In the 1980s, commercials for The Clapper brought the concept of sound-activated lighting to families everywhere. In 2012, we shared how you can build your own sound-activated device that could do more than a simple clap on, clap off, with the help of software and a condenser microphone. If you’ve got a smart home device like Alexa or Google Assistant, now all you need are some smart bulbs and the sound of your voice for all of your hands-free lighting dreams. These four types of bulbs offer a spectrum of hues and designs for the perfect ambiance.
Smart bulbs can use both Bluetooth and WiFi to connect to your smart home assistant. Philips makes a hub that expands the range of their bulbs using WiFi, but if you’re not sure if smart lighting is for you, get started with a pair of Bluetooth-enabled bulbs that work as long as the bulbs are in the same room as your device. You’ll save money upfront, and can upgrade as needed. These 800 lumens LED bulbs are equivalent to 60-watt incandescents in terms of brightness, with a warm white light output. Connect the bulbs to your Alexa or other devices (check for compatibility), and dim the lights or turn them on and off using your voice.
You’ll pay considerably more for the two bulbs in this starter kit than the Philips A19 two-pack, but you’ll get a hub that uses WiFi and vastly increases your lighting options. In addition to whites on the spectrum from candlelight to daylight (2000-6200K), you can choose from millions of colors, set schedules, and preferred lighting scenes, and control your lights at home or away. Flood your room with light gradually to wake up, and practice good sleep hygiene with dim and warm lighting before bedtime.
If you’re keen on conservation and energy-saving bulbs but loathe glaringly white LEDs, these amber bulbs will help you harken back to time when people read quietly by candlelight before retiring to bed. Each bulb connects directly to your smart home assistant with WiFi and voice controls can be customized with the Kasa app. Bulbs should last for 15,000 hours of use, and the app will monitor your energy usage to help you conserve. Wondering if you accidentally left the kitchen light on when you went to work? It’s easy to check—and turn it off remotely.
Vintage Edison bulbs can evoke a spirit of invention that makes you want to open your tiny notebook and jot down some big ideas. Unlike their predecessor, these stylish bulbs last much longer and emit light on a spectrum from warm to daylight (2200K-6500K). They connect to your home device with WiFi and can be controlled with your voice or an app. We aren’t saying that you should do this, but with their vintage look and the ability to control them remotely, you could definitely have a little fun with your unsuspecting household while watching a scary movie.