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Since launching in the Amazon Echo, Alexa has become a huge part of the home and thanks to Alexa skills, you can control almost any smart home device using your voice, including your lights.
There are now a ton of bulbs that can be controlled using Alexa, including from traditional light bulb manufacturers to cheap imported brands.
We’ve reviewed all of the popular products and found that Phillips Hue is still the best Alexa-compatible bulb on the market in the UK. This is thanks to reliability, third party integrations and the option to use it offline when the internet is down.
Keep reading for our buyers guide and full product recommendations.
Controlling Lights with Alexa
Once you’ve set up your bulbs or switches in the Alexa app, you’ll be able to execute a range of commands using your voice. Out of the box, Alexa will be able to turn your lights on and off or dim them if supported.
However, many of the product mentioned here come with their own Alexa skills, once these are enabled, you’ll be able to access a wider array of functions such as:
- Accessing the full spectrum of colours
- Creating scenes
- Custom voice commands
Offline Alexa Controls
When considering using Alexa to control basic home appliances, most consumers are keen to understand what happens when the internet is down.
With Alexa, you can control any smart home device that is connected directly to an Echo, even without internet. To do this, you will need:
- An Amazon Echo Plus or Show (these have a built in Zigbee hub)
- A bulb that runs on the Zigbee wireless protocol
We have outlined which devices run on Zigbee in our reviews to help you choose.
Here are the two key things you’ll need to consider when purchasing an Alexa light bulb:
Do you need a hub?
If you have an existing smart home hub, you’ll want to ensure the bulbs will integrate with this whereas if you don’t yet have a hub, you’ll need to consider if you want to invest in one.
All of the lightbulbs in this list operate either using WiFi or Zigbee.
WIFI: The benefit of WiFi connected devices is that you don’t need a hub, they connect directly to the router and can then be operated over the internet or via other devices on the network. The downside to this is that devices have to be in range of the router and changing routers when you move home, or switch providers can be a hassle.
Zigbee: This is an alternative wireless protocol that’s most commonly used for smart home devices. It’s a mesh network, meaning that your device only needs to be within range of one other Zigbee device to work. The downside is that you do need one hub within the network. The Amazon Echo Show and Amazon Echo Plus have built in Zigbee hubs so if you have one of these you won’t need a hub.
Which light fitting?
As with buying regular light bulbs, you’ll need to ensure they will fit the intended spot. The main light bulb fittings in the UK are:
- Edison Screw E27: A screw in light bulb that measures 27m in diameter.
- Bayonet Cap B22: This is a simple push and twist bulb with two outward legs that clip into place. It is 22mm in diameter.
- Spotlight GU10: This is a small twist and lock light bulb for spotlights. It has two downward legs that clip in to place and the distance between these is 10mm.
Most Alexa lightbulbs will come with an Edison E27 and Bayonet B22 fitting, fewer are available as Spotlight GU10 fittings as this is a different type of bulb.
Best Alexa Compatible Light Bulbs
Here are the 12 best light bulbs that will work with Alexa:
Phillips Hue – Best Overall
Brightness: 800 lumens (Equivalent to 60W) Fitting: Available as Screw, Bayonet and Spotlight Wireless Protocol: Zigbee
Phillips Hue bulbs were one of the original smart lights and still remain one of the best to this day. They are compatible with a huge range of other smart devices, from syncing with your TV for a home cinema experience, to syncing with your music for ultimate ambiance.
If you have an Echo Plus or an Echo Show, you can connect your Hue devices directly without the need for a hub. However, if you have another Alexa device, or to access the full range of Hue features, you’ll need the Hue bridge.
You’ll find a huge range of options to choose from, with fittings for screw, bayonet or spotlights and the option to have white only or full colour. The coloured bulbs have 16 million colours to choose from, whilst the white bulbs have 50,000 shades of white, so you’ll always get to play around with scenes to suit you.
If you’re new to Hue lights, then we recommend you take a look at the starter kit which gets you best value for money with a Hue bridge included.
Hive Active Lights – Best for Hive Heating Customers
Brightness: 806 Lumen (equivalent to 60W) Fitting: Available as Edison Screw or Bayonet Wireless Protocol: Zigbee
Hive, owned by the parent company of British Gas, is one of the UK’s largest smart home ecosystem.
They are very similar to the Phillips Hue bulbs in that they work over the Zigbee wireless protocol, this means you’ll need a hub for them to work which is great if you already have a hub as part of your heating set up. If you don’t have a hub, but so have an Echo plus or Echo show then you’re in luck as they can pair directly with the device.
There are three colour choices for Hive active lights, a standard white dimmable light, active colour with a full spectrum of light colours that can be controlled from the app or via Alexa, and tuneable light which scales from warm white to day light cool.
LIFX A60 – Best Without a Hub
Fitting: Bayonet or Edison screw fitting Wireless Protocol: WiFi
LIFX have a variety of bulbs on offer including mini sized, plus sized and candle shaped, but we’d recommend starting off with their signature A60 colour changing bulb that can be purchased as Bayonet or Edison fitting.
By the way, the A60 is called the A19 outside of the UK just to confuse you, but these are the same device.
