Five of the bes t
We recommend some of the best smart lighting kits to get you started.
Elgato Avea £40 elgato.com
Something of an oddity, Elgato’s Avea bulbs – and Flare lamps – connect to your iOS devices using Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi. The app lets you select different colours, and includes atmospheric lighting effects. However, the 430lm brightness is relatively modest, and best for mood lighting.
LIFX Color 1000 £60 lifx.com
LIFX Color bulbs have all the Wi-Fi tech built into them, so they don’t need a separate network adaptor. That does make them a bit pricey, but they’re quick and easy to use, and include handy options such as remote access when you’re away from home (but there’s no HomeKit support yet).
Nanoleaf Smarter Kit £80 nanoleaf.me
The Smarter Kit is good value and includes a network adaptor and two rather odd-looking black bulbs. It works with HomeKit, so it’s easy to set up from iOS, and you can control it with Siri. Our only complaint is the white-only bulbs, though a colour one is coming.
Osram Lightify CLA 60 £35 osram.co.uk
Though you have to buy Osram’s ‘gateway’ (£35), the Lightify range isn’t too expensive. We found this colour bulb versatile. HomeKit isn’t supported, but the app provides good colour controls, scheduling options, and easy-to-use remote control away from home.
Philips Hue Starter Kit £150 meethue.com
This is one of the more expensive options, but it includes three colour bulbs and a network adaptor, so you can play with smart lighting in several rooms. Its app is feature-packed, including colour selection and scheduling, and HomeKit and Siri are supported.