Well, I finally broke down. After avoiding Philips Hue and LIFX bulbs for years due to their insane price tag, I finally bought some. I ended up getting 3 LIFX Color 1000 bulbs. Philips Hue are definitely the best smart bulbs on the market, but they require a bit of an investment to get started, as you have to buy the starter kit with Hue Bridge. For that reason, I opted to go with LIFX for my first bulbs in the smart bulb market.

They’re Absurdly Priced

I already touched on this a little bit, but smart bulbs are stupidly expensive. Costing around $60 per bulb, they’re definitely not something that you can practically get for your entire house. I’ve used my smart bulbs for 2 weeks now, and I gotta say, I’m loving them. I got them on sale for $30 a piece, and that’s one of the main reasons I got them.

They’re Buggy

Make no mistakes, smart bulbs are buggy. Sometimes they glitch momentarily, or they disconnect from your WiFi network, requiring a restart to fix.. Philips Hue are supposed to be less buggy than LIFX, so if you want the highest reliability, you’ll want Philips Hue. My LIFX bulbs actually aren’t that bad. One of my bulbs is defective, and needs to be replaced. Aside from the defective one that keeps disconnecting from the network, the other two have been pretty smooth for me. I reached out to LIFX about my broken bulb, and they assured me that a replacement will be sent free of charge.

screenshot_20161115-094024They’re Also Magical

Smart bulbs are also magical. They open new possibilities you would have never even dreamed of. For example, you can have your lights automatically turn on in the morning to help you wake up. Or you can use IFTTT to make your lights flash a certain color when you receive a text. You can also connect LIFX with your Amazon Echo, and easily turn on your lights by saying “Alexa, turn my LIFX lights on.”

So, Are they Worth It?

Smart bulbs are sort of worth it, but at their high price point, it’s still hard to justify. If you can get the bulbs at $30-45 per piece, I would certainly recommend them. At their $60 price point, though, I just can’t recommend them. Smart bulbs are a great addition to any home, and are a blast to play with. I think they still have a bit of improving (such as figuring out how to reduce the price) before they will go mainstream. If you want them, and you can find a good price, get them! Otherwise, stick to your tried and true standard light bulbs.

Kevin Nether