Back when times were simpler, i.e. the ‘90s, my absolute favorite Disney Channel Original Movie was Smart House — a sci-fi comedy about a teen who wins a fully automated dream house.
Sure, the crux of the movie is that the house’s computer system eventually holds the family hostage, but everything aside from that drama (namely, the smart home’s technology) was incredible. We’re talking about a self-cleaning, self-monitoring, augmented reality-esque palace that basically proved how awesome the Internet of Things can truly be.
If you want a smart house of your own, look no further than smart light bulbs. These small technological powerhouses can take your home lighting system from drab to fab with a few swipes of your smartwatch’s screen. Here are some of our favorites!
- Price: $199.95 for starter kit
- App: Philips Hue (Apple Watch), Hue Control (Android Wear), Huebble (Pebble)
Basic smart light bulbs can switch on and off through your smartphone. The Philips Hue series takes everything to the next level by providing features like comfort dimming, light schedules, and even the ability to sync with music — so you can pretend you’ve opened up your own super exclusive dance club that plays “Don’t Stop Believing” on repeat because, really, that’s the only song anyone ever needs.
Spring for the white and color 9W B22 starter kit to get all the bells and whistles in the Hue line, and then take the midnight train goin’ anywhere.
- Price: $39.99 (white), $59.99 (color)
- App: Lifx (Apple Watch, Android Wear)
Lifx is a WiFi-enabled, multicolored LED smart bulb that is designed to last over 22 years. It’s compatible with devices like Nest, and it’s designed to help you personalize your home with millions of potential colors to suit your mood. Lifx is especially awesome because it allows you to wake up naturally with increasing light. Instead of fumbling around in the bleak morning light to shut off your alarm, you can wake up feeling peaceful and well rested in a happily lit room.
Flux Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb
- Price: $34
- App: Flux Bluetooth (Apple Watch, Android Wear)
The Flux smart light bulb is simple to use: screw in the bulb, download the app, and start plowing through all 16 million colors in the bulb’s color palette. Tired of coming home to a dark house and feeling that stark reminder of existential emptiness? Set your Flux to illuminate your house before you walk through the front door. You can also set custom color transitions and music sync, and this bulb lasts a commendable 20,000 hours.
- Price: $39.95 (bulb), $99.95 (lamp)
- App: Elgato Avea (Apple Watch)
Billed as a “dynamic mood light,” Elgato’s Avea series offers LED lighting that can be set to mirror your chosen “light mood.” With names like “Caribbean Sea” and “Candy Land,” Avea’s settings are designed to elevate your mood to a place far, far away. We love the Avea Flare, a free-standing, battery-powered lamp, because it’s water resistant — so you can take that mood lighting basically anywhere.
WeMo LED Lighting
- Price: $99.99 for starter set (on sale at time of writing for $49.99 — you’re welcome)
- App: QuickSwitch for Belkin WeMo (Apple Watch)
Belkin’s WeMo LED lighting series makes it easy to dim your lights and switch them on and off — even when you’re not connected to your home’s WiFi. Set lighting schedules, dim the lights to match your mood, and take a page out of Home Alone by using your smart light bulbs to make it look like someone’s home … even while you’re on vacation. Keep in mind that the WeMo app is not compatible with Apple Watch — the QuickSwitch app we’ve recommended here is a well-loved third-party app, so your results may vary.
Did we miss your favorite smart light bulbs? Tell us about it in the comments!