When times get dark, we need bright light to see our way out — and the brightest LED smart bulbs make it that much better. A high-lumen (unit for measuring the quantity of light) bulb can do the trick in a small or large room. Adding in some smarts to that bulb gives it the flexibility to control from your favorite smart speaker or phone. Whether you want a standard A19 E26 bulb or the BR30 for recessed lighting, there’s a bulb for you. The Feit Electric OM100 is our top pick for its incredibly high lumen rating and hubless smart controls, which means it only needs Wi-Fi and your phone to control.
Best Overall: Feit Electric OM100 – RGBW
While Feit Electric may not be the well-known smart bulbs, but it’s been innovating and creating high-quality lighting solutions since 1978 — and the OM100 RGBW bulb continues that trend. Since this bulb doesn’t require extra hardware such as a hub, this Wi-Fi-enabled smart LED bulb is simple to set up. It has a peak output of 1,600 lumens, making it the brightest LED smart bulbs on the list, equal to a traditional 100W incandescent bulb — that’s some serious light. You’ll get a tunable white with a color temperature range from 2700K soft white to 6500K daylight, along with millions of RGB colors to pick from.
Feit Electric not only created an ultra-bright LED bulb here, but it also made it so that integration with Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Assistant is a snap. The inclusion of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi means all you need is to connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you’re up and running. Feit Electric also has an app that is compatible with iOS and Android, so if you don’t have a smart speaker or prefer not to use voice commands, you have that option.
Within the app, you can set the brightness of your bulb(s) and tune the colors. There are also some scenes and schedules that you can configure to automate your lighting. This bulb’s connectivity features allow you to take full advantage of its very high brightness to illuminate your darkest spaces best.
- High 1600LM rating
- No hub required
- Google Assistant and Alexa integration
- The app can be finicky
- Brightest setting only applies to the white color tone
- Limited preset scenes in the app
Runner-up: Novostella 13W RGBCW
Novostella’s 13W standard smart bulb may have landed in second place due to its lower lumen count, but it still has plenty of great features. At 1300LM, it also has plenty of light to brighten up most spaces quite well.
It utilizes an RGBCW LED array to net you a tunable white color range from 2700K to 6500K while still garnering 16 million colors of fun as well. Using specific warm and cool white LEDs, Novostella’s bulb produces some of the most accurate white ranges of all the bulbs on this list.
Novostella included 2.4GHz Wi-Fi in terms of smarts so that you can use the bulb with an Android or iOS app without the need for separate hardware. Through the Smart Life app, you can group lights, control brightness and colors, set up schedules, and even use some preset scenes. Luckily, the bulb is also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and even IFTTT, so integrating it into your smart home is simple.
- Great brightness with 1300LM
- Accurate whites
- Works with multiple smart home platforms
- App lets you control lights
- The app is sometimes buggy
- Color accuracy could be better
- Some connectivity issues
Best Budget: Wyze Bulb Color
You may know Wyze for its low-cost Wi-Fi cameras, but the company also makes some pretty great smart LED bulbs too. Aside from being a good quality bulb, you can also get them at a great price.
Sticking with what Wyze does best, which according to the company, is to “make quality smart home technology accessible to everyone,” the Wyze Bulb Color provides a good level of brightness and smart features without breaking the bank. At 1100LM, this bulb is on the punches with the best of the other options on this list, but it comes with a white color range of 1800K to 6500K and 16 million colors to pick from. The bulb provides a good level of brightness for most rooms, and setting the color temperature is a great bonus.
Because these bulbs don’t require a hub, pairing the light up to your Wi-Fi and phone is a simple process, and once complete, you can control brightness, color temperature, as well as set up schedules. Wyze Bulb Color is also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa for added voice controls. Wyze also makes some smart sensors called Wyze Sense that can be used to extend the Wyze Bulb Color features further.
- Low cost of entry
- Tunable white colors
- Solid connectivity
- Can control through an app or with smart assistants
- Wyze Sense adds more features
- Not as bright as other options
Best BR30 Style: LIFX BR30 Multi Colored
When it comes to finding a recessed style smart light that is not only the brightest LED smart bulbs around but also has vibrant and rich colors, look no further than LIFX BR30 bulbs (the A19 standard bulbs are just as bright and vibrant). Bulbs from LIFX can be interwoven with your smart home without the need to add additional hardware to control the light. Since the bulbs are Wi-Fi enabled, connect them to your network using the LIFX app, and you’re ready to go.
The LIFX app is robust and full of preset scenes, effects, schedules, and more. For further controls, these bulbs are also compatible with popular smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings. These integrations allow for voice commands and creating more customized actions by linking to other services within your smart home setup.
The bulb is designed for floodlighting across surfaces, which is why it works wonderfully in recessed lighting fixtures built into ceilings and the like. Pumping out white color temps from warm 2500K to super-cool 9000K with up to 1100LM — these bulbs are bright. Aside from excellent brightness and an excellent range of whites, LIFX is known for some of the best color saturation with their bulbs. They also produce brilliant reds, blues, and greens to combine into millions of combinations to give you just the right vibe.
