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Light Bulbs

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Light Bulbs
« on: March 10, 2023, 11:39:51 am »
What's the best smart bulb to get to use w Alexa?  I want to be able to turn the bulbs on and off and dim them using Alexa.

Thank you!

Re: Light Bulbs
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2023, 08:06:52 pm »
The question posed will have many answers. But suffice it to say, the more you spend, the more features you get, to a point. I started with Philips Hue Bulbs and have stuck with them over the times... They are arguably the most expensive consumer level LED lighting available in the US market. There are similar operating ones that are at least half the cost and perform fine for the money. The LED bulbs available at IKEA are fairly priced and are mostly similar to the Philips in their features, howver not as "rich" in colors... but most people aren't really that particular about *that level* of color range anyway, and most use them for their white lighting anyway, most of the time. I have 4 color bulbs that are rarely used as White/Ambient lighting, the rest are used in a variety of ways. Almost all of the Hue bulbs I have are color bulbs, but I do have several White/Ambience bulbs as well. You can mix and match to suit yourself.
There are so many available options it's mind numbing, but those a re a couple of the taller price range out there. The fun is making the right decision by buying items that are labeled "Works with Alexa". If you do that, you'll be fine with that stuff, although the IKEA and HUE bulbs require a Bridge to be fully featured, even if they say "Bluetooth capable".

What's the best smart bulb to get to use w Alexa?  I want to be able to turn the bulbs on and off and dim them using Alexa.

Thank you!
2 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 echo dots gen 3 (no clock) -2 Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock
1 echo dot Gen 4 with clock
1 Echo Spot
4 10" Fire Tablets
1 15' Echo show
23 Hue Lights 1 Hue bridge - 1 Amazon Smart plug outlet
One Ring Doorbell Pro
4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

Re: Light Bulbs
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2023, 08:54:33 am »
The other consideration is the communication control and spacing of the bulbs.
WIFI, Bluetooth, Z-wave, Zigbee, ...
I decided early on for Hue bulbs with Zigbee which gives me at a high cost the highest functionality and placement flexibility inside and outside the house and they work fairly reliable (once in a while a light drops out in a multizone operation but recovers usually in the next cycle)
What I find annoying with ALEXA is the program limitations within the default routine operation which seems not to advance over time. A clear indication that this is not a priority for AMAZON.

Re: Light Bulbs
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2023, 10:25:06 am »
Like others here, I am heavily invested in the Philips Hue system (hub, bulbs, lamps, strips etc).  I went with Hue, because it was the best bet at the time and has proven reliable and flexible.  I have a Hue hub and have removed all of the Echo devices with built-in hubs because they can work at cross purposes and are a bit of a pain to manage.  But that was because I was already up to my ears in Hue.

If I were to start over, I would have far fewer colour capable bulbs and probably run a split system.  I would keep some Hue lamps and strips for colour ambiance, and use a Hue hub for maximum flexibility (colour loops and other 'decorative' lighting).  But for the remainder of the house I would, probably, stick to WiFi connected devices with basic on/off/dim capability.  Also of interest in the coming years will be Matter connected devices, which may wind up being easier to manage.

Good Luck!

Re: Light Bulbs
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2023, 06:35:28 pm »
I made the mistake when I first started and purchased ones from an unknown company.   Paid the price when the company quit supporting them and the bulbs became dumb.   IMO, get your bulbs from a known company that has been around for a while.   You do not want to spend the money then find out they are no longer supported.    I am now using all hue bulbs.   They are not the cheapest but the company has been around for a while and have been using their bulbs since 2015 without any issues.   That said,

If possible, it is better to have smart wall switches so if a family member or  guest turns off the switch, you will not be stuck with dumb bulbs until you turn the switch back on.     For lamps, use smart plugs.    Or you can do a combination of them.   For example, I have put buttons linked to the hue bulbs on a few of the dumb wall switches so they can be used by family or guests instead of voice keeping the bulb smart.