Best Smart Lights for Your Home in 2022

Philips Hue 2nd Generation Bridge being held in a hand
Philips Hue 2nd Generation Bridge being held in a hand (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (opens in new tab) 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.

Who should buy these smart lights

Why you can trust iMore Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting (opens in new tab) 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.

Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting (opens in new tab) 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.

Bottom line

For most people, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (opens in new tab) 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.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.