The average light fixture can be pretty boring. Sometimes it has buttons, a toggle, or dimming features. Sometimes the wall plate comes in different colors.
However, when you add smart components to that ordinary, everyday light fixture, things get downright magical. Adding smart lighting to your home ensures that you never have to enter a dark space again. It can also guide guests up the driveway and out to the back deck. It may even scare off potential burglars and raccoons.
It’s also the gateway to everything else in the smart home. It can be integrated with audio, video, security, temperature controls, shading, and more. And these days, there are so many affordable ways to incorporate smart lighting into your home. Here are ten of our favorites.
1. Philips Hue Starter Kit - $69.99 on Amazon
This smart bulb package is one of the most popular because it’s affordable and it works really well. The kit comes with two bulbs, which wirelessly connect to the included Philips Hue Bridge. Once you master remote-controlled lighting, know that this system also supports Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT (“If This Then That”), Nest, and several other smart home platforms and products.
2. iDevices Switch - $48.99 on Amazon
When we tested a series of smart plugs, this one scored the best. That’s because it can smarten up any lamp or other device plugged into it, but adds in options for voice control through Amazon Alexa and Siri via Apple HomeKit. It's also the only smart plug with a side outlet and a built-in nightlight.
3. Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug - $34.99 on Amazon
The latest Belkin smart plug is the company’s smallest—and least expensive. It drops the price by dropping power monitoring features, but still delivers the ability to control lamps and other devices remotely. This one works with Amazon Alexa, but adds in a few extra connectivity options via Google Home, IFTTT, and Nest products.
4. TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb – $19.99 on Amazon
The least expensive smart bulb on our list doesn't need a hub; just connect it to your Wi-Fi for remote control, scheduling, and dimming possibilities. It's perfect for starting out with smart lighting, but also works with other electronic devices, thanks to support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice control.
5. Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit - $86 on Amazon
This highly rated system can make smart lighting a permanent fixture in your home. It features an in-wall dimmer that connects to the included Smart Bridge, which integrates with tons of other devices from Nest, Honeywell, Logitech, Sonos, and more. It also comes with a stand-alone remote, or you can use your smartphone to control lights from inside and outside of the home.
6. LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb - $59.99 on Amazon
There are plenty of smart light bulbs out there. However, the hook on this model is that it works without the need for a hub and can add a splash of color to almost any space. It even integrates with Nest, IFTTT, and SmartThings products, as well as Alexa for voice control.
7. TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch – $34.99 on Amazon
This is one of our favorite Wi-Fi light switches, because it's also one of the most affordable. Once installed in the wall, it allows you to flip lights on and off from any smartphone or tablet, both inside and outside the house. It also allows for set schedules and an away mode, or you can tie lighting into other products and voice commands via integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
8. Belkin Wemo Light Switch - $47.99 on Amazon
The last light switch on our list is a favorite because it works so well with others, thanks to support for Google Home and Amazon Alexa, as well as Nest and IFTTT. Just connect it to your Wi-Fi to tap into those features, as well as remote control, schedules, and options to randomly light up fixtures so it looks like someone is always home.
9. TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug - $29.99 on Amazon
Our budget smart outlet pick packs a lot into an inexpensive package. It can smarten up any lamp, allowing for remote control or scheduling, so that a bright room will be waiting at the end of every workday. This easy model also has energy monitoring features and can respond to voice commands when paired with Amazon Alexa and/or Google Home.
10. Philips Hue LightStrips Plus - $89.99 on Amazon
This product makes smart lighting more flexible—literally. It can shape, bend, and extend into any area, making it perfect for hallways, under cabinets, and anywhere else you want to squeeze it into. Even better, since it’s part of the Philips Hue family, it integrates with lots of other smart home devices, as long as it's paired with the above starter kit.