The 8 best smart bulbs (2024): Color, ambient, filament, more

Remember the charm Clapper’s? No more getting out of bed to hit the light switch! It may seem more advanced than the late-night infomercials of the ’80s, but fortunately, technology has come a long way since then (although you can still buy it). Now you can control lights, set timers and schedules, and change colors using your smartphone or your voice if you have a voice assistant—no clapping required.

Smart light bulbs are a great place to start when creating a smart home. Most options are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and they’re something you use every day. Also, there are no cameras or door locks for someone to break in and there is no wiring to mess with. Do you want to try voice control? Consider getting one smart speaker or smart screenBut you can always use the smart bulb app.

I tested each bulb model for one to five days on two small Ikea lamps in my living room, with longer tests when the bulbs performed well in previous tests. My tests began with color tests for vibrancy, color range, and brightness, paying special attention to the ease of the app controls. I then connect each bulb to my full smart home setup and smart speakers (depending on compatibility). Of the dozens of light bulbs I’ve tested over the years, these are the best smart bulbs.

Updated June 2024: We’ve added the Lifx A19 bulb as a choice for Apple Home users and the Philips Hue Soft Warm White bulb as our recommendation for smart incandescent bulbs.

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