- Amazing color vibrancy
- Easy to connect with existing smart home
- Extensive range of whites
- Robust app
- Network connectivity can be inconsistent
- The app can seem a bit cluttered
Best Value BR30: TECKIN Smart Light
TECKIN makes a very bright BR30 bulb at 1100LM, just like the LIFX bulb, but at a much lower price. However, if that were the only difference, TECKIN would be sitting at the top of the BR30 list. This bulb deserves a spot on the list because of its high lumen output and wide range of connectivity options.
With over 16 million colors to choose from, you’ll be able to find the perfect shade to get the mood just right. While it offers the same broad spectrum of colors, the color brightness and saturation just don’t match the LIFX bulb. Nor does the range of whites coming in with a warm setting of 2700K and cool temp of 6500K.
TECKIN does include 2.4GHz Wi-Fi to connect to the Smart Life app, which allows you to control colors and brightness and set up some scheduling and scenes. Along with app control, you can also connect the bulb to your Alexa devices or Google Assistant-enabled speakers. IFTTT is another service that will work with TECKIN bulbs for some more smart home automation, but not Apple HomeKit.
- Great price
- Good brightness
- Easy setup
- Weak color saturation
- Falls off-network periodically
- Limited app functionality
Sengled gave this smart LED bulb the moniker Extra Bright for a good reason since it cranks out up to 1500LM of brightness. That number puts these bulbs at number two for overall brightness on this list. The biggest drawback of this bulb is the color, though — let me explain.
Sengled gave this bulb extra brightness but took away the ability to tune the color temperature. You are locked at 2700K, a softer and warmer light, which is fine in most situations. The upside is there is no question as to what setting the light needs to be to ensure you can take full advantage of the full 1500LM of brightness.
In terms of smart controls, you get all of the scenes and routines you can expect from a smart light when pairing with the Sengled Smart Hub. You can set up the Sengled bulb with hubs like SmartThings, Wink, and Zigbee-enabled Amazon Echo devices. You can also use voice controls for Alexa or Google Assistant, but a hub must be connected to the bulb. So if you are good with a bulb that offers fantastic brightness in only a single color, then this is the bulb for you.
- Fantastic brightness
- Even color temperature
- Multiple hub connectivity choices
- Only one color choice
- Single color temperature
Runner-up (Hub): Philips Hue
Philips is one of the most popular smart light brands, and for good reason. Its bulbs offer reliability, multiple form factors, and great connectivity. All of these come together to offer one of the best smart bulb experiences at 840LM. With so many of the smart LED lights out there offering 840LM, the experience must be top-notch — and with Philips Hue, it is.
Philips Hue has built a catalog of smart bulbs that consists of light bars, A19 standard bulbs, BR30 style, and many others that offer some of the best smart features. Using the Philips Hue Hub brings a wide range of preset scenes, color and brightness controls, as well as scheduling — also smart assistant integration. One of the best features that come with Philips Hue is the ability to set a Power-on Behavior. That lets you determine what happens when the power comes back on — like resume a previous state —when the bulb loses power.
At 800LM, Philips Hue isn’t the brightest bulb, but you won’t be straining to see either. Philips offers a tunable white, color ambiance, and a single-color bulb that all have a peak brightness of 840LM. If you stick with the single-color white bulb, then getting started isn’t too expensive. When you start adding colored bulbs and other form factors, the price can go up quickly. Also, the newer Philips Hue bulb offers Bluetooth controls so you can go hubless, just with fewer features.
- Fantastic connectivity
- Extensive smart features
- A lot of bulb options
- Some bulbs can be hubless
- Not as bright as other options
- Some of the bulbs can be expensive
What is a hub?
Hubs have both good and bad sides to them. On one hand, the hub is an extra piece of hardware to set up and manage. On the other, the hub creates a more solid connection to the devices it manages. Just as the name implies, the hub acts as a central place for all the bulbs to meet up. Using a hub also takes the strain off your Wi-Fi network but takes all of those bulbs and talks to them directly via a language such as Zigbee or Z-Wave.
If you want to go the hub route, whether because your Wi-Fi may be spotty or the features the hub can offer, the brightest one on the block is the Sengled Smart LED Extra Bright Soft White A19 Bulb. At 1500LM, this bulb has plenty of brightness to go around. It’s set to only one color and temperature, but 2700K is a good middle ground to be on.
Come to the light
Studies have shown that spending extended periods in the dark or low light areas can have adverse effects on a person’s mental and physical health. This doesn’t mean that your space has to be lit up like Time’s Square, but a good light source is a great start. Using a high lumen smart bulb is a fantastic way to give you a well-lit area and the ability to customize how the light can make you feel.
The easiest way to get started is with a bulb that doesn’t require a hub to control its smart features, and not only does the Feit Electric OM100 RGBW bulb offer just that — it’s also very, very bright. Coming in at 1600LM, it’s sure to illuminate almost any space you’re in — while at the same time offering a full range of whites and millions of other colors. Offering a simple setup using only your phone and your Wi-Fi allows for complete control of all of those darkness-killing lumens.
Regardless of which of these smart LED bulbs you decide to go with, know that all of these lights have the brightness to get your space from feeling dark and gloomy to bright and cheery in no time.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, Chris enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
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