*When a bulb displays \"Up to\" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness.
Choose the bulbs, lamps, or fixtures that fit your home and your personality. Customize the settings to fit your needs. Set automations to make life easier. Your home is personal (and your smart lighting should be, too).
Get exactly what you need to set up a Philips Hue smart lighting system in your home. Featuring a Hue Bridge, bulbs, and a variety of smart accessories, these starter kits let you set your system up the way you like.
Smart bulbs are for people who want to add convenience to their lighting system without having to do any actual wiring. All you have to do is screw in a light bulb and make a few taps on your smartphone. They work with in-wall fixtures and standalone lamps, and they come in a variety of sizes for both indoor and outdoor use.
Smart bulbs are also just plain fun. Want a softer, warmer light to ease your way into the morning A color-adjustable bulb or tunable white bulb can do that. Want to set a relaxing mood for music after dinner or choose something festive for a holiday theme Turn the lights blue, green, or whatever palette you like. Set in strategic locations, color-adjusting smart bulbs can be an integral part of your home decor, rather than just something to chase the shadows away.
To select bulbs for testing in this round, we researched new models released since our last guide update and also looked at any that were well reviewed by trusted tech publications. We also conducted a discussion among our staff to see which features were most wanted and used. In selecting and testing, we considered the following criteria:
After setting up each bulb, we tested scheduling, color changes, and special effects (when available). We also tested each bulb with a light meter to determine its maximum brightness. Because smart bulbs use an array of LEDs, which are directional in their light output, some bulbs were brighter from the top than from the side. For this reason, we measured brightness from both positions and also when the bulb was dimmed at 50% and 10%. Depending on your light fixture, you may prefer a bulb that puts out more light at the top over one that casts it out to the sides. An ideal bulb excels in both directions. You can read more about LED light properties in our guide to the best LED light bulb.
Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously and investigates, as much as possible, how the companies whose products we recommend deal with customer data. As part of our vetting process for smart LED light bulbs, we looked at all of the security and data-privacy practices behind our picks. We also reached out to all of the companies that produce our top picks and had them answer an extensive questionnaire to confirm their stances on issues that we thought should be of primary concern for any potential buyer.
In general, smart bulbs are pretty low risk when it comes to concerns about being hacked, but we always prefer to use the highest form of security, whenever possible. Notably, our runner-up, the Philips Wiz Smart Wi-Fi LED Color Bulb, is not bolstered by a few of the security measures backing our other picks, such as required login credentials and encrypted data. With some other categories of smart devices, these omissions might disqualify a product from consideration. In this limited case, we determined that using this smart bulb presents a functionally low level of real-world risk to owners, and that the worst-case scenario would be a hacker potentially having control of a light bulb (a problem that is easily fixed).
The Wyze Bulb Color responds quickly to voice commands and button presses in the Wyze app. Both the iOS and Android versions of the app are easy to use, allowing you to control your bulbs directly from the dashboard or to select them individually to tweak colors and dimming levels. You can change colors and white tones by dragging your finger across a color selector. You can also save custom Color Scenes or Color Temperature Scenes for one-touch access to your favorite settings. Tapping on the Settings icon brings up options for Schedules, Timers, and Automations with other Wyze devices. For instance, we created an Automation that turned the bulb red every time someone walked in front of the Wyze Cam v3 (one of our outdoor security camera picks).
In our tests, the Philips Wiz Smart Wi-Fi LED Color Bulb responded quickly to app and voice commands. If you still want to be able to flick a physical switch, note that in our test group the Philips Wiz was the only Wi-Fi color bulb with its own optional remote: the Wizmote, which can control bulbs up to 50 feet away without Wi-Fi. Like the Wyze bulb, the Wiz bulb also has a Vacation Mode and allows you to set how you want the bulb to react after a power outage.
In the Hue app, bulbs are grouped by room, and you can control individual bulbs by tapping each of those areas. Having them grouped by room makes it easy to turn off an entire area at once. The app also features more than 30 preset Scenes that reflect different moods and settings in the world, such as Tropical Twilight, Palm Beach, and Soho. (You can create your own, too.) Routines, or automated actions, include a wake-up Scene that slowly turns the lights up in the morning, as well as Home and Away Modes that automatically turn the lights on and off as you enter or leave the house. You can import Routines from other apps or create your own custom ones, and the Hue app can pull in color palettes from any photo you choose.
Of course, that switch comes at a cost. LED light bulbs are more expensive up front: Our top standard LED light bulb costs around $7 for a pack of two versus $1 to $3 for most incandescent and CFL bulbs. And smart bulbs cost more up front, sometimes a lot more, than non-smart LED bulbs.
Several companies have released brighter bulbs for the same or even lower prices. We plan to look at the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance 75W Smart LED Bulb and the Wiz LED A21 100-watt-equivalent full color bulb.
We still like our previous runner-up, the Cree Lighting Connected Max Tunable White + Color Bulb. We just found that some of the newer smart bulbs offered better brightness, more interesting features, and/or a better user interface. At $10 each, though, Cree bulbs are a fine option.
We dismissed the Bulbrite Solana Smart LED Bulb because the app is slow and more difficult than it should be for controlling a smart bulb. You can find many bulbs that are easier to use and have more features for a lower price.
When it comes to home automation, Philips Hue lights are some of the best smart light bulbs on the market. Not only are they fully integrated with HomeKit so you can control them from your iPhone, iPad, or with Siri, but they are usually pretty easy to find. However, Philips Hue bulbs can get quite expensive.
If you don't know, Amazon Warehouse is where Amazon sells items that are either pre-owned or open-box products at discounted prices. When it comes to the Philips Hue lights, you'll typically find open-box items at a discount, or damaged packages.
Speaking of eBay, if you put in a little effort, you can use sales on Philips Hue Starter Kits to your advantage. These starter kits often include multiple light bulbs as well as the Philips Hue Hub at special pricing, which you can then turn around and sell on eBay, putting some extra money back into your pocket.
I'm not entirely sure how common these are, but some governments or other regulatory bodies will offer rebates or subsides for renovating or otherwise updating older incandescent bulbs to newer LED bulbs because they are more energy efficient.
Well, we're here to help, with everything you need to know about Philips Hue in one place: What it is, how it works, how to put it to use in your home, which bulbs to buy first -- and yep, which ones are overpriced duds, too. And please note that I've included links to Amazon where appropriate, as well as a few of our top picks here at, well, the top -- CNET may get a share of revenue from purchases made through those links. Gotta keep the lights on, right
The most important thing to know if you've decided to invest in Philips Hue's ecosystem is that you'll need the Hue Bridge plugged into your router in order to take full control of your lights (it's the square-shaped hub in the middle there). The newest Hue bulbs can use Bluetooth to pair directly with your phone without need for a Hue Bridge, but you'll miss out on most all of Hue's advanced features and integrations.
You can buy that Hue Bridge on its own, but the best way to get it is to buy a starter kit that packages it with a couple of bulbs -- and the best value among those starter kits is the Philips Hue White starter kit. The newest version comes with three white-light bulbs and a wall-mountable smart button that you can program to control them for $99. It's a great way to test the platform out and learn the basics of automating your lights with the Hue app, and you can build upon it over time, adding new lights to your system whenever the ones you want go on sale. And since it includes the Hue Bridge, you'll be able to connect your bulbs with whatever third-party platforms and services you like. 59ce067264