Smart products are not cheap per se, but there are some well-priced lightbulbs out there. We have a look at some of the cheapest products and determine if they’re worth it. From the get go we decided to ignore Bluetooth only lightbulbs. We did a write-up about them here, but we feel they don’t offer the true smart home experience.
TCP LED Connected – ★★★☆☆
These may be the cheapest smart lightbulbs you can get, however 6-months ago, TCP announced that they will remove internet connectivity and will discontinue support of the TCP app. The lightbulb’s communicate over a ZigBee protocol, but only connects to a nominally priced TCP specific gateway/hub.
Unless you’re really scrounging for cash, avoid this product. You may be able to set it up now, but a few months down the line the app may no longer work. You also get zero integration with Alexa, or other smart systems.
Philips Hue White – ★★★★☆ – Automation Haus Choice
While a single bulb may be a bit expensive, you can buy 2 for half the price, or 3 for even less. The bulbs operate on the ZigBee LightLink protocol and connect to a hub (another $10 gets you two bulbs). However the hub connects to the internet, can be accessed from anywhere, and linked to any number of smart services and other smart products, see our full review here.
You can also get away without a hub, using Philips specific light switches.
TP-Link Smart LED – ★★★★☆
TP-Link have continued to be different, and operate all their devices on Wi-Fi. This does make these bulbs the most expensive, but no hub is required to get any kind of control going, as the light connects directly to the internet through your home Wi-Fi.
Standard connection with Alexa devices is possible. You can read more about the range in our article here. A good option if you want to avoid buying a hub.
YeeLight WiFI Smart Lamp – ★★★★✯
Quite a bit cheaper than the TP-Link, this Wi-Fi lightbulb offers good competition to the current market. Having only been on offer for a few months, there are only 11 customer reviews, but none too worrying. Much like the TP-Link, the YeeLight doesn’t require a hub, and connects directly to the internet via your Wi-Fi. Control comes from a cellphone app and can be connected to IFTTT, although no Alexa integration is currently available.
GE Link Smart Bulb – ★★★✯☆
Last on our list, but not a bad product, GE’s offering comes in middle of the cost band. While still requiring a hub, you are not limited to the GE Link hub, but can work with other ZigBee alternatives such as the Wink or Wink Hub 2. You can read more about the GE products in our article here.
So you’ve got a bunch of options. As always make sure you know what you want out of a product before you buy it, checkout our buying guide for an indication of what to consider.