Best Indoor Smart Light Bulbs: Philips Hue vs WEMO vs Wyze vs YeeLight

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Best For…
Most Options
White Bulbs
Color Bulbs
Yeelight logo
Switch/Plug (For Existing Bulbs)

The options to control your lights with the best smart light bulbs are endless. Make lights dim when starting a Netflix movie or add a festive vibe to your home for the holidays with colored or blinking lighting.

Smart lights are a convenient upgrade, a fun way to impress friends, and they can save energy costs while adding security benefits. Let’s find out how smart bulbs work and help you find the right lights for your home.

Note: This article focuses on indoor bulbs, but be sure to visit our outdoor smart bulb comparison as well.

Article Overview

What Are Smart Light Bulbs?

Holding phone with smart lighting app (caption: Smart Light Bulbs)Smart lights are bulbs that you can control with your smart home speaker (“Alexa, turn lights on”) or your smartphone using an app.

Smart bulbs are available in a few color options, including:

  • White
  • Filament (or Edison)
  • Colored

Lights can also be dimmable (sometimes referred to as ambiance lights) via the bulb itself or with a smart plug or switch.

The more features, the higher the price, with white being the most affordable option. Like standard light bulbs, they come in different shapes and screw sizes (e.g., candle and spotlight), so make sure you are getting the correct type for your lamp or ceiling light.

How Smart Light Systems Work

Smart lighting systems work together, usually on a mesh system, to communicate with your home’s WiFi network via a hub or through Bluetooth. Either way, you can set schedules or manually turn the lights off with only the lift of a finger on your smartphone or voice command on a smart speaker.

Some bulbs allow you to take it a step further by integrating with IFTTT (If This Then That), which allows you to create custom commands when triggered by an action. For instance, when you get a text message, you can set your lights to flicker, or with a weather alert, you can program the lights to change color.

Smart Plugs, Outlets & Switches

Smart plug in wall (caption: Smart Plugs, Outlets & Switches)In addition to the smart bulbs themselves (either working with or without a smart home hub), there are plugs and dimmers that you can use to control your existing lamps and lightbulbs without having to purchase new bulbs.

Like smart bulbs, you can use an app or smart home speaker to control the lights connected to these plugs or wall switches. We picked our favorites for each below, but you can learn more in our in-depth smart plugs and switches article where we review others.

Best Smart Light Bulbs For Indoor Use

Now that you have a better understanding of how smart bulbs work and what they can do, let’s discuss your options.

Most Options: Philips Hue Review

Philips Hue Starter KitView on Amazon

Philips is the industry leader when it comes to smart lights, making them our top pick overall. They offer the most variety and flexibility, including several sizes and options to choose from, including all the color types listed above. You can use Bluetooth or upgrade to add their Huge Bridge to add more features and connect up to 50 different lights. In addition to the hub, Phillips gives you additional upgrades, like adding remote controls and outdoor lights.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in dimmable, white, color, and Edison bulbs
  • Works with Bluetooth (hub not required)
  • Connect up to 10 lights (with Bluetooth) or 50 lights (with Hue Bridge)
  • Affordable and easy to set up
  • Control lights via the Philips Hue app, Google Assistant, or Alexa
  • Compatible with Apple HomeKit (Hue 2.0)
  • Can add on accessories and remote
  • Last 22 years and Energy Star Certified
 
  • Doesn’t work with traditional dimmers
  • Uses Zigbee technology, that could be outdated in the future

Pricing

Best White Smart Bulb: Wyze Review

Wyze Smart BulbView on Amazon

If you’re looking for an affordable option, Wyze is a decent starter bulb. You can adjust the white light temperature from warm to daylight, and it has a gentle fade, so it’s easier on the eyes when turning it on or off. You can group multiple bulbs, and it doesn’t require a hub. Wyze bulbs are 9.5 watts and come in a one, two, or four-pack.

Similar to the Phillips bulbs, the Wyze lights work with smart speakers for audio commands, and there’s a free app (Android | iOS) to manually control and set up schedules, group bulbs, and more.

Pros

Cons

  • No hub required
  • Dimmability and white color adjust
  • Affordable option
  • Create a lighting schedule, group lights, and automate (with additional Wyze Sense sold separately)
  •  Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFFTT
  • Only one bulb type option (a19)
  • Doesn’t work with dimmer switches
  • Some reports of it being glitchy

Pricing

Best Color Smart Bulb: YEELIGHT Review

YeeLight BulbView on Amazon

Our pick for the best color bulb is the YEELIGHT. It’s slightly more expensive than Wyze but has a color bulb option in addition to a white and dimmable white. The multi-colored bulb emits 800 lumens in 10 watts and claims it lasts up to 22 years. Through the iOS and Android app, you can control the light’s 16 million colors.

