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How To Choose The Best Smart Light Bulb?

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Smart light bulbs are one of the coolest gadgets you can get for your home. They can change colors, dim, turn on and off automatically, and even sync with your music and movies. But with so many options out there, how do you know which smart light bulb is best for you? In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the steps to choose a smart light bulb that suits your needs and preferences.

Step 1: Decide what you want to do with your smart light bulb

Before you buy a smart light bulb, think about what you want to use it for. Do you want to create different moods with different colors?

Do you want to enhance your security with lights that turn on when you’re away? Do you want to wake up gently with lights that mimic sunrise?

Do you want to have fun with lights that dance along with your music? Depending on your goals, you’ll need different types of smart light bulbs.

Best Brightness

Best Communicator

hue white color ambiance a19
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 – E26
hue white color ambiance a19
hue white color ambiance a19
hue white color ambiance a19

Best Price

Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color amazon
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color walmart

Step 2: Choose the right fitting for your smart light bulb

Next, you need to make sure that your smart light bulb fits your existing lamp or fixture. There are different types of fittings such as bayonets, Edison screws, and GU10s. You can check the label on your old bulb or the socket to find out what type of fitting you have. Then, look for a smart light bulb that matches your fitting. If you can’t find one, you can use an adapter to convert one type of fitting to another.

light bulb bases
Image Credit: Quora- Steven Wilson

Step 3: Choose the right wireless protocol for your smart light bulb

Another thing to consider is how your smart light bulb connects to your phone or other devices. There are different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Matter, and Wi-Fi. Each one has its pros and cons in terms of range, remote control, and compatibility.

Bluetooth

This is the simplest way to connect your smart light bulb to your phone. You don’t need a hub or a router, just pair them directly. However, Bluetooth has a limited range and you can’t control your bulb when you’re not at home.

Z-Wave and Zigbee

These are low-power wireless protocols that create a mesh network among your smart devices. You need a hub or a bridge to connect them to your phone or router. They have a longer range than Bluetooth and you can control them remotely.

They are also compatible with many other smart devices from different brands. You can check out our posts for more information on Zigbee and Z-Wave. And here is our selection of the Best Zigbee Smart Light bulbs.

Matter

This is a new wireless protocol that aims to unify the smart home industry. It promises to make smart devices from different brands work together seamlessly. You need a hub or a bridge that supports Matter to connect your smart light bulb to your phone or router. It has long-range and remote control capabilities. It is also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.

Wi-Fi

This is the most common way to connect your smart light bulb to your phone or router. You don’t need a hub or a bridge, just connect them directly to your Wi-Fi network. They have long-range and remote control capabilities. However, they may consume more power and bandwidth than other protocols. Here is our selection of the Best WiFi Smart Light Bulbs.

Step 4: Choose the right features for your smart light bulb

Now that you know how your smart light bulb connects, let’s talk about what it can do. There are different features that make smart light bulbs more fun and useful than regular ones.

Dimming

This allows you to adjust the brightness of your smart light bulb from 0% to 100%. You can use this feature to create different atmospheres or save energy.

Color changing

This allows you to change the color of your smart light bulb from millions of options. You can use this feature to match your mood, decor, or occasion.

Scheduling

This allows you to set timers for your smart light bulb to turn on and off automatically at certain times of the day or week. You can use this feature to simulate presence when you’re away, wake up naturally or save energy.

Voice control

This allows you to control your smart light bulb with your voice using a voice assistant such as Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. You can use this feature to turn on and off your lights hands-free, change colors or scenes, or ask questions.

Integration

This allows you to connect your smart light bulb with other smart devices such as cameras, sensors, speakers, or thermostats. You can use this feature to create automation or routines that make your life easier and smarter.

Extra

Some of the smart light bulbs can grant extra features like infrared vision for enhanced security with cameras or germ disinfection. If you are planning to buy a smart light bulb with a little extra step, I strongly recommend you check out LIFX bulbs.

Step 5: Choose the right brightness for your smart light bulb

Another factor to consider is how bright you want your smart light bulb to be. The brightness of a light bulb is measured in lumens, not watts. Watts measure the power consumption of a light bulb, not the light output. For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb produces about 800 lumens of light, while a 10-watt LED bulb can produce the same amount of light or more. Therefore, you should look for the lumen rating of a smart light bulb, not the wattage.

The right lumen output depends on the size and purpose of your room. For example, you may want a brighter light for your kitchen or office, but a dimmer light for your bedroom or living room. Here is a general guide on how many lumens you need per square foot of your room:

  • 10-20 lumens: Accent lighting
  • 20-40 lumens: Task lighting
  • 40-80 lumens: General lighting

You can also use a smart light bulb that has a dimming feature to adjust the brightness according to your needs and preferences. For our guides on how many lumens you’ll be needing, check this out!

Step 6: Choose the right color quality for your smart light bulb

Besides brightness, you also need to pay attention to the color quality of your smart light bulb. The color quality of a light source is measured by the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which is a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more accurately the light source can reproduce the colors of objects.

