Brightest Connected Bulbs?

We are LOVING our SmartThings connected home but are finding that the Philips Hue bulbs (1st generation) are just not bright enough. As fun as the colors are to play with, we are more in need of actual bright lighting as we have an interior room with no windows that only has room for one traditional lamp.

What’s the best smart (would prefer dimmable) bulb we can get that we can get for lighting this room?

See the following FAQ. It has details on different brands.

The short answer is likely LIFX, but they also run physically hot, so take that into account.

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I saw that, but it was my understanding that list was outdated now?

For a connected light, I still think the LIFX 1000 still has the highest output, but there are non-connected LED’s that can put out almost double the lumens of it.

Given your described needs, I’d go with a switch for that lamp and use a conventional LED.

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The CNET list? The newest generation of Hues is brighter than the original generation, and the Hue Whites are much less expensive ($15) then the original Hue lux, but otherwise everything is about the same, I think. I believe the LIFX are still the only ones that work with SmartThings that will go to 1000 lm.

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I just noticed that you specified Hue first generation in your original post. The second generation is brighter, 800 lm versus 600. I like the hue white which costs $14.99 at Best Buy and works well for us.

For some reason, the price at Amazon varies a lot more on this model. Just make sure that you are getting “Hue white” not the lux model. :sunglasses::bulb:

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As someone who has spent a good number of years doing lighting, I would point out that if you felt 600 lumens provided by the original Hues was inadequate, you’re unlikely to be happy with 800 (or even 1000).

The typical 100W incandescent we are all familiar with puts out close to 1600 lumens. I know of no connected LED that can do that, however the dumb philips a21 puts out 1760.

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The reaction varies by person as well.

For me, the 600 lm bulbs always felt like a 40 W equivalent, not even enough to really read by. The 800 lm bulbs seem noticeably brighter, a true 60 W equivalent in that sense. I know that technically that’s not true, I’m just saying that’s the environmental feel I get from them.

But my housemate doesn’t really see a difference until there are three of the 800 lm bulbs together! :sunglasses: :bulb::bulb::bulb:

Is the 1600lm figure true of overhead BR30 type bulbs since the light is directed? My kitchen has four overhead and I’m deciding if it will be bright enough.

If you dont need RGBW, I really like the light put off by the 60w equiv Cree Connected soft white bulbs. they look very close to traditional filament bulbs. They are very bright, they are smart bulbs that dim via software and dim very nicely. Also the pattern of light is very traditional and like 270* of light or better. You can ‘try’ them out by getting the basic dumb bulb for like 4 bucks I think. The connected is usually 15… Then again this is all USD :slight_smile:

Lumens is the amount of light rated for the dispersion of the light. Therefore lights that are more spot versus omnidirectional will provide more lumens per square foot.


I have each kind of the LIFX bulbs. I can tell you that they are all very bright. If you have the extra $$$ the color version are worth it. Not because you can do color (which is cool), but the color versions dim to a lower level IMO.

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I realize your post is titled Brightest Connected Bulbs) but …

You could go with a smart wall switch/dimmer or a smart plug and use a dimmable 100 watt equiv LED dumb bulb to brighten it up more.

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I agree with what @Zatman is saying. Unless you want color changing bulb, smart dimmers is the way to go or you will have the problem I have…

I have a room with a bunch of LIFX bulbs. I can control them with ST or the LIFX app, but as soon as someone presses the wall switch the “reboot”. Yea they reconnect after a minute, but it is a PITA. Which is why I am trying to finds something like the Lutron Connected Bulb remote that works with ST and LIFX.

There are several options for this, and the easiest are a new device form factor which has just started to come out, this is a smart switch cover. It fits over your existing switch and it has its own buttons. You leave the original switch powered on, and then use the buttons on the cover.

These devices can be used as a “button controller” with SmartThings, just like a minimote. The smart switch cover sends a message to the hub when one of its buttons is pressed, and the hub then send the appropriate message to whatever device you want to control with it. Which could include LIFX bulbs. :sunglasses:

Both linear and Osram have come out with versions of this. The linear Is zwave and the Osram is zigbee, but again it doesn’t matter. The switch cover talks to the hub.

So this gives you an intuitive switch on the wall, while keeping the smart Bulbs powered on. :tada:

I don’t really like the look of the covers. I’m not sure if these switches will always work in my case. I have a mini remote. It works, turns on and off along with some other functions but I can’t get it to dim up and down easily.

Late to the discussion, but I wonder why there isn’t anything brighter. What’s the limitation?

I haven’t seen any manufacturer who has said for sure but my guess is that it’s two things: consumer desire for energy efficiency and the risk of overheating the radio in a connected bulb. Heat dissipation is a real problem in smartbulbs.

Why would anybody need more than 1,000 lumens in a normal sized house room? I have Cree bulbs that are no where near that and I use 1%, 10% and 50% as my most often set dim levels. The interior colors that a room is painted will also affect the amount of light reflected and make the room brighter (white, tans etc) or darker (black, dark grey, dark red etc) depending on color vs a room with a with a different color choice using the same dimness level of the bulb. My master bedroom has two dark red walls. That helps make it very dark for sleeping. At 1% dim level on a single Cree bulb, the room is very illuminated but not office bright.

1000 lm is still only about a 75 W equivalent.

It is very common for people who are aging to require much brighter light to be able to see details clearly. That might be for reading, for a hobby like stamp collecting, even to read a medicine bottle. This is even more true for someone who is in the early stages of cataracts.

Brightness becomes especially important as you age—starting roughly in your 40s to early 60s—and the lens in your eye becomes more rigid and then cloudier. When that happens, more light is needed to provide contrast, says R. Linsy Farris, M.D., a professor of clinical ophthalmology at Columbia University.

The symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses.

There are other eye conditions that can lead to the same requirement.

As always, choice is good. :sunglasses: