Philips Hue Led Bulbs Hero CopySource: Philips Hue

Best Philips Hue Smart LED Light Bulbs Android Central 2020

One of the best ways to start off or expand a smart home is through smart lights. Lighting can really set the mood in a home, creating a warm, inviting ton when you want to relax or brightening things up when you're ready to party. When it comes to smart lighting, Philips Hue is one of the most recognizable and popular brands thanks to the wide range of products in the line, all of which can easily be controlled through one Hue Bridge and your mobile device or even voice. A great option that will fit the bill no matter where you want to place the light is the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb because it can connect to a Bridge for remote control and be added to a larger system, or just use Bluetooth for control from the app while you're in the room. But what other types of Hue bulbs would be great for different rooms of the home and different use cases?

Best Overall: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

Philips Hue A19 Bluetooth Led Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

This bulb, available in a 2-pack, is suitable for any room of the home, replacing a standard A19 bulb. But what makes it great is that if you aren't ready to delve into a full system yet, you can first connect it via Bluetooth for instant control from your smartphone or tablet while you are in the same room. You can add up to 10 bulbs in the same room to control via the Bluetooth app if you like. Once you're ready to upgrade, grab the Hue Bridge and add up to 50 other Hue lights to control them all from your phone, no matter where you are. The dimmable bulb offers different shades of white, from warm to cool, along with 16 million colors from which to choose to suit every mood, from party time to movie night or relaxing with a good book.

Like with all Hue bulbs, you can create timers and routines. You can also control the bulb using your voice via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a 25,000-hour lifespan, the 9.5-watt, 800-lumen bulbs are Energy Star certified and will make a great and simple addition to any home to replace old incandescent bulbs.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth control
  • 16 million+ colors
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No HomeKit voice control

Best Overall

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

Connect via Bluetooth without a Bridge

Connect via Bluetooth without the need for a Hue Bridge to get familiar with app control before diving right into a full system.

Best for Ambiance: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance E12 Wi-Fi Smart LED Decorative Candle Bulb

Philips Hue E12 Candle Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Ideal for use for decorative lighting, this bulb can fit into a compatible chandelier or accent lamp to provide a cool look and great ambiance that includes both shades of white as well as millions of colors. As with other Philips Hue bulbs, it pairs with the Hue Bridge to allow for integrated wireless control, and you can add up to 50 lights to a system, including more of these or other Hue bulbs as well as other accessories like a Dimmer Switch or Motion Sensor.

As with the others, you can use the mobile app to set the light brightness, dim, create routines, set timers, schedules, and more. Variable lumen output lets you adjust the bulb without the need for a dimmer switch. You can also use it as part of a compatible home automation system, including Nest, Samsung SmartThings, and Wink, and control the lights by voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomePod (HomeKit), or Microsoft Cortana. Designed for indoor use, it is rated at 25,000 hours of life.

Pros:

  • Work with automation system
  • Voice control
  • Variable lumen output

Cons:

  • Only fits E12
  • No Bluetooth

Best for Ambiance

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance E12 Wi-Fi Smart LED Decorative Candle Bulb

Perfect accent and decorative lighting

This candle bulb can be placed in a chandelier or accent lamp and be set to the perfect color and shade for your mood or activity.

Best for Easy Upgrade: Philips Hue White Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

Philips Hue White A19 Bluetooth Smart Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Shift from warm white to cool daylight to find the perfect shade and tone to suit your mood or activity. This bulb has four preset light recipes, with cool-toned scenes for Energize and Concentrate that help you get going or maintain your focus and warmer tones for Read and Relax that can help provide soothing comfort while you do things like read or simply want to rest and calm your mind. Control up to 10 of these lights in a single room while nearby using Bluetooth or opt for the Hue Bridge to be able to control them remotely, add them to scenes and routines, and control via voice using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

With 800 lumens of output and 25,000-hour life, they're the perfect dimmable bulbs for the bedroom nightstand, den, or reading nook. With two bulbs in a pack offering up to 25,000 hours life span and Energy Star certification, you can expand the system with up to 50 lights connected to a single Bridge.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth control
  • Preset light recipes
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No HomeKit voice control
  • Only whites

Best for Easy Upgrade

Philips Hue White Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

From warm white to cool daylight

Set the right warmth of white light, whether you want to be energized, read, or relax, using preset light recipes.

Best for Outdoors: Philips Hue White PAR-38 Smart LED Bulb

Philips Hue Par38 Outdoor Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Perfect for lighting up the outside front of your house, this two-pack of light bulbs provide powerful and bright outdoor floodlights that you can control remotely when connected to an optional Hue Bridge. They screw right into an existing PAR-38 fixture to provide smart lighting so that you can make sure the lights turn on before you pull into the driveway, that they go off every night at 11 p.m. when set on a timer or schedule (maybe set a sunrise/sunset schedule), or are turned on intermittently while you're away. Hence, people think that someone is at home.

In addition to remote control via your smartphone or tablet and the app, you can also control them using an indoor dimmer switch as well as your voice using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana. They can also be set up as part of a home automation system with Nest and SmartThings. The 2,700K/1,300 lumens of warm white light will illuminate the area enough so you can safely get inside and deter thieves. Get a 25,000-hour life span from these Energy Star-certified bulbs.

