Guide To The Best Smart Bulbs For Your Home

Nov 15, 2021
By Staff writer

Finding the right smart light bulbs can easily upgrade your home! They offer not just convenience, but also long-term savings. Are you ready for a smart home upgrade?

Here are some great light bulb options to consider, available in NZ:

Smart Bulbs Price Wattage/Lumen Lifetime
Philips Hue Color Ambience from $89 10 W 25,000 hours
LIFX A19 from $89 11 W 25,000 hours
Nanoleaf Shapes from $229.99 (5-pack) 42 W 25,000 hours
Nanoleaf Essentials from $47 9 W 25,000 hours
Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED from $24.99 9 W 25,000 hours
Ring Solar Pathlight from $49.63 Up to 80 lumens Battery-operated
Lifx Mini from $26.99 9 W 200,000 hours

Philips Hue Color Ambience

Philips Hue is probably one of the most popular in the market when it comes to smart lighting. It offers natural tones, is quick to install, and the app is easy to navigate. It also has various smart lighting such as colours available in millions of shades, white bulbs, outdoor lighting, and more. You can use the smart lights with the help of Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.

Price: from $89


  • Wattage: 10W
  • Color: +16 million colors
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours


  • Easy to use
  • Different smart lights to suit your mood
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit


  • Hub is needed so you can access all features
  • Pricier compared to incadescent bulbs



Similar to Philips Hue, LIFX provides you with several light options, including colour and white bulbs, and lightstrips. Unlike other smart bulbs such as Philips Hue, LIFX bulbs don't require a hub to access all of the features since they connect directly to your Wi-Fi. The only downside is its odd style and bulky size. 

Price:  from $89


  • Wattage: 11W
  • Colour: 16 million colours
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours


  • No hub needed
  • Offers many colours and styles
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit


  • Bigger than other bulbs
  • Expensive compared to incandescent bulbs

Nanoleaf Shapes

With a collection of hexagonal and triangular panels, the Nanoleaf Shapes allow you to create a shape on your wall or ceiling which can change into over 16 million different colours. Moreover, the panels can glow solid colours or change from one colour to another at different speeds and create different lighting effects in your home.

You can also set the panels to respond to touch or the music playing in your home, making it perfect for parties or special occasions.

The set comes with nine panels of the same shape but you have the option to add more panels and different shapes. 

Price: from $229.99


  • Wattage: 42W
  • Colour: 16.7 million colours
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours


  • Easy to install
  • Illuminates wall art
  • Changeable colour and pulse that creates fun effects


  • Can be hard to remove once installed
  • Not easy on the eye when not in use

Nanoleaf Essentials

While Nanoleaf Shapes provide unique lighting effects to your home, they can be quite expensive. Fortunately, they have Nanoleaf Essentials which is a more affordable option. You can choose between the smart light bulb of the Nanoleaf Essentials lightstrip. They glow in different colours and have the Circadian Lighting feature which changes the bulb's colour temperature throughout the day to mimic the natural light.

It can support Thread, a smart home technology, and Bluetooth. However, if you’re using Alexa to control your smart home, this bulb isn’t for you as it only works with HomeKit and Google Assistant.

Price: from $47


  • Wattage: 9W
  • Colour: 16.7 million
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours


  • Affordable
  • Thread and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Mimics natural light with its circadian lighting feature


  • Doesn't have Alexa integration
  • Odd design

Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED

At an affordable price, Sengled is one of the best options for smart light bulbs, especially for those on a budget. It's easy to install and connects directly to your home network. There are also different options to choose from, including the soft white bulb, daylight bulb, and multicolour bulb.

The Sengled app is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, providing simple smart-bulb features such as timers, schedules, scenes, and more.

Price: from $24.99


  • Wattage: 9W
  • Lifetime: 25,000 hours


  • Easy to setup
  • Does not require a hub
  • Tracks energy consumption through the app


  • Does not have advanced automation features

Ring Solar Pathlight

If you need smart light bulbs that illuminate your walk from the driveway to your door, the Ring Solar Pathlight is your smart bulb. Ring is owned by Amazon, making it compatible with Alexa voice assistant. It's also compatible with Google Assistant and IFTTT.

The app has a lot of settings that you can configure, including the ability to toggle the lights and switch the motion detection to on or off. You can also tell the lights not to turn on when not necessary (e.g. when it's bright outside), and a slider so you can adjust the brightness to your liking.

Price: from $49.63


  • Lifetime: Battery-operated
  • Brightness: 80 lumens


  • Good design
  • Has built-in motion sensors
  • Various app settings
  • Can be connected to other Ring products


  • A bit expensive compared to other bulbs

Lifx Mini

For smaller fixtures, Lifx Mini is a good option. It's more compact than other smart bulbs and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. It has a good set of features and effects, including a strobe and a candle flicker.

It can sync up to your music to set the mood for your place. It connects directly to Wi-Fi, so a hub is not needed.

Price: from $26.99


  • Lifetime: 200,000 hours
  • Wattage: 9-11W
  • Brightness: 650-800 lumens


  • Advanced automation option
  • Does not require a hub


  • Pricier compared to other bulbs

Smart Light Bulb Buyer’s Guide

If you’re planning to switch to smart bulbs, get an idea of where you plan to put it, how it will illuminate the space, and how many bulbs you will need. You will also need to consider the fact the most smart lights are more expensive than the traditional ones, but some are still affordable and within your budget.

Other things to consider:

  • Check if the itting the smart light bulb is compatible with your current bulb
  • Decide whether you want a smart light bulb that glows one static share or one that offers different tones and colours

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