Creating a connected home doesn't have to mean expensive 4K security cameras and elaborate alarm systems. I've long argued that smart lighting is the easiest, most accessible way to tech out your house, and LIFX's bulbs, which I've been using for years, are seeing some pretty great discounts for Black Friday.

They might sound superfluous at first, and smart bulbs are energy-efficient and let you cycle through different colors and brightness levels throughout the day. Maybe you want your lights to come on automatically in the mornings, set to a dimmed level, and go off at a certain time every night. Maybe you're just bored of regular white or yellow lighting and want to make the house look purple or green.

You can control your smart bulbs through the LIFX app or with your voice assistant on either your phone or a smart speaker, and LIFX integrates with services like IFTTT to create automated actions — I have the kitchen lights set to turn on automatically if I come home after 8 PM, but there are all sorts of cause-and-effect recipes you can create depending on what other connected devices you have sitting around.

Smart bulbs are a great gateway into building out a smarter, more convenient home.

LIFX offers its smart bulbs in different sizes and made for different mounts to accommodate as many people as possible, but most buyers will do best with the A19 multi-color bulb. It's discounted from $60 to $40 for Black Friday, and while that sounds pricey for a light bulb, it's rated to last for up to a whopping 22.8 years — half of the bulbs in my house are LIFX A19s, and none of them have shown any signs of aging or degrading. If you prefer the BR30 shape, you can grab that for the same discounted price.

I also have a few LIFX Minis for the kitchen and bathroom, where I don't necessarily need the full 1100 lumens of the A19. They work in exactly the same ways, but come in a smaller, slightly dimmer (800 lumens) bulb that works well for small lighting fixtures like desk lamps. While they're usually $45, you can pick them up right now for $30.

I love LIFX, but a lot of my friends and colleagues are equally happy with Philips Hue's smart bulbs, and as luck would have it, their selection is pretty heavily discounted for Black Friday, too. Whichever bulbs you get, smart lights are fun, convenient, and more practical than you might think. This is as good a time as ever to buy a bulb or two — or to refit your entire house, your choice.

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