LIFX bulbs work with WiFi, this means they connect directly to your router and don’t require a hub, once connected to the cloud you’ll be able to add them to your Alexa smart home and install the LIFX Skill for added functionality.
Unfortunately, the fact that they connect directly to your router does prove difficult if you have to change routers as you’ll need to reconnect every device.
The LIFX A60 bulbs are far brighter than many bulbs listed here, at a whopping 1,100 lumens and outshine the Phillips Hue and Hive Active Lights. LIFX also has some other features that competitors don’t offer including randomly turning your lights on when you’re away to make it look like you’re home or integrating with smoke detectors.
Kasa by TP link – Track Energy Conumption of Bulbs
Brightness: 800 lumen (60w equivalent) Wireless Protocol: WiFi Fitting: Bayonet or Edison screw
As you’d expect from a brand that made its name selling WiFi routers, the Kasa by TP-link range of smart home devices also runs over WiFi, eliminating the need for a hub.
The light integrates easily with Alexa via the TP-link Kasa Alexa skill.
The app is very easy to use and if anything is a bit basic compared to the rest of the Alexa compatible bulbs listed here, however a nice feature is the energy consumption meter which helps track your efficiency. As far as integrations with other devices, the TP-link does fall behind, with no support for HomeKit, Logitech Harmony and a few other key players in the smart home world.
The light isn’t as bright as the LIFX; however, it does have a much wider beam angle at 220 degrees compared to the LIFXs 135 degrees.
LE – Best On A Budget
Brightness: 800 lumen (60w equivalent) Fitting: Edison Screw and Bayonet Wireless Protocol: WiFi
If you’re on a tighter budget, then the LE Alexa compatible light bulbs are a great choice. As far as the basics go, it’s not too dissimilar to the market leading Phillips Hue with a similar number of colours to choose from and 60W equivalent lighting.
There is both a white and colour changing bulb available, however at less than £12 per bulb it’s worth going for the colour changing every time to futureproof your purchase.
These bulbs connect over WiFi like the LIFX and Kasa, however they will only work over 2.4Ghz WiFi. Once connected, integrating with Alexa is simple.
Some users have reported trouble setting the bulbs up using the official LE app with many suggesting that the Smart Life app is a much better way to set them up.
Innr Vintage – Best Vintage Style Alexa Bulbs
Brightness: 350 lumen // Fitting: Edison Screw // Wireless Protocol: Zigbee
If having a bulb that both looks good and works with Alexa, then look no further than the Innr vintage filament bulb.
Don’t be fooled, this is still an LED bulb as with all of the other products here, however it has been designed to mirror the retro look of a filament style bulb and has a golden coating to finish off the vintage look.
The bulb is still completely compatible with Alexa and has the usual smart functions that you’d expect, including routines, dimming, voice control and more.
These bulbs also work via the Zigbee protocol which means you’ll need a hub, they are compatible with either the Innr hub, Phillips Hue bridge, smart things hub or the Amazon Echo Plus or Show.
Available as both an Edison screw and Bayonet fitting. There is also a globe version of the bulb which makes great decorative lighting even without any case or lamp shade, this one cones with an Edison screw fitting.
Phillips Hue LED Strip – Best Alexa LED Strip
Strip lights are perfect to add a bit of extra ambiance to any room, and these Alexa enabled LED strip lights from Phillips Hue will make the whole thing hassle free.
As you’d expect, the light strip is compatible with all other products in the Hue range via the Phillips Hue hub and can be integrated as part of scenes and routines via the Alexa app.
Popular uses for these include under kitchen cabinets, behind sofas and around the TV where they can sync with music or games for that extra touch.
The initial light strip is 2m and you can continue to add 1m extensions to get the desired length.
Govee – Budget Alexa Light Strip
The Govee LED Alexa strip lighting offers great value for money and is perfect where you have large areas to light as the size options are 5m or 10m. You can cut them down, but this will require you to purchase extra adaptors in order to use the remainder of the strip, so it’s not advised.
There are a few different options available including white or full colour and Bluetooth or WiFi. Only the WiFi versions will work with Alexa and the bonus is that you won’t need a hub. There is also a waterproof version so you can spice up the garden as well.
Once connected, the Govee app allows you to access pre-set scenes or create your own, set timers and schedules. There is a music sync mode via the built-in microphone, but it isn’t as well implemented as other devices with this feature.
Cololight – Best Alexa Enabled Light Panel
Those of us who feel like getting a bit more creative with their interior lighting could opt for the Cololight light panel, compatible with Alexa.
The modular hexagonal light panels can be arranged in any manner of shapes to suit your room. Each light panel contains 19 LEDs to give an even covering of light and allowing great light patterns with access to 16 million colours.
Using Cololights dynamic effects, you can create mood scenes or sync the lights with music or TV to create an integrated atmosphere. They can be wall mounted, roof mounted or freestanding, although it can be quite a task to put them together.
As you can see there are a huge range of Alexa-compatible light bulbs to choose, each with their own pros and cons. Overall, we recommend Phillips Hue as the best Alexa light bulbs, they have hit the nail on the head with their extensive range of products that work really well together and with Alexa.
If you’re looking for a plug and play option without a hub, then LIFX is our number one recommendation. Happy smart homing!