Summertime is in full swing, and it's time to make your patio a little more inviting when friends and family come over. Take a look at these Wi-Fi-connected smart lights built to handle the outdoors. Not only do they offer color and control, but they squeak in under the $100 mark, making them a fine choice for the budget-conscious. If you're looking for other lighting options, check out our smart light bulb guide to see what other options are available.
Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights
- Robust mobile app
- Alexa and Google Assistant support
- Music sync
- Power supply not waterproof
The Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights are ready to add some cozy ambiance to your patio. They're available in either 48 or 96 feet. Use the Govee mobile app to build custom animations and deliver hands-free commands through Google Assistant and Alexa. Tack on music sync thanks to the in-line microphone to get a great party going.
Anting Smart Outdoor String Lights
- Reliable motion activation
- Energy efficient
- Plastic bulbs
For a more classic look, the Anting Smart Outdoor String Lights have globe bulbs and Edison-style elements. The light emits a warm 2700K, with twinkle animations and scheduling available via the mobile app. Once installed, the app also enables voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant. These bulbs are built to handle the outdoors with water and shatter resistance, so don't be shy about leaving them out year-round. These are available in strings as long as 150 feet, so you can cover larger patios. As an added bonus, they include motion activation, so you don't have to worry about fumbling in the dark to turn them on.
Gaoxun Patio Lights
Lighting with texture
- Hardware remote included
- Easy installation
- Festive vibes
- Whites could be brighter
For a little texture in your lights, the Gaoxun Patio Lights offer a festive, multicolored option for your yard. Not only do these smart bulbs have a Bluetooth-enabled mobile app for setting timers and recipes, but they also come with a hardware infrared controller for handy access without any phone fiddling. These bulbs have an IP66 waterproof rating, so you'll be able to leave up all 49 feet of these bulbs without a worry.
LE LED Strip Lights
- Easy to install
- Included hardware remote
- Bright colors
- Included adhesive not strong enough
For those looking for more understated patio lighting, an outdoor light strip can highlight your patio in just the right places. The LED Strip Lights provide 32 feet of color. IP65 waterproofing will keep it running regardless of which nook you tuck it into. An included physical remote and in-line controls complement the mobile app, which opens the door to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice commands.
Novostella Smart LED Flood Light
Flooded with color
- Very high brightness
- Rugged construction
- High saturation
- No tunable whites
Flood lights are a great way to bask a whole area with color, and these floodlights from Novostella are up to the task — these come in just under our $100 threshold at $99.99. Once connected, you can blast up to 10,000 lumens into an area. An external antenna provides added confidence for wireless connections. The usual bells and whistles are all here, including a mobile app with custom recipes, voice control via Google Assistant and Alexa, and IP66 weatherproofing. If you've got a big yard that's in need of some mood lighting, it's hard to go wrong with this one.
Philips Hue Inara
Traditional lantern style
- Classy lantern design
- Broad compatibility
- Requires Hue hub
One of the perennial favorites for patio lighting is lantern-style lights that you can attach to nearby walls for cozy lighting that feels more natural. The Inara, powered by a Hue a19 smart bulb inside, can do just that, adding a classy touch to your patio or any outdoor area without sacrificing any smart features. This Hue bulb supports all the latest control options, including working with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.
The lantern is also sturdy, sporting IP44 resistance against the weather so you don’t have to worry about the smart bulb inside. However, keep in mind that this version comes with a white bulb, so you’ll want to get a color bulb if you like playing with different hues. Also, the product does require a Hue hub to work properly, so it’s best paired with a current Hue system.
Use a compatible app, like Google Home or the Home app on iOS, during setup. You will be walked through how to connect the bulb to your Wi-Fi network and more. Once the patio bulb is fully connected, you can use the same app to control it, turn it on or off, and set schedules. You can also use supported voice assistants, like Google Assistant or Alexa, to turn on the bulb.
If wiring is an issue for you, we suggest looking into solar-powered lights (which keep their light for some time after the sun sets), as well as battery-powered options like LED candles or string lights. You could also use tiki torches, but they create smoke and fire hazards, so we don’t recommend them.
This is a common question, and you’ll find that different experts have different opinions. “Hardscape” lights are the kind used on walls or patio overheads and tend to range between around 50 to 180 lumens, more subdued than something like pathway lights or pond lighting. Lamppost lighting, on the other hand, tends to be significantly brighter. The good news is that smart lights almost always allow you to adjust the brightness, so this is far less of a concern than it would be with traditional lights.
You have many different options! That includes lanterns, lamps, overhead lighting in the eaves, string lights, step lights, security lighting, and more. If it's rated for outside use, you can probably find a way to incorporate it into your patio … at least, with some wiring work.
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