The 5 Best Outdoor Smart Lights to Illuminate Your Yard
Brighten up the night with the best outdoor smart lights. They add real curb appeal and make for a useful home security device.
Sponsored By: The Home Depot
A portion of this piece was created in partnership with The Home Depot, a leader in the home improvement and retail industry since 1978.
Proper outdoor lighting has many benefits, such as creating a cozy and inviting ambiance in your backyard, increasing curb appeal, ensuring visitors have a safe walkway up to your front door and deterring would-be burglars. Outdoor smart lights are a simple way to achieve all these things while also offering a bevy of features and settings you won’t find on traditional lights. These handy gadgets connect to your home’s smart controls or smartphone app, allowing you to precisely adjust their brightness and color settings, set schedules and timers and connect multiple lights together, either remotely or by voice command.
If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor lighting, our picks for the best outdoor smart lights are worth checking out.
The Best Outdoor Smart Lights
Best Overall Outdoor Smart Light
Philips Hue White Outdoor Smart Bulb
If you’re looking for a simple, all-around light bulb to add to your smart home device collection, try the Philips Hue Outdoor. This weather-proof bulb is packed with smart features, dimmable and remotely controlled via app. Simply connect it to your Wi-Fi network and control it via the Philips Hue hub (sold separately) to link it to your Amazon Alexa, Google Nest or Samsung SmartThings hub. As long as you have an existing PAR 38 fixture—most outdoor lighting uses this type—all you have to do is screw it into place.
This LED light generates up to 300 lumens and, according to Philips, provides up to 25,000 hours of light. Buy a couple for around your home and you’ll be entertaining in style. If you’d like to add some extra pizzazz to your outdoor space, these bulbs are also available in a color-changing model.
Also, learn how to install smart light switches in your home easily in a few steps
- Variety of automation options
- Voice-controlled via app
- Easy to install
- Offers range of white light tones
- Require separate Philips Hue hub
Also mind checking out these best outdoor security lights to know exactly what’s going on around your home?
Best Budget Outdoor Smart Light
Feit Electric BR30 Smart Flood Light
Despite the low price, the Feit smart flood light provides an impressive amount of smart features. This 65-watt bulb is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (no hub needed) and the Feit Electric iOS or Android app, and as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, it can be controlled from anywhere. It’s easy to adjust the brightness level, as well as the color shade you prefer. You can also set up schedules and group the light with other models to be controlled simultaneously. The app even lets you adjust controls by voice command!
Installation is simple—just twist it into your existing outdoor light fixture. According to Feit, this bulb will shine for at least 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
- Affordable price
- Multi-colored beam
- No hub needed for connecting
- Lasts for at least 10 years
- Only includes a single bulb
Best Smart Outdoor Spotlight
Hampton Bay LED Outdoor Smart Spotlight, Powered by Hubspace
Producing an impressive 450-lumen beam, these Hampton Bay LED outdoor spotlights are ideal for illuminating your home or landscaping. These sleek spotlights are extremely customizable, too, with heads that offer 240 degrees of adjustment and beams that dim from 1% to 100% of their brightness. You can even change the beam color of each individual spotlight if you like, with a spectrum of colors to choose from. Their Bluetooth connection works with the Hubspace app to control brightness, color and power settings right from your mobile device. Exclusively available at The Home Depot, these outdoor smart lights are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Wi-Fi.
Made of durable aluminum, including the mounting spike, these lights are more durable than plastic versions, and the five-year warranty has you covered if any issues do arise. You’ll need to purchase the transformer and wire separately, so make sure to add that to the overall cost.
- 240 degrees of head adjustment
- Durable aluminum construction
- Multiple beam colors to choose from
- Safe low-voltage installation
- Easy-to-use app provides custom control from your smartphone
- Transformer and wire must be purchased separately
Best Pathlight Outdoor Smart Light
Ring Smart Lighting Pathlight
Ring is a major player in the smart electronics space, and these Ring smart lighting pathlights are a solid example of why its products are so popular. The solar-powered operation of these pathway lights is a convenient step up from Ring’s previous battery-powered models, and eliminates the hassle of swapping out batteries periodically. This solar operation doesn’t compromise on power either, producing the same 80-lumen output as its predecessor. The wire-free design installs in just a few minutes—simply use the provided mounting stakes to place them along your pathway, sidewalk or entryway.
