If you want to light up your home the smart way (figuratively, and perhaps literally), smart bulbs are a great way to go. Here are the best options to use with Alexa and the Amazon Echo.
In-wall smart light switches are a good way to control an entire room with just one switch, but not only are smart bulbs easier and quicker to install, you can also control individual bulbs and give them different brightnesses and colors (if applicable). Plus, smart bulbs are best renters and/or those who don’t quite have the knowledge to mess with electrical wiring.
If you frequently use Alexa and want to control your lights with your voice via an Amazon Echo, here are the smart bulbs to consider.
If you’re looking to go all-in on smart bulbs, the only good choice honestly is Philips Hue, because the bulbs are easy to set up and the app is simple to use. Plus, it’s an extremely popular option, so there’s a big community surrounding Hue if you ever need help on anything.
The bulbs can be expensive, especially if you opt for the color bulbs, but you can grab a starter kit that comes with two soft white bulbs and the hub for $70, which is pretty great. And then you can buy individual add-on bulbs whenever you need them for as little as $10-$15.
Hue lights allow you to do all kinds of stuff, like setting timers and schedules, create scenes, as well have access to advanced features like “vacation mode”—your lights turn on and off to simulate you being home, even if you’re not.
Hue bulbs also work really well with Alexa and the Amazon Echo (they can even directly connect to the Echo Plus without needing the Hue Bridge hub). You can easily link them to your Alexa account and then use your voice to control lights—change scenes, change colors, adjust the brightness, and of course turn the lights on and off. Be sure to give bulbs and rooms unique names so that Alexa doesn’t get confused, but after that you’re off to the races.
A Hub-less Option: Eufy Lumos
We get it: Not everyone likes having smarthome hubs everywhere. And with Philips Hue, no matter how great the platform is, you need a hub. If you prefer to go hub-less, you can grab some Wi-Fi bulbs. Our favorite are the Eufy Lumos bulbs.
These bulbs don’t require a hub, and instead connect directly to your Wi-Fi network. Plus, they aren’t any more expensive than Hue bulbs, as you can grab a basic soft white bulb for around $15. You can upgrade that to a tunable white bulb for just a few dollars more, and Eufy also offers a color bulb as well.
Furthermore, Eufy devices work with Alexa, so you can link them to your Echo and control the bulbs with your voice—you have much of the same voice capabilities as you do with the Hue bulbs.
The only thing to keep in mind with Wi-Fi bulbs is that they’re really only great if you plan on just having a few of them around the house—outfitting a whole house with Wi-Fi bulbs really congests your home network. Otherwise, it’s best to go with a hub-based option like Philips Hue if you plan on putting smart bulbs everywhere in your house.