Philips Hue is a name you see and hear almost everywhere, making it the go-to option for most when it comes to smart lights. However, Philips Hue lights can be pretty expensive, especially once you get into colored bulbs, and they require a separate hub, which only adds to the cost. If you're looking for smart lighting that won't break the bank, these are the best cheap alternatives to Philips Hue color bulbs.
Mini but mighty
The LIFX Color A19 smart bulb produces up to 800 lumens of vibrant colors and shades of white, all without the need for an additional hub. The LIFX bulb connects to your existing Wi-Fi network so you can be up and running in minutes, and it supports all of the major smart voice assistants — Alexa, Google, and Siri via HomeKit.
This color smart light bulb from meross is one of the best values around at just $8. The meross light bulb can output up to 810 lumens of bright light and uses just 9 watts of power. Wi-Fi connectivity allows this bulb to work hub-free with smart home assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for convenient voice controls.
Thready for the future
Nanoleaf's Essentials A19 is the only smart bulb supporting the latest wireless connectivity standard — Thread. With Thread, you can enjoy millions of colors and ultra-fast response times if you have a Border Router like a HomePod mini in your home. If you don't already have a Thread network, you can still use this versatile bulb over Bluetooth.
Ceiling the deal
MoKo's Smart LED Candelabra Light Bulb is an affordable alternative to one of the hardest-to-find light bulb types around. This 5-watt bulb can produce up to 400 lumens of light, along with up to 16 million colors, and of course, its compact size is perfect for use in ceiling fans and chandeliers.
There are not many GU10 smart color bulbs around, much less at an affordable price, but this four-pack from Avatar is just that. This low-cost option packs in the essentials: millions of colors, dimming, and smart home controls through the AvatarControls app.
The Feit Electric BR30 Smart LED Light Bulb is one heck of a bargain, coming in at a fraction of the cost of a Philips Hue equivalent. Despite its low price, this bulb still provides millions of colors, along with 650 lumens of brightness. The only downside? Feit's bulb only supports Alexa and the Google Assistant, leaving HomeKit left out.
Cost effective color with the best cheap alternatives to Philips Hue color bulbs
The best smart light bulbs are incredibly-convenient to have around. Smart bulbs can save you money on your electricity bill and offer you more control over how much light and what type of light you want in your home. While Hue may reign supreme as the popular high-end choice, the best cheap alternatives to Philips Hue color bulbs can give you a lot of what the brand offers at a much more affordable price point.
The LIFX Color A19 gets our top choice for the best cheap alternative to Philips Hue color bulbs thanks to its ability to produce millions of vibrant colors and 810 lumens of bright light. The LIFX bulb also works with the most popular smart home platforms — Alexa, Google, and HomeKit, and is available at a reasonable price.
If you just want the basics and don't need HomeKit support, the meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb with Color gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Even with a low price, this affordable bulb still gives you access to smart controls, millions of colors, dimming, scheduling, and more — all without a separate hub.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.