CNET: Which smart bulbs should you use with Alexa? – Waterbury Republican American

The Cree Connected LED boasts solid lighting specs, strong ease of use, a wide range of control options, and a terrific price point.(Handout/TNS)

The Cree Connected LED boasts solid lighting specs, strong ease of use, a wide range of control options, and a terrific price point.(Handout/TNS)

Stack's smart bulbs are both feature-rich and relatively easy to use. You can schedule lighting changes, sync them up with IFTTT or Nest, or just set them to automatically adjust brightness and color temperature on their own throughout the day. (Handout/TNS)

Stack’s smart bulbs are both feature-rich and relatively easy to use. You can schedule lighting changes, sync them up with IFTTT or Nest, or just set them to automatically adjust brightness and color temperature on their own throughout the day. (Handout/TNS)

The plain, vanilla version of Philips Hue's smart LEDs don't change colors, but they do enjoy all of the benefits of Hue's well-connected platform. (Handout/TNS)

The plain, vanilla version of Philips Hue’s smart LEDs don’t change colors, but they do enjoy all of the benefits of Hue’s well-connected platform. (Handout/TNS)

The Lifx Color 1000 is brighter and more efficient than the first generation of Lifx bulbs, and the colors are just as true. The easy-to-use app offers a good number of features, and integrations with IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, Windows, and Amazon Echo make the bulb a good choice for a wide range of users and homes. (Handout/TNS)

The Lifx Color 1000 is brighter and more efficient than the first generation of Lifx bulbs, and the colors are just as true. The easy-to-use app offers a good number of features, and integrations with IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, Windows, and Amazon Echo make the bulb a good choice for a wide range of users and homes. (Handout/TNS)

Which smart bulbs should you use with Alexa?

Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant can control a growing number of smart lights. If you’re wondering which ones are the best fit for your home, we’re here to help. Here are four smart bulbs that most impressed CNET’s smart home staff.

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Cree Connected LED Bulb

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The Cree Connected LED boasts solid lighting specs, strong ease of use, a wide range of control options, and a terrific price point.

The bad: Unlike standard Cree LEDs, the new connected bulbs won’t dim very well on dimmer switches due to interference from the built-in ZigBee dimming smarts. Also, the all-plastic aesthetic might not appeal to everyone.

The cost: $25.99

The bottom line: With tried and true hardware inside the bulb and smooth performance on multiple platforms, this smart bulb is a smart bet for connected lighting.

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Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The plain, vanilla version of Philips Hue’s smart LEDs don’t change colors, but they do enjoy all of the benefits of Hue’s well-connected platform. They’re also bright, good looking bulbs with easy-to-use smarts, and you can add extras to your setup for just $15 each.

The bad: At $70, the two-bulb starter kit still comes with a fair share of sticker shock.

The cost: $69.99

The bottom line: Philips Hue is one of the best-developed DIY smart-home platforms money can buy, and this white-light starter kit is your most affordable entry point. It’s practically a must-buy if you’re serious about smart lighting.

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Stack LED Downlight Starter Kit

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: Stack’s smart bulbs are both feature-rich and relatively easy to use. You can schedule lighting changes, sync them up with IFTTT or Nest, or just set them to automatically adjust brightness and color temperature on their own throughout the day.

The bad: Though you can adjust the color temperature, you can’t change colors like you can with Lifx or Philips Hue. App-initiated lighting changes can also be a touch sluggish at times.

The cost: $99.00

The bottom line: These bulbs aren’t cheap, but they cost less than Lifx or Philips Hue and arguably do more, thanks to the built-in sensors for presence and ambient light.

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Lifx Color 1000

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Lifx Color 1000 is brighter and more efficient than the first generation of Lifx bulbs, and the colors are just as true. The easy-to-use app offers a good number of features, and integrations with IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, Windows, and Amazon Echo make the bulb a good choice for a wide range of users and homes.

The bad: At $60 and up per bulb, Lifx is still an awfully expensive smart light. It also won’t work with Apple HomeKit (or with Siri) like Philips Hue bulbs will.

The cost: $59.00 to $69.00

The bottom line: This flat-topped smart bulb is the most well-rounded color-changer money can buy – and a superior option to Philips Hue.

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