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Light Bulbs

Sengled's new smart lights are some of the most affordable ones yet

The brand's Wi-Fi smart LED bulbs need no hub, work with Alexa and Google, and now cost $15 each. Make that $25 if you want bulbs that can change colors.

The number of Sengled smart lighting options is going up, and prices are coming down.

Ry Crist/CNET

Smart lights are useful, convenient and way more affordable than you think. Case in point: Sengled, which just cut the price of its Alexa and Google Assistant-compatible Wi-Fi smart bulbs. White light bulbs now cost $15 each, which is about $10 less than a comparably bright white-light Wi-Fi bulb from Lifx, and a bit cheaper than bulbs from other budget-minded brands like TP-Link Kasa, too. 

Along with that, Sengled's color-changing Wi-Fi bulbs now cost $25 a piece, which is also pretty competitive.

Sengled already sells Zigbee smart bulbs that cost just $10 each, and those were good enough in our tests for me to call them the best smart bulbs for cheapskates in a recent roundup of your top options. But automating those bulbs or controlling them from your phone requires Sengled's Zigbee hub or a third-party Zigbee hub like the SmartThings Hub or the Amazon Echo Plus. Not everyone has hardware like that, or wants it.

Sengled's Wi-Fi bulbs, meanwhile, connect directly to your router, which means they don't need a Zigbee hub at all. Just screw them in, turn them on and pair them with your phone via Sengled's app. If you want, you can connect the bulbs with Alexa or the Google Assistant to control them via voice commands.

On the left, a multicolor Sengled Wi-Fi bulb that doesn't need a hub. On the right, a daylight Sengled Zigbee bulb that does. Make sure you understand the difference before you buy!

Ry Crist/CNET

Along with price cuts for the Wi-Fi bulbs, Sengled is highlighting the availability of its newest additions to the Zigbee lineup, all of which are available on Amazon and at Best Buy. These include 2-meter-long, color-changing light strips that cost $50 each, with 1-meter extensions available for $20. 

Also new on Sengled's Zigbee front: 100W replacement smart bulbs that are a lot brighter than other smart bulbs, most of which top out at around the 60W replacement level. Available in both yellowy soft white and bluish white daylight color temperatures, the 100W replacement Sengled smart bulbs each put out a very bright 1,500 lumens, and cost $25 each. And again, they use Zigbee to send their signals, not Wi-Fi, so you'll need a Zigbee hub in order to connect with them. 

Sengled does a pretty good job of making the distinction clear between its Zigbee bulbs that need a hub and its Wi-Fi bulbs that don't -- just make sure to double check the product description or the bulb's packaging before you buy.

All of these new light bulbs and light strips are some of the next smart lights that we'll test out in the CNET lighting lab, so stay tuned for more on how they perform.