Best Cheap Smart LED Light Bulbs Android Central 2020
Arguably the easiest way to smarten up your home is with a smart light bulb. All you need to do is unscrew your existing traditional bulb, replace it with a smart one, download the app, connect, and voila! You can control the bulb from your phone, or even sometimes by voice. There are plenty of smart light bulbs out there, but when it comes to simple and affordable, 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, can display up to 16 million colors, and works with all major voice control platforms.
- Best Overall: LiFX A19 Bulb
- Best for Smart Home Set-up: Sengled Smart Light Bulb
- Best for Integration: Philips Hue A19 LED Smart Bulb
- Best for Ambiance: TECKIN Smart Bulb
- Best for Microsoft: TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb
- Best for Brand Reputation: C by GE LED Smart Bulb
- Best for Parties: Houkiper Color-Changing LED Light Bulb
Best Overall: LiFX A19 Bulb
When it comes to simplicity of use and affordable pricing, you can't go wrong with this handy light bulb. It can replace any standard A19-sized 11W dimmable bulb to display up to 16 million colors, including both warm and cool whites. Because it has built-in Wi-Fi, you don't need a separate hub, making it easy to set up.
You can control it from the mobile app as well as by voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit with a compatible smart speaker. With a beam angle of 135-degrees and a life span of 22.8 years based on using it up to three hours a day, it also employs a pretty funky look.
- Built-in W-Fi
- No hub required
- Up to 16 million colors
- Works with voice assistants
- Some report connectivity issues
- Not designed for outdoor use
Versatile and hub-free for easy set-up and use
This bulb works with Google, Amazon, and Apple for voice control. And no hub means set-up and connection to Wi-Fi is simple.
Best for Smart Home Set-up: Sengled Smart Light Bulb
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 2-, 4-, or 8-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.
- Works with compatible hubs
- Alexa and Google assistant
- Create scenes/routines
- Requires hub
Best for Smart Home Set-up
Add the bulb to existing scenes and routines
Add multiple bulbs to different rooms, pair them with a hub, and control lighting by voice using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Best for Integration: Philips Hue White A19 LED Smart Bulb
One of the most popular brands in this space, this bulb is ideal if you plan to use several different smart devices in the home, including multiple bulbs. Ideal for those looking to expand beyond just a single bulb, 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. And 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.
- Integrates easily with any system
- Alexa and Google assistant
- Create scenes/routines
- Requires Hue hub
Best for Integration
Millions of colors and integration with a Hue system
Use a Hub to control as many as 50 smart lights from your phone or by voice.
Best for Ambiance: TECKIN Smart Bulb
Whether you're cozying up to a book or preparing to entertain friends, these bulbs can be set to the right color and shade for your mood and desired activity through touch commands in the app or by voice. Create groups of bulbs, so you get the perfect lighting in every room.
It offers up to 16 million colors and shades, voice control via Google Assistant and Alexa, and the ability to not only create groups of lights but to dim the lights in every room and set them to the right shades with one touch of a button in the Smart Life app or a single vocal command. Rated to save up to 60% energy consumption compared to standard bulbs, they can also last for up to 30,000 hours of use or 27.39 years (when used about three hours per day).
- Voice control via Alexa, Google
- 16 million colors/shades
- IFTTT support
- Requires 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network
Best for Ambiance
Set the right mood and the perfect ambiance in your home
Set the right mood with up to 16 million colors and shades, voice control, and light groupings.
Best for Microsoft: TP-Link Kasa Smart Bulb
If you use Microsoft Cortana as a 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. And it has the added benefit of direct connection to Wi-Fi, no hub needed, making set up a breeze.
You'll get multi-colored options for light to match whatever your 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.
- Works with Microsoft Cortana
- Alexa and Google assistant
- No hub required
- Only 800 lumens
Best for Microsoft
Control the bulb with Microsoft Cortana, Alexa, or Google
Voice controllable by Microsoft Cortana, this smart can connect easily to your home's Wi-Fi, so you're up and running in no time.
Best for Brand Reputation: C by GE LED Smart Bulb
In terms of 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 for voice control.
As a bonus, it comes with a smart plug for making other standard devices smart. Plug it into any standard power outlet, plug a device into it, like a fan, lamp, or coffeemaker, and then control the device from the same smartphone app, including turning it on and off remotely.
- Reputable brand
- Alexa, Google voice control
- Create scenes/schedules
- Must buy with a smart plug
- More expensive
Best for Brand Reputation
Get peace-of-mind with this trusted brand
This color-changing bulb can replace any standard A19 bulb to provide smart lighting you can control from an app or by voice.
Best for Parties: Houkiper Color-Changing LED Light Bulb
While this bulb isn't technically smart like the others, per se, unable to be controlled by voice or a mobile app, it does come with a smart remote that can be used for controlling it from across the room. It's a simple solution for those who aren't ready to delve full-speed into the smart home.
There's no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection needed. Instead, it communicates with the included remote via infrared (IR), which can control more than one bulb. Select from 16 static colors or choose from four modes, including static, flash, strobe, and fade. The light will even remember the last color you used and activate that when you turn it on again.
- Simple to use
- Comes with a smart remote
- Strobe and flash lighting effects
- No smart home connectivity
- No voice control
- No app control
Best for Parties
A simple solution for smart control via a physical remote
Old school smart, this simple bulb is controlled via IR remote for changing colors and even effects like a strobe.
The LiFX A19 bulb is a winner in this category not only because of its affordable price point, but because it checks all of the necessary boxes in terms of what you want from a smart bulb. It 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 has built-in Wi-Fi so you can directly connect it to your home's network instead of using an optional hub that you need to buy separately. And it can 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. And 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.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Christine Persaud has been writing about consumer tech for almost 18 years, before the smart home even existed, and has been working as a freelancer for the last 6. Today, she lives in a fully automated home with her husband and son, where everything from the lights to the blinds, security, TV, and music can be controlled from a smartphone or voice.
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