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Best smart bulbs for quick and easy home lighting control

Revolutionise the lighting in your home with a smart bulb that you can turn on or adjust with a quick command to a smart speaker or a tap on your screen. Here are the top smart light bulbs to buy in 2022. 

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Sep 9, 2022

Woman replacing bulb

The best smart light bulb system for your home should be easy to use, have many fun and practical features and be cost-effective. Lighting each room with different colours and brightness levels is a great way to style your home, and our selection of fantastic smart bulbs will help you do just that.

Choose the correct smart bulb, and with the flick of an app screen or the right word in the direction of Alexa, you can create a relaxed ambiance, start a party or keep your home safe and lit when you’re late home from work. 

With LED power that lasts for years, energy efficiency is built into a smart bulb. However, controlling your lights, so they are only on when you need them, will make your home even more environmentally-friendly and reduce energy bills. 

Here are the best smart bulbs to buy in 2022. 

1. Best overall smart bulb: Philips Hue White and Colour LED Smart Bulbs

Hue

Price: £89.00 for two | Buy now from Amazon

“We've got coloured bulbs all over the house. I can't imagine not having them... It's also nice being able to turn them on and off even when we're abroad. Puts off potential burglars. Mine also flashes red when Liverpool score and blue when the Patriots score.” (Highly recommended by Mumsnet user tomato bread)

The Philips Hue White and Colour Smart Bulbs are part of the most popular and comprehensive smart lighting system available in the UK and are the ones most recommended by the members of the Mumsnet community. 

You’ll need a Philips Hue Bridge (bundles including the bridge and bulbs are also available) to enjoy the complete and exciting list of features and benefits, such as syncing your lights to compliment the films, music and games you’re enjoying and being able to switch on your lights if you’re going to be home late. However, you only need the bulb and the app for more basic features. 

The Hue app is quick and easy to download and is very user-friendly. You can also use it to connect Amazon Echo and Google Nest devices for voice control. These great bulbs provide cool and warm white light plus the full spectrum of colours for a bold and fun look that’s perfect for entertaining. 

Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Nest (Home) 
  • Hub required: Not needed but adds extra features 
  • Lifetime:‎ 25,000 hours
  • Brightness: 806 lumens 
  • Power consumption: 10 watts (60w equivalent)
  • Colour: 16 million colours
  • Bulbs available: B22 

Pros 

  • Works without a hub
  • Easy to install
  • Lots of colour control 

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Best budget smart bulb: Fitop Wi-Fi Smart Bulbs

Fitop

Price: £18.99 for two | Buy now from Amazon

This Fitop two-pack is one of the best value smart light bulbs, and you can buy both E27 and B22 fittings, which is helpful if you’re trying to connect existing lamps. They also work with Wi-Fi, so there’s no need for a hub or bridge, which saves you even more money. 

These fab multi-coloured bulbs produce bright light in millions of colours and shades, including cool and warm white. If you have Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple Homekit smart speakers, you can change the colour and brightness and switch the lights on and off using only your voice. 

The Fitop app is free to download to your smartphone, allowing you to use it as a remote control for your lights. In addition, there are timer settings to coordinate with the sun going down so that it looks like you’re home when you’re still at work, a great safety feature. 

Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Alexa; Google Home; Siri
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: 60,000 hours
  • Brightness: 1000 lumens
  • Power consumption: 9 watts (equivalent to 90 watts) 
  • Colour: 16 billion colours
  • Bulbs available: E27

Pros 

  • Two-year guarantee included
  • No hub required
  • Great value 

Cons

  • Could be brighter

3. Best multicolour smart bulb: TP-Link Tapo Smart Bulb

TP-link

Price: £8.98 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have the TP-Link Smart Bulb which uses either the Kasa mobile app or Alexa. It's easy to use and has never given us any problems.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user GloriousGoosebumps)

The TP-Link Smart Bulb is our choice for the best colour smart bulb, thanks to the crisp, bold and clear colours they produce. You don’t need to invest in or make space for a hub or bridge either, as the bulbs work by connecting directly to your Wi-Fi router. Reviewers were impressed by how quick and easy the set up was.

