Do you ever wish you could bring your smart lights with you? The wide range of colors, the convenience of voice commands, not to mention the triggered automations enhance any experience. Thanks to a breed of battery-powered smart lights, you can pack the whole experience into your bag and take it camping, or just bring it out to the back patio for your next party.
Philips Hue Go White and Color Portable Dimmable LED SmartLight Table Lamp
Best overall portable smart light
- Portable and light
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant
- Bluetooth support
- No battery gauge
Philips Hue maintains a strong hold in the smart lighting realm. The Hue Go includes all of the usual color range, voice control, and automations. It can operate entirely on its own via Bluetooth, or integrate with your larger Hue set-up if you have a Bridge hub. A physical button lets users easily jump between different light settings without needing to fuss with the mobile app. The Hue Go will run for 2.5 hours of normal usage, or you can go for a full 18 hours with a low-power Cozy Candle effect.
Best HomeKit-compatible portable smart light
- Apple HomeKit compatibility
- Water resistant
- Supports multiple colors
- Limited brightness
For those that are keen to ponder an orb, the Eve Flare provides a beautiful, seamless, colored ball that plays nice with your iPhone and iPad. Thanks to HomeKit compatibility, the Eve Flare can respond to Siri commands and automations alongside all of your other smart lights. IP65 water resistance makes it able to handle a few splashes outside, and six hours of battery life gives it enough juice to handle your next outing. The Eve app lets you explore color palettes, and when you're done, you can charge up wirelessly.
Best portable smart light for photography
- Flexible mounting options
- Monitor battery life with the app
- No smart home connection
Photographers, videographers, and even enterprising social media stars need extra lights, and they need them to be portable. The Ambitful A2 offers full app control to change its colors and monitors the 2,500mAh battery. A threaded mount and integrated magnet help you get the light into the right position, and hardware controls are available for when fiddling with the app isn't practical. With a few of these around your studio, you should have the flexibility to deal with stray shadows and add creative lighting to your next shoot.
LuminAID Bloomio Twist
Best camping portable smart light
- Highly portable
- Integrated solar panel
- No smart home integration
The LuminAID Twist is a clever portable lamp built for those going off the grid. An integrated solar panel and USB port allow you to use the Twist to charge your phone while you're out. When you're on the move, the package is fully collapsible for easy storage. The mobile app presents a full suite of color management options, brightness adjustments, toggles, and schedules. You can even pair up multiple lights and manage them all at once. The Twist is waterproof too, so no worries about leaving it out in the rain.
Portable smart light shopping tips and tricks
How do smart lights work?
Smart lights work by communicating wirelessly with nearby devices. Usually, within the home, this activity is accomplished by giving the smart light access to your Wi-Fi network. However, with portable lights, you're more likely to pair them with your phone over Bluetooth in order to exercise some control. Learn more about how smart lights work .
What can you do with smart lights?
Smart lights are great! You can get them to change into all sorts of colors, set them to animate, sync them to music or TV shows, have them turn off or on based on a schedule, and activate them with voice controls like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. If you want to really get into the weeds, you can put together automations, so that the lights turn off or on after a certain trigger, such as if someone rings the smart doorbell.
How do you install smart lights?
The joy of portable smart lights is that they require much less set-up since they're designed to operate independently of a larger Wi-Fi network. Generally, all you have to do with a portable smart light is pair it via Bluetooth to your phone. If you're working with systems that tie into your smart home, there's a bit more involved.
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