Philips Hue E12 Candle Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Best Smart Light Bulbs Android Central 2020

When it comes to setting up a smart home, lighting is one of the simplest things you can switch over first, not to mention one of the most cost effective. That said, there's an abundance of choice in terms of smart lights, so the choice depends on a number of factors. The C by GE A19 Smart Light Bulb checks all of the boxes. It's made by a trusted brand in lighting and is compatible with all major voice assistants and smart home control platforms. They can be grouped together or used on their own and can replace any standard 60-watt incandescent A19 bulb. And while it's a top pick, it isn't the only choice around.

Best Overall: C by GE A19 Smart Light Bulb

C By Ge A19 Smart Light Bulb LifestyleSource: C by GE

This C by GE bulb emits a soft white light that's suitable for any room of the home, comes in a convenient two-pack, uses 9.5 watts, and offers up 760 lumens of brightness. It's designed to replace traditional 60-watt incandescent A19 bulbs and fits medium-based sockets in open fixtures. Essentailly, it can replace most bulbs in your home.

Aside from offering more energy-efficient operation, leading to savings on electricity and energy usage, they are also smart bulbs compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit for remote, app, and voice control. They also work with Bluetooth for controlling them from your phone within a short range without the need for a third-party device. To control the bulbs remotely, you need to pair the bulbs with a C by GE smart plug, C-Reach bridge (for voice control), or Smart Switch and the GE iOS or Android app.

Once set up for control using a smart home control system, you can add lighting to scenes, like dimming the lights in the living room for movie night or turning on the bathroom lights for your morning routine. You can also set them on schedules so all lights automatically turn off at midnight, for example. You can control individual bulbs or group them together, too. It's one of the easiest transitions into smart lighting.

Pros:

  • Voice control
  • Group together
  • Bright 760 lumens
  • Works over Bluetooth

Cons:

  • Only white color
  • Requires smart plug for remote control
  • Need smart speaker or C-Reach bridge for voice control

Best Overall

C by GE A19 Smart Light Bulb (2-Pack)

Get your smart home started

This two-pack of bulbs from a trusted brand in lighting is the perfect set to get your smart home lighting started.

Best for Whole Home: Philips Hue White A19 LED Smart Bulbs

Philips Hue White A19 Led Smart Bulb LifestyleSource: Philips Hue

When it comes to smart lighting, Philips is one of the top brands that come to mind. This set is the perfect way to get you started on the road to switching all lighting in your home to smart lighting. It comes with four A19 LED bulbs you can use to replace any standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. Drawing 10 watts of power, they provide 800 lumens.

The dimmable bulbs are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well as Bluetooth and Zigbee. With the optional Hue Hub, you can control the lights remotely using the app, and with a compatible smart speaker, you can control it by voice. However, if you don't want to go that route just yet, simply download the app and use Bluetooth to control it from within range.

Once you decide to go the full smart route and opt for the Hub, you'll be able to do things like create timers and set routines. You can also expand the system, adding up to 50 devices including additional bulbs as well as devices like motion sensors and smart switches.

The bulbs are super easy to setup, making them perfect if you plan to add more devices to your smart home over time. You'll also appreciate the long life of up to 22 years or 25,000 lifetime hours (based on industry average usage) and the Energy Star certification.

Pros:

  • Dimmable
  • Voice control
  • Easily expandable
  • Bluetooth
  • Energy Star certified

Cons:

  • Requires Hub for remote control
  • No colors
  • Expensive

Best for Whole Home

Philips Hue White A19 LED Smart Bulb (4-Pack)

Light up the whole house

Get started with four bulbs then easily expand with the Hub and additional devices when you're ready to add more to the system.

Best for Setting the Mood: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulb

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

Enter a world of colors in your home with one of these bulbs, which can replace any standard A19 bulbs and offers 800 lumens of light and 4,000K color temperature. Choose from 16 million colors to set the right mood, whether you want background lighting for a nice family dinner or fun lighting for a social gathering.

Control up to 50 lights with the optional Hue Hub, which also lets you remotely control the bulbs from virtually anywhere. Without the Hub, however, you can still control the bulbs from within range using Bluetooth and as part of a Zigbee system. Create timers, routines, and schedules, automating lighting so you never have to lift a finger. There are even preset light recipes you can use for the perfect ambiance. The lights are also compatible with popular voice control assistants including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

These Energy Star-certified bulbs have 22-year lifespans or up to 25,000 lifetime hours. You can feel good about swapping your old energy-hogging bulbs out.

Pros:

  • 16 million colors
  • Voice control
  • Bluetooth
  • Easily expandable
  • Energy Star certified

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Hub for remote control
  • Expensive

Best for Setting the Mood

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulbs – 2-Pack

The right ambiance

Set the right ambiance for a quiet movie night, romantic dimmer, or fun party, with 16 million colors from which to choose.