The TP-Link lighting app has many useful features, from choosing the exact shade of orange you want and setting weekly timers to switching your ceiling lights on from the sofa, then setting your bedside lamp to mimic a sunrise, allowing a gentle wake up every morning. 

There's a whole host of other great smart devices such as security cameras and smart plugs available in the TP-Link range too. 

Key specs

  • Works with: TP Kasa; Google Home; Amazon Alexa
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: 13.6 years 
  • Brightness: 806 lumens
  • Power consumption: 8.7 watts (60w equivalent)
  • Colour: 16 million colours inc. white 
  • Bulbs available: E27; B22

Pros 

  • Two-year guarantee
  • Quick set up
  • Intuitive app

Cons

  • The bulbs are heavy

4. Best smart bulb for Alexa: Meross Wi-Fi Smart Light Bulbs

Meross

Price: £9.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have Meross bulbs. You just need an app to use/set them up.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user TheHatOfDoom)

Meross is a small lighting brand that produces arguably the best Amazon smart bulbs available on the site. In addition, they have seamless compatibility with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant smart devices for effortless voice control. 

The Meross app is intuitive and quick to download onto your smartphone. It then allows you to control more than one lamp or lighting fixture at once, remotely switch your lights on and off and set daily and weekly timers. 

We were impressed by the colours that the Meross bulbs produce and the control that the app gives you. For example, brightness can be adjusted from 1 to 100%, and the ambiance of your home can be changed in moments by transitioning from a warm to a cool colour.

Key specs

  • Works with: Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: 22.8 years
  • Brightness: 804 lumens
  • Power consumption: 9 watts (equivalent to 60w)
  • Colour: 16 million colours inc.white 
  • Bulbs available: B22

Pros 

  • Great value
  • Easy to set up
  • Intuitive app

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with Apple Homekit 

5. Best dimmable smart bulb: Hive Light Dimmable Smart Bulb

Hive

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have Hive and have their light bulbs. My ones are dimmable. We have a Hive box which goes through the Wi-Fi. It's a hub.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PixieDustt)

Hive is one of the biggest names in smart lighting, and this fantastic product can go from the brightest smart bulb in the room to the dimmest in seconds, thanks to a responsive smartphone app and fast Wi-Fi connection. 

Hive smart bulbs require a hub for full functionality; installation is quick and easy, and you’ll be up and running in no time. The clever features your home will benefit from include timer settings, colour and brightness control and compatibility with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Nest. 

The LEDs in Hive smart bulbs will last an impressive 25,000 hours, and their energy efficiency credentials are further boosted by the ability to check on and switch off any lights your teenagers have left on. 

Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Alexa; Google Assistant; Hive
  • Hub required: Yes, unless you have a Samsung SmartThings network
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours
  • Brightness: 806 lumens
  • Power consumption: 9 Watts 
  • Colour: White
  • Bulbs available: E27; B22

Pros 

  • Lots of bulb options
  • Glitch-free app
  • Simple set up

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Best smart Wi-Fi light bulb: LE Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb

LE bulbs

Price: £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I bought some cheap(ish) ones from Amazon for my wall lights in the living room. They're not coloured but I can dim them. They were easy to set up, just download the app and follow the instructions. Alexa found them as new devices and now I can tell her to turn them on or to dim all or just one of them. You can also program them to automatically turn on (at a set time or at sunset) and off again. I love them.” (Type of light tried and tested by Mumsnet user minniemoll)

A LE Wi-Fi smart light bulb, controlled by a phone app and your existing Wi-Fi connection, gives you much more capability than a Bluetooth light bulb. They allow you to manage your lights without needing to be in the same room and with no need for a bridging hub. 

