Best Smart Lights 2017: Smart Light Bulbs & Lighting

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From smart heating to smart plugs, just about everything in your house comes with a processor and Wi-Fi support these days, and light bulbs are no exception.

If you want the best smart lighting for your home, you’ll find it here. Whether you want white, dimmable lights or colour mood lighting that you can control from your phone – or even smartwatch – there are options here. We also explain the benefits of ditching those traditional incandescent bulbs for LED.

Your buying guide for the best smart lights in 2017

Smart lighting is undeniably pretty cool. Some of the bulbs we’ve listed below can set mood lighting for the different rooms in your house, be controlled from afar or scheduled to turn on and off at preset times from your phone or tablet, and even to function as an alarm, gently waking you in the morning. 

With growing support for smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home you can even use voice controls to turn smart lights on or off, dim them, or change their colour – the sort of brilliant smart home feature that is entirely unnecessary but spectacular fun once you have it set up.

Smart lights come with different fittings, including the UK bayonet type as well as E27 screw (and some come with adapters to fit both), although it’s hard to find smart bulbs which use the common GU10 spotlight fitting.

All smart lights (certainly all those we’ve seen) use LEDs. Some key benefits to using LED rather than incandescent bulbs are that they use less energy, produce less heat, and last much longer.

But there are some down sides, too. A problem with LED lighting is that it’s still much more expensive than the technology it replaces. Yes, you’ll make savings on your energy bill and in buying fewer replacement bulbs, but how long will it take you to return your investment and start seeing those savings?

Colour temperature and brightness are important for home use. The former is measured in Kelvin, where 2700-to 3000K is a warm white; higher values look cooler and lower values warmer. Brightness is measured in lumens – look to match or exceed that provided by your current bulb. The brightest we’ve seen is LIFX’s 1100 lumen bulb.

Philips Hue Starter Kit


TP-Link LB130


TP-Link LB130

LIFX Smart Bulb


LIFX Smart Bulb

LightwaveRF


LightwaveRF

Nanoleaf Aurora Starter Kit


Nanoleaf Aurora Starter Kit

LIFX Z


LIFX Z

Hive Active Light


Hive Active Light

Elgato Avea


Elgato Avea

Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set


Belkin Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set

Xiaomi Yeelight


Xiaomi Yeelight

Lava BrightSounds 2


Lava BrightSounds 2

Yeelight Bluetooth Lamp


Yeelight Bluetooth Lamp

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