Smart LED bulbs aren’t quite a commodity, but they are getting close to maturity as far as the market goes. Today’s bulbs are more compact, much brighter, have better color representation, and, for the most part, feature control apps that do more than ever and are easier to set up. Prices have also come down, with some no-name color-tunable bulbs now available for less than $10 each. (Buyer beware: You get what you pay for.)
lants are genetically programmed to grow using sun light, which we consider to be white light, or yellowish-white light. This light looks white because it contains all of the colors of a rainbow, and when these colors are all mixed together they look white.
A color spectrum is a graphical display of each of the colors in the light.
Scientists use wavelength numbers to refer to the colors instead of color names, which is a much more accurate way to measure the color. So a red might have a wavelength of 630 or 660. Both of these look red to us, but they are actually different colors.
Grow lights that use florescent bulbs, refer to the color of the bulb as cool white (has more blue), or warm white (has more red). That was useful for florescent lights, but such designations do not work well for LED lights. When it comes to LED it is more accurate to talk in terms of wavelengths and to display the actual color spectrum.
Best Color Changing Bulb with WiFi: LUMIMAN Smart WiFi Light BulbBuy on AmazonFor a color-changing LED bulb that is easy to use and provides a full spectrum of color options and capabilities, look no further than the LUMIMAN Smart WiFi Light Bulb. Conveniently, this smart bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa Echo, Google Home Assistant, and Echo Dot (no hub required). Simply by navigating the PlusMinus App or the LUMIMAN app on your smartphone, you can turn these WiFi-enabled bulbs on or off, regardless of whether you’re at home or not. You can also create your own lighting schedules and effects—choose from 16 million colors and brightness settings—and set different light modes according to the occasion, like for dinner parties or quiet nights at home. Each pack comes with two 7.5W bulbs. For your peace of mind, the LUMIMAN Smart Bulb also comes with a 24-month warranty.
Best Color Changing Bulb with Bluetooth: MagicLight Bluetooth Smart Light BulbBuy on AmazonIf you’re looking for a color-changing LED lightbulb that you can control via Bluetooth, the MagicLight Smart Light Bulb is a great choice.After a simple pairing process, you can control the light using the MagicLight app. Control a single bulb or a group of bulbs at the touch of a button. A color-changing LED lightbulb controlled by Bluetooth may be useful in areas where WiFi signal is weak—such as patios, basements, or other areas of the home that aren’t in range of the router. It is worth mentioning, though, that you’ll need to keep the Bluetooth active on your phone when controlling the lightbulb. This can produce a drain on the phone’s battery.With the MagicLight color-changing LED light bulb, you can pick from 16 million colors and take advantage of other handy features like a timer or Sunrise and Sunset modes. Users are happy with the performance of the bulb, and many find the Sunrise or Sunset modes to be the easiest way to create a perfect morning or evening lighting routine.
Best Budget Color Changing Bulb: LE Dimmable 16W LED Light Bulb with 16 ColorsBuy on AmazonYou can still get the fun effects of color-changing LED bulbs on a budget with this dimmable 16W bulb from LE.The LE color-changing bulb has 16 color choices available, including shades of the red, green and blue light spectrum. It also has a white light mode for more standard lighting needs. The 16W bulb is equivalent to a 40W incandescent bulb.These inexpensive colorful LED bulbs will mean giving up a few features and function that pricier color-changing bulbs offer. For instance, there is no Bluetooth or WiFi technology in the bulb, so you’ll need to use the included remote control to operate the lightbulb (or a connected wall switch). Additionally, you won’t be able to set a timer or sync to music. Still, for affordable, LED color lighting, these bulbs will do the trick without breaking the bank. The affordable price point also makes them a great choice for landscape lighting.
Best Color Option Bulb: Boomile LED Light Bulb with 120 Color OptionsBuy on AmazonFor a budget bulb that will offer you additional color options, check out the Boomile LED Light Bulb with 120 Color Options.This budget bulb is controlled via the included remote, and offers more color possibilities than other budget bulbs on the market. Choose from 120 colors on the color wheel, and save your top two favorites for easy access next time.This budget bulb costs just a little more than our top pick for budget bulb, but does offer a little more functionality and includes a timer function. It’s a great choice if you have more specific lighting needs that can’t be covered by the standard 16 color options included on most budget color-changing LED bulbs.
Best for Smart Homes: LIFX (A19) WiFi Smart LED Light BulbBuy on AmazonA smart home needs a smart lightbulb, and this color-changing LED version is designed to give your home the ultimate smart lighting experience. The LIFX Original bulb provides you with the full-spectrum of RGB colors and offers 16 million color possibilities.While there are a number of smart lightbulbs on the market, some require a hub or separate controller to integrate into your smart home. A big plus of the LIFX bulb is that its controlled only by WiFi. Simply install the lightbulb, connect to your WiFi system, and download the LIFX app to begin the color party. This is also superior to Bluetooth controlled smart lightbulbs, since bulbs connected via Bluetooth can only be controlled by the device they’re paired with.The LIFX color-changing LED bulb will allow you to set a variety of lighting programs, control the lights even when you’re away from home using the app, and use Amazon Alexa to issue voice commands to turn the lights on or off. One other neat integration is the ability to program your light to notify you when you receive a text message, email or social media mention. All of this functionality comes at a price, and the LIFX bulbs are a significant investment compared to the lower-priced and less-functional color-changing bulbs on the market. However, note that LIFX bulbs have a 22-year lifespan—making the initial cost fade over the many years of use you can expect to receive from these quality bulbs.
Best for Playing Music: Texsens LED Light Bulb with Integrated Bluetooth SpeakerBuy on AmazonIf you want an LED bulb that displays your favorite hues while playing your feel-good tunes, then the Texsens LED Light Bulb is a top choice.This 6W LED bulb will let you pick from 13 different color options (including white light), via the included remote control. By syncing the lightbulb to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, you can also play your music through the light’s built-in speaker. This is a fun idea for a party, since you can set the mood with custom lighting and music projected from the speaker. Users found the speaker to be sufficiently loud, and some commented on the slight bass that this speaker light seemed to produce.For a color-changing LED bulb, you won’t get the widest range of color options, but at an affordable price point, this two-for-one combination of mood lighting and music speaker is a great buy.
Best Mini: LIFX Mini (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light BulbBuy on AmazonWith the LIFX Mini Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, users have full lighting control via Wi-Fi—this bulb works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, so you can control it right from your phone. It’s also super-easy to set up: the LIFX screws in just like any other light bulb, and then all you have to do is download the app and connect to Wi-Fi. Choose from 16 million colors to get the exact color palette and lighting style that you want. You can control lights individually or as groups, set timers, and choose from dozens of customizable themes. Plus, the LIFX Mini is more efficient than most, since it has an output of 600 lumens with just 9W of energy use.