Like cell phones, watches, and thermostats, light bulbs have grown exponentially smarter in recent years. You can now replace your standard incandescent bulbs with a variety of connected lighting solutions that you can control with just a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. But with so many options flooding the market, which one is right for you? We've rounded up our seven highest-rated smart bulb systems to help you decide.
Smart bulbs use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a variety of technologies to work, so they are more expensive than traditional bulbs. But they also use less energy and last a lot longer—meaning you can save money in the long run. Plus, they offer a degree of control and interactivity you just can't get with traditional bulbs.
Aside from keeping you out of the dark, some of the bulbs below can be scheduled or controlled remotely, which is a boon if you often forget to turn off the lights before leaving the house. Others work with the GPS in your smartphone, and can turn the lights back on as soon as you pull into the driveway. And some feature an array of potential colors that can be used for mood lighting, or even .
In addition to deciding on the features you want, there are a few other factors to keep in mind. For instance, most smart bulbs connect to your smartphone through a separate bridge or, like the popular Philips Hue family. Other bulbs cut out the middle man and connect to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi, like the LIFX models. And some connect with Bluetooth, though we have to yet review any that make the cut for this list, since Bluetooth range is significantly more limited than Wi-Fi.