The Echo Plus is one of Amazon’s latest Alexa-powered speakers, and it has a great Zigbee smart home hub for controlling appliances like smart light bulbs built right into its beautiful, bass-bumping frame. I’ve been using LIFX bulbs for years, but there are plenty of other options depending on your budget and the features you’re after.
No hub required
LIFX bulbs can be controlled remotely by Alexa without requiring a hub — the bulbs connect directly to WiFi. They support 16 million colors, and come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different lighting fixtures. The top-end bulbs even output infrared, which improves night vision on security cameras.
Most popular option
Philips Hue White and Color Ambience
Philips Hue is the most recognized brand in smart lighting, and for good reason: it offers a wide range of accessories and features that competitors simply can’t match. You’ll need a Hue Bridge to control these bulbs, since the Zigbee hub in the Echo Plus doesn’t work with Hue.
Quality for less
Eufy Lumos by Anker
Like the LIFX bulbs, Anker’s Eufy-branded smart bulbs don’t require a hub to communicate with Alexa. They support over 16 million colors and can be remotely dimmed or turned on and off. The standard A19 shape fits easily into lamps and ceiling lights.
One of the hive
Hive Active Light Color-Changing
Hive offers a variety of smart home devices that all work together, including a thermostat and a smart plug, but its light bulbs work great on their own, too. Like Philips Hue, you’ll need a Hive Hub to make this bulb work with Alexa, but its support for schedules and millions of colors makes it worth the money.
IKEA Trådfri LED
IKEA may not be the first brand you think of when shopping for smart bulbs, but its Trådfri bulbs are Alexa-compatible and affordable. You can’t adjust the color, but there’s a number of accessories available, including motion sensors, remote controls, and — you guessed it — the TRÅDFRI Gateway that you’ll need to use TRÅDFRI lights with Alexa.
There’s no wrong choice when shopping for smart bulbs, but it’s worth considering factors like accessory ecosystems and cost — especially if you plan on buying in bulk. I’ve been happy with my LIFX A19 bulbs, but any one of these options (and plenty others) will work great with the Echo Plus and Amazon’s Alexa service.
November 20, 2018 at 10:05AM