When it comes to smart lights, Philips Hue is a name that you see and hear everywhere because they're some of the coolest on the market and arguably the most popular. However, they can be quite expensive, especially once you get into colored bulbs. If you're looking for a less expensive alternative then check out these other awesome options.

Lowest cost per bulb: Cree A19 Connected LED Bulb

The daylight (5000K) dimmable Cree LED bulb is compatible with multiple platforms, including Amazon Echo, Wink, WeMo, and more. After setting up with a compatible hub ($40 sold separately), you can schedule your Cree bulbs to turn on and off at any specific time, adjust brightness, or even customize them to work while you're away from home as an extra security measure. Each Cree bulb is only 11.5 watts and is available for about $15 — not bad for its 22-year lifespan.

$15 at Amazon

Tons of colors: Sylvania SMART+ A19 Color Bulb

Lightify comes in RGBW, tuneable white, and soft white, so you have your choice of light temperature to best suit your room. Just download the Lightify app, and you're on your way. These bulbs fit into standard sockets, and you can adjust color temperature in the RGBW and tuneable white bulbs to best fit your mood or needs (soft white when it's time to chill, daylight to help you stay awake). This bulb will work with any ZigBee hub such as SmartThings, Wink, or Amazon Echo Plus.

$29 at Amazon

No Wi-Fi needed: Flux Bluetooth LED strip

Flux makes smart lights that are color-changing and work via Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi like the other bulbs on this list, which means you won't be able to control them with you're not at home. That being said, you can still schedule actions, like having the bulbs turn on when you're away from home or to wake you up in the morning. This Flux LED strip features over 16 million colors, which you control directly from the Flux app. You can control the mode (strobe, shifting colors, etc.), and these will even sync with music on your phone to add some extra atmosphere to your dance party.

$50 at Amazon

Remote controlled: IKEA TRÅDFRI

Believe it or not, IKEA has some pretty rad smart bulbs that are inexpensive and work well. They have a brightness equal to roughly a 70-watt incandescent bulb and are dimmable using the Tradfri remote. In fact, you can control up to 10 bulbs, panels, or light doors, which are all dimmable as well without any hub. You can also switch from warmer-colored light to cooler hues depending on your mood and the time of day.

$19 at IKEA

No hub required: Yeelight

Yeelight's dimmable 60W equivalent smart bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, features 16 million colors, and best of all, requires no hub. The Yeelight app is available for both iOS and Android, and you can set schedules, countdowns, and groups all from the app itself!

$30 at Amazon

Great value starter kit: C by GE starter kit

The C voice-controlled A19 bulbs from GE may not have all the bells and whistles of the high-end Philips Hue, but its starter kit is extremely affordable, offering anyone interested in trying out smart bulbs a chance to see what they're all about. The starter kit is certified to work with Alexa and comes with two tunable white C-Life bulbs and the C-Reach Smart Bridge hub.

$25 at Amazon

Smart lights are extremely useful, 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 Philips Hue may reign supreme as the popular high-end choice, low-cost alternatives like the Sylvania SMART+ A19 Color Bulb give you a lot of what Philips Hue can offer you at a much more affordable price point. Plus, its a great stepping stone for people looking into getting more smart-home automation!

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