12.5 C
New York
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Home News These are the best smart LED light bulbs that work with Google...

These are the best smart LED light bulbs that work with Google Home

Not only are LED smart bulbs more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, but you’ll feel like Tony Stark walking through your home controlling the lighting with just your voice. Google Home is one of the tentpole home assistant platforms, so of course, there are a plethora of smart bulb brands eager to get that “works with Google” badge. The question you need to ask yourself as a consumer is how many bulbs you need for your home and how much are you willing to spend?

Full-feature smart lights

To experience the best that smart LED lights can offer, you’ll want to start with ones that are entirely customizable with the full spectrum of colors available. Because these bulbs are way more expensive than any light bulb you’ve probably bought in your life — and often require a dedicated smart hub to relay between the bulbs and your home network — you’re going to want to choose a brand that can satisfy all your smart lighting needs or piece together your house plan with bulbs that don’t need a hub.

Light your home with color

Philips Hue Color Smart Bulb Starter Kit (4-pack w/ Hub)

Staff pick

philips-hue-4-pack-press-se.jpg?itok=9_N

Philips is the leading manufacturers of wireless LED smart bulbs and for good reason. Philips Hue bulbs are so easy to set up and work like magic with custom voice controls. A good starting point is the 4-pack of multi-color bulbs that come with the necessary Philips Hue Bridge for connecting all your bulbs. Once you get the Bridge set up it acts as a hub for connecting more Philips Hue products and converting your whole home to smart lights.

$199 at Amazon

No hub required

LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb (4-pack)

lifx-color-1000-render.png?itok=nGjJBKqH

LIFX now offers its third generation of fully functional smart bulbs that are available in A19 and BR30 bulb styles for indoor and outdoor usage. Each bulb offers up to 1100 lumens of brightness, with the ability to customize your spaces with 16 million colors and 1000 shades of warm to cool whites. No additional hardware is required to get things set up with Google Assistant as each bulb connects directly to your Wi-Fi network.

$196 at Amazon

Budget bulbs that require a hub

Sengled Element Classic Smart LED bulbs (2-pack w/Hub)

sengled-smart-bulbs-press.jpg?itok=ORdDT

Sengled offers the best value for budget-conscious consumers looking to invest in smart bulbs — but you’re still going to need a dedicated hub. The good news is that once you have that hub, you’re able to add up to 64 bulbs to your network, and Sengled has the best prices for buying bulbs in bulk.

$59 at Amazon

Smart bulbs from China

Yeelight Smart LED Bulbs (four-pack)

xiaomi-color-led-four-pack-press.jpg?ito

Xiaomi is a massive Chinese brand that offers smart bulbs that don’t require a hub to work with Google Home. The multi-color bulbs offer 800 lumens of brightness and can be synced to music or set in sync with your morning alarms. Xiaomi’s bulbs are sold in four- or eight-pack bundles or individually. Dimmable white bulbs are also available.

$100 at Amazon

Geek chic lighting

Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition Smarter Kit

nanoleaf-aurora-rhythm-render.jpg?itok=t

Do the Nanoleaf light panels fit the description of a smart bulb? That’s up for debate, but no doubt, these are the coolest smart lighting kit you can control with Google Assistant. This kit includes the Rhythm Module and nine panels so you can mount a customized light fixture on the wall of any room in your home that will dance along with pulsing color to the ambiance of the room.

$220 at Amazon

LED magic

Minger Govee WiFi LED Strip Lights

govee-strip-lights-5m-waterproof.jpg?ito

These 16ft LED light strips are amazingly cheap and easy to install anywhere in your home. Each strip includes a dedicated on/off switch that also lets you change colors without your phone or smart speaker, but you’ll use the Govee Home app. There’s lots of customization available, and you can link your Govee account to Google Home to control it all with your voice.

From $30 at Amazon

Dimmable white smart bulbs

Let’s be real, not every smart bulb in your home needs to cycle through 16 million different colors; they just need to be dimmable and react to your voice commands. You can save some money buying white LED smart bulbs for the more mundane areas of your house like hallways and bathrooms and save the fancier color bulbs for the areas you entertain your guests. There are dimmable white smart bulbs available for each smart hub ecosystem along with many options that only require a Wi-Fi connection.

Ease into the Hue ecosystem

Philips Hue White Smart Bulb 4-Pack

philips-hue-4-pack-bulbs-cropped-press.j

As long as you already own a Philips Hue Bridge, you can start adding smart bulbs to any room in your house. With this four-pack of dimmable white bulbs, you’re able to schedule and automate your lighting to fit your daily needs or make it appear that your home is lived-in while you’re out by scheduling lights in different rooms to turn on and off throughout the evening.

