best smart outdoor lights

7 Best Smart Outdoor Lights in 2020 [with Pics and Videos]

In Recommendations by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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In this post, I’ll review some of the best smart outdoor lights you buy today.

They include some awesome lighting ideas for your porch, landscape, patio, pool, garden, and other outdoor living spaces. I’ll also show you a cool, new LED light strip option and even give you the scoop on a few options to help increase your home security too.

The best smart outdoor lights basically come in six flavors:

 


Smart Lights Rule

best smart outdoor lightsSmart lights rule. I was an early adopter of Philips Hue and nearly every bulb in my apartment is now a smart bulb. It’s great being able to control my lights using Alexa and my phone.

And apparently, I am in good company.  According to market research firm Statistica, the smart lighting market worldwide is expected to grow to a whopping $105 billion by 2023.

But did you know that there are some great options for smart lights for outdoors?

Whether you are looking to install a lantern on your front porch or light up your entire yard, there are a lot of great options to brighten up your outside spaces. Oh, and you can even add some color too.

Here are some neat statistics about smart outdoor lighting according to Volt.org.

  • There are over 750 million outdoor lighting fixtures worldwide [wow, but makes sense].
  • There are 160 million fixtures in the U.S. alone.
  • Total wasted energy from outdoor lighting is about 60-70% [from unwarranted lighting, over-lighting, lack of dimming, etc.]
  • The energy wasted from outdoor lighting each year could power 7, 750,000 homes at cost of $110 billion each year.

Crazy! So not only do the best smart outdoor lights help to save energy, they are good for the environment [and your wallet] to boot!

I will go into each flavor of smart lights in more detail below. Or, if you just want to see what I recommend, you can just down to my dynamically updated table of product recommendations.


Smart Porch Lights

This is probably the most common question I receive when it comes to the best smart outdoor lights. What are the best smart outside lights for my porch?

Well, the answer is it depends.

If you have an enclosed front porch with a light already installed, any good smart bulb will do.

While I like and recommend Philips Hue products for smart lighting in general, other options such as LIFX smart bulbs also work great and do not require a hub.

Philips Hue Inara and Econic

Best Smart Lights for Outdoors: If you want a great lantern for outside, check out the Philips Hue Inara.

I recently installed this outside my apartment, and it just works great. I have it on a schedule so I just set it and forget it.

Nice and easy, which is what smart home outdoor lighting should be all about.

Oh, and it comes with a Hue bulb too (requires Hue Hub).

The only complaint that I have is that it can’t get super bright. It maxes out at 800-lumens. This is enough for my driveway but I wouldn’t mind being able to up a brightness a bit more.

For a step up that is even brighter and includes color, check out the Philips Hue Econic Down Wall Lantern.

Maximus

best smart outdoor lights

best smart outdoor lightsIf you want an even nicer looking lantern with a camera, check out the Maximus Outdoor Light.

This is definitely a step up from the Philips Inara in style, plus it has a 720 HP digital camera built-in with 116-degree diagonal.

It lets you monitor who is at your door using your smartphone, and it will even send you notifications if it detects motion when you are away from home.

It also has a two-way talk feature which would be great for my mom who is elderly (and often slow to answer the door).

This is great a light/camera combo not just as a theft deterrent, but to check on packages, and just generally get the scoop on what is going on at your front door.

It even comes two styles from which you can choose.

Customers complain that the quality of the night vision footage can be a bit hard to make out, but this is really typical for the technology at this stage to be fair.


Smart Floodlights

A floodlight does exactly what it sounds like. It floods a certain area with light. These are great theft deterrent as you can have them kick on when they detect motion.

Perfect for the front, back, and side yards, these cast a wide beam of light – usually around 45 degrees.

Some of the smart floodlights even come with cameras making it a great anti-theft tool.

Ring Smart Flood Light

Best Smart Lights for Outdoors: The Smart Flood Light cam from Ring is probably the most popular floodlight out there. It features not just a motion detection flood light but also a built-in security camera, two-way talk, and a siren alarm.  It also works with Amazon Alexa so you can turn the light on and launch real-time video with your voice.

The Ring Smart Flood Light also lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC, so it makes a great security monitor and intercom.

It will send alerts to your phone and start recording with the camera as soon as motion is detected.

You see the latest price over on Amazon here.

Philips Hue Discover

best smart outdoor lightsAnother great option for security lighting is the Philips Hue Discover. This similar to the Ring Flood but it is a less expensive way to just install basic floodlighting.

It also lets you change the color of the bulb so it makes for great outdoor ambient lighting too [16million shades of colored light].

This is more of a security light and does not contain the camera or alarm that Ring features. But it really popular option for basic flood lighting with motion detection that you can install around the perimeter of your home.

Like most Hue products, this requires a Hue Hub in order to get it to work.

