May 2022

Smart Light Bulbs: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Smart Light Bulb rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2022.

At a glance - May 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Smart Light Bulb
Tom's Guide
Wirecutter
TechHive
WIRED
Forbes
T3
Digital Trends
IGN
TechRadar
PCMag
1
- $45
Philips Hue Starter Kit
1
4
1
4
1
-
1
1
1
10
2
- $40
Wyze Smart A19
2
-
-
5
3
-
4
6
-
5
3
- $48
Wyze Bulb Color
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
4
- $180
Nanoleaf Shapes
10
-
-
10
-
-
-
-
3
-
5
- Check price
Philips Dimmable A19 Wiz
-
2
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
6
6
- Check price
Nanoleaf Essentials
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
9
4
-
7
- $12
Lifx Mini
6
-
4
-
-
-
8
-
-
-
8
- $10
TP-Link Kasa Filament
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
8
9
- $220
Nanoleaf Light Panels
-
-
-
-
-
6
10
7
-
-
10
- $12
C by GE Full Color Direct Connect
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
4
-
-
11
- $10
Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED
3
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
12
- $50
LIFX Smart LED
-
-
2
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
13
- Check price
Ikea Tradfri E26
-
-
-
3
-
4
-
-
-
-
14
- Check price
Lifx Mini Color
-
-
-
-
2
-
5
-
-
-
15
- Check price
Lifx Nightvision A19
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
2
-
16
- $95
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
8
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
17
- $13
Kasa Smart KL130
-
-
-
-
6
5
-
-
-
-
18
- $64
Hive Active Light Colour
-
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
7
-

We ranked Philips Hue Starter Kit #1 in May 2022 because:

  • 9 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
  • Out of those, 6 experts ranked Philips Hue Starter Kit as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best smart light bulb starter kit

Pros
Easy setup with intuitive app
Extensive third-party integrations
Stunning color effects

Cons
Expensive
Requires bridge

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Wirecutter

The best smart lighting ecosystem

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TechHive

Best color LED smart bulb / Editor's Choice

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WIRED

An Upgrade Kit

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Forbes

Best Smart Light Bulb Overall

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Digital Trends

The best smart bulb kit

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IGN

Best Smart Bulb

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TechRadar

The best smart light bulb you can buy

Pros
Easy to set up
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit
Wide array of different smart lights

Cons
Hub needed to access all features
Expensive compared to incadescent bulbs

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PCMag

Hue Lighting Without a Hub

Pros
Works without a hub.
Easy to install.
Vibrant colors.
Supports Alexa and Google voice commands.
Can be added to Hue ecosystem.

Cons
Expensive.
Requires Hue Bridge for remote access and to use other Hue features.

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We ranked Wyze Smart A19 #2 in May 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best cheap smart light bulb

Pros
Inexpensive
Tunable white
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Cons
Doesn't work with HomeKit
No color option

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WIRED

A Great Budget Bulb

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Forbes

Best Budget Smart Bulb

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Digital Trends

The best budget bulb

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IGN

For the absolute basics

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PCMag

Best Affordable White Bulb

Pros
Very affordable.
Works with other Wyze and third-party smart devices.
Alexa and Google voice support.
No hub needed.
Easy to install.

Cons
Doesn't support Apple HomeKit.

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Smart Light Bulbs.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Smart Light Bulbs, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for May 2022 ranking

We ranked Wyze Bulb Color #3 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Wyze Bulb Color as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

The best smart light bulb

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Affordable Color Bulb / Editors' Choice

Pros
Affordable
Bright and dimmable
Hub-free app control
Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
Can be set up individually or as a group
Supports automations, custom scenes, schedules, and sleep routines

Cons
Not sold individually
No dynamic lighting effects

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We ranked Nanoleaf Shapes #4 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

These smart light wall panels are party-worthy

Pros
Customizable touch commands
Simple setup
Striking color effects
Unlimited designs and scenes

