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10 smart light bulbs that work with Amazon Echo and its virtual assistant, Alexa

Michael Brown | Sept. 19, 2016
Here’s how an Amazon Echo, Tap, or Echo Dot can light up your smart home.

LIFX White: LIFX’s distinctive-looking bulbs are available in tunable white and tunable color, and in two form factors: A19 and BR30 for use in ceiling cans (the BR stands for bulged reflector). These bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi router and therefore don’t require a bridge or gateway. Lifx’s earlier dimmable A21 bulb impressed us with its brightness (up to 1000 lumens). We’ll have a review of the company’s newer bulbs soon.

LIFX Color: LIFX also offers color bulbs in both A19 and BR30 form factors. Like its white smart bulbs, these LEDs are outfitted with Wi-Fi adapters so and can connect directly with Alexa by way of your Wi-Fi router.

Osram Lightify: Osram, a 70-year-old German lighting company, spun off its LED lighting business as Ledvance earlier this year. As with Philips’ bulbs, Ledvance’s Lightify bulbs have embedded ZigBee radios and need a gateway to connect with Alexa. We reviewed the company’s Lightify Tunable White LED bulb last year, and we’ll have reviews of the company’s latest white and color LED bulbs soon.

Philips Hue: This is arguably the most well-known smart bulb lineup on the market. It’s available in color and white LED models, as well as in light-strip form. Being equipped with ZigBee radios, Philips’ bulbs require a bridge that must be hardwired to your router to connect with Alexa and your smartphone.

Hue bulbs are available in a variety of other form factors as well, including BR30 and A19 (white only). You’ll find our review of the first-generation Hue color lights here. We’ll have a review of Philips’ second-generation bulbs soon.

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus: Light bulbs aren’t the only way to illuminate a room. LEDs mounted to flexible strips are an easy way to add colorful accent light to a room, pathway lighting to a hallway, or to quickly add under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. You can even cut them to whatever length you need.

We compared the Philips product to Osram’s partnership with Belkin’s WeMo Switch earlier this year and found the products comparable, but the Osram/WeMo hookup has since ended. The Osram Lightify Flex product line is still on the market.

Stack Lighting BR30 Downlight Kit These light bulbs have built-in motion sensors that can turn the lights off when no one is in the room. A second sensor adjust the bulb’s color temperature to match the time of day to match your circadian rhythm, which the company says will help you sleep better and wake up more alert. They require a hub in order to communicate with Alexa. The company is also working on bulb that’s closer in appearance to an A19.

 

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