Another unique feature of this light is that it syncs the lights to music and changes with the song’s rhythm (to create a fun environment for holiday parties and special occasions). In addition to setting a schedule and grouping lights, you can use pre-set moods like date night or sunset. YEELIGHT bulbs also come in a one, two, or four-pack.

Pros

Cons

  • No hub required
  • Dimmable and multi-color to adjust brightness and temperature
  • Create a lighting schedule, group lights, and automate
  •  Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFFTT
  • Only comes in two bulb types (a19 and 1S)
  • Internationally based and reports of lack of customer support

Pricing

Best Smart Light Switch & Plug: WEMO ReviewWEMO Switch

View on Amazon

If you want a light switch to control your existing overhead lighting, this WEMO switch may work for you. Similar to the smart bulbs, you can manage it through their WEMO app and set schedules and timers with it.

The WEMO Mini plug is ideal for use when you want to control lamps. Download the WEMO app, plug it into the outlet, connect it to WiFi, and you can adjust your floor and table lights too.

Wemo MiniBoth WEMO products integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT. If you pair them with a voice-enabled, built-in device, you can control them with verbal commands. Use “away mode” to have the overhead lights or lamps turn on and off randomly when you’re away.

Our Personal Experience With WEMO

I use Wemo and have never had any glitches in the three-plus years I’ve used it. We have it synced with Google Home to do voice commands versus the app itself. The plug is a bit bulky, but we have it hidden behind a piece of furniture, so you can’t see it. — Sadie C., Safe Smart Living

Pros

Cons

  • No hub required
  • UL-certified
  • Away mode
  • Easy to set up
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Nest, and IFTTT
  • One-year warranty
  • The switch requires a neutral electrical wire
  • Not compatible with Microsoft Cortana

Price

Read Our In-Depth WEMO Review

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-like bulbs that hit the market in the ’90s. They use less heat and last longer than incandescents. However, LED is the future of lighting, and all smart home lights use this technology. They last up to a decade (or more) and use significantly less energy, reducing your energy bill. It may feel like an investment upfront, but it will save you money on electricity and new bulbs over time.

Video: Why Do I 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.

Reasons To Upgrade Your Bulbs

There are many reasons smart bulbs make life easier. Below are five reasons to make the “switch.”

  1. Eco-Friendliness – Reduce waste in our landfills because you aren’t replacing bulbs as frequently.
  2. Control & Customization – No more getting up to turn off the lights or arguing about who’s going to turn off the lamp. With smart bulbs, it’s as simple as opening and using the app on your mobile device.
  3. Security – Automate to make your home look like someone is home, even when you’re away.
  4. Energy Efficiency (Saves Money) – There’s more upfront cost, but it’s less expensive in the long run because your energy consumption goes down and so does the number of bulbs you are buying. (The average light bulb costs ~$3 and has a lifespan of ~1,000 hours. That adds up to $150 of light bulbs compared to an LED smart bulb that burns for 50,000 hours and costs ~$25.)
  5. Fun – Turn your home into a party with colored lights to entertain family and friends. This can be especially fun to change the colors to celebrate each holiday season.

Reasons to switch to smart bulbs

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re new to the smart light industry, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand all the ins and outs of how they work and the technology behind them. So here are some commons questions you may have and our answers to help, so you’re not left in the dark. Don’t see your question here? Hit us up in our comments section, and we’ll do our best to answer your question.

What Happens To The Lights If The Power Goes Out?

Just as with regular light bulbs, any disruption in electricity could impact your smart lights. Unless you have battery backup or a generator, there’s no way to have light without a power source. Once the power restores, the bulbs should be up and running again once they reconnect to your home’s internet or Bluetooth connection.

Do Smart Bulbs Require A Hub?

It depends on the bulbs. Some smart bulbs require a hub to operate, and others that use Bluetooth do not. A hub allows you to do advanced programming and can add more control over the lights when you’re not at home.

How To Set Up Smart Bulbs

Setting up your smart bulbs also varies by brand, but the process is relatively straightforward. Most bulbs will come with a step-by-step instruction guide that walks you through the process. It usually requires an internet connection and having a smartphone (with a compatible app).

Looking For A Smart Hub?

As we mentioned in the review, 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.

What are you looking for in your home’s lighting system?

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 Amazon.com 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.

Please Comment Below!

Comments (2)