The 5 Best Outdoor Smart Lights
Need to illuminate your backyard or deter would-be burglars? Brighten up the night with the best outdoor smart lights.
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When it comes to lighting your backyard, outdoor smart lights are a bright idea. Jokes aside, smart lights offer a bevy of uses that make them well worth the initial investment.
Besides providing a convenient and affordable way to brighten up the space around your home, they also bolster home security. Lights on means someone’s home, after all. Outdoor smart lights also achieve the desired environmental ambience you’ve been looking for on the patio or porch. Nothing like a tiki party decorated with dimly-lit string lights.
Whether you’re looking to add outdoor smart lights to boost décor or find your way around better, our picks for the best outdoor smart lights are perfect for just about any use. Be sure to check out these suggestions and tips before you buy. Brighten up!
What to Look for When Buying Outdoor Smart Lights
When buying outdoor smart lights, here’s what you should consider:
- Ease of installation: While most outdoor smart lights are simple to install and use, some smart lighting systems require more intricate setup than others. Most only require downloading an app, installing bulbs, then connecting to a WiFi network. Be sure to research these aspects of each system, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy.
- Brightness: How much light do you need to illuminate a specific area?
- Water resistance: Since you’ll be placing these lights outdoors, look for a water resistance rating of at least IP56, which means your lights will have no problem withstanding the elements.
- Bridge/hub requirements: Some outdoor smart lights, like Philips Hue lights, require proprietary hubs or bridges to work properly. If you don’t want to be tethered to one particular type of product, choose outdoor smart lights that don’t operate with this type of setup.
- Sensor types: Look for outdoor smart lights with built-in sensors that automatically turn on when it’s dark. This helps conserve energy. Then if you don’t feel like setting up lights on a schedule, you can rest assured they’ll turn off and on when you need them.
Our top picks are based on these important factors:
- Reliability and ease of setup;
- Waterproof rating;
- Rankings and ratings;
- Reviewers’ comments.
Best Overall Outdoor Smart Light
Philips Hue Outdoor
If you’re looking for a simple, all-around system, try the Philips Hue Outdoor. It’s remotely-controlled via app, weatherproof, packed with smart features and dimmable.
Connect it to your WiFi network and control it via the Philips Hue hub (sold separately) to link it to your Amazon Alexa, Google Nest or Samsung SmartThings hub. The LED light offers up to 300 lumens, plenty of brightness for around your home. Philips even claims you’ll get 25,000 hours of light out of this bulb. Buy a couple for around your home and you’ll be entertaining in style (on a budget!).
- Various automation options;
- Variety of white light tones;
- Voice-controlled via app.
- Requires Philips Hue hub purchase.
Best Flood Outdoor Smart Light
GE Smart Outdoor Flood Light
If you’re looking for a smart flood light, the range of GE’s CYNC can’t be beat. Put up these 1,300-lumen bulbs to brighten even the darkest of areas around your home, without requiring a smart hub. All you need is a smart device and the CYNC app to get going.
These bulbs offer millions of colors, as well as smart functionality to set a lighting schedule and pre-programmed light profiles. Access them remotely from the app any time, quickly filling your entire yard with bright, streaming light. Perfect for friendly gatherings or scaring away potential bad actors.
- Casts a wide swath of light;
- No smart hub required;
- Plenty of color options;
- Various smart features offered via app.
- HomeKit/Siri not supported.
Best Security Outdoor Smart Light
Ring Floodlight Camera
Ring is typically known for its various security products, like the Ring Floodlight Camera. It’s a motion detector that doubles as a security camera, with a two-talk system and siren. Sync it with Amazon Alexa on Echo devices and control lights and video with your voice. See, hear and speak from your phone with anyone who trips the light sensor.
What’s more, you’ll receive alerts from the light and can start recording immediately when motion is detected. You’ll see everything the camera does and keep the footage if you need it later.
- Doubles as a security camera;
- Bright, motion-detecting light;
- Controlled via smartphone app.
- Cannot be reset remotely in the event of an error.
Best Decorative Outdoor Smart Light
Philips Hue Ambiance Outdoor Pathway Light Base Kit
Up for some mood lighting? The Philips Hue Ambiance Outdoor Pathway Light Base Kit is for you. It’s pricey, but comes with everything you need to keep the yard illuminated while implementing special effects and changing colors.
The kit comes with a power supply and rugged cable that can withstand anything Mother Nature tosses its way. Each light offers 600 lumens so you’ll need multiple lights for ambiance. They look fantastic when angled just right and set to the perfect shade.
- Beautiful light;
- Simple setup with rugged, lengthy cable;
- 600 lumens per light;
- Connects to existing Philips Hue hub.
- No built-in motion detector;
- Requires hub for additional smart features.
Best Outdoor Smart Path Lighting
If you only need path lighting for safety, install the Ring Pathlight, which doesn’t require special wiring. Controlled remotely via an app, these budget lighting options lead you through difficult-to-see areas. They’re powered by four D batteries and triggered via motion or Alexa commands, though you can turn the lights on via the Ring app if you so choose.
You’ll need to purchase a Ring Smart Bridge to connect to your WiFi router to ensure all of the lights are connected and available, but that’s an inexpensive addition to this setup.
- Built for safe path lighting;
- No wiring or hub installation required;
- Controllable via app with motion detection;
- Powered by standard D batteries.
- Requires the use of a Ring Smart Bridge;
- Only works with Alexa-enabled smart devices.
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