Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — What’s the Difference?

Philips Hue vs Xiaomi Yeelight

The smart lighting scene has been around for a few years now, and Philips Hue was one of the first companies to offer their take on convenient and customizable lighting. They have a huge product family and excellent smart home integration, but with the field expanding with more budget-friendly options like the Xiaomi Yeelight, it might be difficult for them to remain top dog.

Let’s take a look at the Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight, and see whether this newcomer to the smart lighting scene can unseat the king.

Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — About

Xiaomi has made its name in consumer technology largely in their home country of China, but with products like the GoPro, Virtual Reality, and smart lighting now making their way over to the west, they represent a budget-friendly option that provides stiff competition to established western brands.

The Philips Hue lighting remains one of the most established names when it comes to smart bulbs. They were one of the original companies to launch the smart lighting trend back in the day, and continue to offer some of the most compatible products. The first generation of Philips Hue smart bulbs launched six years ago, and was actually named the best product of 2012.

With a huge product family and three generations of Philips Hue bulbs behind them — all of which are compatible with one another — it’s definitely a top pick in the smart lighting arena.


Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — Things in Common

Yeelight - Extra - 01

We’ll get into what sets each bulbs apart from one another below, but let’s kick things off with what exactly these two smart lighting solutions have in common.

Regardless of your choice in bulb, you’ll have the ability to play around with 16 million colors. Change settings at will to suit the time of day, the seasons, a dinner party or movie night, or even just on a whim to suit your mood. With that many colors, you’re guaranteed to never run out of options to customize your bulbs!

Both bulbs also offer support for dimming and scheduling, allowing you to ensure you have the perfect level of lighting at any time of day — adjusted automatically for the ultimate in convenience. Additionally, you’ll be able to adjust any of those settings from wherever you have an internet connection using away home control through the Philips or Xiaomi app.

Although the Philips bulb offers a little more in terms of entertainment features, both the Yeelight and Hue offer music syncing so that your lighting can dynamically adjust to suit your favorite tunes.

Smart bulbs aren’t much use without smart home controllers, are they? Rest assured, both the Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight are controllable with Alexa and Google Assistant, and offer full support for the powerful conditional trigger system of IFTTT.

Finally, as some of the top-of-the-line LED bulbs, you’ll enjoy a 22.8 year lifespan for your bulbs based on three hours of use a day. Even if you happen to use the bulbs as your main lighting for your home, you’ll still get a good number of years out of the lighting — making either choice a worthwhile investment.


Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — Differences

  • Difference #1: Brightness – One of the primary differences between the Philips Hue and the Xiaomi Yeelight is the brightness. You’ll notice a much stronger glow with the Hue, due to its 806 lumens vs. the Yeelight’s 600. This difference in lumens is substantial, and the wider color temperature range of the Xiaomi model at 1700-6500K vs. 2000-6500K isn’t enough to make up the difference. The Xiaomi Yeelight might have a little bit wider range in terms of the type of ambiance it can provide, but the fact that it’s much dimmer at maximum capacity is definitely a detractor.

    Update: The Yeelight color bulb now features 800 Lumens which makes it just as bright as the Philips Hue Light and Color light bulb.

  • Difference #2: Technology & Connectivity – The Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight use fundamentally different technology in order to connect to the smart home and your internet. Philips Hue lighting systems require a dedicated Philips Hue Bridge in order to function and connect via Zigbee technology, so that’s an extra expense to take into account when comparing the two different options. This hub connects to your router via an ethernet cable and makes it possible to connect with a number of other smart home devices while enabling some cool features. It does, however, make getting things set up a little more expensive and complicated.

    The Xiaomi Yeelight, on the other hand, communicates over WiFi and connects directly to your 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n compatible router. No bridges or hubs are required, making setup largely a “plug and play” affair.

