Cree's new highly rated Connected LED prompted us to take stock of the smart bulbs we've reviewed to date. Click through to see all of the app-enabled, color-changing, hub-integrated goodness.
Automated lighting control has come a long way in recent years. To celebrate, we compiled a gallery of the smart LEDs we've reviewed thus far. That way, you can click through to find a wide array of app-enabled bulbs that are available online and in stores right now -- or in the very near future.
Belkin WeMo LEDs come in a two-pack starter kit along with the Link plug, which helpfully translates information from Wi-Fi into ZigBee (a common LED protocol). Right now, these are the only bulbs that work within the WeMo network, but Belkin plans to extend integration to Sylvania and TCP sometime this year.
The $30 Insteon LED works with the brands' proprietary protocol hub, which recently announced HomeKit compatibility as well as integration into the "Works with Nest" smart-home initiative. It's on the pricy side, but a bulb that can speak Siri and Cortana has a lot to offer voice control fans.
If you're interested in direct IFTTT integration, Philips is the only LED manufacturer currently offering its own channel. Sure, you could find a back-end way with SmartThings-compatible bulbs, but Philips' $30 white-light-only Hue Lux LEDs (the two-bulb starter kit costs $100) make that home automation thing a whole lot easier.
At $200 for a two-bulb kit with the Philips Hue ZigBee Bridge and $60 for each additional LED, the color-changing Hue bulbs are definitely more of a splurge. But, like their white-light-exclusive Hue Lux counterparts, the colorful Hue bulbs also work with IFTTT.
The $70 Tabu Lumen LED will cost ya, but its Bluetooth tech provides a direct connection with the app, so you won't have to pay for -- or install -- a separate hub. This bulb can handle white light and RGB colors, too, so it's less expensive than Philips Hue if you only plan to buy a couple of bulbs (since there's no requisite starter pack).
Tabu's cute $35 LuMini LED is RGB color only, so you can't mimic any traditional white accent lighting, but you can play around with a bunch of different colors without having to drop $200 on the Philips Hue Starter Pack, $99 on LIFX or $70 on the brand's own larger color-changing and white-light Lumen LED.
GE Link Connected bulbs clock in at $15 each and deliver the equivalent of a 60W white-light replacement LED. This dimmable smart bulb with built-in ZigBee tech has its own app, and can also work with the Wink Hub and SmartThings.
At $99 each, LIFX LEDs don't come cheap. But, instead of linking through a ZigBee-compatible hub -- a popular smart bulb practice -- LIFX connects directly to your local Wi-Fi network. It also has color-changing and white-light properties and the Android and iOS apps let you adjust the mood with ease.
The Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit comes with three bulbs and a hub that can translate the commands you send over the Interweb. Individual LEDs cost $17 each and Wink Hub owners can access these smart bulbs on the Wink app.
Cree's very first smart LED integrates with the $80 Wink Hub and is expected to work with other ZigBee-equipped hubs soon. And at just 15 bucks a pop, its half the price of Belkin, Insteon and some other brand's smart LED offerings.