The $8 Wyze Bulb wins Editor’s Choice

It wasn’t long ago that $8 was a pretty good price for a standard LED light bulb with zero smarts whatsoever. Now, that same $8 can get you a bulb that supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, complete with a full spectrum of white light color temperature settings.

That bulb is the Wyze Bulb from Wyze Labs, a Seattle-based startup founded by a team that met while working at Amazon. The company pledges to keep profit margins in check, and to cut out “channel fat” by selling its products direct to consumers online. That much is clear with the Wyze Bulb — at $8 each, plus a few bucks for shipping, it’s roughly one third the cost of a comparable bulb from Philips Hue. And, as the little Editor’s Choice badge indicates, the Wyze Bulb isn’t just a great deal — it’s a great product, too. 

For starters, the Wyze Bulb is brighter than advertised — and brighter than its top competitors, as well. And since the bulbs use built-in Wi-Fi radios to send their signals, you won’t need any extra hub hardware to connect with your router, or with Alexa or Google. Just screw it in, turn it on, and use the app to sync it up with your home’s 2.4GHz network. Speaking of which, that app is easy to use, and includes helpful features like light timers and automatic vacation mode lighting that makes it look like you’re home when you’re not.

And that full spectrum of white light color temperature settings, ranging from a candle-like soft white to stark white daylight tones? You won’t get that with any of the other bulbs listed in the chart below.

White light smart bulbs

Min and max brightness Wireless standard Compatible platforms Requires hub? Price
Cree Connected LED 49 – 894 lumens Zigbee Alexa, Google Assistant Yes (Hue Bridge, SmartThings Hub, Wink Hub, Amazon Echo Plus, Amazon Echo Show, other Zigbee hubs) $12
Eufy Lumos Mini LED 47 – 827 lumens Wi-Fi Alexa, Google Assistant No $16
Lifx Mini White LED 6 – 644 lumens Wi-Fi Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT No $20
Philips Hue White LED (Bluetooth version) 13 – 850 lumens Zigbee, Bluetooth Alexa, Apple HomeKit*, Google Assistant, IFTTT* (*requires Hue Bridge) No hub needed for basic app controls, or to connect with compatible Alexa and Google Assistant devices $15
Sengled Element Classic LED 70 – 873 lumens Zigbee Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Yes (Sengled Smart Hub, Hue Bridge, Amazon Echo Plus, SmartThings Hub, Wink Hub, other Zigbee hubs) $10
Sylvania Smart Plus LED 3 – 848 lumens Bluetooth Apple HomeKit No (requires Apple HomePod, Apple TV or always-on iPad for HomeKit control outside of Bluetooth range) $17
TP-Link Kasa KB100 LED 26 – 635 lumens Wi-Fi Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT No $15
Wyze Bulb 86 – 921 lumens Wi-Fi Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT No $8

There really isn’t much not to like about this thing. It doesn’t dim down quite as low as the competition, and it doesn’t currently support Apple HomeKit, which means that you can’t control it with Siri. That’s really about it.

I’m even a fan of the bulb’s privacy policy, which uses plain-spoken language to describe the company’s data security practices (in a nutshell, Wyze Labs stores your email and password as needed to log you in and out of the app, along with device usage data that helps them maintain and improve the service. Wyze uses “commercially reasonable security measures” to protect that data, it doesn’t sell your information for marketing purposes, and you can delete that data from the Wyze cloud at any time). To put it even plainer, Wyze Labs doesn’t collect any info that it shouldn’t, and it doesn’t do anything to violate your privacy or jeopardize your home’s security.

The bulb went above and beyond my performance expectations when I tested it out using our lighting lab’s spectrometer and integrating sphere. The packaging promises 800 lumens of brightness, which would put it right on par with a standard 60W bulb. I measured its default, daylight-tinted setting at 921 lumens. When I dialed it down to a warmer, soft white setting closer to 2,700 K, it put out about 880 lumens. Both of those numbers are noticeably brighter than the stated spec, and brighter than the max settings of every other white light smart bulb I’ve tested save for the Cree Connected LED, which tops out at 894 lumens.

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