What are they and what can you do with smart bulbs?
This home automation accessory is nothing more than a normal bulb to which the possibility of being handled through voice commands or from your own phone and, depending on the option you choose, it will have more or less functions that you can control:
- Turn off / on the light remotely.
- Vary the light intensity if you have this option.
- Modify the color if it is an RGB bulb, or failing that, the color temperature between warm and cold light.
- Program the on / off in a certain time range.
- Other conditional functions: these types of functions, which are mainly known by the IFTTT app or “If This Then That”, represent actions that trigger other actions. For example: we can program that, when our phone detects that we are approaching home, either by our location or because it automatically connects to the WiFi network, it sends a signal to the light bulbs so that they light up before you arrive home .
What should you consider before buying a smart bulb?
Of course, not all options have 100% of the possibilities that I just mentioned. Even, depending on where you live, there are features of these gadgets that may not be compatible in your region.
The main details to keep in mind Before buying one of these home automation accessories are:
- Thread type: Although it is a detail that we must always take into account before buying a new bulb, in the sector of intelligent luminaires it is equally important. Depending on your home, you may have some of these threads in your light sockets:
- Light output: Depending on the characteristics of the room or the environment we want to create, we must choose a luminaire with more or less light power, which is represented in watts (W) or lumens (lm). And, even if it seems obvious, the higher the number in W or lm, the more “light” the bulb will provide.
- Operation by voice commands: If we want to operate the luminaire through voice commands with Alexa, it is essential that in the box the compatibility with assistants is reflected. Look for it on the front or on the side.
- Need or not a connection bridge: Although most smart bulbs do not need it, there are models that require an external bridge to be managed. It is something that is usually reflected in the description of the item when you buy it but, if it is not specified, remember to check it before purchasing it.
- Opening angle: Although it is a “minor” fact, one of the problems we have with LED lighting is the angle of light opening, that is, the angle at which the light comes out of each bulb. The “normal” luminaires that we have in our homes are usually 120º, while the LED bulbs that are embedded in the ceiling of the rooms tend to have a more closed angle and, therefore, illuminate less surface than the rest of the bulbs.
The 5 best smart bulbs compatible with Alexa
Once you have explained everything you need to know about these types of gadgets for your home, it is time to see five of the best options you can buy on Amazon:
YEELIGHT Smart LED
The Xiaomi smart bulb It is one of the best options you can find by price. It is a 10W RGB bulb, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and, in addition, does not need any extra connection bridge.
Another option somewhat cheaper than the previous one is the TP-Link luminaire. An RGB bulb with a power of 800lm, compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa and, like the previous one, will work directly from your own app.
Osram Smart + LED
Of course, not all are colored lights between smart bulbs. Is Osram luminaire what it allows is the remote control for its off and on, as well as the control of the light power. But nothing of color or temperature change. It is true that compared to the other offers fewer options but, you should also keep in mind that you will need a connection bridge to use it, for example, the Philips HUE bridge itself or the one integrated into the Amazon Echo Plus.
TP-Link Filament Bulb
In a relatively short time, the filament luminaires and, of course, smart bulbs were going to add to the car. This option allows us to regulate the intensity, offering different intensities but always with the same warm white.
Echo Dot (3rd generation) + Philips Hue White
Finally, this option is not a “exclusive” light bulb but rather a pack. As I told you before, some smart light bulbs usually need a connection bridge to work. In this case, the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot itself acts as a HUB or bridge, so you can connect and control Philips Hue bulbs from it. So, if you want to start in home automation, this is a good starter pack.