When it comes to Amazon's Prime Day 2 deals event, I'm a small-deal kind of guy. Some might call my predilection for sub-$25 deals cheap, I prefer to think of it as targeted. Today, I've zeroed in on a wealth of deals on simple smart light bulbs, not because I have a thing for illumination (okay, maybe I do) but because I have a persistent need for one, reliable backyard smart bulb.
You might think that it's easy to find the right smart bulb for your needs, but I'd disagree. There are so many brands, choices, bundles, features, and differing levels of intelligence and standards.
I just wanted a lightbulb. Strike that, I need a new lightbulb that can turn on and off on a schedule, illuminating my backdoor and yard to keep track of (and ward off) would-be intruders. Don't misunderstand me, I don't live in a crime zone – but the illusion of life that an automated smart light provides can be enough to scare off even unwanted neighbor drop-ins, and animals that come scraping at my door.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no better time to buy these kinds of utility products (smart plugs, bulbs, thermostats, etc.) than Amazon Prime Day. This is the kind of stuff you really don't want to pay much for, and the deals I've seen on Amazon are as much as 46% off. That can really cut down the price of a box of smart bulbs.
As I noted, it's not as straightforward as you might think to buy a smart bulb.
As I'm shopping I'm looking at:
Setup and Controls. How hard is it to set up the illuminator? Screwing it into the light socket is only the first step. Many rely on proprietary apps on iOS and Android. While some offer a direct connection to your WiFi network (some connect only to WiFi 2.4GHz network, only), many require a hub.
Then there's the Matter (get it?) of platform support. Most smartbulbs you'll find on Amazon start with Alexa support. The majority also support Google Home. Fewer, it seems, support Apple Homekit. However, if you find a bulb that supports the new Matter standard, it may work across all platforms. I say maybe because even this super standard doesn't seem to solve all the smart home interoperability issues.
You might want, as I do, a bright white light bulb, but almost all smart bulbs I've looked at support multiple colors (yellow to ward off bugs?) and brightness settings. I'm fine with all these hue choices as long as I can easily find a way to set the bulb to bright white.
I also want a bright bulb. LEDs always show watt equivalences and most are about as bright as a 60W bulb (somewhere around 800 lumens). I would love to get an LED that could get as bright as a 100W incandescent, but that might be a stretch.
Many of the bulbs I looked at come in multiples. Amazon Basics is one of the few that sells a single bulb but others tend to come in bundles of two or three. That means you might end up spending more than you want for your new smart bulb.
Yes, I'm talking about myself here. I'm almost turned by the Kasa Smart Light Bulbs two-pack, but then I have to wonder where I'll use the second bulb and if I'm thinking about standardizing on one smart bulb brand throughout my home.
Even though my backyard light is partially covered, I don't think every bulb is suited for full-on outdoor use. I have to make sure they can handle more than just a bit of dampness.
One other thing to keep in mind is that some LEDs and smart bulbs do not work with dimmable switches, perhaps because they have built-in dimming.
In any case, these are some of the best smartbulb Amazon Prime Big Deal Day deals right now, and they're all ones' I'm actively considering. Perhaps you can help me decide.
Just remember that you need an Amazon Prime membership to qualify for any of these Big Deal Day deals. You can sign up here.
Amazon Basics Smart 7.5 Watt A19 Dimmable LED Light Bulb: was
$10.99 now $8.83 at Amazon
If you remember when a single smart bulb could cost $25 or more, you'll understand what a good deal this is. Amazon's Basics bulb covers the basics with dimming capability but just one color. It can handle damp environments but outdoors might be a stretch. The bulb is guaranteed to work with Alexa, but may not support your other smart home standards. Still, if you're an Alexa home, this is a good smart bulb starter choice.
Linkind Matter WiFi Smart Light Bulbs: was
$36.99 now $23.98 at Amazon
At the other end of the spectrum is this nice trio of smartbulbs that not only add a multitude of programmable colors, but extend support to virtually all the major platforms including Apple Homekit, Google Home, and Alexa. It also adds Matter support. The benefit is that if you add more Matter-supported bulbs (even ones not from Linkind) you could support them on one app. At 35% off, it's a great deal for a trio of smart bulbs.
Feit Electric Smart Bulb: was
$22.99 now $11.90 at Amazon
There are a few things I like about this single smart bulb. At 100W equivalent, this is one of the brighter smart bulbs. It also doesn't require a separate hub, which means you can connect it directly to your WiFi network (2.4GHz compatibility). It also supports both Alexa and Google Assistant. No Apple Homekit support is listed. At $11.98, which is almost 50% off, it's among the cheaper single bulbs and quite a steal.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Smart Light Starter Kit: was
$129.99 now $85.49 at Amazon
I like Philips smart bulb technology but the fact that this is called a "starter kit" gives you an idea of the kind of investment Philips expects. First, it's two smart bulbs and second, it ships with its own bridge. Basically, you can't just pop in one of these bulbs and connect to your network. Fortunately, the Philips Hue system works with all the major platforms (Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit). There are color choices and bright-enough 60W-equivalent illumination. At 34% off, though, they are worthy of consideration – and maybe a broader shift in your home to the Philips Hue ecosystem.
Kasa Smart Light Bulbs: was
$24.99 now $13.99 at Amazon
While you may not need two smart bulbs, this is one of the better smart bulb two-pack deals. At $13.99, it's almost 50% off. These are also better than basic bulbs with support for multiple colors, and Alexa and Google Home (No Apple Homekit listed). Better yet, they don't require a hub to work.
More of the best Prime Day deals
- Air fryers: save on big brands, from just $39
- Amazon Fire TVs: smart TVs starting at $69.99
- Beats headphones: up to 50% off the latest models
- Blink Cameras: up to 50% off Blink cameras
- Echo Dot: deals starting at $17.99
- Echo Show: save up to $90 on the Echo Show
- Fire TV Stick: starting at $17.99
- Fire tablets: cheap tablets from $39.99
- Kindle: up to 32% off Kindle devices
- Lego: up to 45% off big and small sets
- LG TVs & soundbars: up to 57% off
- Ring Doorbell: 40% off Ring doorbells, cameras & alarms
- Samsung TVs & soundbars: up to 33% off
- Sony headphones: up to 53% off earbuds and cans
- TVs: up to 38% off 4K QLED/OLED TVs
- Vacuums: robot vacuums - up to 50% off
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A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.
Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.