Which Smart Bulbs don't require a hub?

By Bradly Spicer
Published on: November 10th, 2019

In a rush? Our Opinion: There’s a ton of bulbs out there, from Philips Hue, LIFX, Ikea Trådfri and even the Anker Eufy Lumos which make it on my top list. Our suggestion? Definitely check out the LIFX range or the Yeelight.

How does it work without a hub?

Research for a decent Smart Bulb can take time, especially if you don’t want a hub or don’t have the time to keep a monitor on everything.

Smart Light Hubs will cost you anywhere from $25 – $50 just to find out that your bulb won’t work or that it’s got limited features without the hub.

Avoiding this extra expense to an already expensive investment can be frustrating and most certainly complicated if you’re unfamiliar with how Smart Bulbs work. Hopefully, this post will help you find a set of bulbs that fits your needs.

Let’s start with YeeLight, they’re honestly great. Although, they have recently shot up in price due to a video that Linus Tech Tips did. But it’s proof that even the off-market Chinese Smart Bulbs have their own place on the market.

The YeeLight is great as it only works over a WiFi-based Mesh, this means they can likely be added to other hubs (Like the Samsung SmartThings) or on their own. You may have heard of their parent company; Xiaomi who is taking China by storm at the moment.

Alternatively, there’s always the LIFX bulbs. They’re super bright and a high competitor to the Philips Hue bulbs. The LIFX bulbs operate completely on your WiFi, as of writing this, there is no Bluetooth Support.

You can still link the LIFX bulbs over a Smart Home Hub or other gadgets like the Nest Learning Thermostat or Amazon Alexa. The LIFX bulb also has various options; RGB Colour picking, White, Dimming and in the form of Light Strips or standard bulb fittings.

Some honourable mentions here are the Eufy and Anker Lumos bulbs, there’s an entire list of pros and cons for this which you can see in my blog post: Best Smart Lights 2019 Comparison. Please do note that some bulbs do require a hub even if they’re WiFi-based if you wish to control them remotely.

What about the major brands?

If you’ve read my blog posts before, you’ll know that I do in fact use Philips Hue as I bought into their ecosystem a while back. There have been a lot of alternatives that have come forward since this time but Philips Hue hasn’t let me down.

If you have the Philips Hue Bridge, you can also include the Ikea Trådfri bulbs as an option as those require a hub. This means as long as everything is controlled by the hub, you can mix out the bulbs.

In the last year or so, Philips Hue added the ability to use Bluetooth rather than WiFi. This means if you’re using the A19 or BR30 models, you won’t need a Hue Bridge. Although, as mentioned prior, this doesn’t allow you to control this remotely (Outside your WiFi connection).

Over time, I’m sure Philips Hue will add Bluetooth functionality to all of its devices or at least all future releases.

Suggested bulbs:

Smart Bulb which works without a hub - YeeLight
Yeelight WIFI LED Bulb

Yeelight WIFI LED Bulb E26

  • Ability to work remotely without a hub
  • 16 million colours, full RGB selection
  • LED-Based Bulb
  • Dimmable
TECKIN A19 Soft White Light
TECKIN A19 Soft White Light

TECKIN A19 Soft White Light

  • No Hub required
  • RGB selection
  • LED-Based Bulb
  • Dimmable
  • 2800k, 6200k Pre setup
LIFX 1100-Lumen Dimmable A19 LED

LIFX 1100-Lumen

  • Ability to work remotely without a hub
  • 16 million colours, full RGB selection
  • LED-Based Bulb
  • Works with NEST
  • Dimmable

Join our newsletter

Subscribe below and we’ll send you a FREE PDF on Smart Home Essentials

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Don't forget to share this post!