Philips Hue smart lights can transform your home with a flash of colour, but costs can soon add up if you’re buying bulbs for multiple rooms. Our expert guide on the best cheap Philips Hue alternatives will save you some money – you can grab a 4-pack of smart light bulbs for as little as £34 if you shop around.
We’ve done the hard work for you, shopping around online to find the best cheap smart light bulbs. Keep scrolling for more details on smart light bulb features to look out for, along with the best affordable models available to buy now on Amazon.
See also: The best cheap smart plugs under £50
What are smart lights?
Unlike ‘normal’ lights, a smart light is internet-enabled, which means it can be controlled remotely from a smartphone or tablet. Smart lights are fantastically convenient, whether there’s a fixture that’s tricky to reach by hand or you have accessibility issues.
The Philips Hue lineup is one of the most popular smart light ranges on the market. Philips sells various lighting kits, including the Ambience Twin Pack (£66) and Hue White and Colour Ambience Starter Kit (£126).
But despite rave reviews, Philips smart products can be a little on the expensive side if you want to keep costs low. You’ll be pleased to hear that our expert guide uncovers the very best Philips Hue alternatives at a fraction of the cost. Each smart light we’ve highlighted is easy to set up and will fit neatly in a kitchen, living room or bedroom.
Here at ReviewsFire, we’ve covered plenty of cheap smart tech. If you’re looking for devices to pair up with smart lights, see our advice on the following:
- The best cheap smart plugs
- Smart speakers with a screen
- Smart doorbells
- Best battery-powered security cameras
Even if you’re trying to keep costs low, there are plenty of cheap Philips Hue alternatives to choose from. Find out more on costs below.
How much do smart lights cost?
There are several different types of smart light to choose from. Generally, standard white smart bulbs are the cheapest option.
These obviously won’t transform into any colour other than white, but they’re still controllable through a smartphone app. Most single smart bulbs of this type cost under £50. Examples include the Hive Lights Dimmable Smart Bulb (£14) and Philips Hue Ambient White LED Smart Light Bulb (£22).
LED light strips are usually pricier than white smart bulbs – they’re flexible, attach to flat surfaces and consist of hundreds of mini LEDs. Examples include the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus Smart LED Starter Pack (£55) and Govee Alexa LED Strip (£20).
The Philips Hue alternatives we’ve grouped together in our guide start from as little as £13. We’ve got a mixture of standard bulbs, light strips and unique hexagonal light panels.
Smart lights: features to look out for
When it comes to shopping for a cheap Philips Hue alternative, consider the following:
- Smart strip or smart bulb? – both options have their uses. While a standard smart bulb is the obvious choice for a fixture hanging above the kitchen table, a smart light strip can stick to the back of your TV for an immersive movie night.
- Voice assistants – If you’re used to using a voice assistant on your smartphone, make sure the smart light you’re buying supports the same system. That way, you won’t need to learn any new voice commands.
- Colour options – Like the idea of being able to flick between any colour under the sun? If so, make sure the light bulb you’re installing in your home supports custom colour schemes. While some Philips Hue alternatives give you millions of colour options, others stick to a list of pre-defined shades.
Below, we’ve uncovered the best Philips Hue alternatives under £50.
Cheap Philips Hue alternatives under £50
This sub-£15 smart light is compatible with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, so you can give it instructions through the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart hubs. Google Assistant is also supported.
Being able to control your lights with your voice is brilliantly convenient. With the LUMIMAN Wi-fi smart light, you can activate your lights whether you’re in a different room or out of the house completely.
To get started, you’ll need the free PlusMinus app for smartphones and tablets. With it, you can turn on smart light bulbs living under your home Wi-fi network.
You’ll also be able to schedule lights to activate ahead of time and share settings with family members. This Philips Hue alternative gives you full control.
Each LUMIMAN bulb is dimmable, plus supports custom colour schemes. You have millions of options, meaning you can experiment with your setup until you find the best settings to compliment your living space. You could potentially have one profile saved for everyday lighting and another for social events and parties.