Oh, and it looks really cool too.

Little Smart Home does a nice job unboxing the Philips Hue Discover


Smart Path and Landscape Lighting

best smart outdoor lights

Best Smart Lights for Outdoors: Outdoor path lighting is not just for show but it can also be practical.

For example, you can have a string of lights that illuminate your front and rear walkways. If you’re a klutz like me, this can help you tripping over yourself in the dark.

These can make great accent lights for all of your outdoor living spaces actually.

In fact, Philips Hue Calla lights make for great accents in your landscape, patio, pool or more.

They do require the Philips Hue hub in order to work, but this is a solid investment as you can use Hue bulbs for other outdoor lighting too.

Oh, and you can even make them synch up to the beat of your favorite music using an app.

If you are interested in learning more about Calla lights, check out this post I wrote comparing Philips Hue Calla and Lily [with more video reviews].

These are the two best smart outdoor lights you can buy in my humble option.

Thanks to Shelly from Best Buy Canada Product Videos for the helpful video review:


Smart Outdoor Spotlights

Best Smart Lights for Outdoors: Spotlights can add an extra touch of class and are ideal for helping to beautify your landscape.

You can also use them to showcase a certain part of your yard or to cast colorful light on an outside area of your home.

My buddy has an American flag tapestry on the side of his house. He recently put a spot on and it just looks awesome at night.

He is using the Philips Hue Lily Spot Light which is probably the most popular smart outdoor spotlight out there.

Philips really does make the best all-around smart lights. While the hub requirement is a bit of a bummer, Hue lights just work consistently. The lights are super easy to install and configure, and the app lets you adjust brightness, colors, and more.

Again if you are interested in Philips Hue Calla path lights or Lily spotlights, check out this detailed post explaining the key features of each.


Smart Outdoor LED Strip Lights

Erin Lawrence crushes it as usual in her review of the Philips Hue’s flexible LED light strips that are specially designed for outdoors.

Like with most Hue lights, you will need a Philips Hue Bridge to run them.

best smart outdoor lights

You can see both models [and also purchase a Hue bridge if needed] over at Amazon here

They currently come in two sizes: a 2m, 7ft strip and a 5m, 16FT strip


Smart Switches

best smart outdoor lightsLast on my list of categories for best smart outdoor lights is the smart switch.

It is surprising to me that smart switches haven’t caught on more. Instead of relying on having to replace your old bulbs with smart bulbs, you can control your existing lights using a switch.

While I would recommend that you hire an electrician to replace your dumb switches with smart ones, this may be appropriate for you DIY-ers who take the necessary safety precautions.

One of the top-recommended switches is the TP-link Kasa smart wi-fi light switch. These are super reliable, work with Alexa, and they don’t require a hub [like Philips Hue].

Here’s a nice video from the manufacturer that shows you how to install and set up a TP-Link switch.

Customers who own these switches have said they will not install anything else, because of their super reliability.

You can see the TP-Link Kasa switch over on Amazon here.

It is important to note that this is a straight setting switch (no dimmer).

If you want a switch with a dimmer, check out the Kasa Smart Light Switch [also by TP-Link).


Best Smart Outdoor Lights: Comparison Table

The following are my recommendations for the best smart outdoor lights you can buy today along with pricing.  The table is updated nightly with the latest pricing from Amazon.

Click SEE IT to get the up-to-the-minute price on Amazon.  I will go into more detail on each product below.


Want Even More Ideas?

Jeff Cook Real Estate has a comprehensive outdoor lighting tips and tricks guide that you can check out. It’s super thorough.

Or check out my comparison of Philps Hue Calla vs Lily. These are my two favorite outdoor lights this year.


Conclusion

Options abound for outdoor lighting. There are some great products, but there is also a lot of junk out there too.

Generally speaking, if you go with any of the major brands listed here you should be good.

The bottom line – the answer to the question “What are the best outdoor smart lights?” is it depends on what you want to use them for.

While I’ve been using Hue bulbs for a few years in my own home, I’ve tried skimping lately in setting up lights for friends and the results have been mixed, to say the least.

As the old adage implies, you get what you pay for. The good news is that the more options have driven down pricing for the good stuff, like Philips Hue bulbs and fixtures. This is a trend that I am also now seeing for outside lighting.

We will continue to watch for the best of the best smart outdoor lights and will update this post as things change.


Best Smart Outdoor Lights – What Do You Think?

So what do you think about my top picks for the best smart outdoor lights?

Are you thinking about increasing your home security with a floodlight?  Or do you like what a spot or path like could do your garden or walkway?

Is there another product you have used that you love that I have not listed here?

Please leave us a comment below and let us know.

Oh, and if you liked this article, would you mind giving a quick share using any of the social media buttons at the top of this page?  Thanks for your support!


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About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

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