Best Philips Hue Alternatives

Philips Hue smart lights are some of the coolest on the market and they're definitely some of the most popular, but they can be quite expensive, especially once you get into colored bulbs. If you're looking for a less expensive alternative or just something other than what's popular, then check out these other awesome options.

LIFX A19 Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

The $60 LIFX Wi-Fi bulb provides 16 million colors and 1,000 shades of white, connecting over your Wi-Fi network without the need for a hub. Simply download the LIFX app and gain control of lighting effects and custom schedules to suit your needs.

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Each A19 bulb only consumes 17 watts of energy and has a lumen count of 1017. LIFX bulbs even work with Nest Protect and Thermostat, flashing the lights when smoke is detected or switching the lights on and off automatically to make it appear as if someone is home while you're away on vacation. LIFX bulbs are Amazon Certified to work with Alexa.

Cree A19 LED Bulb

The daylight (5000K) dimmable Cree LED bulb is compatible with multiple platforms, including Amazon Echo, Wink, WeMo, and more. After setting up with a compatible hub, you can schedule your Cree bulbs to turn on and off at any specific time, adjust brightness, or even customize them to work while you're away from home as an extra security measure. Each Cree bulb is only 11.5 watts and is available for about $15 — not bad for its 22-year lifespan.

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Sylvania Lightify by Osram

The best feature of the $16 tunable white Lightify bulbs by Osram ($63 for a color 2-pack) is that they're compatible with Alexa. If you have an Echo in your house, then these will work right out of the box (so long as you have a hub), so you can control your lights with just your voice!

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Lightify comes in RGBW, tuneable white, and soft white, so you have your choice of light temperature to best suit your room. Just download the Lightify app, and you're on your way. These bulbs fit into standard sockets, and you can adjust color temperature in the RGBW and tuneable white bulbs to best fit your mood or needs (soft white when it's time to chill, daylight to help you stay awake).

Flux Bluetooth Smart LED bulb

Flux bulbs are color-changing bulbs that work via Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi like the other bulbs on this list, which means you won't be able to control them with you're not at home. That being said, you can still schedule actions, like having the bulbs turn on when you're away from home or to wake you up in the morning.

Flux bulbs come in 7- or 10-watt (60-watt equivalent) iterations and are available for around $34.

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Flux bulbs feature over 16 million colors, which you control directly from the Flux app. You can control the mode (strobe, shifting colors, etc.), and these will even sync with music on your phone to add some extra atmosphere to your dance party.

IKEA Tradfri

Believe it or not, IKEA has some pretty rad smart bulbs that are inexpensive (around $19/bulb) and work well. They have a brightness equal to roughly a 70-watt incandescent bulb and are dimmable using the Tradfri remote. In fact, you can control up to 10 bulbs, panels, or light doors, which are all dimmable as well. You can also switch from warmer-colored light to cooler hues depending on your mood and the time of day.

Thanks to community member snapphane for the tip!

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Eufy Lumos

Eufy's tunable white Lumos bulbs are affordable roughly $25 (if you don't want tunable, you can opt for straight soft white for about $20), and the ability to adjust from warm to cool light is perfect for setting the right mood and ambiance.

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You can adjust everything right in the Eufy app, and these bulbs are Amazon certified to work with Alexa, as well as compatible with Google Assistant. You can set schedules, turn the bulbs off from anywhere there's an internet connection, and you get an 18-month warranty should anything go wrong. Best part is that there's no hub needed! Also, grab the multicolor bulbs for only $45 apiece.

Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm Smarter Kit

The $230 Nanoleaf Aurora isn't just a smart lighting setup; it's wall art. Gorgeous, light-up wall art. The best part is that "rhythm" isn't just in the name. The Aurora's nine-panel system lights up along with your favorite tunes, and you can orient the panels in anyway you like.

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You get the nine LED panels, an upgrade module, panel links, mounting stencils, pads, a power supply, and a controller unit.

Yeelight LED bulb

Yeelight's dimmable 60W equivalent smart bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT; features 16 million colors; requires no hub; and is only $30.

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The Yeelight app is available for both iOS and Android, and you can grab a tunable white bulb for only $15 if you're not into multi-color control.

C by GE starter kit

The GE Link bulbs were always zig-zagging in and out of availability, but GE has finally released the follow up to its smart bulbs: The C voice-controlled A19 bulbs. The starter kit is about $45, is certified to work with Alexa, and come with two tunable white C-Life bulbs and the C-Reach Smart Bridge hub.

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These tunable white bulbs can automatically shift from morning to daytime to nighttime lighting, and you can set the hue prefer in the C by GE app. You can control each bulb individually or together, and the C app lets you schedule things to your liking. If you don't need Alexa control, then you can buy each bulb individually and control it via Bluetooth — no hub required.

Z-Wave

Z-Wave isn't a bulb, but a technology that allows many switches to be used to wirelessly control normal, everyday lightbulbs. With any Z-Wave switch, you can control not-smart bulbs via a great smart home hub — no need to pay through the nose for smart bulbs that last decades (though they are a pretty solid investment).

The light of your life

Which smart lights do you use? Sound off in the comments below!

Updated August 2018: Updated pricing for everything and added the C by GE starter kit. Removed the GE Link and bulbs and starter kit and Lucero bulbs due to lack of availability.