Best smart lights for outdoors in 2023
By Brittany Vincent
May 2, 2023 / 10:17 AM / Essentials
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Have you ever had trouble finding your way around a dimly lit backyard or patio? Or perhaps you've settled down at a backyard bash only to realize your own backyard lighting could use some work?
Adding smart lights to your outdoor spaces can transform your experience, introducing convenience and ambiance to your home. Even if you haven't dabbled in smart home technology, now's the perfect time to do so.
Choosing the right smart outdoor lighting can be difficult due to the numerous factors to consider. Which outdoor light best meets your requirements? Which features are most important to your way of life? Explore our top picks for the best outdoor lights in 2023 to improve your outdoor living experience with smart, versatile, and dependable lighting.
Top smart lights for outdoors:
Best and brightest: Philips Hue Lily White & Color outdoor spot light base kit, $340
Super string light: Govee Outdoor string lights, $85 after coupon (reduced from $100)
Perfect path light: Ring Solar Pathlight, $35
The best outdoor smart lights provide the ideal balance of usability, durability, and seamless smart home system integration. In addition, these premium lights have features like Bluetooth connectivity, white and colored illumination options, compatibility with well-known smart home hubs and simple installation procedures. They are typically waterproof, too.
These outdoor lights are great picks for their dependability and superior performance. They're perfect for setting up a smart, connected environment. To find the best outdoor lighting solution for your needs, check out some of our picks from brands like Philips, Govee, and Ring.
Versatility, efficiency, and smart home compatibility make the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance outdoor spot light base kit one of the best outdoor lighting options for most situations. You get three spotlights with 16 million color options and dimmable white light, so you can create the ideal atmosphere for any occasion. The base kit is compatible with smart home systems such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant, which lets you add voice control seamlessly into your smart home setup. In addition to bright lighting even on the darkest night, this light boasts reduced energy consumption, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective option.
An Amazon customer praised the kit for its ease of installation: "Great quality products. I was going to hire my landscaper to install more lights for my backyard. Got a quote from my landscaper for $5,000 labor included (10 spot lights, 10 driveway lights, extension cables and transformers). Because of the shutdown, I decided to do it myself. Bought these lights and works perfectly. I am super happy with the purchase."
Philips Hue Lily White & Color outdoor spot light base kit, $336
The Philips Hue Smart outdoor lightstrip is a great choice for adaptable and customizable outdoor lighting. Because of its flexibility, you can shape and cut the strip to fit any outdoor space. Each LED is capable of 16 million colors and adjustable white light, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion. It's compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant, and supports voice commands.
Overall, it's the best strip light option you can find. Philips Hue can help you turn a drab outdoor space into a fun and inviting one.
This Amazon buyer praised the product's hardiness: "The build quality of this outdoor light strip far exceeds any other product. The 16-foot length was perfect to line the underside of the hand rail on our second-story balcony, making it easy to navigate at night. Impressive quality."
Philips Hue Smart outdoor lightstrip, $195 (reduced from $220)
Who doesn't like hanging lights -- especially those with cost- and energy-efficient LED bulbs? Govee outdoor string lights offer warm white light, multiple colors and dynamic effects, so you can customize your outdoor lighting situation for parties, hangout sessions and more formal occasions, too. The lights' Bluetooth app lets you change modes, brightness and set timers from your smartphone. They also boast an IP65 waterproof rating, which means they can withstand various weather conditions.
An Amazon customer loved the lights' versatility: "These lights are amazing! They are so bright and colorful, and they really add a touch of fun to my backyard. I love that I can control them with my phone or voice, and they are super easy to set up. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for a great outdoor lighting solution."
Govee Outdoor string lights, $85 after coupon (reduced from $100)
These fun floodlights are quirky little square-shaped lighting options with a wide range of color temperatures (2700-6500K) and RGB color options. Designed for seamless integration with smart home systems, these floodlights are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-- they can be controlled with your phone or your voice. With a few taps, the dedicated Govee app lets you set schedules, adjust brightness and change colors. The flood lights come with an IP66 waterproof rating so they work in rain, sleet and snow.
