LIFX is one of the biggest brands around when it comes to smart home lighting, offering a wide range of bulbs, strips, and panels to brighten up and color your room. Its selection isn't perfect, though — the bulbs are pricey, and there aren't many accessories to control them. If you're shopping for smart bulbs and don't want LIFX, there are plenty of other options from brands like Philips Hue and FluxSmart.
Philips Hue is the most well-known competitor to LIFX and offers a similarly wide range of smart lights. The most popular bulb is the White and Color Ambiance, but you can also buy light strips, lamps, and accessories like remote dimmer switches and motion sensors.
Xiaomi doesn't just make phones; it actually has a massive collection of smart home devices, including its Yeelight smart lights. Like Philips Hue, Yeelights come in a wide variety of form factors, so you can buy what works best for your home — whether that's a bulb, lamp, night light, or even a candela.
Add music to the experience with these bulbs that come with built-in JBL speakers so you can both illuminate the room and play music. They can also be controlled by voice via Alexa, so you can turn on the list then queue up your favourite chill out music playlist on Spotify.
No hub necessary
TP-Link is an established smart home brand, and its Kasa Smart light bulb is a good option that, like LIFX's bulbs, doesn't require a hub to control. Get this if the LIFX bulbs are too expensive or your local store doesn't have them in stock.
Back to basics
If you don't care about colors and all you want is a light you can turn on and off from your phone, GE's C-Life bulb is as simple as it gets. By default, it can only be controlled over Bluetooth, but you can buy a separate hub if you'd rather use Alexa or Google Assistant. Best of all, it's very inexpensive.
Nanoleaf doesn't sell light bulbs, but if you're looking for an alternative to the LIFX Tile, the Aurora Rhythm is a fun and eye-catching product that lets you light up your room and even coordinates colored lights with music. What's more, you can buy a hardware controller to change the colors of the panels.
Lots of alternatives to consider
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There are plenty of smart lights to choose from, and the best options will come down to your wants and needs. I've been using LIFX bulbs for years, but I just bought my first Philips Hue bulb because the included wall-mountable remote works perfectly in our guest room that doesn't have a light switch, There are also a few people on the team that swear by their Nanoleaf Aurora panels.
LIFX bulbs are great, but they aren't the be all, end all. There are plenty of options from which to choose in all price points, and with different features. And some, like the Sengled Pulse LED Smart Bulb add other features you might not even have thought you wanted, like the ability to double as a portable wireless speaker, too.
Find what works best for you, and don't be afraid to buy into multiple brands! After all, almost all of them can be controlled by your virtual assistant.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.