Even though smart lights are one of the most common ways to get started in building out your smart home, there are a lot of choices out there. It can be overwhelming to decide from all the different shapes and colors to ones that require hubs and those that don’t.
If you aren’t sure what a hub is, early in the rise of smart homes, most smart lights require a separate piece of equipment known as a bridge or hub to control your smart lights — but not anymore. Here are the best smart lights that don’t require a hub.
GE has been in the light bulb game for a long time, and its smart lights show it. All of the best GE Cync light bulbs offer excellent connectivity and a suite of features to let you set up each light just as you want. From LED strips with 16 million colors to white-only bulbs, you’re bound to find a light that works for your home.
Bold, bright, and beautiful
LIFX smart lights are some of the best smart lights for dark spaces, thanks to their high lumen rating. These lights are more than just bright — they also offer some of the most saturated and bold colors on the market. You’ll find a variety of form factors to suit your smart lighting needs, and an app with many customization options.
No hubs here
Yes, Philips Hue smart lights do have a hub — but it isn’t required. Many of the best Philips Hue smart lights use a hub to get the most from the lights, whereas Philips other brand Wiz doesn’t. You can set schedules, adjust the lights, control the lights away from home, or use them with your favorite smart speaker, all without a hub.
Control as you wish
Sylvania is another company that’s been making lighting solutions for a very long time, and now it has some of the best smart lights. You can choose from standard bulbs, light strips, and even a floor lamp to outfit your home. I use these high-quality lights because they have a solid set of smart features that work wonderfully without a hub.
Smart and cheap
Vont bucks the trend when it comes to the phrase "you get what you pay for." These lights are some of the best cheap smart lights. I like using them because of the options to control them via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the bold color reproduction, a music mode, and more. Getting smart lights that work well, and on a budget, is a big win.
The Govee DreamView T1 TV Backlight is just one of the many excellent Govee smart lights that forgo the hub in favor of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. By combining an RGBIC LED light strip and a specialized camera, these lights will mimic what is happening on your TV in light on the wall behind it — taking you deeper into your favorite shows.
Illuminated wall art
The Shapes are some of the best Nanoleaf lights, thanks to the variety of options in the lineup and excellent controls. Shapes come in either hexagons or triangles, and then each shape has two sizes. You can mix and match these panels to create a work of art on your wall — and that’s before you turn them on. The app is full of customization to set the perfect scene in your home.
Light is all you need
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When starting a smart home, it can get overwhelming very quickly. Aside from finding the best smart home devices for your home, you also have to consider the amount of hardware you’ll need to connect. So finding a smart light solution where you still get all the fun features these products offer, without adding a hub, is great.
GE Cync has done a fantastic job of growing its smart lighting portfolio, while maintaining the quality many expect from the brand. Newer companies like Govee and Vont are doing a great job of adding unique products with impressive features as well, all without a hub.
But, regardless of which hub-less smart lights you choose, be sure you have one of the best Wi-Fi routers to ensure you have seamless control over them.
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