$50 at Amazon

Mini bulbs for lamps and light fixtures

LIFX Mini A19 Smart LED Bulb

lifx-mini-smart-bulb-press-cropped.jpg?i

LIFX bulbs don’t require a hub, just a solid connection to the Wi-Fi network. This bulb is comparable to a 60W bulb and is perfect for smaller lamps or lighting fixtures. The white variation offers the best value for your money, but there are mini color bulbs or day & dusk bulbs that will change the color and warmth of the lighting based on the time of day. These are sold individually and are perfect for lamps on bedside tables.

From $15 at Amazon

Buy’em in bulk

Sengled Element Classic Smart LED bulbs (8-pack)

sengled-smart-led-bulbs-8-pack-press.jpg

If you’ve already got a Sengled hub — or even a SmartThings or Wink hub — you can add eight bulbs to your network for the best price per bulb that you will find. That’s a heck of a deal and a great option if you desire to replace every bulb in your home with a voice-controlled smart bulb without spending hundreds of dollars.

$74 at Amazon

For that retro Edison look

SEALIGHT Smart Bulb Glass Vintage LED Bulb (2-pack)

sealight-edison-bulbs-press.jpg?itok=vC3

Check out this two-pack of SEALIGHT bulbs for the retro look of an incandescent bulb with all the convenience of a connected smart bulb. The per-bulb price is pretty good, and no hub is required. These are standard A19 bulbs that are controllable through your phone or with Google Assistant are easy to dim and can be set on scheduled timers.

$30 at Amazon

Best Wi-Fi bulbs on a budget

TP-Link Kasa LED Bulbs (3-pack)

tp-link-led-bulbs-press.jpg?itok=_ZGWrRQ

For those of you fine with standard white, dimmable smart bulbs, and don’t want to spend a fortune, TP-Link’s Kasa bulbs are a good pick that offers the added benefit of no hub — just a solid connection to your home’s Wi-Fi network is required. The starter kit, which includes three bulbs is a good starting point and connects easily with the Google Home app.

$60 at Amazon

Anker’s smart home brand

Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb (2-pack)

eufy-smart-bulbs-press.jpg?itok=6OLYqRS-

Last but not least, Eufy also offers a selection of smart bulbs that include soft white bulbs, tunable white bulbs that are capable of mimicking daylight, and a multi-color bulb that can groove along with your music. All bulbs include built-in Wi-Fi to get around needing a hub and can be easily added to your connected devices in the Google Home app.

$33 at Amazon

Don’t be afraid to mix and match

The best part about having so many smart lighting options available that all work with Google Home is that you can have a hub set up and some individual Wi-Fi bulbs all running on your home network and still control everything using Google Assistant.

Our top recommendation is the Philips Hue Starter kit which gets you all you need to start building out your dream smart home. Once you get all set up, you’ll want to start looking into other Hue products that are just as easy to set up and control. If you want to splurge, you can create the perfect lighting ambiance for every room in your home using Hue smart lights.

Of course, the beautiful thing about using Google Home is that it works with countless other brands, so you can save on LED light strips by getting a 16ft Minger Govee LED smart strip for half the price of the Philips Hue equivalent. And then there are just dope accent pieces like the Nanoleaf Rhythm Smarter Kit that would look cool in any media room or gamer’s den.

Latest

Best cheap phone plans that use the T-Mobile network (October 2020)

