Wouldn’t it be great if you could control all your outdoor lighting without having to deal with tons of different switches and buttons, or even step foot outside? Well, you can! All you have to do is switch out your existing bulbs to smart outdoor lights. Since most smart lighting solutions use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or another wireless signal, you’re able to operate your lights through an app on your phone. Some smart outdoor lights are even compatible with voice assistants so you can ask Alexa or Google Assistant to light up the driveway or set a festive mood on your patio before party guests arrive.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, our home improvement and tech experts have been testing smart devices and home lighting for years. We've installed and evaluated everything from smart light switches to smart light bulbs and smart plugs in our homes. To choose the best smart outdoor lighting, we reviewed top sellers, innovative products and brands we’ve tested and recommended in the past. We worked closely with the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab to vet smart outdoor lights for ease of use, performance, smart home compatibility, durability, connectivity and more. According to our experts, these are the best smart outdoor light bulbs, flood lights, string lights and more to purchase in 2022. Bollard Landscape Lights
After our top picks, read further to learn whether smart outdoor lights are worth it and what to look for when shopping for smart outdoor lighting.
When it comes to lighting, it’s hard to find a better ecosystem than that of Philips Hue. Though you’ll need a Hue hub to reap all the benefits, once it's set up you can connect up to 50 lights throughout your home, including these outdoor PAR38 bulbs. Perfect for lighting up your garage, dark pathways or even the sides of your home, our pros like these bulbs for their bright white light and extra features like being able to sync up with the sun so your lights turn on outside once the sun has set.
You’re able to set routines and schedules, like having your lights turn on shortly before your arrival, thanks to the geofencing feature which detects when you’re a set distance from home, say around the corner or pulling up the front driveway. You can also program lights to turn on and off when you’re on vacation to make it look like you’re there. With a Hue bridge you can also use Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant to turn your lights on or off by voice. While we haven’t tested this particular bulb in the Lab, Philips Hue has performed exceptionally well in previous categorical tests and our pros love the intuitive Hue app that makes using smart lighting easier than ever.
These affordable PAR38 smart light bulbs are perfect for replacing any flood lights or security lights you may have outside your garage or porch. We love that they’re dimmable as well as able to produce millions of different colors and various white temperatures so you can customize your lighting to your liking. Want a spooky glow for Halloween? You got it.
They’re also easy to set up via Wi-Fi and are compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can ask your favorite voice assistant to turn on the lights outside your home; just keep in mind that the bulbs will have to be within range of your Wi-Fi router to work properly. Though we haven’t yet tested these in the Lab, our pros like that these come with a 5-year warranty and are rated for outdoor use by UL with their wet rating, meaning that they can be exposed to water, according to the brand.
If you need a quick and simple solution to light up a long pathway, look no further than these path lights from Ring. They’re especially convenient if you already use Ring security cameras or doorbells and own a Ring bridge or a compatible Echo device, which enables you to sync with other Ring devices. For instance, you can set up your Ring security camera to notify you the instant one of your path lights detects someone approaching your home.
On top of built-in motion detection, our pros love that you can adjust the lights' brightness as well as how sensitive the motion detection is in the Ring app. Best of all, since these are solar powered, no cables, cords or power sources are necessary! Like other smart lights, you can set schedules for when you want the lights to turn on or have them all turn on at once when motion is detected, in addition to several other customizable features. They even feature a higher IP rating than most smart outdoor lights so you can leave them outside year-round without worry.
Fun, colorful string lights from Govee are a great choice for any patio or backyard space you want to decorate, whether it be for Christmas or your average weeknight. The lights come with 40 pre-set lighting scene modes you can choose from in the app to get the vibe right, or you’re able to select your own custom color.
Our pros like that there’s a music sync mode so you can get your lights to dance along with you (and your music) in perfect harmony. They’re also both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Though we haven’t tested this model in the Lab, these string lights feature an IP65 rating, meaning they should be able to withstand most rain showers and weather conditions without easily shattering.
This bollard base kit comes with everything you need to light up your pool, patio, pathway and more with an enchanting glow. Though our pros agree that this smart outdoor light is pricier than most, it’s a beautiful and unique way to illuminate your outdoor space. We like that you're able to string five bollards together and that it's rated IP65, meaning these should be durable enough to survive a few summer showers or winter storms.
While we haven’t tested it in the Lab yet, our pros love the Hue app and all the lighting scenes and colors you can choose from. Just keep in mind that you’ll need access to an outlet for these to work, as well as a Hue hub, in order to access smart features like voice assistant control, timers, schedules and more.
All the features that make smart strip lighting a great option indoors (low cost, ease of installation and control, versatile lighting design) also apply to exterior-grade versions. Dan DiClerico, Director of Home Improvement & Outdoor at the Good Housekeeping Institute, recently previewed this new launch from Cync, whose other smart light products have performed well in past Lab tests.
He was impressed by the waterproof design of the strip lighting, though noted that installation was a bit more involved since the system uses mounting brackets, rather than the peel-and-stick adhesive that’s common with interior strip lights. “But once the outdoor Cync strip is installed, it should stand up to inclement weather,” DiClerico says. He also likes the dynamic lighting effect, which allows you to create multiple hues within the same strip, such as alternating blue and white for Hanukkah or red and green for Christmas.
Solar Light We test and review the best smart outdoor lighting solutions, including smart flood lights, pathway lights, decorative lights and motion sensor lights.