Best for Easy Setup: LIFX Mini LED Light Bulb

Lifx Mini Led Light Bulb LifestyleSource: LIFX

This adorable miniature light bulb might look small, but it packs a huge punch, offering color temperature from 2,500K to 9,000K and an 800-lumen output. Replace a boring 60-watt incandescent bulb with this one that offers 16 million colors, including cool and warm white. It's also dimmable.

The best part? No hub is needed! The bulb comes with built-in Wi-Fi and LIFX cloud access so all you need to do is connect it to your network and you're off to the races. Control it remotely using a compatible Android, iOS, or Windows Cortana device (if you still happen to have one!) and the respective app. They can also be controlled by voice through compatibility with Amazon Alexa (with a compatible smart speaker), Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Control lights individually or in groups, set timers, themes, and even custom scenes. While the bulbs aren't compatible with household dimmer switches, you can dim them, change colors, and turn them on and off using the app. They're super easy to set up right out of the box, and are Energy Star qualified, to boot.

Pros:

  • No hub required
  • 16 million colors
  • Voice control
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Dimmable

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth
  • Expensive
  • Not compatible with household dimmers

Best for Easy Setup

LIFX Mini LED Light Bulb

Super easy set-up

Get going out of the box with this bulb that has built-in Wi-Fi so there's no need for a separate hub for remote connectivity.

Best Value: Sengled Smart Light Bulb

Sengled Smart Light Bulb LifestyleSource: Sengled

You can't go wrong with a smart bulb at this price from a reputable brand. The A19 soft white bulb is totally dimmable and draws 9 watts of power, the 60-watt equivalent, and will output 800 lumens.

With an optional hub, which can include the Sengled Smart Hub, SmartThings Hub, Wink Hub, or Habitat Hub, you can enjoy remote control using the iOS or Android app. Connect it directly to an Amazon Echo Plus or Show without the need for a hub and enjoy voice commands to do things like turn the lights on or off, adjust brightness, and more.

Group lights together using Alexa, Google Home, or IFTTT and add up to 64 bulbs to one system. You can also expand a system with other accessories, like light strips, dimmer switches, smart plugs, and door/window sensors.

Pros:

  • Direct connection to Echo Plus, Show
  • Voice control
  • Dimmable
  • Energy Star-qualified

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth
  • Hub required
  • No colors

Best Value

Sengled Smart Light Bulb

Value for money

The price is right for a single bulb that opens up a world of smart control possibilities, either with or without a hub.

Tplink Kasa Smart Led Bulb LifestyleSource: TP-Link

Use the free Kasa app for Android and iOS devices to remotely control these smart lights from virtually anywhere, no hub required. The lights have Wi-Fi built in and connect directly to your secure home Wi-Fi network so you can get going right away. Control them from anywhere, including turning the lights on and off, dimming them, and even changing colors.

The dimmable lights also offer a full spectrum of colors, from 2,500K up to 9,000K in color temperature. Offering 800 watts (60-watt equivalent) and drawing just 10.5 watts, the LED A19 bulbs replace outdated ones with not only smart, remotely-controllable bulbs, but ones that are more energy efficient, too.

Enjoy voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana (no HomeKit, unfortunately) and a compatible smart speaker, and set the mood, scenes, or schedules using the app.

Pros:

  • 16 million colors
  • Voice control
  • No hub required
  • Dimmable

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth
  • No HomeKit support

Best for Easy Remote Control

TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb

Easy, peasy

Control lights from anywhere, including dimming, turning on and off, and adjusting color, from the free Kasa app, no hub needed.

Bottom line

Adding smart lighting to your home is as easy is unscrewing an old incandescent bulb, screwing a smart LED one in its place, downloading an app, and going through a quick setup process. While some bulbs require a hub of some kind to manage control remotely, this also allows you to expand the system to heights you never imagined, including adding things like lightstrips and motion sensors to the equation.

While the C by GE A19 Smart Light Bulb does require a device like the C by GE smart plug or C by GE C-Reach bridge to enjoy all of the smart remote control features, you can try out app control before investing in one using Bluetooth connectivity. Then, as long as you are within range of the bulb, you can remotely turn it on and off using the app on your phone. This is a great way to try before you buy, so to speak, deciding if you see value in controlling lighting from your phone before opting for the hub and expanding with more lights, or investing in more expensive smart bulbs.

These soft white bulbs are a great jumping off point, easily replacing old ones and adding the option for things like voice control. If you decide to expand, you're well-equipped to add more devices to the mix once you grab a hub, too.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Christine Persaud resides in Toronto, Ontario Canada with her husband and 8-year-old son. When she moved from a condo to a house 5 and-a-half years ago, she switched every bulb in the home not only to LED but to a system that allows her to control them remotely from an app. She hasn't lifted a finger to turn on a light since.

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