Light bulbs have grown extremely smart in recent years…

Smart bulbs are quickly becoming a key element in modern smart homes. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to upgrade your living room is to swap out your standard incandescents for smart light bulbs. After upgrading, you’ll never have to get up off the couch to flip the light switch again.

You can now replace your traditional bulbs with a variety of connected solutions that can be controlled with just a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. Some also connect with smartwatches and virtual assistants, so they can be controlled from your wrist or with just the sound of your voice.

Smart bulbs use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a variety of technologies to work, so they are typically more expensive than traditional bulbs. The flip side is that smart bulbs also use less energy and have quite a longevity – they use less energy and last longer, so they can save you money in the long run.

The market right now has several manufacturers of smart bulbs — Yeelight, Ring, Philips – but Wyze bulbs are those that tech wizards rate time and again for best quality and price.

The Wyze Bulb Color features Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for hub-free app control, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support so you can turn it on and off with your voice. It’s a lot smarter than your average light bulb, but affordable enough to put in every fixture in the house. It can produce virtually any color, plus a range of warm to cool white tones, and shine bright or dim low, offering plenty of options to set the mood for your next movie night.

It offers ample smart features for the price, including support for custom scenes, device-triggered automations, scheduling, and sleep routines that help you gradually wind down at night and wake up in the morning. It’s rated to last up to 25,000 hours – you simply won’t find a better smart light bulb for a lower price. And the Bulb Color has an embedded 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio, so it doesn’t require a hub. It also features Bluetooth, so you can still control it with your phone in the event of an internet outage.

The app offers a few preset color temperature scenes that let you tune your lights with a single tap, including Night Light, Cozy, Bright, and Energized. It also offers some fun preset color scenes, including Energy, Gaming, Movie, and Meditation. If you have multiple bulbs grouped together, tapping one of the preset color scenes will make them each shine a different but complementary color.

If you want to take a more customized approach, you can manually select a white temperature or color, adjust the bulb’s brightness (1 to 100%), and save that as a custom scene. If you have several bulbs grouped together, you can have them all shine the same color/temperature and brightness or make each one different. Playing around with the different color, temperature, and brightness settings, and saving your favorite combinations as custom scenes is a lot of fun.

Wyze also offers a few automated lighting options, including wake-up and bedtime sleep routines that gradually illuminate or dim to help you rise in the morning or wind down before bed. When setting up a sleep routine, you can select the start time, duration, and which days of the week you want it to run. For wake-up routines, you can also select the ending brightness and color temperature. You can, for instance, set your lights to start fading in at 6 a.m. on weekdays, gradually illuminating to a cool white color temperature at 100% brightness over 30 minutes.

Complicated setup? Nope. The Wyze Bulb Color is simple to set up and use. First, download the Wyze app and create an account if you don’t already have one. Next, tap the plus sign in the top left corner of the app, select Add Device > Power & Lighting > Wyze Bulb Color, and follow the on-screen instructions. When the app asks for permission to use Bluetooth, select OK.

After screwing in your new bulb, it should automatically begin pulsing, indicating it’s in pairing mode. If it’s not, Wyze says to turn it off and on three times to manually enable pairing mode. Once the app finds your bulb, you can give it a name based on where it’s plugged in (e.g. “desk lamp” or “nightstand”), and you’re all set.

Wyze makes it easy to set up multiple bulbs at the same time, and lets you name them individually. Just plug them all in and follow the steps outlined above. When the app detects multiple bulbs, it will make them each light up in a different color. In the app, it then asks you to name them individually. To group them, press the plus sign in the app again, but this time select Add Device Group > Color Bulb Group. Give the group a name, select the bulbs you want to include, and you should be good to go.