The best smart bulbs (2021): ambient lighting, kits, color and more

If you are like me, you spent your childhood dreaming of lights you could control applaud. The premise of the Clapper was great: you no longer have to get out of bed to flip the switch. Technology has come a long way since then. (Although you can buy the Clapper again!) Now you can control lights, set timers and schedules, and change colors with your smartphone or your voice if you have a smart assistant. No applause required.

Smart bulbs are a great place to start if you want to make your home a little smarter. Most of the options are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. There are also no cameras or door locks for anyone To hack and invade your privacy. I have tested and experienced them with a handful since early 2020, and these are my favorites.

If you want to take your smart home forward, consider smart speaker or smart display so that you can use your voice to control the bulbs. But you can still use the bulb app.

Update February 2021: We have a new top pick without a hub. We’ve also added the Nanoleaf Essentials Bulb to our Honorable Mentions section.

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