Best Smart Light Bulbs: Wink vs WeMo vs Hue vs Insteon vs Flux & More

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Insteon logo
 WeMo logo
Honorable Mention
Wink Hub
No Hub Required

If you’re anything like my husband and me, we bicker about who has to get up and turn the lights off when watching a movie or going to bed. “You were the last one to sit down, so you have to go turn off the lights,” is a common argument for why I shouldn’t have to get up. We were both thrilled when we moved into our new home and saw that the master bedroom had a remote control for the ceiling fan. Now we can both get into bed without stubbing our toes.

However, we still need to solve the “movie night” dilemma, which is where these WiFi light bulbs come into play. These smart light bulbs can be controlled via smartphones, so you can turn the lights on/off or dim them.

Philips Hue Review

Philips Hue Starter Kit#1

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To use Philips Hue lights you must purchase the Hue Bridge, which connects up to 50 different lights, or a WiFi light switch. There are three types of lights to choose from that come in different shapes, sizes and models. You can control your lights via the Philips Hue app on any smart device.

The biggest downside with Philips Hue is that the bulbs only last 15,000 hours, which is better than traditional bulbs, but others in this article last longer. However, Philips Hue wireless light bulb is less expensive than competitors and there are models that change colors, which is why we’ve chosen it as our #1 pick.



  • Dimmable
  • Connect up to 50 lights to Hue Bridge
  • Create a lighting schedule
  • 80% less power than a traditional light bulb
  • Energy-efficient bulbs
  • Less waste: 1 Philips Hue bulb = 15 traditional light bulbs
  • Offers bulbs that change colors
  • Hue Bridge or smart light switch required
  • Does not work with traditional dimmers
  • Each bulb only lasts 15,000 hours (competitors have longer lifespans)


Insteon Review

Insteon Light Bulb#2

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Insteon offers a traditional A19 LED bulb and a larger PAR38 LED bulb for recessed lights. There are multiple ways to control your Insteon light bulbs. Insteon offers smart light switches, keypads and wireless mini remotes to turn your lights on/off, adjust brightness and set a schedule.

You can also use your smartphone and the Insteon hub to control your lights and create “scenes.” Scenes are preset settings for times of the day or events. So, if you like certain lights to come on at low brightness in the morning, you can set that as your morning scene.

Why isn’t Insteon our #1 pick? Philips Hue is less expensive and lets you change the color of the lighting. However, we still think Insteon is a great WiFi light bulb.



  • Dim from 1%-100%
  • Energy-efficient bulbs
  • Power-saving
  • Create scenes
  • Less waste: 1 Insteon LED bulb = 50 traditional light bulbs
  • Each LED bulb lasts up to 52,000 hours
  • Does not work with traditional dimmers (must use Insteon technology)
  • Insteon hub required


WeMo Review

WeMo Light#3

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WeMo offers four WiFi light bulbs, which can help you save on your electric bill. Through the WeMo app, you can dim your lights, turn them on/off and create a schedule. These LED bulbs emit less heat and consume 81% to 83% less energy than traditional light bulbs. The life expectancy for WeMo bulbs is 25,000 hours or 50,000 hours, depending on the bulb you choose.



  • Some bulbs have adjustable temperature ranges, so that you can change between warm and cool shades of white
  • Consume less energy
  • Each LED bulb lasts 25,000 or 50,000 hours
  • Create a lighting schedule
  • WeMo Link hub required
  • Does not work with traditional dimmers
  • Amazon says this has been discontinued, but it is still available on WeMo’s website


Read Our In-Depth WeMo Review

Wink Review

Wink HubView on Amazon

Wink is unique in that it doesn’t offer light bulbs. Instead, Wink offers a hub that works with many different brands of light bulbs. More specifically the Quick-Start Kit includes light bulbs from GE. Other brands that work with the Wink hub include Philips Hue, Osram and Cree.

You can schedule your lights to turn on/off or dim them via the smartphone app. Why didn’t Wink make our top three list? Because they don’t offer a light bulb of their own, we felt it didn’t make sense to have them in the top three.



  • Dimmable
  • 80% less power than a traditional light bulb
  • Each LED bulb lasts approximately 25,000 hours
  • Create a lighting schedule
  • Wink hub required
  • Does not work with traditional dimmers


Flux Review

Flux LightbulbView on Amazon

Flux is our pick for best smart light bulb with no hub required. This bulb is smartphone controlled with 16 million color options. The bulb can be scheduled to turn on and off at certain times. For example, the “Sunrise” mode turns the bulb on gradually to help you wake up. You can create other custom mode and scenes to your preferences as well. You can also sync the bulb up to your music so the color changes automatically.



  • No hub required
  • Dimmable
  • Create a lighting schedule
  • Each LED bulb lasts approximately 20,000 hours
  • Does not work with traditional dimmer


  • LED Bulb

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are the original glass bulbs. They’re cheap, but use a lot of energy and get hot. CFLs are the coil looking bulbs that came around in the ’90s that use less heat and last longer. However, LED is the future of lighting. Not only do they last up to a decade (or more) they use significantly less energy, reducing your energy bill. It might be a small investment up front, but it will save you money over time.

Video: Why You Need Smart Bulbs

Check out this three-minute video from CNET that shows a quick overview of how the various types of smart lights can work in your home.

There are many reasons smart bulbs make life easier. Below are a few of them.

  1. Creates less waste in our landfills because you aren’t going through bulbs as quickly.
  2. Use your smartphone as a control – no more getting up or out of bed to turn off the lights.
  3. Automation to make your home look like someone is there even when you’re away.
  4. Simplicity – no more arguing about who has to get up to turn off the lights.
  5. More upfront cost but less expensive in the long run because you’re buying fewer bulbs. (The average light bulb costs ~$3 and has a lifespan of ~1,000 hours. That adds up to $150 of light bulbs opposed to an LED smart bulb which burns for 50,000 hours and costs ~$25.)
  6. Save money on electric bill.

Don’t Forget To Research Smart Hubs

You may have noticed that some of these smart bulbs require hubs. You can read all about smart home hubs in our comparison article. We chose the best and even have a handy comparison table to make it easy for you to see their respective features.

Which bulbs do you use?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Rick Galbraith
November 17, 2019 4:54 am

I recently bought a package of two smart bulbs and one smart plug. The bulbs dim and adjust for color temp. The brand: Globe. They connect by wireless router, using the Globe app on your phone.

December 30, 2016 6:36 pm

It’s not listed on your review but I have HomeBrite and love them! They don’t change colors but don’t require any additional equipment, just plug and play and easy to control from my phone. And I LOVE that you can set the timer and dim them (couldn’t before with regular bulbs). It’s more of an investment but hey, they’ll last you awhile and then there’s that whole saving the planet factor too 🙂