The best smart light bulbs

Smart light bulbs bring your home into the 21st century, allowing you to control your lights straight from your phone or with your voice.
After much testing, it’s clear that the Philips Hue light bulbs are still the best ones you can buy because they are reliable, consistent, easy to use, and work remotely.

If you’re looking to smarten up your home, there are two things you can buy to get started. The first is a smart speaker with a smart assistant, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The second is a set of smart light bulbs. These two are the easiest and most affordable entryways into building a smart home, and a gateway to future smart devices like smart plugs, security cameras and sensors, door locks, etc.

When it comes to smart light bulbs, there are lots of different options available, with the most recognized ones being the Philips Hue bulbs. But before you settle on any particular brand, there are a number of things you should think about beforehand, especially if you plan on outfitting your entire home. Here’s a quick rundown of things to consider:

Color or white: Smart light bulbs generally come in two flavors — color bulbs or white bulbs. White bulbs, as you might assume, really only turn on and off like your standard light bulb, while color bulbs can change colors. Of course, white bulbs are also generally cheaper than color bulbs because they are less technically complex to create. The nice thing about either is they’re dimmable.
Connectivity: Most smart bulbs “talk” to a central hub (using a technology called Zigbee), which is then connected to a home’s network via Wi-Fi (wireless) or Ethernet (wired). But some smart bulbs use other routes: The C by GE bulbs work through Bluetooth, for example. So, what are the pros and cons?

Wi-Fi connectivity means that you can control your bulbs anywhere you have an internet connection, so you can turn them on or off remotely with your phone even if you’re miles away. But as mentioned, you’ll need a separate hub, and each brand will require its own dedicated hub. Bluetooth bulbs can only connect to a phone within a certain range (approximately up to 33 feet), but the trade-off is that Bluetooth bulbs don’t require a hub and use less energy. Hub-based bulbs can work independently or as a collective and can be controlled by multiple users, while a Bluetooth bulb can only talk to one phone at a time.
Smart home compatibility: Looking to integrate the bulbs with smart home platforms like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit? You might want to check that your bulbs are compatible before you buy them. That way, you can control your bulbs with your voice, and your bulbs can interact with other smart devices in your home.

We tested several smart light bulbs to find the best ones you can buy. We picked bulbs at various price points and included some that don’t need a hub. The …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Tech

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