Pros:

  • Outdoor use
  • 1,300 lumens brightness
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • Not for indoor use

Best for Outdoors

Philips Hue White PAR-38 Smart LED Bulb

Powerful outdoor lighting

Light the way outside of your home with these lights that can be set on a timer and controlled by an indoor dimmer switch.

Best for the Kitchen: Philips Hue White & Color BR30 2nd-Gen Wi-Fi Smart LED Floodlight Bulb

Philips Hue Br30 Floodlight Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Totally change the atmosphere in a room like the kitchen or bathroom with this powerful floodlight that can provide 650 lumens of brightness in a room through installation in a standard 5-6" recessed can. You'll not only get powerful and directed light where you need it the most but can also choose from 16 million colors to create the perfect ambiance for a dinner party or chill night in.

As with other Hue bulbs, it can work with the optional Hue Bridge for remote control via a smartphone or tablet and the app, allowing you to add it to scenes, schedules, timers, and routines, with compatibility with Nest, SmartThings, and Wink home automation systems. With the compatible smart device, like a smart speaker, you can also control it by voice using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. And you can expand your system, controlling up to 50 lights and other accessories via one Hue Bridge.

Pros:

  • Voice control
  • 16 million+ colors

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • Not Energy Star rated

Best for the Kitchen

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance BR30 2nd-Gen Wi-Fi Smart LED Floodlight Bulb

Put a spotlight in your kitchen

Ideal for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, this floodlight bulb can totally change the atmosphere in a room.

Best for Peace-of-Mind: Philips Hue White Ludere Dual Head LED Security Floodlight

Philips Hue Ludere Floodlight 9to5toys LifestyleSource: 9to5Toys.com

Not just a bulb, this floodlight is actually two PAR-38 bulbs offering 2,600 lumens of soft white light nestled in a housing that can be mounted outside, like above your garage or on your porch. Like others, it can connect to the optional Hue Bridge to allow remote control, including the setting of timers and schedules, if you wanted to make it turn on automatically at sunset, for example, and off again at sunrise. It can be controlled as part of a Nest, SmartThings, or Wink home automation system, by voice using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/HomePod, and Google Assistant, via the mobile app, or by an indoor dimmer switch.

The light has undergone rigorous testing and has a weatherproof chassis to ensure that it can operate outdoors, including in wet environments. Easy to install, you simply mount it on a wall, connect it with the PSU, plug it in, and pair it to the Hub. Keep in mind, however, that it has to be positioned within 30 feet of the Bridge to maintain a signal, or can be up to 60 feet away if there's another outdoor light connected to the same system situated in between this one and the Bridge. Note that metal and other materials can block the signal as well. Like the others, it has a 25,000-hour lifespan.

Pros:

  • Weatherproof design
  • Voice control
  • Home automation compatible

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No motion sensing
  • Has to be 30 feet from Bridge

Best for Peace-of-Mind

Philips Hue White Ludere Dual Head LED Security Floodlight

Keep an eye on your home

These floodlights employ weatherproof materials and provide powerful lighting outside your home for security and peace-of-mind.

Best for Home Theater Accenting: Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light Bar Kit

Philips Hue Smartlight Barkit Lifestyle CopySource: Amazon

Ok, so this one isn't technically a "bulb" by definition. But it is a unique lighting product from the line-up that is worth including on this list. Rather than screw into an existing lamp or light fixture, this is a self-contained bar that you can position on the floor, in or behind a cabinet, or mount to the back of the TV to provide really cool and eye-catching accent lighting. It has all of the same connectivity features as the others, including the ability to work with the optional Hue Bridge for remote control from a smartphone or tablet, voice control (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Microsoft Cortana), and smart home automation system compatibility to adding to scenes and routines, including with Nest, SmartThings, and Wink.

It mounts easily using the included clips and double-sided tape, and you can connect up to three of them to the same power supply unit for a really immersive experience, making gaming, movie night, or parties totally unique with up to 16 million colors. Each kit includes two A19 bulbs offering up 530 lumens of light and a power supply. As with the others, life span is about 25,000 hours.

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • 16 million+ colors
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No Energy Star rating
  • Could be gimmicky

Best for Home Theater Accenting

Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light Bar Kit

Liven up your home theater

Use this bar kit behind your TV, on the floor, in a cabinet, or anywhere else you want to create a uniquely lighted look.

Bottom line

There really is a Philips Hue bulb to suit every need, room of the home, and purpose, from unique accent lighting to functional outdoor or task lighting. But for the simplest most versatile option that you can use pretty much anywhere in your home, the Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb is a really affordable and good option to consider. You can use it in several places replacing an old, not as energy-efficient incandescent bulb and try out mobile connectivity using Bluetooth to see how you like it. Once you get more familiar, you can opt for the Hue Bridge and set it up for remote access. And then you can consider expanding the system with more lights like the others noted on this list, along with accessories like motion sensors, lamps, light strips, and more.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Christine Persaud 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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