Wondering which smart lights work best with Apple HomeKit? While the offerings aren’t as robust as smart light bulbs that work with Alexa and Google Assistant, there are a growing number of Apple HomeKit light bulbs that work exclusively with your iOS devices.
With the best HomeKit light bulbs, any of your old light fixtures can become compatible with your Apple smart home—and you can control them using Siri via an Apple smart speaker like the HomePod Mini or the Home app for iOS.
After extensive testing, we are confident the best HomeKit light bulbs are the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit(available at Amazon), which continuously ranks in the top spot for its bright colors, simple setup, easy-to-use app, and ample versatility.
However, we tested plenty of other HomeKit light bulbs for you to choose from.
Here are the best smart bulbs for Apple HomeKit we tested, ranked in order:
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
Meross Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb Color Changing
Nanoleaf Essentials A19 E26
Yeelight Smart LED Bulb 1S Color
Lifx White Smart Bulb
Feit Electric LED Smart Bulb
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit (Generation 3)
When it comes to the best HomeKit light bulbs, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit stands out among the bunch because of its bright and accurate colors, intuitive app, and a robust suite of features.
The third-generation kit offers some of Hue’s brightest bulbs to date—and it supports HomeKit’s Adaptive Lighting setting, a rare but useful feature that can be set to adjust the bulb's color based on the time of day.
The Philips Hue Bridge is required in order to use the lights when you’re away from home. While they can be controlled over Bluetooth, that will only work when you're physically near the bulb. If you opt for the starter kit bundle, it comes with a Hue Hub so you can start building out your HomeKit smart lighting setup.
Though Hue bulbs are more expensive than some others in our guide, the reliability and performance they offer is unmatched. For the best Apple HomeKit smart bulbs, you’ve got to go with Philips Hue.
The Meross Smart LED bulb offers stunningly bright and vibrant colors, and works with Siri, SmartThings, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
It took mere seconds to integrate the bulb with Apple HomeKit before we had Siri turning the lights on and off, setting the bulb to hot pink, and adjusting the brightness to 75%. It only has a max lumens of 810, so it’s not as bright as others in our guide.
The dimmable bulb does not support HomeKit Adaptive Lighting, but if that doesn’t matter much to you, then you’ll like this value-packed HomeKit smart bulb that still offers plenty of great smart lighting features.
At 1,100 lumens, the Nanoleaf Essentials Color Changing Bulb is one of the brightest we’ve tested. With dimmable features and colors galore, it’s a great HomeKit light bulb for any area of your home.
One of the most notable things about the A19 bulb is its unique, multi-faceted design. The bulb is also responsive to Siri voice commands, and works with Google Assistant (but not Alexa). Because it supports adaptive lighting, it can automatically adjust the color temperature based on the time of day.
It works with Bluetooth, but the real selling point here is the bulb’s Thread compatibility, which helps speed up response times between your Siri voice commands and Apple Home Hub.
The Yeelight LED Bulb 1S (Color) is a long-lasting, full-color light bulb that connects to a wide range of other apps and services and comes with some neat features. In addition to HomeKit, it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT, and other apps, such as Tasker for Android.
The Yeelight app can be a little difficult to navigate, but it has some neat features if you explore. For example, a Flow State cycles the bulb through a rainbow of colors at variable speeds. A quick-action button called Flash Notification causes the bulb to blink, a useful way to get someone's attention in deaf or hard or hearing families, or when other people are sleeping.
Lifx White is an inexpensive, tunable white smart bulb that works with Siri, along with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The smart bulb offers lighting features like schedules, fade timers, and actions that worked well during our tests. At 690 lumens, it’s not the brightest bulb of the bunch, but the setup is one of the speediest of any smart bulb we’ve tested.
The predicted lifespan is about 22 years—slightly lower than the usual 25 years of most other smart bulbs.
Feit Electric makes a variety of smart bulbs, but this is one of the few from the brand that works with Apple HomeKit.
We had a frustrating time linking this bulb with HomeKit, but once we got it connected, it was easy to control via the Home app, companion app, and using Siri voice control.
