Alexa Smart Lights HeroSource: Philips Hue

Best Alexa-Controlled Light Bulbs Android Central 2020

The ecosystem of smart home devices that work with Amazon's Alexa smart voice assistant is vast, and one of the most popular categories is smart lighting and Alexa controlled light bulbs. With so many options out there, how are you supposed to know which ones work well? My top choice is the Philips Hue A21 1,600 Lumen Bulb because it comes from an industry-leading brand, has a massive ecosystem of other Hue products it will work with, and it plays well with Alexa. Plus, it's super bright, which means you can use it almost anywhere and get as much light as you need.

Best Overall: Philips Hue A21 1,600 Lumen Bulb

Philips Hue 1600 Lumen Bulb LifestyleSource: Philips Hue

Chance are that when you think about smart lights, the brand that comes to mind first is Philips Hue. The product line was introduced way back in 2012 and has arguably maintained its status as the dominant brand in the smart lighting space to this day.

Even though Philips Hue makes a lot of different smart lighting devices like bulbs, light strips, and even lamps, I wanted to focus on an easy entry point into this rather expansive ecosystem. You can get the Philips Hue A211,600 Lumen Bulb for a reasonable price and put it pretty much anywhere in your home. You can adjust from thousands of shades of white light and control it by voice using Alexa (or Google Assistant) with a compatible smart speaker.

While you need the Hue Hub (sold separately) to be able to control the bulb remotely from the app, you can control up to 10 lights in a room when in range thanks to built-in Bluetooth technology. So you can get a feel for smart lighting before deciding to opt for the Hue Hub to extend the experience to a remote control. With the app and voice, you can create/activate scenes, use preset light recipes, dim the lights, and more. With a Hub, you can even control up to 80 lights at once!

But what sets this bulb apart is the ultra-bright 1,600 lumens that can light up any room to the max, whether it's for applying makeup or shaving in the bathroom or making cooking videos in the kitchen.

Pros:

  • Great bulb from an industry leader
  • Extensive ecosystem of Hue products
  • Connect up to 80 Hue lights with the Philips Hue Smart Hub
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Ultra-bright light

Cons:

  • Requires separate hub
  • No colors
  • Might be too bright for some uses

Best Overall

Philips Hue A21 1,600 Lumen

Industry leader

These industry-leading bulbs are an excellent investment to begin your smart home lighting projects.

Best Runner-up: Wyze Bulb

Wyze Smart Bulb LifestyleSource: Wyze

If you're just getting started with smart lighting and want to dip your toes in the water with an easy-to-use, inexpensive bulb that is pretty much just plug and play, then I recommend you take a look at the Wyze Bulb. Wyze is a smart device company that has made a name for itself by providing quality products at low prices that work well with Alexa and the other smart assistants and protocols out there.

What's great about Wyze Bulbs is that they're affordable, well-made enough that it won't die on you in three months, and easy to use and install. All you have to do is screw it into a lamp or light fixture, connect it to your Wi-Fi through the free app, and ask Alexa to discover new devices. Once she finds it, you can add that device to a room group, create routines, or control the brightness or on/off status with your voice.

If you are a creature of habit and want to put the same brand of bulbs throughout your house, you might be out of luck here. So far, Wyze only makes this one type, color, and size of a smart bulb, so if you have other lighting needs, you will have to expand your product search.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • No hub required
  • Solid app and reliable manufacturer
  • Can set to different color temperatures and dimness

Cons:

  • Only variants of white light; no colors
  • Wyze doesn't have a vast ecosystem

Best Runner-up

Wyze Bulb

A Wyze choice

These very affordable bulbs work great with Alexa and are perfect if you just want to update one or two bulbs.

Best for Security Set-ups: Ring Smart Bulb

Ring Smart Ledbulb Starterkit LifestyleSource: Ring

Ring is a trusted smart home brand, known more so for its easy-to-setup security cameras versus lighting. The brand offers a range of smart lights, too, including this affordable A19 replacement bulb that offers 800 lumens (60-watt equivalent) of brightness for your room.

Like the others, it works with Alexa for voice control. Still, it requires the purchase of the Ring Bridge separately if you want to be able to enjoy the smart features like mobile notifications, setting schedules, turning lights on and off remotely, and more using the app.

