There have been many advances in making the humble light bulb, and with each new generation, they become more reliable. Smart light bulbs are just the next step. If you have hesitated to give these little technological wonders a try, now is the time to take the plunge. There are Google home light options as well as Alexa lights, while most are compatible with both and even more.
If you are interested specifically in Alexa lights, this is a great option. It is a bundle that costs about $80, but it comes with a second-generation Echo Dot, two smart light bulbs, and a compatible hub. Once you have installed the hub and downloaded the app needed, you are good to go. Alexa will turn lights on and off, brighten or darken a room, and allow you to preset schedules. If you like the pack and want to add more lights, you can. The hub can handle up to 64 lights at once, as long as they are the correct brand. At first blush, the price tag seems hefty at about $80, but when you think of all three items you get, it really is reasonable.
For another hub option, this is also a great deal. Versatility is a great thing, and this system is compatible with not just Alexa and Google Assistant, but also with Apple HomeKit. Like most smart lights, this system lets you set timers, and you can control the lights remotely, but if you want more options, you will need to add other accessories. It may surprise you to know this, but the higher the wattage (or equivalent), the higher the price, and that has something to do with the price of about $70.
The Flux color changing light bulb for those who want seriously amazing options. There are over 16 million color options, but you need to use their Flux Bluetooth app. Fortunately, the app works with Android and Apple phones or tablets, so you just need a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible device. Basically, you screw in the bulb, download the app, and that’s it! You don’t need an Alexa or Google Assistant, just your phone. You can save settings you like, sync the lights together (if you own more than one), and you can sync the light to music. The light can also be preset, so you may have light greeting you home, or offering home security when you are away. All of these options are available for around $32.
What if you love the idea of a color changing light bulb, but you want to look at more options? This versatile light delivers. There are quite a few functions available: strobes, group control, music mode, scene mode, and even energy-saving mode. Like the previous light bulb, this one does not require a hub; instead, the MagicLight works through Wi-Fi and Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Assistant. While this option has a much lower watt-equivalent than the previous one, the price is quite affordable at about $17.
TP-Link makes a variety of smart home light bulbs, and this one especially useful. What they mean by “tunable” is the ability to change the type of white light coming from the bulb. Bright white light is great if you need more energy and focus, and it’s great if you have trouble seeing things in low light. On the other hand, if you need to settle in for the night and you don’t want your lights keeping you awake, change the tunable bulb to a softer white. For a reasonable price at about $25, the bulb offers compatibility with both Alexa and Google.