Thanks to This Color-Changing Light Bulb, I Can Finally Fall Asleep Faster at Night

I only wish I'd gotten it sooner.

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Philips Hue 548487 Smart Light Bulb, Single Pack

Out of all my opinions on home decor, there's one that I cling to most strongly: Lamps are far superior to overhead lights. After the sun goes down, I want my space to feel warm and inviting, and a lamp typically creates this kind of environment. And thanks to one recent purchase, my bedside lamp has gotten even better: Philips Hue color-changing light bulb has allowed me to shift the mood in my bedroom in an instant, which has even led to me falling asleep faster.

The smart light bulb has built-in Bluetooth capabilities, so all you have to do is screw it into your light fixture, turn it on, and pair it with the Philips Hue Bluetooth app on your smartphone—no need to fuss around with your WiFi router. I was a bit worried that my lamp (which I scored from a thrift store for just $3) would be too old to properly work with the smart bulb, but it connected in a cinch.

On the app, you can change the color of the light emitted from the bulb and dim or brighten as you please. There are plenty of pre-set lighting options with descriptive names; "Spring Lake" is a bright, green-toned light, while "Ibiza" is a warm, golden glow. You can set the light to give off just about any color of the rainbow, but there are plenty of more traditional options, too, like "bright," a slightly warm daylight white, and "concentrate" a cool-toned option that's perfect for keeping you awake as you get some work done. What's more, it allows you to customize and save your own lighting preferences as defaults, set lighting "routines" that operate on a timer, and connect the bulb to your Amazon Alexa for even easier use.

Most often, I keep my lamp set to "bright" until I start to get ready for bed. I love to read for at least half an hour before going to sleep, so as soon as I pull out my book, I'll increase the warmth of the light bulb and dim it enough so that my room feels darker (but I can still read the words on the page without straining my eyes). After about a chapter or so when I start to get tired, I'll turn off my light and fall asleep.

It wasn't always this easy. Before I got the Philips Hue light bulb, I relied on a normal, non-dimmable light for my bedtime reading. On days when I was particularly tired, I'd fall asleep easily, but more often than not, it took some time for me to doze off after turning off my light. Being able to gradually adjust the lighting in my room has made it much more natural for me to transition from day to night, so I can fall asleep faster.

Philips Hue 548487 Smart Light Bulb, Single Pack

To buy: $50;

There's research that may explain this phenomenon. A 2014 study published in Photochemistry and Photobiology found that the intensity of the light you're exposed to in the hours before bedtime can alter your circadian rhythms. Reducing the intensity of the light in your home, then, is a simple way to ensure your sleep patterns don't get interrupted so you can actually fall asleep when you want to.

Since getting the Philips Hue color-changing light bulb, I only have one regret: That I didn't buy it sooner. Spending $50 on a single light bulb can sound like a hard cost to justify, but the versatility and ease of use have made it well worth the price. And I'm not alone in my love for it—the smart bulb has earned a five-star rating from more than 24,000 shoppers on Amazon.

Now that I can change the mood of my bedroom with just a few taps on my phone, my nighttime routine feels more relaxing than ever. This purchase, for me, has proved to be a real light bulb moment.

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