I'm confused please help (RGBW recessed lights)

I am new and have been trying to figure this out for days so please be kind if this is covered somewhere and I missed it. It seems the more I read the more confused I get!! Here’s my question…I have recessed lights that I want to put color changing bulbs in…I have both the hue and smartthings hub…what bulbs are available?

It depends whether these are “BR30” (.indoor floodlight) shape or whether they are recessed cans.

Philips does make Hue bulbs in the BR30 shape. These are very nice bulbs, but also very expensive:

And in late 2017, Philips added a recessed light model that does white temperature changes, but not RGB color:

This connect to your Hue bridge and work just like your other hue bulbs and can be easily combined in scenes with them. But again, expensive. Best Buy occasionally has them on sale, so you might wait until memorial day and see if they are on sale then.

If you want to use a retrofit can replacement, the Sylvania lightify RGBW can lights can be connected directly to your smartthings hub. The kit is a complete kit, it has the bullb built into it.

These are about $10 less per bulb than the Phillips hue. However, you don’t get quite the same functionality that you do with the Hue. In particular, I’m not sure where you can change colors with Alexa with these or not.

Linear/GoControl also makes a retrofit light kit which is Z wave and can be connected directly to your smartthings hub. Again, the bulb is built into this. It is about $10 less expensive than the Sylvania, but it only has white, not colored light.

I hope that helps. :sunglasses:


If you’re not familiar with lightbulb size codes, the following might also help:


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Are you saying that you already own the Hue Bridge with some bulbs already? Did you purchase a starter kit or the bridge and some additional bulbs? I’m going to assume then that you have the A19 (standard light bulb style) White and Color Ambiance. If that’s correct and to add to the valuable references that JD listed above, I wanted to make a comment on the Hue BR30 White and Color Ambiance bulbs. You might want to hold off on those if color matching to your A19 bulbs is a requirement. I have about 20 of the latest Hue A19 (gen 3) white and color ambiance bulbs and I purchased 3 Hue BR30s for my recessed lighting. The Hue BR30 does not have the same full color spectrum of the A19 lights which is pretty disappointing. Anyway, I opted to purchase the new LIFX BR30 bulbs instead that also include Infrared when the light is off. This is of major added value for me so when the room is dark and my cameras are running, they see the room very clearly with the infrared coming from those bulbs even though the room appears pitch black. They cost a little more than all of the other bulbs JD recommended, but they don’t require a bridge like Hue, they have infrared and they have the same full color spectrum (16 million) of the Hue A19s that I already own. That’s just one option of many though.

The first thing you need to do though before purchasing anything is to see exactly what your current recessed lighting consists of. The BR30 bulbs are I think 3 3/4 inches across the entire bulb. So if you measure the width of the current bulbs in your ceiling now, and they are that size, then you can simply purchase any of the BR30 bulbs that are available and fit your budget and specifications.

If when you measure the existing bulbs and they are smaller than 3 3/4, then there are other bulbs (GU10 and PAR16). If your current recessed lights consist of a larger diameter and maybe with a lens covering the outside, you can typically slide that down from the ceiling and look inside to see what bulb is in there. Yen there are the options of the retrofit kits as well.

In addition to the article that JD provided above, look at this article from Lowe’s.

Once you better understand the bulbs and their sizes, this will make options and decisions a lot clearer. I knew nothing about any of this 9 months ago.


Thank you all very much! I have recessed lighting (can lights) that were put in years ago. I wanted to update them anyways. I just bought the hue hub and bulbs as a kit and thought they would be a nice addition to the teens recreation area in the basement. I only have Alexa because I installed an Ecobee 4 thermostat. I haven’t even figured her out yet!! Thanks for the reference articles and for your patience while I try to become smarter than my light bulbs.

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