart bulb is a good choice if you want the essentials at a moderate cost. The TP-Link above barely edges over Cree because of its superior automation options, color-changing capabilities, and SmartThings connection.

Great White Tuning: LIFX Color E26

LIFX Color A19 800 lumen
  • Price per A19 bulb: $35
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Bulb types and sizes offered (in multicolor and white): A19, BR30, Candelabra, Downlight
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home/Assistant, Samsung SmartThings

LIFX got its start on Kickstarter roughly a decade ago, making Wi-Fi smart lightbulbs long before they became the norm among manufacturers. But today it’s unclear if LIFX will be around in the long run. According to a LIFX Reddit post, its parent company, Buddy Technologies, recently entered receivership. While LIFX stresses this will secure the company’s future, receivership means the parent company could be sold or enter bankruptcy.

As a result, we recommend buying these lights only if you want to use them with Apple HomeKit, a locally controlled smart home system. This implies that the bulbs will continue to work via HomeKit even if LIFX goes out of business and their servers are shut off. (While it’s probably for the best, because Amazon Alexa had a clumsy setup process, and Google Home takes up to three seconds to adjust the bulb.)

Aside from that, the LIFX Color E26 is a good smart bulb with a particularly amazing white tuning range of 1500K to 9000K. Indeed, the LIFX was the warmest and coldest of all the smart lights at each extreme. It also has excellent multicolor and dimming capabilities, as well as quick controls via the LIFX, Apple Home, and SmartThings applications.

More: Smart Home Ceiling Light

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Multicolor A19 Bulb

Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Multicolor A19 Bulb just cannot match with our cheaper budget selections from TP-Link and Cree. Its setup was more difficult than the others, it doesn’t become as bright as some of the others, and its white-tuning created pinkish colors on the warm end and pink/blue hues on the cold end. However, the bulb was quite responsive and performed well with Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings.

More: List of Best Alexa Controlled Lights

Cync Direct Connect Full Color A19 Smart Bulb

GE CYNC Smart Light Bulb
  • Price per A19 bulb: $12
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Bulb types and sizes offered (in multicolor and white): A19, BR30, PAR38
  • Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home/Assistant     

The Cync Direct Connect Full Color A19 Smart Bulb from GE Lighting doesn’t have anything going for it. It has quick app controls and displays great, vivid colors, but that’s about it. Its white tuning and dimming capabilities were average, and its Alexa and Google connections were glitch, disconnecting from each system when I turned off the bulb. The bulb also lacked true automation functions, only allowing you to configure it to perform things at specified times of the day.

Wyze Bulb Color

Best 6 Smart Lightbulbs 2022

Wyze, unlike its competitors, does not provide an 800-lumen multicolor smart bulb. Instead, the Wyze Bulb Color with a brighter 1100 lumens is available for around the same price as many comparable 800-lumen bulbs. You’ll have to pay a few dollars extra if you want a brighter bulb from the other people.

When showing colors, the Wyze Bulb Color was substantially brighter than the others in my side-by-side visual comparison, but not when displaying whites. Nonetheless, it performed admirably in terms of showing vibrant colors, white tuning, and dimming. It also provided a plethora of choices for automating your lights, such as utilizing sunrise/sunset, the location of your home, and other Wyze smart home devices.

The bulb’s drawbacks include a painful setup procedure (the bulb’s pairing mode terminated before I could begin pairing in the app) and inconsistent responsiveness: The Wyze app’s controls were sometimes fast and other times took up to two seconds to respond. It took one to three seconds for the Alexa app, and roughly two seconds for the Google Home app.

More: Wyze unveils a $20 Smartwatch that monitors health controls smart home devices

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top