The Philips Hue bulbs were some of the first smart lightbulbs to become available to the average joe, but now they have some stiff competition thanks to a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign called LIFX.
Each LIFX bulb connects directly to your WiFi router, and it's brightness and color is controlled with an app on your smartphone. They are rated at a substantial 1000 lumens, which is brighter than the Philips Hue and is easily bright enough to replace a standard 60w lightbulb.
What's even more interesting though, is that LIFX bulbs can communicate with the Nest smart thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector. For example, if your Nest Protect detects smoke in your house, you can have all LIFX bulbs flash red to alert you, and illuminate them all to help guide you to safety. Or, in communication with the Nest thermostat, you can have the bulbs automatically dim during energy peak periods to help save you money.
You can build preset "scenes" within the app to automatically set groups of bulbs to a specific brightness and color. For example, you may have a "movie night" scene for your living room bulbs, or a "wake up" scene to brighten up your bedroom in the morning. Bulbs can also be organized into groups or rooms, and they can all be controlled simultaneously.
LIFX bulbs are available in three different mounts, with either a Pearl White or Gun Metal Gray housing.