Best cheap smart LED light bulbs 2022

Cheap Smart Lights
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Arguably the easiest way to smarten up your home is with one of the best cheap smart LED light bulbs. All you need to do is unscrew your existing traditional bulb, replace it with a smart one, download the app, connect, and voilà. You can control the bulb from your phone, or even sometimes by voice with Google Assistant or Alexa. There are plenty of amazing smart light bulbs out there, but when it comes to simplicity and affordability, the LiFX 1,100-lumen bulb is an excellent option because it has built-in Wi-Fi, and thus doesn't require a separate hub. It can also display up to 16 million colors, and works with all major voice control platforms.

GE Cync Color Bulb

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GE Cync Direct Connect Smart Bulbs

Best overall

Reputable brand
Alexa, Google voice control
Create scenes/schedules
Control away from home
Setup can sometimes be finicky

Regarding brand recognition when it comes to lighting, you can't get any better than GE. These color-changing bulbs come with voice control, millions of colors, and the ability to add them to smart home scenes and schedules. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and works with both Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.

As a bonus, no hub or bridge is required to get this smart bulb lighting up your living room. It connects to Wi-Fi directly, and you can control it away from home through the Cync mobile app should you ever forget to turn the lights off. In addition to a full-color bulb, you have the choice of tunable white or soft white in a single or double pack.

Sengled smart bulbs in kitchen

(Image credit: Sengled)

Sengled Smart Light Bulb

Best for smart home set-up

Works with compatible hubs
Alexa and Google Assistant
Create scenes/routines
Requires hub

If you are adding this bulb to an existing smart home, or looking to expand to create one, it's a perfect complement, able to be used with scenes and routines. It works with both Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control with a compatible smart speaker. You can also add it to scenes and routines with SmartThings and Wink when paired with a compatible hub, like the Sengled Smart Hub or Wink, or Alexa devices that have built-in hubs.

Available individually or in two, four, or eight-pack kits, it can become a part of a larger smart home set-up. Plus, it's energy-efficient, using 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. The beam angle is 240-degrees, so you can get the light right where you want it.

Philips Hue White Ambience

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Philips Hue Smart Bulb

Best for integration

Integrates easily with any system
Alexa and Google Assistant
Create scenes/routines
Can be controlled via Bluetooth
Requires Hue hub for all the features
More expensive than other options

One of the most popular brands in this space, this bulb is ideal if you plan to use several smart devices in the home, including multiple bulbs. I have used Hue lighting in my home for years as Philips Hue bulbs can be set up for whole-home systems. Add up to 10 Hue Bluetooth or Zigbee bulbs to the system and control them via an app, voice, or as part of an existing Hue system.

Control the lights from home or even while you're away using the mobile app. You can also add accessories like motion sensors and smart switches, and control them all through the same interface. 

With a life span of up to 22 years, or 25,000 lifetime hours based on industry averages, you don't have to worry about replacing them. Hue bulbs are more expensive than other options, but if you opt to use the Hue Bridge, the added functionality can be worth it.

Sylvania Wi-Fi+ smart lights

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SYLVANIA Wi-Fi+ Smart Lights

Best budget

Works with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
No hub required
Connects to Wi-Fi
Only 800 lumens

WithSYLVANIA Wi-Fi+ highly rated smart light bulbs offer a solid set of features that you might not expect given the cost of the lights. These bulbs work with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant and connect directly to Wi-Fi, so you don't need to bother getting a hub. Aside from the traditional bulb, you can pick up some excellent LED light strips and even a smart corner lamp that I have enjoyed using.

By downloading the SYLVANIA Smart WiFi app, you can operate the bulbs while you're away from home, as well as adjust light modes and brightness, so you can create the perfect setting. In addition, you're able to set schedules and timers, and control multiple bulbs at once, by creating a group.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb

(Image credit: TP-Link)

Best for Microsoft Fans

Works with Microsoft Cortana
Alexa and Google Assistant
No hub required
Only 850 lumens

If you use Microsoft Cortana as your voice assistant of choice, this is the perfect smart bulb for you. It can be controlled by Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant, as well as Alexa and Google, providing additional voice control options. This bulb also has the added benefit of direct connection to Wi-Fi, meaning no hub needed and making set up a breeze.

You'll get multicolored options for light to match whatever is the mood or occasion. Control it from anywhere using an Android or iOS device, including dimming the lights, changing the color, and turning the lights on and off.

Vont Smart Light

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Vont Smart Light

Best for parties

Simple to use
No hub required
Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT
Has a music mode
App can be finicky

Vont may not be a brand that many people are familiar with, but in the time I've spent using it, I have been impressed. Given the low cost of this smart light, the features and excellent color representation have it punching far above its weight class.

With the ability to connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can select from 16 million colors or tunable whites. The Vont app has a variety of preset scenes and offers a music mode so your lights can react to the music. The light will even remember the last color you used and activate that when you turn it on again.

Wyze Bulb Color

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Wyze Bulb

Best features

Up to 1100 lumens
16 million colors
90+ CRI
Sleep routines
New to the smart lighting space

Wyze is making a name for itself when it comes to smart home products, and the Wyze Bulb is no exception. These super bright bulbs go up to 1,100 lumens, offer 16 million colors, and have white light temperature control to really get the right lighting to fit your mood. Even better, this Wyze bulb has an advanced Color Rendering Index (CRI), meaning that colors (like navy vs. black in your closet) are more brilliant and truer to their natural form.

You can even create visual notifications and reminders with Wyze lights through the app, and you can create custom lighting routines. For instance, you can have your bulbs illuminate or darken with time so you know when it's time to stop working and go to bed. And of course, these bulbs work with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Smart buys

The GE Cync Direct Connect bulb is a winner in this category, and among some of the best smart light bulbs you can find today. It checks all the necessary boxes in terms of what you want from a smart bulb and works with all the popular voice assistants, so you can control it by voice and set it as part of scenes and schedules. It offers 16 million colors from which you can choose. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, so you can directly connect it to your home's network instead of using a hub that you'd need to buy separately. It can also replace pretty much any standard A19-sized bulb.

Plus, it's dimmable, so you can set not only the perfect color for your mood but also the right brightness level. With 1,100 lumens, this bulb shines bright when desired. It's an ideal smart light to get any smart home started or to expand an existing one.

Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
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