What's particularly great about this bulb is that it can be grouped with other Ring lights to create what the company calls a "Ring of Security" in your home. If you place them in covered outdoor fixtures around the perimeter of your home, for example, you can keep an eye on everywhere from the backyard to the front door and driveway and control all the lights together. It's also compatible with other Ring devices so you can control the lights alongside the security camera at your front door.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Compatible with other Ring products
  • Reliable manufacturer
  • 800 lumens of brightness great for most rooms
  • Alexa control

Cons:

  • Hub required
  • No colors; only white
  • Might not be bright enough for some

Best for Security Set-ups

Ring Smart Bulb

Keep your home safe

Pair multiples of these bulbs with Ring security products to keep a watchful eye on your home when away.

Best Out-of-the-box Setup: LIFX 1,100 Lumen Color Bulb

Lifx 1100lumen Led Bulb LifestyleSource: Amazon

The best feature of this bright and vibrant bulb is how you don't need a hub of any kind to connect it to your home's Wi-Fi network: it connects directly so that you can get going right out of the box.

The 1,100-lumen (75-watt) equivalent bulb provides dimmable light in up to 16 million different colors to set the mood based on your activity, whether you're reading a book, having a casual dinner party, or dancing the night away. The lights are dimmable as well, so you can not only get the right color or shade of white but also at the right level to meet your needs.

Suitable for use both indoors and out thanks to the weather-resistant design, the bulb is an excellent option if you want color options and to get going right away. However, you are paying a premium for that convenience.

Pros:

  • No hub required
  • 16 million colors
  • 1,100 lumens plenty bright
  • Dimmable
  • Weather-resistant

Cons:

  • More expensive than others

Best Out-of-the-box Setup

LIFX 1,100 Lumen Color Bulb

Color in a flash

With no hub needed, you can connect this bulb to your Wi-Fi right out of the box to get going with a rainbow of color options.

Best Light Strips: Maxonar LED Strip Lights

Maxonar Led Light Strips LifestyleSource: Maxonar

Just like with smart light bulbs, it is easy to become overwhelmed by options for smart LED strips when searching on Amazon. The ones that I've come back to time and again to these bulbs from Maxonar. They're affordable, easy to install, and work great with Alexa.

These LED strip lights can be used indoors in an office or a kid's room, and are weatherproof enough for use outside on the porch. They have an IP65 rating, so they should be able to withstand an occasional spring shower, but don't go lining your hot tub with them!

These energy-efficient LED strip lights can adhere to just about any smooth surface with the included adhesive tape, and they can be cut in sections of three LEDs at a time. However, the tape may not stay stuck very well outdoors, so you might have to come up with some other creative solutions if you want to put these lights outside. You can control the lights and set up to 16 million different color combinations via the app or through your voice with Alexa by enabling the Smart Life Alexa Skill.

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Unlimited possibilities for use
  • 16 million color combinations
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use

Cons:

  • Adhesive tape may not be optimal for outdoor use

Best Light Strips

Maxonar LED Strip Lights

A strip show for all eyes

Stick these strip lights behind your desk or up on a shelf for subtle, stealth mood lighting.

Best Value: Sengled Smart WiFi LED Bulb

Sengled Smart Light Bulb LifestyleSource: Sengled

Fill your home with color with these bulbs that can display more than 16 million colors and shades of white, from candlelight to daylight, to set the mood for any occasion. They will automatically turn to the last setting, so you don't need to reset your dining room lights every night if you only turn them on for dinner.

Another great thing about this bulb is that you don't need a hub — it connects directly to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control it remotely from the Sengled Home app on a compatible Android or iOS device. Plus, you can control it by voice using Alexa (or Google) with a compatible smart speaker. You can turn the lights on and off, dim or brighten them via vocal commands or by the app, set scenes and routines, put lights on a schedule, and more.

The LED bulb is a standard A19 size so it can replace most bulbs in your home, but it's best for lamps and fixtures. You'll get 800 lumens of brightness.

Pros:

  • No hub required
  • 16 million colors
  • Dimmable
  • Auto-returns to the last setting
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible

Cons:

  • 800 lumens might not be bright enough

Best Value

Sengled Smart WiFi LED Bulb

Light up your life!

For a reasonable price, you get a Wi-Fi-enabled bulb that doesn't require a hub, offers 16 million colors, and is easy to use.

Best for Desk Lamps: LIFX Mini LED Bulb

Lifx Mini Led Light Bulb LifestyleSource: LIFX

This miniature bulb is the perfect one for your desk or table lamp, providing 800 lumens of brightness to replace a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. Plus, it offers the added benefit of 16 million colors when you want the lighting to match your mood as well as a range of whites.

Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, you don't need a hub — just connect these lights directly to your home network, download the app to your compatible Android or iOS device, and you're off to the races. You can control lights from the app, either individually or in groups, turning them on and off, changing colors, dimming, and more. (The lights won't work with your dimmer switches but they can be dimmed from the app.) You can also pick different themes and set custom scenes and timers.

The light bulb is super easy to set up, and if you have an Alexa-enabled smart speaker, you can control it by voice, too. (It also works with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.)

Pros:

  • No hub required
  • 16 million colors
  • Dimmable
  • Ideal for small lamps
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit compatible

Cons:

  • 800 lumens might not be bright enough
  • Not compatible with dimmer switches

Best for Desk Lamps

LIFX Mini LED Bulb

For the home office!

It's the perfect bulb for a desk or table lamp, with the benefit of controlling it by voice and adding color to your workspace.

Best for Smart Homes: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Philips Hue White Color Ambiance A19 Smart Led Bulb LifestyleSource: Philips Hue

While we rate the Philips Hue A21 1,600 Lumen Bulb the best overall pick, when you're ready to step up your smart home, this bulb is a solid choice. It provides 16 million colors and different shades and temperatures of white. While you need the Hue Hub to be able to control them remotely, they do work with Bluetooth for app control while you are within range. You can control up to 10 Hue Bluetooth/Zigbee bulbs from the app, or up to 50 lights with the Hub.

When you're ready to set up a full smart home, these bulbs can integrate with other Hue products, including other types of lights, as well as accessories like motion sensors and smart switches. In addition to controlling everything in the app, including turning lights on and off, dimming, creating scenes and routines, and grouping lights together, you can also control them by voice using Alexa with a compatible smart speaker.

The A19-sized bulb is also Energy Star-qualified, making it far more energy-efficient than old incandescent bulbs.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth ready
  • 16 million colors
  • Dimmable
  • Works with Philips Hue ecosystem

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires hub for remote control

Best for Smart Homes

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Smarten every room

If you plan to expand your smart home little by little, a bulb like this one from Philips Hue is the ideal one to start with.

Kasa Smart Wifi Bulb White LifestyleSource: TP-Link

It doesn't get much easier than this simple soft white A19 bulb that you simply screw into the socket of your light, download the app, connect to Wi-Fi, and go — no hub needed. You can control it from the Kasa app, including turning it on and off, dimming, creating scenes, and setting schedules.

Offering 800 lumens of brightness for the equivalent of a 60-watt bulb, it can also be controlled by voice via Alexa (with a compatible smart speaker) as well as Google and Microsoft Cortana.

It's a simple bulb from a trusted brand that won't break the bank. So, while it might not be the ideal option to outfit an entire house, if you just want to update one or two bulbs in the home, it's a good choice.

Pros:

  • No hub required
  • Dimmable
  • Affordable
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana compatible

Cons:

  • 800 lumens might not be bright enough
  • No colors

Best for Beginners

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

No knowledge required

An easy replacement if you want to swap in a new LED smart bulb for one or two in your home that you can control remotely.

Shine a light on me

There are so many great options when it comes to setting up your smart home lighting that you can control by voice using Alexa. Some of the lights are better suited for indoor use, while some will work better outdoors. Some are more general-purpose lighting solutions, while other lights may be best suited for specific rooms or festivities.

For me, when it comes down to balancing expandability of a smart lighting solution with the overall functionality, the best option to get started with is the Philips Hue A21 1,600 Lumen Bulb. Philips Hue set the standard for what a quality smart light should be. The company has always been interested in making sure that its products work with smart assistants like Alexa. And this bulb comes with a comprehensive ecosystem of products it can work with once you decide to expand your home. Plus, it's literally the brightest of the bunch.

But examine your specific needs to find the right bulb for you. Decide if you're willing to pay extra for a hub or bridge or some kind or if you'd prefer to get going right out of the box, though you'll likely be paying more anyway in this case. Whatever you choose, it's wise to start with one or two bulbs and go from there, opting for an easily expandable brand so if you find you love the idea of smart lighting, you can add it to every room of your home, little by little. Maybe even consider adding more compatible smart products to the equation over time as you build up your smart home, from sensors to doorbells.

Whatever your situation and whichever space you're looking at, you're sure to find a tremendous smart light that will work with Alexa among the choices on this list.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

Christine Persaud lives in an older but automated home, so she forgot how to manually flip a light switch years ago. When she isn't busy writing away as a freelancer, you can probably find her cycling, watching TV with a glass of wine in hand (or two!), and hanging out with her awesome 8-year-old son.

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