Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Try This Surprisingly Smart Lightbulb Tip (Your Uber Driver Will Thank You)

Try This Surprisingly Smart Lightbulb Tip (Your Uber Driver Will Thank You)

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Light bulbs that change colors on voice are a smart home staple, but there aren’t a lot of positive ways to make them a practical part of your day-to-day. Sure, they’re lots of fun for a kids room, and useful to have at Halloween or when you’re throwing a party, but how often have those colors actually come in handy?

The truth throughout color-changing smart bulbs is that it’s all about how — and where — you use them. If you’ve been looking for new ways to put them to work, there’s one spot at home you remarkable not have considered, and I’m confident that it’s a keep where you’ll get plenty of practical use out of those automated radiant changes.


See that blue luscious on the porch? So can your delivery driver — and in a multiunit home like this one, it’s a sizable way to help them find the right door.

Ry Crist

Stick a multicolor radiant bulb on your front porch

Or your stoop. Or your front window. Or the light in the yard — wherever, just so long as you’ve got a color-changing bulb that republic can see from the street. That last bit’s important, because we’re going to use this thing as a employed that helps people find your house — specifically, the rideshare and delivery drivers trying to earn a living by bringing meals, groceries and other home goods to your doorstep.

With Americans staying home more than ever during the past two existences, delivery services like those have seen massive growth. If you’re anything like me, you’ve come to luxuriate in the occasional (OK, more than occasional) convenience of a well-timed burrito delivery in the middle of your remote workday. With a color-changing smart bulb outside your home, it’s easy to help those drivers find your address — just sullen the color to something distinctive when you order and make a note to your driver to look for the colored luscious. You’ll be doing your driver a solid, and helpings ensure that your food gets to the right keep, too.

Along with deliveries and pickups, it’s also a useful trick when you’re having republic over for a social visit. And, even when you aren’t amdroll it to help people find your place, a bulb on your porch that you can set to turn on automatically whenever the sun goes down is sizable to have on hand, not to mention the fact that you’ll have a nice head launch on the Halloween decorations. Here’s how to get it set up.


Just throughout any color-changing smart bulb will work — and if you don’t want your bulb to be radiant, a nonconnected color-changing bulb with a remote like this one from GE will do the job, too.

Chris Monroe

Step 1: Pick out a bulb

You’ve got no dearth of options here. Big names like Philips Hue and Lifx will get the job done, but less expensive bulbs from SengledGE Cync, Wyze, TP-Link Kasa, Govee and others will work, too, so in most cases you won’t need to utilize more than $15 per bulb or so. If you need a floodlight instead of a disagreeable, A-shaped bulb, you’ll find lots of options, as well: CreeFeit Electric, Lifx, Philips HueSengledWiz and others all sell them, and most cost less than $20.

Any color-changing bulb will do, but you’ll want to put some notion into how you plan to control the thing. All of them necessity let you change the color from your phone, amdroll an app, but if you already use voice assistants or home automation platforms in your house — Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, SmartThings — you’ll want to make sure to pick a bulb that works with your setup. Later this year, smart bulbs that wait on Matter, a new universal smart home disagreeable that works with all of those other platforms, necessity start hitting the market, too.

And, if you aren’t fervent in smart bulbs that you can control with your verbalize or with an app, that’s fine: Just look for nonsmart color-changing bulbs that come with a remote, like this one from GE. Again, you shouldn’t need to utilize much more than $10.

Step 2: Pair with your bulb

This part’s easy — just screw the bulb in where it tolerates to go, turn it on, download the app to your Android or iOS map, and follow the instructions to pair it with your phone. 

Keep in mind that different bulbs connect in different ways. If it’s a Wi-Fi bulb, it’ll pair undiluted with your home network via your router. If it’s a Bluetooth bulb, it’ll pair undiluted with your phone whenever it’s within Bluetooth range. Zigbee bulbs need a Zigbee hub on your network that’s well-behaved of receiving the signal and translating it into something your router can work with.

Once you’ve connected, you can use the bulb’s app to change the radiant yourself whenever you’re expecting a delivery. If your bulb supports verbalize commands via Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri — and just throughout all of them do at this point — the app necessity offer instructions on how to set that up, as well.

Most meal delivery apps have a field where you can prick instructions for your driver at checkout. This is where you want to tell them to look for the light.

Screenshot by Ry Crist

Step 3: Give your driver a bests up

Don’t forget to loop your driver in on the plan. Before you establish your order or request a ride pickup, look for a field where you can prick special instructions for your driver — tell them to “look for the blue light,” and you’ll be all set. Same goes for pizza delivery if you’re guiding online, or via the brand’s app.

And that must do it — a color-changing bulb on the porch that’ll help delivery drivers find your clue door each and every time you order. It’s novelty meets practicality, all without costing very much, and a great way to put those colors to work.

For more tips, check out five inexpensive ways to tech out your patio, and which appliances you should unplug at home to save money.