Cons
Expensive

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WIRED

Best Ambient Lighting Kit

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TechRadar

The best smart light to match your mood and music

Pros
Easy to set up
Illuminated wall art rather than bulbs
Can change color and pulse to create fun effects

Cons
Difficult to remove once mounted
Don't look attractive when not illuminated

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We ranked Philips Dimmable A19 Wiz #5 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

A bulb with added effects

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WIRED

Let’s Talk About Philips

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PCMag

Affordable Alternative to Philips Hue

Pros
Affordable
No hub required
Connects via Wi-Fi for remote app control
Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Siri shortcuts
Supports light Rhythms, Scenes, and Schedules

Cons
Finicky Wi-Fi setup and app control in testing
No HomeKit support

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We ranked Nanoleaf Essentials #6 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

Essentially some great little cheap bulbs and light strips

Pros
Good price
Thread compatibility
Excellent app

Cons
Not a big range of options

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IGN

Best Smart Bulb for HomeKit

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TechRadar

The best affordable smart light bulbs

Pros
Affordable
Thread and Bluetooth connectivity
Circadian Lighting feature mimics natural light

Cons
Lacks Alexa integration
Unusual design

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We ranked Lifx Mini #7 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

Best smart light bulb for smaller fixtures

Pros
Bright
Advanced automation options
No hub needed

Cons
Expensive

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TechHive

Runner-up

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Digital Trends

The best mini smart bulb

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We ranked Nanoleaf Light Panels #9 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

A smart lighting system with a difference

Pros
Will definitely impress the guests
All kinds of permutations possible

Cons
Expensive to go large

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Digital Trends

The best ‘cool for the sake of being cool’ bulb

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IGN

Best for decorating your home

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We ranked C by GE Full Color Direct Connect #10 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked C by GE Full Color Direct Connect as #1.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best Smart Bulb

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IGN

The best without a hub

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We ranked Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED #11 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

Affordable Wi-Fi smart bulb

Pros
Super easy setup
No hub required
App tracks energy consumption

Cons
Missing more advanced automation features

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Digital Trends

The best starter bulb

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We ranked LIFX Smart LED #12 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechHive

Runner-up

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T3

A worthy Hue competitor, LIFX smart bulbs deliver excellent smart lighting

Pros
A breeze to use
Wide selection
Reliable operation

Cons
Smaller ecosystem than Philips Hue

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We ranked Ikea Tradfri E26 #13 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
WIRED

Best Smart Bulb Kit

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T3

Smart lights with your furniture, and one of the best smart bulb ranges going

Pros
Simple to use
A choice of fittings
Very affordable

Cons
More limited ecosystem

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We ranked Lifx Mini Color #14 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best Light Bulbs That Change Color

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Digital Trends

The best color-changing smart bulb

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We ranked Lifx Nightvision A19 #15 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best Smart Bulb for Security

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TechRadar

The best smart light bulb without a hub

Pros
No hub required
Wide array of colors and styles
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit

Cons
Bulky, unusual looking bulbs
Expensive compared to incandescent bulbs

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We ranked Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus #16 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best smart lightstrips

Pros
Trimmable
Flexible
Accommodates 40 inches of extensions

Cons
Requires bridge
Pricey

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TechHive

Best LED light strip

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We ranked Kasa Smart KL130 #17 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best Smart Bulb for Alexa

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T3

Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT smart bulbs for an attractive price

Pros
Simple to operate
Don't cost too much
Works with Google/Alexa

Cons
No Apple HomeKit support
Not a big range of options

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We ranked Hive Active Light Colour #18 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smart Light Bulbs” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

The best smart bulbs for your Hive smart home system

Pros
Different bulb types available
Simple to set up and operate
Works with a range of other kit

Cons
Hub required

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TechRadar

(UK only) The best smart light for a single ecosystem

Pros
Easy-to-use app
Works with an ecosystem of other smart home gadgets
Also works with Philips Hue bulbs

Cons
Needs Hive hub
Lacks lamps and ceiling light choices

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