With reliable lights, comprehensive apps, and compatibility with virtually every smart home system and voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa, Philips Hue has established itself as the de facto choice for smart lighting. After a decade of upgrades and expansions, Philips Hue now offers bulbs in just about every size, shape, and style you could imagine. All these choices can overload buyers, which is why we've rounded up the best Philips Hue smart lights and bulbs.
Remember, Philips Hue bulbs typically require a Hue Bridge to use more advanced features like scenes and away-from-home control. However, if you're buying one bulb to test the waters, newer Hue lights can work via Bluetooth or Zigbee so that you don't have to immediately dive into the deep end with the $200 Starter Kit.ANDROIDPOLICE VIDEO OF THE DAYBest value
As the name implies, the Philips Hue Starter Kit is the way to go if you're ready to really invest in the Hue ecosystem. It includes a Hue Bridge and four lightbulbs to get one or three rooms up and running with the system. The Bridge may not seem like an important inclusion, but it's needed to unlock most of the Philips Hue features like grouping lights by room, away-from-home controls, automating your lights according to the time of day or your location, and the ability to sync your lights to some movies, music, and video games. It's also a $60 value that's essentially free in this kit after the price of four bulbs.
Make note of the 75W in the title here. Philips' older Starter hit uses 60W bulbs and is still being sold at $200, while the 75W is a 2021 refresh with brighter, more powerful bulbs and sells for $200 as well. So look for 75W to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Another way to save money is to select the "White ambiance" that only has a range of cool white (blue/white) to warm white (yellow/white), but we sincerely recommend opting for color bulbs over white for a wider array of uses, wider adaptability, and because they're fun.Buy This Product Philips Hue Starter Kit (75W)Shop at AmazonShop at WalmartShop at Best BuyEditors choice
Smart lights are great, but most don't even begin to match the brightness of traditional bulbs, particularly when you add color to the mix. Luckily, Philips Hue sells multiple brightnesses of its classic A19 "White and Color Ambiance" Smart Bulb. 60W bulbs are around 800 lumens and work for smaller rooms, 75W bulbs can reach 1100 lumens to light most rooms, and 100W bulbs will go up to 1600 lumens, though the 100W bulb only reaches top brightness when set to a white-tone light, not colors, which are dimmer. You also have the choice to opt for White Ambiance bulbs here, and if you're after the highest brightness for the best price, the 100W White is the way to go. Otherwise, the 75W Color is the best Philips Hue single bulb on the market and the best one for new adopters to buy and test before going all-in.
Buy This Product Philips Hue White and Color A19/E26 BulbShop at AmazonShop at Best Buy
The value of style is not lost on us here at Android Police. While functionality is obviously vital, a smart bulb has to go with your decor, and the A19 Filament Smart Bulb from Philips Hue provides a unique look for your smart home. The warm-to-cool lighting is a bit softer, and the filament bulb provides that chill, coffee shop vibe that adds more than your basic light bulb. On top of that, this is one of the many bulbs that can work strictly over Bluetooth if you're still deciding if Hue is for you.Buy This Product Philips Hue A19 Smart Edison Vintage LED BulbShop at AmazonShop at Best BuyPremium pick
When it comes to your smart home, why stop at bulbs? Illuminating your smart home doesn’t just have to be in lamps and fixtures, as Philips Hue provides a wide range of lightstrips that can add a fun, cool energy to your smart home. Whether you’ve got it behind your TV to spice up movie night or use it to create an accent wall for a fun party, the gradient light is a stellar option to add to any smart home. The only problem is the price. You can find Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled smart lightstrips for a fraction of the cost of Philips Hue's version, but you'll have to control those through another app. If you're in the Philips Hue ecosystem, its lightstrips — especially the ones capable of gradients, because they are absolutely mesmerizing — are seriously worth a look despite the sticker shock.Buy This Product Philips Hue Gradient LightstripShop at AmazonShop at Best Buy
While it’s fine to put most regular light bulbs outside, smart bulbs are a bit more fragile, so you definitely don’t want to leave them out in the rain unless they are made for it. Luckily for you, Philips Hue understands your need for outdoor smart lighting, which is why the PAR38 Outdoor Smart Bulb exists. This simple, all-white bulb is sturdy, reliable, and weatherproof, enduring temperatures from -4 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. For the lower end of that temperature range, a small reminder that keeping the light on will generate some heat, but that won't keep it alive during the most bitter arctic fronts. Additionally, brightness is quite impressive at 1,300 lumens, so you can use it to keep your outdoor areas as bright as possible. The bulb doesn’t come in multicolor options like many other lights, but for outdoor usage, you likely want to stick with the white light anyway for ultimate brightness.
This is also one of the lights where you need to use a Hue Bridge, and the light needs to be within range of it, so if you're looking for a carport bulb you could control from the house, you might want to check the distance. If your hub is inside your house, it has a range of about 80 feet. If you somehow have your Hue Bridge outside in some kind of weatherproof box, Philips Hue claims it has a range of 950 feet, but most of us won't need even half of that.Buy This Product Philips Hue PAR38 Outdoor Smart BulbShop at AmazonShop at Best Buy
If you're just starting your journey but decided Hue is your ecosystem, the Philips Hue Starter Kit provides the hardware and the value to take you from dumb house to smart home in a single purchase. However, if your smart home is already set up — or if you want to try one bulb for starters — the A19 White and Color Bulb or the Edison Vintage LED Bulb provide a bit more than your standard bulb while improving your set-up. The Gradient Lightstrip is a sizable investment — especially once you try to rig it under cabinets or across multiple walls and need to buy extensions — but it's hard to deny the class it brings to a room.
It's worth noting again that most Philips Hue bulbs work with or without a Hue Bridge. However, only ten bulbs can be set up with Bluetooth before you need a Bridge, and having the hub set up allows for a wide range of additional features, like dimming, automation, and scene selection. Suffice it to say, the Hue Bridge unlocks some of the features that make a smart home, well, smart, so it's worth the investment to get some of the best smart lights for Google Assistant.
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Conor Cawley is the Senior Writer for Tech.co and an avid defender of all things Android. His expertise in tech has been on display in Forbes and he has participated in events with SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly. He's also a stand-up comedian in Chicago who can't pronounce the word "colloquially." Twitter: @ConorCawleyMoreFrom Conor Cawley