The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit is the perfect smart light solution for your home. They allow for a wide range of brightness and color options and work seamlessly with Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and the Google Assistant.

Our Pick: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit

The best smart lights for most people

Amazon — $179

The Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit comes with everyone you need to get the basic Hue experience: A hub that plugs into your router and controls all the bulbs, and three white and color ambiance bulbs to get you started.

Who should buy these smart lights

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit is for anyone who wants to start a full-home smart lighting solution and experiment with everything Philips has to offer. The third generation part is key. That means the hub uses the secure Wi-Fi connections Apple demands for HomeKit, and that means you can use the new Home app to configure and manage Hue as part of your overall setup, and Siri to control it. It also means you don't have to worry about hackers breaking into your network through your lights. And that's super important.

Is it a good time to buy these lights?

Yes. These are the latest, greatest bulbs that give off better greens, cyans, and blues. The bulbs can emit white light, both simulated incandescent and sunlight, but are also full color so you can turn your room purple, make it look like dawn, or go full-on disco. You can also use Hue with Amazon's Echo and Alexa, if that's how you roll.

8 reasons to buy

  • Remote control with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
  • Create custom scenes for various lighting effects and moods.
  • Setup is fast and simple.
  • End-to-end encrypted connection.
  • Third-generation bulbs produce better cyans, greens, and blues.
  • Access and control your lights from anywhere in the world.
  • Two-year warranty in case anything fails.
  • Very well reviewed across the board.
  • Integrate your Hue lights into various scenes in your Apple Home app.
  • You can set up automations so that lights turn on when you arrive home or leave.

2 reasons not to buy

  • There are cheaper alternatives if you can't afford or don't need colors and other options right now.
  • There are alternatives if you have fixtures that can't take Hue bulbs.

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit is the best for most people

The PhilipsHue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit is a full-featured smart light starter kit that comes with three bulbs and can be controlled by any smart assistant you prefer, making it the best choice for any home, whether you and your family use iPhone, Android, or a combination of both.

The Hue app from the App Store or Apple's Home app make it easy to get started, and get everything set up. From there you can tap through the various defaults, turn things on and off, and adjust intensity. The real magic comes, though, with voice control.

Alternatives to the Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit

The Philips Hue LED Starter Kit is perfect if you really want to get into smart lights but you don't have a lot to spend, you can get the Hue hub and two white bulbs and save some money up front. You will lose the ability to do all the fun color stuff up front, but you'll get the same secure, expandable base to start with, and the ability to add additional bulbs — including Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs — as interest and cash allow.

Budget pick: Philips Hue LED Starter Kit

$70 from Amazon

If you want smart lights but you don't want to pay a lot for them — at least for now — then you want the Philips Hue LED Starter Kit.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting is great if you want the convenience of smart lighting, but you can't afford new bulbs, or have ceiling lights or fans that can't take Hue bulbs. For those lighting options, an alternative is Lutron's Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting kit: It supplies either plug-in options for table lights or wall dimmers to help connect your existing lighting options with HomeKit.

For retaining your existing bulbs: Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting

$162 from Amazon

Lutron Caseta smart lighting solves the problem of light fixtures that can't accept Hue bulbs. It also fixes a large issue with Hue bulbs: if you turn off the switch on a Hue bulb, it goes offline. Lutron Caseta smart lighting is a series of switches and meant to be flicked on and off like normal lights. You also get to use all of your existing light bulbs.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting is great if you want the convenience of smart lighting, but you can't afford new bulbs, or have ceiling lights or fans that can't take Hue bulbs. For those lighting options, an alternative is Lutron's Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting kit: It supplies either plug-in options for table lights or wall dimmers to help connect your existing lighting options with HomeKit.

A great Hue addition: Philips Hue Bloom

$60 from Amazon

Hue's Bloom is a stand-alone color light. It's not a bulb you screw into a socket but a full light you plug into an outlet. That means you can put it anywhere, including and especially shelves or counters that have things you want to accent. They also work with Echo and Alexa. You do need a Hue Hub for it to work, but if you already have one, you can add the blooms right in.

One more Hue thing: Philips Hue Bloom

$70 from Amazon

Behind your couch. Along a shelf. Around your TV cabinet. Inside your entry way. Hue's LightStrips let you sneak a little accent lighting in almost anywhere. Because it's multi-color and you can control it with Siri and Alexa using your existing Hue Hub, it's one of the most amazing ways to add vibrancy and dynamism to your home. From subtle and natural to full on neon, Hue LightStrips really let you take things to the next level.

Bottom line

For most people, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit is the perfect way to get into smart lighting, thanks to its inclusion the three bulbs, the Hue Hub, and some awesome color features, as well as total control using the smart assistant of your choosing.

The team that worked on this guide

Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for a decade. An outspoken analyst and critic, he writes at iMore.com/vector, podcasts at applepodcasts.com/vector, and you can find his show at youtube.com/vectorshow. Follow him @reneritchie on Twitter and Instagram.

Derek Kessler is Managing Editor for Mobile Nations, where he covers tech across the spectrum. He got his start a decade ago writing about Palm and hasn't stopped since. In his desk drawer you will find way too many phones. Derek also does a fair bit of technical work (including this fancy page); he's @derekakessler on Twitter, if you dare.

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.