We’ve talked before about how Alexa is one of the best voice assistants for smart homes, thanks to its broad compatibility with smart devices, which includes hundreds of brands and thousands of products. But that can also be a challenge when the time comes to pick the right product for your home.
If you have an Alexa device like an Amazon Echo, there are many smart lighting options that can work with voice commands and Alexa routines. Our guide will narrow it down to several of our favorite options that offer great features with full
Philips Hue is one of the broadest lines of smart bulbs available today, with all kinds of smart lighting options and many ideal picks for replacing older incandescent bulbs with smart LED options that will work in the same socket.
This particular kit is an excellent place to start: It offers four colored smart bulbs with 16 million shades (including plenty of white options) to program or play around with however you want, using the Hue app to set timers and help manage your routines. Like most Philips Hue models, the bulbs also are also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Homekit, etc., so they make great picks for controlling your smart home with your preferred method.
The only real downside is that the Philips Hue kit also includes the Hue Hub, which is an extra device that you need to find room for. Philips has been moving away from requiring the Hub, and these bulbs can all function via Bluetooth for direct control, but the Hub may still be a better option for controlling up to 10 bulbs in concert.
Light bulbs aren’t for everyone: A bendable lightstrip is a better solution for many locations, such as lighting up steps for safety or adding ambient lighting behind a TV or display case. This smart lightstrip offers those advantages while also allowing you to program and control it with the Hue app so it’s always on when you need it and the right color for what you’re showing off. You can even program it to sync with movies, gaming sound, or music … and that’s all in addition to being able to control it with Alexa or an Echo device. This particular strip is 6 feet long, but it can be cut at certain locations to help match a particular space.
Like other newer Hue bulbs, the lightstrip can be controlled by Bluetooth and doesn’t require the Hue Hub to work, although it can connect to the Hub if you already have one. However, it does require a base kit with a plug (included as part of the purchase) that you will need to plug into a nearby outlet.
If you don’t care much about what color your bulbs are and know that you want a more traditional white bulb with a pleasant color temperature, this four-pack of Wyze bulbs is a great pick. Wyze’s app is particularly easy for beginners to learn and offers in-depth options for creating scenes, dimming or brightening the bulbs to the exact level you want, and more. In addition to its compatibility with Alexa, Wyze bulbs also work with IFTTT for more advanced customization and have innate group control support so you can easily adjust all the bulbs at once.
Ring’s 800-lumen smart bulb is a particularly good choice if you already have other Ring products, like the Alexa-compatible Ring Video Doorbells. It can connect to Ring security devices and allow you to arrange for the lights to automatically turn on when a device detects motion, among other tricks. The Ring bulb does require a Ring Bridge to unlock all of its features, but the Bridge is included with the purchase. It’s also so Alexa-compatible that you can choose bundles that include a 4th-generation Amazon Echo when you buy.
So far, many of our picks have been traditional A19 bulbs that will fit into standard sockets around your home. However, not all smart lighting solutions require that, which opens the door for more creative possibilities. This Lifx mini-bulb is an excellent example. It’s a smart color bulb in a smaller size that’s ideal for desk lamps, floor lamps, and similar devices with smaller socket requirements. Otherwise, all the smart features are in full force with the Lifx mini-bulb, including the ability to change colors, dim or brighten, set schedules, and more. The 800-lumen bulb can also shed a lot of light, so don’t be afraid to use it for workshops or craft tables, too.
If these smart bulbs are looking a little too expensive for you, you’ll appreciate this Kasa bulb. It’s a multicolor dimming bulb backed up by the excellent Kasa app at a very affordable price. That makes it a great pick if you are new to smart lighting and want to see how useful a smart bulb is, or if you want to outfit your home with smart lights but would prefer to save as much money as possible. The Kasa smart bulb connects directly with your Wi-Fi, so there’s no need for a hub or any additional devices.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Alexa can do, take a look at our guide for popular voice commands as well!
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