8 Best Smart Bulbs (2024): Color, Ambient, Filament, and More

Remember the allure of the Clapper? No more getting out of bed to hit the light switch! It seemed cutting edge on ’80s late-night infomercials, but thankfully technology has come a long way since then (though you can still buy it). You can now control the lights, set timers and schedules, and change colors with your smartphone or your voice if you have a voice assistant—no clapping required.

Smart bulbs are a great place to start when creating a smart home. Most options are relatively cheap, they’re easy to install, and they’re something you use every day already. Plus, there are no cameras or door locks for someone to hack into and no wiring to mess with. Do you want to try voice controls? Consider getting a smart speaker or smart display, but you can always use the smart bulb’s app.

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

Updated June 2024: We’ve added Lifx A19 bulbs as our pick for Apple Home users and Philips Hue Soft Warm White bulbs as our recommendation for smart filament bulbs.

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