The app needed for these excellent value bulbs is easy to download onto your smartphone and impressively user-friendly. For ease of voice control, combine this innovative system with a smart device such as an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. 

LE smart bulbs are powered by a 60-watt equivalent LED that delivers bright, clear, warm white light or can be dimmed to save electricity or change the ambiance of a room. Reviewers were impressed by how easy the timers were to set up; they are ideal for keeping your home safe by turning on the lights when it gets dark. 

Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Alexa and Google Home
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: Not specified
  • Brightness: 806 lumens
  • Power consumption: 9 watts (equivalent to 60w)
  • Colour: Warm white
  • Bulbs available: B22; E27; GU10

Pros 

  • No hub required
  • Great value 
  • Impressive app

Cons

  • It can take a while to connect to Alexa

7. Best GU10 smart bulb: Lumiman GU10 Smart Bulb

Lumiman

Price: £28.04 for four | Buy now from Amazon

The Lumiman GU10 Smart Light Bulb is an excellent product for a specific type of light fitting. They are great value, and you don’t have to invest in a separate hub for full functionality; the instantly downloadable PlusMinus app is all you need. 

Voice control is achieved via an easy connection to an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant smart device. These excellent, lightweight bulbs fit easily into the appropriate fixture and produce 400 lumens, the equivalent of a 30-watt traditional bulb. 

These Lumiman bulbs can produce a staggering 16 million colours, including warm and cool whites, so your room will have lighting to suit any mood or occasion. We particularly loved the ability to sync the lights to music so you can have a real-life kitchen disco.

Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: 30,000 hours 
  • Brightness: 400 lumens
  • Power consumption: 5 watts (equivalent to 30w)
  • Colour: 16 million colours inc. white 
  • Bulbs available: GU10

Pros 

  • No hub required 
  • Impressive app
  • Controllability

Cons

  • Not dimmable 

8. Best smart light bulb for Google Home: Sengled Multicoloured Smart Bulb

sengled

Price: £14.39 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sengled Multicoloured Smart Bulb is a super simple product that works beautifully with Google Home devices such as Nest. Together, they will give you complete controllability using only your voice. 

Sengled smart light bulbs can be set up in moments, thanks to the 'Plug-n-Play' system that requires a quick download of an app onto your smartphone and connection to your Wi-fi. So there’s no need for a hub or bridge. 

The colours produced by these fabulous bulbs are super bright and can be adjusted to warm white for everyday use or funky shades for parties. Setting up timers and schedules and turning your lights off and on is impressively efficient with these brilliant bulbs. 

Key specs

  • Works with: Alexa; Zigbee; Google Assistant 
  • Hub required: No 
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours 
  • Brightness: 800 lumens
  • Power consumption: 7.8 watts (60W equivalent)
  • Colour: 16 million
  • Bulbs available: B22; E27

Pros 

  • Two-year guarantee included
  • Quick 'Plug-n-Play' set up 
  • Great value

Cons

  • Occasionally drops Wi-Fi connection

9. Best smart lightstrips: Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

Striplight

Price: £68.69 | Buy now from Amazon

 The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a fun way to light your home, and it can be entirely controlled by either an app or your voice. In addition, the sticky-backed strips can be attached to any surface where fun lighting is required, from underneath kitchen islands to the bed frame in your child’s room. 

This flexible, versatile smart lightstrip doesn’t need a hub; you can use the fast and straightforward Philips Hue smartphone app to control and adjust the lights. Alternatively, this fab product has voice control if it is paired with a smart speaker such as Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. 

 You can have a blast playing with the 16 million individual colours and shades this unique lighting system can produce. So go purple for dancing around the kitchen, cool white when you want to work and orange for a cheerful look while cooking breakfast. 

