Lighting is probably one of the most common ways in which people start their home automation journey. With many products such as Philips Hue and Sylvania Lightify offering well-priced products with intuitive interfaces, it’s no wonder. But many of them aren’t HomeKit compatible, which makes them less easy to integrate into the Apple ecosystem. To help find the right product for you, we’ve compile this list of best Apple HomeKit lightbulbs.
When trying to identify if a product just works on Apple products or is actually certified for HomeKit, look out for the “Works with Apple HomeKit” logo displayed on the packaging.
Philips were one of the first companies to the market with a viable product, and they’ve maintained that lead ever since, releasing an ever wider selection of products. Their Hue products are well regarded and just work. All Hue products need a hub (or bridge) to connect to and each hub can manage 50 units.
You can purchase a variety of kits which included a hub and several lightbulbs, and from there just expand with different products as you wish. The devices can be controlled through scenes or directly from you HomeKit device, or else make use of Philips’ app. Compatible dimmer switches are also purchasable as are motion sensors, although not HomeKit certified.
You can get white bulbs, round bulbs, many bulbs, color bulbs, lighstrips, kits and more, all from Philips. You’ll get the most out of their products if you combine the use of the products in HomeKit, with more specialized features of the Hue app. Unfortunately there’s not much Philips can do about that, limitations are due to Apple’s minimal functionality.
Your house is already full of functioning lightbulbs, so why replace the entire thing when you can just replace the socket. The iDevices socket is designed to be an in-between module, screwing in to your normal lightbulb socket, and then having your original lightbulb screw into it. In practice it works quite well, but there are many scenarios where this won’t work, especially when limited space is available.
It works great for night stand lamps, is obviously HomeKit compatible and thus Siri controllable which is perhaps it’s redeeming feature. It can handle any kind of lightbulb, as long as it has an Edison style socket, and also comes recommended for Christmas decorations.
The product connects directly to WiFi, not requiring a hub, but is pricey. For most applications we feel that just buying a smart lightbulb is the more appropriate choice.
Nanoleaf’s Smart Ivy LED lightbulbs are the world’s most efficient smart bulbs. They are confusing to behold, and manage light dispersion in a different way to most other brands. Lightbulbs connect to a central Nanoleaf smart hub, which is jet black, 12-sided and with a glowing edge.
The bulbs make use of multiple LEDs pointing in different directions to distribute the light, but many people won’t appreciate the modern design, preferring a more conventional lightbulb. For those who appreciate the finer things in life, they will be rewarded with two 60W equivalent light bulbs, a hub and 3 year warranty.
If you like the design, get it. If not, you have other options.
Another smart socket, Koogeek’s smart socket suffers from the same basic problems as the iDevices. Virtually identical products in practice, it does have power consumption monitoring, accessible through the Koogeek app along with several other features. The main reason to choose this over the iDevices product is the 30% cheaper price tag.
Automation Haus Verdict
We’re sure it’ll come as no surprise that we’ve selected the Philips Hue range as our top product in the lighting department. HomeKit approved products are few and far between, and with Hue’s massive range of products, support for not only HomeKit, but iOS, Wink, Alexa and Android devices too, it’s the obvious solution. Bulbs are also easy to come by, and work well.
A number of manufacturers also sell smart light switches, meaning you can use whatever bulbs you want, but there are so many lightbulbs available, that we decided to cover switches at a later stage. If you want to see the full list of items we’ve covered so far, check out our HomeKit tag, and follow us (see the sidebar) to stay up to date. Last time we covered security cameras, and we’ll be investigating garage door controllers next.