If you want to transform your bedroom from a drab, personality-less rental into something like a rave cave, a couple of smart light bulbs can go a long way. Not only are they a fun way to revamp your living space, but from a more practical side, they’ll immerse you in the neon-lit, sci-fi movies of your wildest dreams.
Smart lighting will allow you to control it using either an app or voice command (if you have a virtual assistant device set up, that is). You’ll never have to flip a light switch again. If you’re chucking on a movie, you can dim your lights without leaving your couch. Throw in some multicolour bulbs and you can change the entire vibe of a room, or tone it to suit.
If you’re looking for a more economical choice when it comes to smart lighting, we’ve put together a small list of smart bulbs that’ll get the job done without leaving your bank account high and dry. There’s nothing over $60, with a few bulbs on sale too. This way, you can deck out your home with some slick LEDs that won’t cost you an arm and leg to wash your room in a sea of purple.
One thing you should do before committing to any of these lighting options is to ensure that you can actually plug them into your chosen fixture. Most bulbs come in two-socket styles — an E27/Edison screw or a B22/bayonet mount – so keep that in mind before running along to checkout.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
Nanoleaf Essentials Smart Bulb
Nanoleaf is pretty well known for its range of modular LED light panels, but much like the Philips Hue line, these premium smart lights come with a premium price tag. While these panels do look great, picking up one of Nanoleaf’s Shapes starter kits will set you back a few hundred dollars.
However, Nanoleaf also has its Essentials line, which includes a smart bulb and a light strip. The aim of the Essentials line was to combine the quality of Nanoleaf’s high-end smart lighting with more affordable prices – and the results are very impressive. You can check out Gizmodo Australia’s full review of the Essentials bulb here.
Like the other pieces of smart lighting on this list, you control your Nanoleaf via an app, which will allow you to set a schedule for your lighting, along with having the option to download new designs and lighting modes. The bulb uses over 16 million colours, so you’re bound to find something that suits your mood.
Where to buy Nanoleaf Essentials Smart Bulb
TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb
If you’re after a smart bulb with a wide variety of colour customisation, this is the bulb for you. This TP-Link Smart Bulb is available in a variety of multi-colour options that will provide more than enough aesthetic choices. Installing one of these is the first step to converting your living room into an old school speakeasy.
Where to buy TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Bulb
HaoDeng Wi-Fi LED Light Bulb (E27)
If you’re looking to upgrade to a smart lighting set-up, but are looking for one of the cheapest options available, these HaoDeng bulbs might be what you’re after. They come with all of the features you want with a smart bulb: you can schedule routines, customise colour settings, and you can sync them with your music.
It’s also controllable via an app and voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant. The only downside is that the HaoDeng bulbs aren’t as bright (500 lumens), and their colours aren’t as vibrant as the other smart bulbs listed here.
Where to buy HaoDeng Wi-Fi LED Light Bulb (E27)
meross Wi-Fi Smart Bulbs (B22 Bayonet)
Chuck your frosted light bulbs in the bin and instead, grab yourself these dimmable meross smart bulbs – a fantastic budget-friendly alternative the expensive Philips Hue range.
With one, you’ll be able to save 78.3% of electricity by running with this 9W LED bulb, since most regular bulbs sport a whopping 60 watts.
Where to buy meross 2-pack of smart bulbs
Xiaomi Mi LED Light Bulb
Xiaomi has done a really solid job with their Mi Smart Bulb. It comes with both white and colour options, a brightness of up to 950 lumens, with a lifespan of up to 25,000 hours. The colour range has 16 million options, and the white’s temperature is adjustable between 1,700K to 6,500K.
These bulbs connect directly with your Wi-Fi, so getting them set up and ready to go is fairly simple. Your customisable lighting options are a bit limited when compared to the more expensive competitor bulbs, but that’s not to say it totally lacks adjustability. You can pair it with your Google Assistant or Alexa, allowing you to live your best hands-free life.
Where to buy Xiaomi Mi LED Light Bulb
Yeelight W3 Colour LED Light Bulb (E27)
Yeelight’s W3 smart bulb is a good mid-range choice. You can adjust the brightness or colour choice by using a companion app, which also works with smart home devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Homekit. You’ll get a solid 15,000 hours of life out of a single bulb, shining at 900 lumens at 8W.
Yeelight’s app comes with eight preset colour modes, so you can easily slip into an appropriate brightness for something like a movie night. There’s even an option to sync the bulbs with your music, so you can turn your home office into a micro-club.
Where to buy Yeelight W3 Colour LED Light Bulb
LIFX A60 Smart Bulb
In terms of competitors, LIFX’s A60 smart bulbs are the ones that give Philips a run for their money. The A60 shines at a bright 1,000 lumens, has access to 550 billion different colour steps and can last up to 25,000 hours of use. It also has adjustable cool to warm whites. Controlling a group of lights via the LIFX app is pretty simple, and you can easily set up an automated routine.
You don’t need a bridge or hub to run these light bulbs – however, if you have a smart speaker on hand already, you’ll be able to pair it with the LIFX A60, allowing you to control it with your voice.