 Key specs

  • Works with: Amazon Alexa; Google Home;  Apple Homekit 
  • Hub required: No
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours
  • Brightness: Not specified
  • Power consumption: 20 watts 
  • Colour: 16 million colours
  • Bulbs available: n/a

Pros 

  • Lights can be synced with your entertainment system
  • Compatible with several systems 
  • Voice control 

Cons

  • The sticky backing isn’t very strong 

10. Best B22 smart bulb: Nanoleaf Essentials LED Smart Bulb

Nanoleaf

Price: £17.99 | Buy now from Amazon

The Nanoleaf Essential Smart LED Light Bulb is an innovative bulb that works with Thread, an emerging smart home system. These great bulbs allow you to control your lights with Wi-Fi via an app that is fun and easy to use or other smart devices that use Thread, such as the Nest Wi-fi or the Apple Homepod Mini.

Nanoleaf has a fantastic range of imaginative lighting options, such as hexagon wall art, and these bulbs can be used alongside them in a funky lamp. The colours are clear, bright and crisp and will create a vibrant effect. The warm and cool whites these bulbs produce are beautifully natural too. 

The Nanoleaf app is user-friendly and glitch-free, and we love all the fantastic options it delivers. From multiple timers and weekly and daily lighting schedules to the ability to change the colour and mood of your room, slowly for a relaxed feel or fast for a cool disco effect.

Key specs

  • Works with: Apple Homekit; Nest; Google Home
  • Hub required: Yes
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours
  • Brightness: 806 lumens
  • Power consumption: 9 watts 
  • Colour: 16 million colours
  • Bulbs available: B22; E27

Pros 

  • Supports Thread
  • Intuitive app
  • Can be used without a hub

Cons

  • Not many bulb options

What is a smart bulb?

A smart bulb is essential to a wireless, interactive lighting system. These innovative networks allow you to switch lights on and off and change their colour or brightness using a smartphone app and a hub or 'bridge' to connect each element via your wireless router. 

There are branded smart lighting systems, such as Hive or Philips Hue, which will work seamlessly together and provide you with a full range of clever features such as voice control and timers. Most of these will also work with smart devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. 

You can also buy Wi-Fi smart bulbs that don't require a hub and use your Wi-Fi connection and an app to deliver a basic range of features. They tend to be cheaper and great for individual lamps, and their effectiveness will depend on your router's strength, capacity and speed. 

How do you control smart light bulbs?

Smart bulbs can use Bluetooth to switch on and off the lights by connecting with your smartphone and the app you will need to download. This is very useful, but this will only work if you're in the same room as Bluetooth needs proximity. 

A hub or bridge such as a Philips Hue is needed for more functionality and the ability to control your lights from another room or even when you're away from home. Alternatively, some brands can use a 'cloud service' to ping your commands to your lighting system without needing a hub. 

A smart bulb with Wi-Fi capability is another option; it will be quicker than Bluetooth, you don't have to be in the same room and can control more than one lamp or light fixture. 

Do smart bulbs need a hub?

Not all smart bulbs need a hub, but they will have limited functionality. For example, you won't be able to control your lights if you're away from home. 

A hub is also known as a 'bridge,' which describes its job as a connection between your bulb and the app on your smartphone. 

You can either use a hub that is the same brand as your light bulbs, such as Philips Hue or Hive, for full functionality within a cohesive network, or the existing smart devices in your home like Alexa, Google Home or Apple Homekit. 

How much do smart bulbs cost?

The innovation and advanced technology that have gone into the development of smart bulbs mean that they are inevitably more expensive than standard bulbs. So, are they worth the extra investment? We believe they are. 

Most smart light bulbs are powered by LED (light emitting diodes), so they will last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. They are also much more energy efficient, so you'll save money on bills too. 

You don't always have to buy the most expensive bulbs. Smaller brands have created stand-alone bulbs that are cheaper but will still work seamlessly with big-name lighting systems such as Philips Hue. However, remember that you will lose access to some of the more advanced features if you do this. 

How long do smart bulbs last?

The longevity of a smart light bulb will depend on the brand and how much it is used. For example, lifespan is usually described in hours, with Hue claiming their bulb will last an impressive 25,000 hours – that's around three years. However, if a brand calculates the life of their bulbs in years, this is usually based on the average use of three hours per day. 