This Amazon customer was dazzled by how bright the lights are: "I've been using these lights for a few weeks now and I absolutely love them! They're so easy to use and they really add a touch of elegance to my backyard. The lights are very bright and they can be seen from quite a distance. I also love that they have so many different lighting modes, so I can find the perfect look for any occasion."
Govee Outdoor Flood Lights, $70 after coupon (reduced from $100)
The Govee outdoor ground lights are great for giving your outdoor spaces a splash of fun and color. These ground lights are a top choice to spruce up your garden or backyard, especially if you like funky hues. They're designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions and have an IP65 waterproof rating, so they're good to go even in the elements. Whether you want to highlight particular areas or set the mood for outdoor get-togethers, these multi-color LED lights have your back, especially with their included app, which lets you set timers and schedules.
This Amazon buyer loved how durable the lights are: "These were super easy to install and setup. They have lasted and continue to work through some of the worst storms we've had in a while. So I can attest to the weatherproofness of these lights!"
Govee Outdoor ground lights, $40 after coupon (reduced from $60)
The Ring Solar Pathlight is an eco-friendly solution for lighting up those darker areas around your yard. Its solar-powered design harvests sunlight during the day so you have plenty of power at night for all your outdoor get-togethers. This light also features an integrated motion sensor, which detects motion and automatically turns on the light to help you find your way. This can be adjusted to fit your needs. You can hook this light up to the Ring Bridge as well and manage it through the Ring app, making it easy to fit in your Ring ecosystem if you already have the brand's other products.
One Amazon purchaser was delighted with how adjustable the product's settings are. "I am very pleased with the Ring solar-powered pathlight. It does a great job at illuminating my sidewalk whenever anyone approaches it. The light increases from 10 lumens to 80 lumens when the motion sensor is triggered. The app that comes with the light also allows you to manipulate the light to meet your needs. You can schedule when it turns off and on, how long the lights remain illuminated when the motion sensor is triggered, how sensitive the motion sensor is and a variety of other tasks."
Ring Solar Pathlight, $35
Setting up outdoor lighting can be difficult, but it's well worth it. Outdoor lighting can help light up the exterior of your home so you can see where you're going in your yard at night, set the mood for parties, or just create a great-looking space. Like most smart lights, they can be controlled via a variety of methods, including an app, remote control, and vocal commands.
When shopping for a smart outdoor light, you should consider how you would want to control your new smart lights. Would you prefer an app or voice-based control with support for smart home assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit?
A voice-activated outdoor light enables you to adjust your outdoor illumination by speaking. It connects to a digital device that "listens" to commands, such as a speaker. When an order is received, an audio sample is sent to a remote server to "understand" the request.
The instructions are then transmitted back to the smart device to execute the command. Using Google Assistant on a device such as a Google Home, for example, you could say, "Hey Google, turn on the porch light," or something similar. Typically, these lamps are linked via Bluetooth, a smart light switch, or a smart hub.
Consequently, you must consider whether your outdoor lighting design requires a smart plug or a hub. Some outdoor lighting is Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled directly. Others, however, may require a hub for complete functionality, such as scheduling, dimming options, and color adjustments.
The rest of the setup is really up to you. Popular lighting additions include security floodlights, path lights to illuminate your yard and general mood lighting. You can be creative as you want -- it's your space, after all!
Brittany Vincent has been covering gaming, tech, and all things entertainment for 16 years for a variety of online and print publications. She's been covering the commerce space for nearly a decade. Follow her on Twitter at @MolotovCupcake.
First published on May 2, 2023 / 10:17 AMRelated: Top smart lights for outdoors: Philips Hue Lily White & Color outdoor spot light base kit, $340 Govee Outdoor string lights, $85 after coupon (reduced from $100) Ring Solar Pathlight, $35 Philips Hue Lily White & Color outdoor spot light base kit, $336Philips Hue Smart outdoor lightstrip, $195 (reduced from $220) Govee Outdoor string lights, $85 after coupon (reduced from $100) Govee Outdoor Flood Lights, $70 after coupon (reduced from $100) Govee Outdoor ground lights, $40 after coupon (reduced from $60)Ring Solar Pathlight, $35