T-Mobile is one of the most popular wireless service provider in the United States, but it’s not the company to use its towers. Indeed, many brands and services pay for access to its network.Each of these mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) offers their own rate plans, phone selection, billing, and customer service. These companies simply rely on T-Mobile for cellular coverage.We’ve gathered up some of the cheapest rate plans you can find for the various carriers that use T-Mobile’s network. This isn’t every option available, but rather a list of the ones we like best. Many of the carriers who use T-Mobile allow for Bring Your Own Device meaning you can keep the phone you have.Editor’s ChoiceMint MobileIntroductory Unlimited Plan ($30)The great thing about Mint Mobile is that it gets cheaper the longer you commit to using the service. As if that weren’t appealing enough, it offers an introductory discount for signing up.Indeed, you get unlimited data each month at just $30 per month. Once the first 90 days are up you only spend $40 for the same plan if you renew for three months. That’s still incredible, and better than most here. Sign up for a full year in advance and it’s yours for $30 per month.Get This Plan!Consumer CellularUnlimited Talk & Text + 3GB Data Plan ($30)For $30 per month subscribers receive unlimited talk and text with 3GB of data. Given that the carrier’s target demographic is for senior citizens this ought to be plenty of data. In a related note, AARP members can save 5% on their monthly bill.Get This Plan!Google FiUnlimited Talk & Text w/ 2GB Data ($40)The great thing about Google Fi is that you only pay for the data that you consume. While we pegged this particular option at 2GB of high-speed data, you could go higher or lower.  Data is just $10 per gigabyte and it’s prorated and/or refunded each billing cycle. Click here for a referral credit of $20 upon staying active 30 days.Get This Plan!Metro10GB High-Speed Data ($40)With considerably much more data than most other carriers at this price point, the Metro plan gives users 10GB of 4G LTE to consume. And, to make things even better, the music streamed over 40+ services doesn’t even count against usage.Get This Plan!Net10$20 Unlimited Plan ($20)Among the cheapest rate plans you’ll find with “unlimited” data, this $20 option gives subscribers 2GB of high speed access. Hit the threshold and speeds are slowed to 2G for the rest of the month, but that might not matter to its target users. Also comes with unlimited talk and text.Get This Plan!Republic WirelessUnlimited Talk, Text, and 2GB Data ($25)As a service that relies on Wi-Fi for coverage first, it’s a wonderful option for consumers who spend much of their day on hotspots and wireless routers. For your money you get all the talk and text you can handle plus 2GB data. While these rates are already competitive, you can save even more by opting for the annual plan.Get This Plan!Simple Mobile$25 Unlimited Plan ($25)Customers have unlimited calling and messaging in this plan, plus up to 3GB of data at 4G LTE speeds. Worried about overages? Fear not. Once you hit the data limit speeds are slowed for the remainder of the billing cycle. Save a few bucks on your first three months and get the plan at just $20 per month.Get This Plan!Straight TalkUnlimited Plan with 5GB ($35)Pick up unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of high speed data for the price of a steak dinner. Of course, you can have more data after hitting the threshold, but it’s slowed to 2G for the rest of the billing cycle. Save a buck on your plan each month by signing up for automatic refills.Get This Plan!

Metro Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

It might surprise some of you to know that companies like Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless operate on the Sprint and AT&T networks, respectively. These network operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at another, similar situation. Metro, formerly known as MetroPCS, is a prepaid brand that uses T-Mobile’s network for coverage.About Metro and its networkFounded in 1994, the carrier ultimately merged with T-Mobile in 2013 and became one of the first companies to offer unlimited data plans. Although it was first established as General Wireless, it later changed to MetroPCS; in late 2018 it was changed again to Metro by T-Mobile.Thanks to T-Mobile, Metro gets to lay claim to being the first MVNO or prepaid brand to offer 5G. Its nationwide coverage went live in early December, 2019.What are Metro Rate Plans?Things are pretty simple when it comes to rate plans at Metro. Customers choose from four options with prices starting at $30 per month. Taxes and fees are included so the monthly bill is nice and flat.Rate Plans$30 – Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB high-speed data$40 – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB high-speed data (with unlimited music streaming)$50 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 5GB hotspot and 100GB Google One)$60 – Unlimited talk, text, and unlimited high-speed data (with 15GB hotspot, 100GB Google One, and Amazon Prime)What about multiple lines?Metro’s multiple line plans are rather straightforward, too. It’s as easy as picking the starting plan and adding the number of lines. There are discounts applied for each additional phone number, with them priced around $30 a piece, on average.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Are there any special deals at Metro?Certainly. There are a number of options available from Metro, including discounts, free phones, and bundled rate plans. Things are always subject to change, especially around holidays, so be sure to check the dedicated deals page.How is Metro’s phone selection?Metro offers a decent array of phones, from very basic from brands you might not be familiar with, up to current flagships. Interestingly enough, there’s a decent selection at the upper end, particularly the Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer iPhones.Keeping pace with its growing 5G coverage, Metro has added a number of phones with support for the faster nework.Tips for buying a used phoneWhere can I buy an unlocked phone?Cheap cell phone plans that use the T-Mobile networkCan I use my own phone with Metro?Do you already have a phone or possibly looking to buy an unlocked device for use on Metro? If the equipment is GSM unlocked, or previously used on T-Mobile you can order a SIM card if you wish to bring your own device. Check to see if your phone is compatible.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: A fine phone for frugal fans

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE hopes to entice budget-minded fans of the S20 range with its high-end specs and mid-range

Polar’s new Vantage V2 is as hardcore as fitness smartwatches get

If the Apple Watch doesn’t satisfy your fitness tracking needs, then maybe you need the new Polar Vantage V2, one of the most hardcore wearables available.