If you’re a fan of Philips Hue accessories but want something more affordable, this is a great fit.
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This cheap smart bulb from TP-Link can be controlled with voice commands. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, running without the need of a Wi-fi router. If you’re shopping for a cheap Philips Hue alternative, add this bulb to your shortlist.
The Kasa Smart Bulb is a good fit if you’re looking for a smart light bulb that you can control from a distance. It has a dimming setting so you can get precise with your living room setup.
You control this Philips Hue alternative with the free-to-download Kasa app. It works on a smartphone or tablet and lets you schedule the light to turn on or off throughout the day. You might want your lights to shut off in the evening before bed, for example.
If you own other Kasa products, you can combine them with this smart bulb to create a ‘Scene’. Doing so means you can control a selection of internet-enabled Kasa gadgets with a single press. It couldn’t be easier, with the smartphone app placing all the essential information in clear menus.
Getting the Kasa smart bulb set up doesn’t take long at all. You install the bulb, download the smartphone app and follow the on-screen prompts. Once you’ve got your new smart bulb added to your home Wi-fi network, you’ll be able to track energy consumption from the Kasa app.
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If a smart light bulb isn’t the right fit, you might be shopping for a light strip. These are commonly used to line the back of a TV or around a picture frame. You may also decide to mount a light strip to the underside of a desk to give it an injection of colour.
This Lumary light strip should leap into your shortlist as a reliable, cheap Philips Hue alternative. It’s completely hands-free, responding to voice commands that have the strip turn on, change colour and adjust brightness.
The Lumary light strip is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google assistant. Each strip contains 5,050 LEDs.
With the partnering smartphone app, you can tweak activation times, create custom scenes and control multiple light strips with one tap. With the nifty Music mode, your lighting strip will magically change colour in rhythm.
This is a durable smart light strip, too. The Lumary light strip is IP44-rated, protected by a waterproof coating that gives you peace of mind and makes it easy to clean. The strong adhesive on the back of the light strip means you’ll have no troubles sticking it to a flat surface. Scissor markings on the strip indicate points where you can cut the LED strip down to size.
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Here’s something a little bit different. The Philips Hue range consists of smart bulbs and light strips, but the brand is yet to create wall-mounted panels. The Cololight Pro is a decorative ambient light system, offering over 16 million different colour combinations to suit the mood of your home.
With the Cololight Pro, you can create a unique atmosphere to fit the decor of your home. Transforming your living room instantly, this internet-enabled lighting kit can be placed on a table, stuck to a wall or hung from the ceiling.
If you want to improve coverage, you can buy multiple Cololight Pro packs and connect them together to cover a larger area. All of the panels are controlled directly through the free Cololight Pro smartphone app. You get to pick from three colour modes – manual, dynamic and custom.
The Cololight Pro is a real party starter. If you’re hosting an event, be sure to try out the music mode. Using your smartphone’s built-in microphone, the Cololight Pro will create animated displays of colour and light that automatically change along with the pace of the music you’re playing. Whether you’re gaming or partying, this cheap Philips Hue alternative is guaranteed to create a unique, immersive experience.
As this smart lighting system supports voice commands, you can guide it using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s a nice perk, saving you the trouble of opening up the smartphone app and manually controlling the kit. You can have the colours of the panels change with a single voice command.
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If it’s value for money you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than the Peteme 4-pack.
For less than £35, you get four internet-enabled smart bulbs to put to use. Each of them can be controlled with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. If you own the Amazon Echo Dot (£45), for example, you can say “Alexa, set the bedroom lights to red”.
From the Smart Life smartphone app, you can control all of these bulbs in one tap. Create a group and schedule the lights to turn on or off whenever you need them to. For added security, you might want to have the lights activate while you’re on holiday to make it look like you’re home.
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to picking colours. Peteme’s Philips Hue alternative can light up with a cool white or warm glow. If you want to get creative, you have 16 million potential colours to sift through. The brightness of each bulb (and therefore each unique colour) is dimmable.
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