If you’re like most homeowners, once you start upgrading your home to include smart home devices, it’s incredibly hard to stop. The idea of complete remote control over your home is fascinating. And smart home lighting is one of the easiest ways to start with smart home automation. Both Philips Hue and Wink offer great features when it comes to lighting, and most likely you’ll end up getting both of them. But for now, let us guide you into smart home automation by helping you choose between Wink vs. Hue.
Difference #1: Starter kits – Philips Hue offers Philips Hue light bulbs, whereas Wink doesn’t offer light bulbs. But, you can pair a wide range of smart home light bulbs with Wink, like GE Link, Osram Lightify, Cree, Hampton, etc.
Difference #2: Controller – Both Philips Hue and Wink allow for remote light control, however, they use different controllers. Philips Hue comes with a hue bridge, whereas Wink — well, Wink is a hub itself. Now, what’s the difference between the Philips Hue bridge and Wink hub? Philips Hue bridge allows you to control only Philips Hue, Beddi, and Nest products. With a Wink hub, you can control a much wider range of smart home appliances, like everything that Philips Hue Bridge supports plus a great variety of smart home light bulbs, dimmers, switches, outlets, detectors, sensors, thermostats, etc. (You can check the full list here).
So, if Wink hub allows you to control Philips Hue bulbs, why would you need Philips Hue bridge? Well, you can’t control Philips Hue bulbs without Philips Hue bridge. Basically, Philips Hue bulbs connect to Philips Hue bridge, which can connect to Wink hub. That’s why we said at the beginning that you’ll probably end up buying both products. It makes sense to start with the Philips hue starter kit. And once you decide to expand the variety of your smart home products, you’ll need a hub to connect them all together. And that’s when you’d be looking at a hubs, like Wink or Wink 2 for example. (Wink Hub vs. Wink Hub 2: What’s the difference?
Difference #3: Light bulb compatibility – Philips Hue bridge allows you to control a wide range of Philips Hue bulbs and lamps. But, in case you want to add other brands to your smart lighting, there might be a problem. Let’s take Osram smart light bulbs as an example — Not all Osram light bulbs can be paired with Philips Hue bridge. Osram Lightify bulbs are sold with different profiles: ZLL (Zigbee Light Link) and ZHA (Zigbee Home Automation). ZLL light bulbs are typically sold in Europe, and there’re no problems connecting these bulbs to a hue bridge whatsoever. The ZHA Lightify light bulbs are sold in the US and, unfortunately, ZHA ones do not work with a hue bridge.
With the Wink hub it’s easier: you can connect all Philips Hue lights (assuming you have Philips Hue bridge), Osram Lightify, GE Link, Cree, and others. Plus, some of the lights that you connect to Wink can be used both inside and outside. There’re even landscape lights available, like Sylvania RGB gardenspot.
Wink vs. Hue — The Bottom Line
Both Wink and Hue are great, and you’ll probably end up getting both of them eventually. But, if you’re looking to just get started with smart home lighting, the easiest way to do it is with a Philips Hue starter kit. Once it’s all set up (which we found incredibly easy to do), you can extend your smart lighting system by adding Philips Hue bulbs and lamps. You can pair up to 50 bulbs with one Philips Hue bridge.
Now, Philips Hue is not the only good option available on the market right now. Plus, Philips Hue is pretty pricey when compared to other smart home lighting options. If you aren’t fully sold on getting Philips, we’d suggest taking a look into GE Link light bulbs or Osram Lightify bulbs, which can also change color and even offer brighter greens and blues. Just pair them with a Wink hub and you’re all set. Yet, Philips Hue has a few unique features, which other light bulbs can’t offer yet.