Lighting has taken a turn for an even brighter and more illuminating future. The Philips Hue White and Color Ambience A19 (3rd Generation) and LIFX A19 Color LED Smart Bulb are more than your typical light bulbs. When paired with smart home technology, they become well-orchestrated light shows. There is no technical work involved on your part to achieve this, though. Pair the lights to your smartphone and smart home devices, then watch them come alive during video games, movies, parties, and more. You can control them from wherever you are with your smartphones and devices, as well. Sync the lights with your alarms to create a morning light show, or set them to a particular hue or color to create a relaxing ambiance and encourage general well-being. The possibilities to transform your home and the way you utilize light are endless with smart lighting.
How will you know which smart light bulb to choose for your home? This is all dependent upon your budget, hardware, and what other smart home accessories you have already invested in. The following in-depth comparison of the popular Philips Hue Gen 3 and LIFX A19 will help you to decide which smart light bulb works best for your needs.
LIFX vs. Philips Hue — Differences
Difference #1: Color – The Philips Hue boasts a range of 16 million colors. Technically, it ranges from 2000K to 6500K on the color spectrum. The LIFX A19 has a larger range, measuring from 2500K to 9000K and covering the full spectrum of color. While most people won’t recognize the subtleties of color difference, the LIFX A19 still provides the larger range of color.
Difference #2: Lifespan – Both bulbs, while being measured two different ways, have virtually the same lifespan – approximately 25,000 hours. Philips states a 25,000 hour lifespan, while LIFX advertises 23 years at 3 hours per day. When based on a 3 hour day, the Philips bulb has the potential to last nearly 23 years. So, the difference here is pretty clear: neither bulb outshines the other as far as lifespan is concerned.
Difference #3: Size/Fitting – The Philips Hue Brand offers three bulb shapes (A19, BR30, and PAR19) and 2 different fittings (E26, GU10). LIFX offers two bulb shapes (A19 and BR30) and three fittings (E26, E27, and B22). But we’ll focus on the A19 bulb type separately.
The Philips A19 (standard bulb) comes in one fitting: E26; whereas the LIFX A19 bulb comes in three fittings: E26, E27, and B22. So while, as a whole, the Philips Hue brand has more versatility in bulb shape, the LIFX A19 has more fitting options than the Philips Hue A19.
Difference #4: Hardware Required – The easiest option for installation which requires no extra hardware is the LIFX A19. You simply install them in the same manner as you would any other light bulb, but you get the benefits of a smart bulb when you use it with smartphone apps and devices. The Philips Hue requires a Hue Bridge in order to function properly. Although the Hue Bridge does not require extensive setup or maintenance, it is still an extra step and investment.
Difference #5: Cost – While the costs are relatively the same, one Philips Hue light bulb is less expensive than one LIFX A19 light bulb. For a single bulb, the Philips Hue can be purchased for $49.99, whereas the LIFX A19 costs $59.99 per bulb.
However, the startup costs associated with the Philips Hue are more expensive since it requires a “bridge.” The bridge serves as the brain of the Philips Hue smart lighting system. Alone, the Philips Hue Bridge costs $59.99, making the initial setup of just one Philips Hue light around $110 before taxes and shipping. The LIFX A19 is still just $59.99 for initial setup since the bulb stands alone.
If you are looking to buy more than one bulb, a Philips Hue Starter Kit costs about $140.88 and contains 3 Hue E27 White and Color light bulbs, 1 Hue Bridge 2.0, and 1 power adapter. Both the light bulb and Hue Bridge are able to be updated, which helps to increase their lifespan. In comparison, a set of 4 LIFX A19 lights costs $195.96.
Ultimately, the startup cost of the LIFX smart lights is cheaper.
Difference #6: Setup – Minimum setup is required overall for both smart light bulbs. The Philips Hue, however, does require a few more steps to install since it uses the Hue Bridge. The remaining installation is as easy as downloading an app on your smartphone to connect the light bulbs to your smart home. Overall, the setup for both bulbs is minimal and does not differ much.
Difference #7: Overall Compatibility – Both the Philips Hue and LIFX A19 are Apple iOS and Android compatible. The Philips Hue identifies smart programs that work with it as Friends of Hue. The Friends of Hue catalog includes Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Google Assistant, Logitech, Nest, and SmartThings. The LIFX A19 connects with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Logitech Harmony & Pop, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, Flic, Scout Alarm, Sisense, Stringify, and Campfire.
There’s a lot of overlap in the programs that are compatible with both smart light bulbs, but the LIFX A19 bests the competition by five smart devices, making it the best choice because of the variety of smart home appliances that it can connect with. The only downside is that the LIFX A19 is not compatible with the popular Apple HomeKit.
Philips Hue vs. LIFX — Comparison Table
|Philips Hue Gen 3||LIFX|
|Lumens||1055 Lm.||1100 Lm.|
|Lifespan||25,000 Hrs||22.8 Years|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years|
|Beam Angle||160° ±20°||130°|
|Movie & Music Syncing||Yes||Yes|
|App Available||iOS, Android||iOS, Android, |
|Works with Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Google Assistant||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Apple Homekit||Yes||No|
|Smart Hub Compatibility||Wink hub, Wink hub 2, |
|Bulb Base Fitting Available||E26, GU10||E26, E27, B22|
|Bulb Shape Available||A19, BR30, PAR19||A19, BR30|
Philips Hue vs. LIFX — Bottom Line
Ultimately, it is your decision to choose which smart lights will function the best in your home and pair well with the smart devices that you already own. If you are looking to invest in an entirely new smart home system, including lighting, we believe that the LIFX A19 is the better option. It’s easier to install and provides more variety in most comparable categories.
If you own a particular smart home device, you will want to choose a smart light bulb that pairs with it. Again, the LIFX A19 provides more variety here, with the exception being that it’s not able to pair with Apple HomeKit. If you’re looking specifically for Apple HomeKit pairing, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs are the obvious choice. But, if you don’t already have a Philips Hue Bridge, be sure to pick that up. Amazon has a Philips Hue Starter Kit that comes with 3 bulbs and Gen 2 Philips Hue Bridge, which is better than purchasing bulbs and bridge separately. Overall, if you want to save money and aren’t looking for Apple Homekit compatibility, a set of four (4) LIFX A19 bulbs is about the same price as the Philips Hue Starter Kit (which comes with 3 bulbs).