The bulb offers millions of colors and tunable whites and is suitable for damp locations (most bulbs in our guide are not). The dimmable bulb is nice and bright, but has an expected lifespan of 15,000 hours, which is below average for a smart bulb.
Given that and the several attempts it took us to set this bulb up, you’re better off opting for another Siri bulb in our guide unless you're committed to the Feit Electric brand.
Hi, I’m Rachel Murphy, Reviewed’s home editor, and I’ve been covering smart home devices for several years now.
I'm adding to the previous testing by Sarah Kovac, Reviewed’s accessibility (and former smart home) editor.
To find out which smart bulb is best for Apple HomeKit, we bought the bestselling, highest rated bulbs and tested them in an actual home with lamps and various light fixtures.
Each bulb was tested using the Home app on an iPhone or iPad. We also tested the companion app for each bulb on iOS devices to see whether the experience was the same on both platforms, testing response times over the Wi-Fi network and data.
Finally, we tested each bulb with Siri to measure the bulb’s functionality and responsiveness to voice commands.
What to Know About Apple HomeKit Smart Bulbs
All About Apple Home Hubs
An Apple Home Hub is required to control your HomeKit-enabled devices and run automations when you’re away from home using the Home app or Siri voice control.
The Apple Home Hub serves as the middleman between you and your devices for remote control when you're not home.
The Home Hub must stay at home, near your HomeKit gadgets, in order for you to control them when you're away from the house.
How to Set Up Apple HomeKit Light Bulbs
All HomeKit devices have a scannable barcode with an eight-digit number, which is unique to your specific device. This code is necessary in order to add your HomeKit light bulb to the Apple Home app.
To set up an Apple HomeKit bulb, screw it into a light fixture. Open the Home app on your iOS device > tap the plus sign icon > tap “Add accessory.”
Scan the barcode on the bulb in the Home app, enter the code manually, or wait for the accessory to appear in the app (make sure it’s powered on).
A second barcode can typically be found in the instruction manual if you have trouble scanning the code directly from the bulb.
The Home app walks you through the final steps, but it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to get your Homekit light bulbs online.
Apple HomeKit Lighting Features To Try
A Home Hub is also necessary to take advantage of Apple’s adaptive lighting feature. This is an optional feature that allows your bulbs to change color temperatures based on the time of day. Basically, it’s autopilot for anyone who doesn’t want to fiddle with their bulbs throughout the day, but you won’t find it on every HomeKit smart bulb.
The Home app offers other useful automations like turning the lights on when the first person arrives home and turning them off when the last person leaves.
Privacy and Apple HomeKit
There’s always a security risk when using internet-connected devices at home, but there are ways you can protect your privacy when using HomeKit devices.
Apple claims that all HomeKit user data is encrypted end-to-end locally (meaning on your Home Hub) before being transmitted to the cloud so that no one has access to it but you.
HomeKit's infrastructure uses iCloud, iOS, iPadOs, and macOS to "protect and sync private data without exposing it" to others, including Apple employees. To secure your account further, enable two-factor authentication and make sure your password is unique and hard to guess.
One thing to know is that Apple, by default, keeps your Siri voice interactions (one of the primary ways to control HomeKit accessories) and may review the audio clips to help improve Siri’s accuracy.
You can opt-out of this by turning off Siri and Diction in the Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvement > toggle off Improve Siri & Dictation.
To delete your Siri voice history on a HomePod, open the Home app, press and hold the HomePod icon, select Siri History > tap Delete Siri History, and tap to confirm the deletion.
To delete your Siri voice history on an iPhone or iPad, open Settings > Siri & Search > Siri & Dictation History > Delete Siri & Dictation History. For more information, check out Apple’s Siri dictation and privacy disclaimer.
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and accessibility editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
Rachel Murphy is Reviewed's home editor. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a freelance writer for publications like Insider and Mashable, and as an associate editorial producer for Good Morning America. Aside from smart home tech, her interests include food, travel, parenting, and home renovation. You can usually find her sipping on coffee at any time of the day.
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