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I’ve reviewed quite a few Philips Hue products over the past few months. More recently, Wiz sent me samples to try.
WiZ is a relatively new smart lighting brand that was founded in 2017 and became part of Signify in 2019. This puts them under the same company that makes Philips Hue products. Wiz therefore seems to be the affordable alternative to Philips Hue.
Philips Hue bulbs traditionally used Zigbee and required the Hue Bridge to work. More recently, they have produced bulbs that also work with Bluetooth.
For Wiz, all of these bulbs use WiFi and require no hub.
Wiz has rapidly expanded its product line over the years and currently has a range of 77 products that you can purchase.
I was recently sent a sample of three products:
- WiZ Luminaire Mobile Portable Light
- LED Wiz 18.5W (150W equivalent) E27
- Wiz 8W B22
Before jumping into the review, I thought it would be helpful to compare some of the most popular smart lighting solutions on the market.
I am also far that there are many other options. In particular, you don’t need smart bulbs. Depending on your needs, the best solution may be smart switches, which will be cheaper and allow more smart controlled bulbs.
I didn’t add up all the unique products, and every brand has multi-packs that skew the numbers. However, Philips Hue offers by far the widest range of products:
- Philips Hue:
- Tapo TP-Link
The extensive Hue product line includes a wide range of outdoor lighting and 150 products in the track lighting section.
For whole-home installations with a variety of indoor and outdoor lighting, Hue is by far the best.
Wiz has 33 lights in the Lighting category. These are basically spotlights, ceiling lights and table lamps. There are no exterior lights.
Tapo only has indoor bulbs and light strips.
Bulb Performance Comparison
All three companies have many options, but I chose three bulbs to assess if there are significant differences between bulbs and overall performance.
For comparison, I chose the 800 lumen equivalent bulbs with full color using the E27 fitting.
- Nominal luminous flux – 806 lm
- Color temperature – 2200-6500K+ full color
- Philips Hue Warm to cool white and color
- Luminous flux at 4000K – 830 lm
- Color temperature – 2000K-6500K +16 million colors
- Maximum standby power – 0.5 w
- 2 years warranty
- Typical luminous flux – 806 lm
- Color temperature – 2200-6500K+ full color
The specs above were taken directly from the manufacturer’s websites, and it’s hard to match specs exactly.
I had trouble finding similar prices too. Philips offers a color E27 lamp advertised at 800 lumens with an RRP of £50, but you’d be crazy to pay that much for it. I suspect they are phasing them out for the newer 75W 1100 lumen models, which are £43 on Amazon.
Wiz has the 13W (100W eq) A76 bulb with an output of 1521 lumens for £18.
Like-for-like comparisons seem irrelevant as Wiz is still the most cost-effective choice.
For less powerful bulbs, it seems that Philips Hue is more energy efficient, with the 800lm model using a maximum output of 6.5w while the Wiz uses 8w. However, this advantage seems to diminish for the top-rated models with the 1600lm Hue bulb using 13.5W versus 13W.
TP-Link Tapo offers a wide range of affordable smart home products. I particularly like the Tapo P110 smart plug, which has energy monitoring. This is something that I have used a lot in my various articles on electricity costs.
For lighting, the Tapo L530E comfortably undercuts Wiz and Hue for pricing on Amazon. It’s currently only £7.49, and it’s usually around £9. However, it’s the only E27 bulb they have, and it’s only 800 lumens.
Philips Hue may seem overpriced compared to others, but it’s the more mature product with a great app, the more features, the better 3rd party integration and just better overall performance. You are paying a premium price for a premium product.
Philips Hue connects via Bluetooth or the hub using Zigbee. If you are using the hub it supports 50 bulbs and in my experience there is rarely a problem with the signal.
Wiz and Tapo connect via WiFi. In theory, there’s no limit to how many you can add, but 200 is the maximum you’d probably expect and only if your router supports that many devices on WiFi. In reality, I wouldn’t want 50, let alone 200 WiFi-connected bulbs on my network.
All three brands work with Alexa, Google and HomeKit. They also all work with Home Assistant.
Wiz offers a decent range of smart home integrations in its settings. In addition to the above, you have options like IFTTT, SmartThings, Homey and more. Tapo is limited to IFTTT.
All three brands have motion sensors. I haven’t tried the TP-Link or Wiz sensors, but the Philips Hue sensor is the most reliable sensor I’ve used, with superb battery life. The Hue app has sensible settings that have day and night options by default and will adjust the lighting based on the current luminescence during the day.
Philips Hue also has the added benefit of Hue Sync, which lets you sync your lights with music, movies and games.
My conclusion is probably obvious to most potential buyers.
Philips Hue is by far the best smart lighting solution. They have a huge product line, the Zigbee/Smart Hub connectivity method is superior to WiFi, and they have a much more mature ecosystem, especially the app experience and integration with other systems.
The downside is the price of Philips Hue products.
WiZ seems to be the best option if you want to invest in a lot of lights but without the expense. They have a wide selection of products that should allow you to create a smart whole-home lighting solution without breaking the bank.
Tapo has a fairly limited product line, but they have one of the best smart plugs around, and they’re incredibly affordable. If you only need a few smart lights, these are easy to recommend and it makes sense to stick with them if you already use Tapo products.