A high CRI is important for situations where you want to see the true colors of things, such as when you are painting, cooking, applying makeup, or shopping online. A low CRI can make colors look dull, washed out, or distorted.

The CRI of natural daylight is 100, which is the standard of comparison for any other light source. The CRI of most smart light bulbs is above 80, which is considered good enough for most applications. However, if you want to achieve the best color quality possible, you should look for a smart light bulb that has a CRI of 90 or above.

Step 7: Choose the right color temperature for your smart light bulb

Another aspect of color that you need to consider is the color temperature of your smart light bulb. The color temperature measures the warmth or coolness of white light and is expressed in Kelvin (K). The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer and the more yellow the light. The higher the Kelvin number, the cooler and more blue the light.

The color temperature of natural daylight varies throughout the day, from warm sunrise to cool midday to warm sunset. You can use a smart light bulb that has a color-changing feature to mimic this natural cycle and create different moods and ambiances in your home.

Here are some examples of different color temperatures and how they affect the mood and ambiance of a room:

  • 2,700K: Warm white. This is similar to the color of an incandescent bulb and creates a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. It is suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.
  • 3,000K: Soft white. This is slightly cooler than warm white and creates a calm and inviting atmosphere. It is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways.
  • 4,000K: Cool white. This is similar to the color of natural daylight and creates a bright and energetic atmosphere. It is suitable for offices, workshops and garages.
  • 5,000K: Daylight. This is cooler than cool white and creates a crisp and vibrant atmosphere. It is suitable for display areas, art studios, and outdoor spaces.
  • 6,000K + More: Cool daylight. This is cooler than daylight and creates a very bright and clear atmosphere. It is suitable for areas that need a lot of illumination, such as garages, workshops, or studios.

For more information on how to use color temperature on home lighting, check out our post!

Step 8: Learn how to read a light bulb label

When you shop for a smart light bulb, you will see a label on the packaging that provides some important information about its performance and features. Here are some key terms that you should know how to read:

  • Wattage: This measures the power consumption of a light bulb in watts (W). The lower the wattage, the less energy it uses and the more money it saves.
  • Lumens: This measures the light output of a light bulb in lumens (lm). The higher the lumens, the brighter.
  • CRI: This measures the color quality of a light source on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more accurately the light source can reproduce the colors of objects.
  • Color temperature: This measures the warmth or coolness of white light in Kelvin (K). The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer and the more yellow the light. The higher the Kelvin number, the cooler and more blue the light.
  • Energy efficiency rating: This indicates how efficient a light bulb is in converting energy into light. It is usually shown as a letter from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.

You can use these terms to compare different smart light bulbs and choose the one that meets your needs and preferences.

light bulb label
An Example Light Bulb Label – Image Credit: Feit Electric Blog

Step 9: Choose the right way to control your smart light bulb

The last step is to decide how you want to control your smart light bulb. There are different ways to do so, depending on your convenience and comfort.

App

You can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to control your smart light bulb. You can turn it on and off, change colors and brightness, set schedules and scenes, and create automation. You can also control your smart light bulb remotely when you’re not at home, as long as you have an internet connection.

Voice assistant

You can use a voice assistant such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to control your smart light bulb with your voice. You can use simple commands such as “Alexa, turn on the living room light” or “Hey Google, dim the bedroom light to 50%”. You can also create routines that trigger multiple actions with one command, such as “Good morning” or “Good night”. If you want to go experimental with Chat GPT for smart home control, check out our post!

Remote

You can use a remote control that comes with some smart light bulbs or buy one separately to control your smart light bulb. You can use it to turn it on and off, change colors and brightness, and switch between different modes. You can also use it when you don’t have your phone or voice assistant nearby.

Switch

You can use a regular wall switch to control your smart light bulb. However, this may limit some of its features and functions. For example, if you turn off your smart light bulb with a wall switch, you won’t be able to control it with an app or a voice assistant until you turn it back on. Some smart light bulbs also require a constant power supply to work properly. Therefore, you may want to consider using a smart switch instead of a regular one.

TL;DR / Conclusion


Smart light bulbs are amazing devices that can make your home smarter, more energy-efficient, and more comfortable. They can also add some fun and flair to your decor and entertainment. However, choosing a smart light bulb can be confusing and overwhelming with so many options available. That’s why I hope this blog post has helped you understand the steps to choose a smart light bulb that suits your needs and preferences.

Here are some of my personal recommendations for the best smart light bulbs on the market:

Best Brightness

Best Communicator

hue white color ambiance a19
Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 – E26
hue white color ambiance a19
hue white color ambiance a19
hue white color ambiance a19

Best Price

Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color amazon
Cree Lighting Connected MAX A19 Color walmart

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you liked this post, please share it with your friends and family who might be interested in smart lighting too.

Thanks for reading and happy lighting! 😊

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Philosophy: We want to make sure that our readers can use smart home products with maximum efficiency. Our ultimate desire in this blog is to ensure our readers use smart home gadgets to make their lives easier, more accessible, and safer.

Batu of CondoChance Team

BSc. Electrical Engineer & MBA
10+ years of industrial experience as an Electrical Engineer

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