If you’re in the market for some smart bulbs to outfit your house and want them to work seamlessly with your Google Home for the ultimate voice-activated light setup, here are the best options to choose from.
While in-wall smart light switches are likely cheaper in the long run, smart bulbs are a lot easier to install and set up, which makes them a popular item for those that don’t have the knowledge or skill of wiring up light switches themselves. They’re also very renter friendly because you don’t need landlord approval to modify the rental.
Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to smart bulbs, but if you’re looking for bulbs that specifically work with your Google Home, you still have plenty of choices. Here are some of the best.
Hands down, Philips Hue is the gold standard when it comes to smart bulbs, and a starter kit can be had for $70, which comes with the necessary hub and two Hue White bulbs. After that, you can get add-on bulbs for as low as $10-$15, if you catch a sale.
You can do all kinds of stuff with these bulbs, including setting timers and schedules, as well advanced features like “vacation mode”—your lights turn on and off to simulate you being home, even if you’re not.
You can also create scenes with different brightnesses and color (if you have the color bulbs), and then activate them with a one tap or using your voice with your Google Home.
As far as voice controls go, you can pretty much do anything with your lights, like change scenes, change colors, adjust the brightness, and of course turn the lights on and off. It also helps a ton if you take the time to give bulbs and rooms unique names, which helps to prevent your Google Home from getting confused.
Another hub-based smart bulb setup that we’re big fans of is the Ikea Tradfri series. As you might have guessed, this is Ikea’s own smart light system, and the starter kit is just $80.
The starter kit comes with the hub, two white bulbs, and a remote control. You can get add-on E26 bulbs starting at $13 each.
As with the Hue bulbs, you can use your Google Home to control them with your voice, including turning them on and off and adjusting the brightness.
And hey, if anything, even if you’re already invested in the Philips Hue ecosystem, you might be pleased to know that Tradfri bulbs work with the Philips Hue Bridge hub.
A Wi-Fi Option: Eufy Lumos Smart Bulbs
If you’d rather not commit to a smart bulb system that requires a proprietary hub, Wi-Fi bulbs are a good alternative, as they connect directly your Wi-Fi network without the need for a hub. There are plenty of options available, but Eufy’s Lumos series offers really nice Wi-Fi bulbs for a low cost.
For example, you can grab a basic soft white bulb for around $15, but I’ve seen them as low as $10 on sale. Or you can upgrade that to a tunable white bulb for just a few dollars more. And of course, they also offer a color bulb as well.
Just keep in mind, while Wi-Fi bulbs can be more convenient since you don’t have to mess with a hub, but it’s recommended to go with a hub-based option if you plan on outfitting your entire house with a ton of smart bulbs in order to keep Wi-Fi congestion at a minimum.