Can you put smart bulbs in any lamp? 

As with any light bulb, you need to buy the relevant fitting for your lamp. For example, B22 is a bayonet fitting, and E27 is a screw-in. There are also GU10 smart bulbs, which are designed to fit in light fixtures rather than lamps. 

Some smart bulbs, such as the TP-link can be pretty heavy, so they won't suit a lightweight lamp. Others may be longer than a standard light bulb, so they may stick out from the top of a lampshade. Before making a purchase, check the dimensions of the bulbs to ensure you get the look and the functionality you desire. 

How to choose the best smart light bulbs for you

The world of smart lighting can be confusing, especially if you're not particularly tech-savvy. Here are a few things you should consider to help you choose which smart bulb is best for your home. 

  • Fitting: Check that the smart bulb you're planning on buying will fit into the lamp or light fixture you need it for. E27 (screw-in) and B22 (bayonet) are the main types for most lamps and ceiling lights, where GU10 is more likely to fit into kitchen or bathroom light fittings. 
  • Colour: What ambiance do you want to create in the room you're lighting? If you'd like some colour, plenty of fantastic multi-coloured bulbs are available that will make all the colours and shades in the spectrum. For example, cool white gives a bright and crisp look to kitchens and bathrooms, whereas warm white has a comforting glow that is ideal for living rooms and bedrooms. 
  • Brightness: Smart bulbs are powered by LEDs, and lumens are the measurement of brightness in LED bulbs. The higher the number, the brighter the light. If you're changing from incandescent bulbs, a 60-watt bulb can be replaced by an 800-lumen LED bulb.
  • Dimmable: Some smart bulbs allow you to increase and decrease the intensity of the light via a downloadable app. This is great for rooms you spend a lot of time in; you can turn the brightness up when you're reading the newspaper and back down when it's time to snuggle in and watch a movie
  • Wi-Fi or Bluetooth: This is an important consideration when installing a new smart lighting system as it will determine the controllability of your lights. Most smart light bulbs need a hub or bridge to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. This type will give you the highest level of functionality and is best if you're planning a house-wide lighting network. Wi-Fi bulbs don't need a hub and can be turned on and off from another room or when you're out and about, whereas Bluetooth bulbs require a hub if you want to control them when you're not in the room. 
  • Voice assistants: If you already have Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Homekit in your home, your existing smart devices can be used to control your lights; just make sure the bulbs are compatible. 
  • App: All smart bulbs will require you to download the corresponding app for them to work. This is usually quick and easy to do, and it means your smartphone can be used to switch your lights on and off, change the colour and brightness or set timers. 
  • Existing smart home devices: Smart Home systems such as Hive and Philips Hue have a wide range of products from security cameras, video doorbells and lighting. If you're buying smart light bulbs to work with an existing or soon-to-be-installed network, ensure they are compatible with the brand. 

How we chose our recommendations 

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

Firstly, we weighed up Mumsnetters' honest reviews and recommendations from their own experiences on the best smart bulbs. Next, we scrutinised their advice, criticisms and the features they suggested people be aware of when investing. 

Expert opinions 

Smart bulbs and the required hubs can be expensive, so we wanted to ensure that the recommended products performed well. Therefore, we investigated the views of technical experts and lighting consultants on the smart bulbs they rate and trust to perform in a domestic setting. 

Authentic customer reviews 

Finally, we assessed the bestseller lists and evaluated authentic reviews from various retailer sites to see which products had the highest ratings. Then, we weighed up the pros and cons of each product choice to determine which had the best operating system and could be relied on to provide a safe and energy-efficient home. 

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we've investigated, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

As someone interested in home technology and who likes to simplify her family's life, our writer Gemma was determined to provide honest and independent advice on the smart light bulbs that provide an efficient and easy-to-setup lighting system. 

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