By connecting the included Ring bridge to your smartphone, you can adjust the settings, receive notifications and connect the lights to other Ring devices, like security lights. Unlike bulky and unsightly solar pathlights you may have seen around the neighborhood, these have a slim, attractive profile that give an elegant, breathtaking look to you yard.
- Easy to install alongside your path
- High-end look
- Hassle-free solar-powered design
- Includes Ring Bridge to connect to smartphone
- Large yards may require several orders
- Reduced sunlight may affect performance
Best String Outdoor Smart Light
Govee Outdoor String Lights
Hanging these Govee outdoor string lights is an easy way to add a fun, intimate ambiance to your backyard space. With multiple color and power options to choose from, they’re easy to customize to your specific vibe, whether that’s a soft yellow light for a romantic backyard wedding or bright multi-colored lights for a summer party or child’s birthday. They even offer 47 scene modes—including a “music mode” that syncs along to the song being played—that are easily adjusted using the Govee app on your smartphone. This specific 48-foot model features 15 individual bulbs, but if you’d like even more length, a 96-foot option is also available.
My favorite feature of these lights is the durability of their plastic bulbs. They won’t shatter if dropped or accidentally bumped into, and their IP65 waterproof rating means that they can be safely left out in the rain or snow.
- Shatterproof plastic bulbs
- Multiple color and scene modes to choose from
- Water-, snow- and wind-proof
- Can be used for holiday decorations
- Bulbs are too far apart for some users
What to Consider When Buying Outdoor Smart Lights
When purchasing outdoor smart lights, double-check that they’re compatible with the device you’re planning on controlling them with. Whether you want to use a smartphone app or voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, take the time to ensure that you either have the necessary device or are comfortable purchasing one separately.
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. Also, if you want to control your outdoor smart lights while away from home, they need to be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network. If they’re only compatible with Bluetooth, you’ll need to stay within range to maintain control.
Don’t forget to consider any installation costs or requirements. If you’re not comfortable with electrical wiring or structural mounting, you may want a smart bulb that you can simply screw into an existing light socket. Finally, take durability into account, and check that your light is rated to stand up to the weather or temperature demands of your area (anything above IP65 should be sufficient).
How We Found the Best Outdoor Smart Lights
I’ve written several articles on smart electronics, including a recent article on the best home security cameras. I also have hands-on experience setting up and installing smart outlets and smart bulbs. I used this experience and insight to gather potential options for this article. After I researched dozens of popular options online, I gathered a pool of about two dozen potential options. I then used important factors—like brand legitimacy, installation difficulty, power type, lumen output and smart compatibility—to whittle that pool down to the five options listed here.
Are smart lights worth it?
If you’re planning on taking advantage of their functionality and customization features, then yes, smart lights are probably worth it. But if setting up and using an app or voice-activated smart hub sounds overwhelming, and the simplicity of a standard light is worth more than the extra bells and whistles of a smart light, they may not be worth the added effort and cost.
Can smart bulbs be used outdoors?
Yes, any smart bulb can be used in outdoor lighting if the lighting fixture you’re using it with is completely water-tight. If it’s not, you’ll need to purchase an “outdoor” smart bulb that’s specifically designed to stand up to the elements. You also need to confirm that the fixture is still within range of your Wi-Fi signal or Bluetooth device.
Can indoor lights be used outdoors?
Yes, indoor lights can be used outdoors, but not permanently. Portable indoor lights, like the Philips Hue Go White, for example, can be brought outside and placed on a picnic table for outdoor dining, as long as they’re kept dry. If kept outside for long periods of time, indoor lights are easily damaged by moisture.