Philips Hue vs. Wiz: Which Smart Bulb is Better in 2021?

In this article, we’ll compare Philips Hue and Wiz to help you determine which smart bulb brand is a better fit for your needs.

Philips Hue and Wiz are both smart home tech brands. Specifically, they offer smart bulbs that allow you to control your lighting with the utmost convenience. These lights are dimmable and color-changing, and they integrate with your digital assistant. You’ll be able to set sequences to turn them on and off, as well as set timers and alarms.

The possibilities are almost limitless. 

But, which of these bulbs is the best? Which one offers the most features, user-friendliness, and value? Keep reading while we take a deeper dive into both of these brands and find out.

Philips HueWiz
Price Range$49.99 for four bulbs, $203.00 for four color-changing bulbs and a hub$36.00 for three bulbs, $49.99 for four bulbs
Product SelectionSmart bulbs, switches, lamps, rope lights, and moreSmart bulbs and remotes
Shipping CostVaries based on regionFree with Amazon Prime
Shipping TimesVaries based on region2-3 days with Amazon Prime
Years in Business9 years (Hue line)6 years
HeadquartersAmsterdam, NetherlandsHong Kong
Products Made InChinaChina
Warranty2 years limited2 years limited
Customer Satisfaction 4/5 on Tech Radar4/5 on PC Mag

About Philips Hue

Philips Hue is a line of smart home products released in October of 2012. The company is based in Amsterdam, and it produces the bulk of its bulbs in China. Among the smart home community, it’s known as a higher-end brand that excels in flexibility.

The Hue line-up was actually one of the first of its kind, coming out a year or two ahead of most of its competitors. Starting as just a smart bulb, the line expanded to lamps, rope lighting, and switches, offering lots of customizability and potential.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulb
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Prices range between $49.99 for a four-pack of plain white bulbs (without color changing) and $203 for a four-pack of color-changing bulbs and a hub.

The color-changing bulbs are the true flagship product in the Philips Hue lineup. These bulbs dim and change temperature, and they can create 16 million colors. While they are more expensive, they have the most features, and they are the best selling products.

The Hue line-up works differently than many other smart bulbs. It uses a bridge to tie into the WiFi, but it does not use the WiFi to communicate between devices. Instead, it uses a system known as Zigbee, which is essentially a walkie-talkie system for smart bulbs.

Each bulb has its own Zigbee chip, essentially making each device a mini-computer. This system actually minimizes the chance of anyone hacking into your WiFi through your smart bulbs.

With that said, it’s entirely possible to use the Philips Hue products without the bridge or Zigbee. They can operate using the Philips mobile app, which is incredibly user-friendly and easy to setup. These devices can tie into your WiFi, but you’ll get limited functionality and capacity. 

Hue is compatible with both Android and iOs systems, as well as Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.

While there is a bridge to deal with, setting up the Hue system is very easy. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Start by screwing the Hue lightbulbs into light fixtures. Ensure that each fixture is turned on.
  2. Plug the Hue Bridge into a power outlet and tether it to your modem with an ethernet cable. Also, be sure to turn it on. You should see three blue lights on the hub.
  3. Download the mobile app. It’s available for both iOs and Android users.
  4. Once you download and open the app, it should recognize the Hue Bridge right away. Simply press the large button on the Bridge.
  5. The app will automatically detect any powered light bulbs within the home. 
  6. Name each of your bulbs. Some examples are “floor lamp,” “kitchen sink,” and “end table,” but you can name them whatever you’d like.
  7. To get the most out of your Philips Hue lights, connect them to your digital assistant. 

Philips Hue Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Over 16 million colors
  • Wide range of products
  • Easy to set up
  • Highly-customizable
  • Better security over other bulbs

Philips Hue Cons

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Requires a hub to unlock full potential

The Bottom Line

Philips Hue makes high-quality bulbs with premium features. They’re also incredibly easy to set up, and they won’t compromise your network security. While they are a bit expensive, and the bridge is an extra device to deal with, it’s still an excellent smart lighting system.

About Wiz 

Wiz, or Wiz Connected, is a French-Asian lighting company based in Hong Kong. Launched in 2015, it produces high-quality, moderately priced lightbulbs and lighting solutions that work with smart home technology. 

And as an interesting note, as of April 2019, Wiz Connected is actually a subsidiary of Signify, which also owns Philips. However, the two product lines do not work with each other.

WiZ IZ0026023 60 Watt EQ A19 Smart Wifi Connected LED Light Bulbs
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The majority of Wiz Connected’s product line consists of smart bulbs, though it does have some small lamps. These bulbs have many of the same features and capabilities as much more expensive bulbs. They feature dimming and color-changing, and they integrate with smart home technology. Prices range between $21 for one and around $50 for a set of four. 

Wiz bulbs don’t require a bridge or hub. They run directly off of your WiFi, and you can control them with the Wiz Connected app or your digital assistant for the ultimate in control.

These bulbs can also be set to work with themes, such as good morning and goodnight routines. They work with Amazon and Google, but at this time, they do not work with Apple HomeKit (but there is a work-around that will integrate with Siri). 

Setting up the Wiz Connected bulbs is very easy. Simply screw a bulb into a fixture, download the Wiz Connected app, and follow the prompts. The bulbs will provide prompts in the form of flashing colors, informing you of the step you’re on in the process. You’ll be able to name the bulb, add them to sequences, adjust colors with a color wheel, or choose preset colors. 

And colors are actually where the Wiz bulbs might fall a bit short, depending on where you stand. Compared to higher-end brands, The Wiz bulbs aren’t as bright or luminescent when producing colors. While this might be comparing moderately priced apples to high-priced oranges, it is a point worth noting.

Also, there are some stumbling blocks with the app. Some of the features are buried a few layers deep (like the color wheel), requiring seemingly unnecessary navigation. 

Wiz Pros

  • More affordable than much of the competition
  • Doesn’t require a hub
  • Same flexibility and customization as more expensive brands
  • Simple setup

Wiz Cons

  • Doesn’t work with HomeKit (but can work with Siri)
  • Colors aren’t quite as vibrant as higher-end bulbs

The Bottom Line

The Smart Bulbs from Wiz Connect are a great option for anyone who wants to upgrade their lighting but doesn’t want to invest in a more expensive line-up. They’re also convenient to set up or add additional bulbs, as they don’t require a hub. But, the hub does have a few unnecessary gateways to navigate for access to all the functions.

Philips Hue vs. Wiz: Which Brand is Better for You?

Choosing between these two smart brands comes down to a couple of factors: How much flexibility and customization do you need? How important is user-friendliness? Is security a priority? What’s your budget?

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either brand, but there are reasons to choose one product over the other. If your budget allows, Philips Hue’s user-friendliness and security are top-notch. It just comes with a hefty price tag when you start purchasing the brand’s highly-capable products.

But, if you’re on a tighter budget or want something truly simple to set up, the smart bulbs from Wiz will do the trick. They offer just about everything the Hue does, with fewer vibrant colors and a bit less user-friendliness.

And, truthfully, Philips Hue is a lifestyle brand. There are a lot of products in the line-up, and so you’ll be likely to find the product that you need. You do pay a bit extra for entrance into that lifestyle, but it might be worth it for some shoppers.

If there’s an edge based on products alone, Philips Hue gets the win. Its user-friendliness and expansive product line are hard to argue with. But, should you choose to go with Wiz, you won’t be unhappy with your decision. It’s an excellent line with high-quality but affordable products.