When someone talks about smart home lighting, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Philips Hue. Yet, Philips Hue is far from being the only option on the market. The Internet of Things offers us a great variety of smart home lighting solutions, like: Lutron dimmers, GE Link, LIFX, Lightify bulbs, and way more we cannot list. And even though Philips Hue is reputable and very well-known, in some cases it’s better to choose other brands of light bulbs over them. So, today we’ll compare Osram Lightify vs. Hue by Philips to help you make the right choice.
If you’ve investigated a little bit about smart home lighting before, you’ve probably seen that there are several ways to turn your home’s standard lighting into smart lighting. One of the easiest ways is to get smart home light bulbs — They usually come in a kit with a bridge. All you need is to install the smart light bulbs, plug in the bridge, and download an app to control them. It’s pretty simple.
Or, another way to do it, you can get smart home dimmers. In the case of dimmers, you don’t need to worry about changing all of your light bulbs. But, you do need to have some wiring skills, because you’ll need to install the smart dimmers yourself or hire an electrician. We think it’s better to buy smart dimmers like Lutron or Insteon in a kit/bundle with a bridge or a hub. Once the dimmers are installed, the bridge/hub is connected, and the app is downloaded, you can really enjoy the full effect of your remote control, smart home lighting.
Fortunately, both Osram Lightify and Philips Hue do not require any wiring and belong to the first group mentioned above — simple smart home lighting. And, since you’re already looking to go with changing light bulbs instead of dimmers (good choice), let’s get to the differences between Osram Lightify vs. Hue.
However, if the idea mentioned above about changing dimmers has intrigued you, check out our Lutron vs. Insteon article. It’ll help you figure out all the details you need to know before buying them.
Osram Lightify vs. Hue by Philips — Differences:
Difference #1: Connectivity – You can get the Osram Lightify bulbs to work via the Lightify bridge or by directly connecting them to the Wink or SmartThings hub. If you already have the Wink or SmartThings hub, then you can pair the Lightify bulbs to either of the two hubs in just seconds.
With Philips Hue it’s as simple; you’ll need a Philips Hue bridge to control your smart Philips Hue light bulbs. So, if you plan on adding Philips Hue lights to your home, don’t forget to purchase the bridge for them to actually make them work.
In fact, sometimes you can even connect Lightify light bulbs to a hue bridge. We say sometimes, because 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. That’s why you might see so many people saying both “it works for me” and “it doesn’t work for me”. These people are just sharing their experience from different continents.
Difference #2: RGBW – Color changing – Both Lightify and Philips offer both white and colorful light bulbs. And even though their technical specifications are almost the same, when it comes to comparing colorful light bulbs, Lightify has way better greens and blues. Of course the colors are not as bright as you can get from the LIFX bulbs. But when choosing between Lightify vs. Hue, you’ll want the blues and greens of the Lightify bulbs.
Difference #3: Price – You can buy the colorful Lightify bulb for Check on Amazon, and the Lightify bridge for only $32.59. Whereas the same set of Philips Hue will cost you more: Philips Hue White and Color bulb is $49.99, plus Philips Hue bridge $51.97.
Difference #4: Fun – With Philips Hue white and color ambiance light bulbs, you can turn your ordinary living room into a dancefloor! Though you’ll need to buy this app separately, it costs around $5 and makes the lights pulse in rhythm to the music — it looks incredibly fun. Unfortunately, Osram Lightify doesn’t dance with your music yet. There’s no app for it, but who knows, maybe one will be designed within the year.
So, as of now, Philips Hue looks like much more fun to play with.
Difference #5: Application – Philips Hue lights are meant for indoor use only, whereas Lightify can be used indoors as well as outdoors too. You’ve got a great choice of Lightify light bulbs for outdoor use: like the standard A19 and BR30 bulbs, LED landscape lighting, and LED flex strip.
Osram Lightify vs. Hue by Philips — The Bottom Line
The choice between Lightify vs. Hue is pretty hard because it depends on a few factors. If you’re just getting started with smart home technology, and plan on adding other smart home appliances except for additional lighting — we’d say go with the Lightify bulbs with a Wink 2 or SmartThings hub. You’ll save money on the lighting and prepare your home for smart appliances integration with the Wink or SmartThings hub.
If you’re just looking for smart lights for now, then go ahead and start the fun with Philips Hue lights. Even though Philips Hue bridge doesn’t offer as much integration with other smart home appliances, it still works with the Nest Learning thermostat, for example. So, it’s not like you’re buying just the lights, you’ll still be able to make them work with other appliances. But eventually, for full integration, you’ll need to get a Wink or SmartThings hub.