  • Difference #3: Geofencing – Geofencing is a feature unique to the Philips Hue lighting that allows your bulbs to turn off and on based on your location. This uses your smartphone’s GPS in order to tell whether or not you are home, and will adjust lighting levels accordingly. The Geofencing feature is a great way to save energy and make sure your house is always lit up when you are home, and it’s a shame that the Yeelight does not include this capability.

  • Difference #4: Entertainment – In terms of entertainment, both lighting systems will sync up with your music and add a splash of color and rhythm to your favorite tunes. The Philips Hue takes it one step further, however, with the Philips Entertainment feature. This is a really unique perk that allows you to dynamically adjust your lighting to fit the mood of your favorite video game or movie in addition to the music discussed above. The app can detect the colors on the screen and switch color schemes accordingly, providing extra immersion for your next gaming or movie marathon.

    In terms of entertainment features, the Philips Hue bulbs definitely take the cake.

  • Difference #5: Apple HomeKit – Voice control is an excellent way to adjust your lighting to suit your mood without having to take out your phone or even move an inch. Philips Hue lighting works seamlessly with Apple HomeKit (via the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0), but the Xiaomi Yeelight does not support this feature. For those of us who are tied into the Apple ecosystem and want to control our lighting via Siri, the choice is pretty clear — Philips Hue.

  • Difference #6: Microsoft Cortana – It’s important to note that both the Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so anyone with an Echo or Google Home will be covered regardless of your choice. As mentioned above, however, Apple HomeKit is unique to Philips Hue, as is Microsoft Cortana. So, if you happen to have a Harman Kardon Invoke Voice-Activated Speaker with Cortana, it’s clear that Philips Hue is the superior choice.

  • Difference #7: Smart Home Integration – Both Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight have a decent amount of integration with other smart home products, although the Hue integrates a little better with most mainstream brands.

    Any Hue products will work seamlessly with Nest, Logitech, and Razer products. This unlocks all sorts of cool integrations ranging from lights turning on when your Nest camera detects motion, to Hue lighting matching your Razer gaming peripherals. The Logitech Harmony remote is also supported, allowing you greater control over your lights alongside an entertainment system. Some popular smart home automation systems are supported as well, such as Xfinity Home, Vivint, and SmartThings — effectively expanding integration to a huge amount of compatible products.

    As far as the Yeelight goes, a lot of the integration is with other Xiaomi products like the Mi Band or Misfit Bulbs.

  • Difference #8: Fitting – When it comes to lighting, one consideration you have to keep in mind is the type of fittings that your home setup is equipped with. While it may be easy to swap out a lamp for one with compatible sockets, it’s not so easy when it comes to installing bulbs into fittings that are built into your home. The Philips Hue has many more options when it comes to compatible sockets, with support for E26, E12, BR30, GU10, and PAR16 fittings. If you decide to opt for the Xiaomi lighting, on the other hand, you’ll need an E26 or E27 compatible socket setup.

    If you’re unsure of the types of fittings you have in your home, the Philips Hue is definitely the safer choice (although we definitely recommend making sure your bulbs are compatible in either case!)

  • Difference #9: Warranty – When you make the decision to invest in a Philips Hue or Xiaomi Yeelight, chances are that you’ll be buying at least a few bulbs to install in your home. It’s important, then, that your decision be backed by a warranty that will protect you in case of any malfunctions or product defects.

    Both the Hue and Yeelight come with a warranty, but the Philips Hue’s 3-year warranty is substantially more impressive than the one year offered by Xiaomi. If you really want an assurance that your bulbs will protected for the first few years of their lives, Philips Hue is the obvious choice.


Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — Comparison Chart

Philips Hue Gen 3Xiaomi Yeelight
Lumens806 Lm.800 Lm.
Color Temperature2000K-6500K1700K-6500K
Color Range16 million colors16 million colors
DimmingYesYes
Night VisionNoNo
Geo-fencingYesNo
SchedulingYesYes
Away Home ControlYesYes
Music SyncingYesYes
Movie/Games SyncingYesNo
TechnologyZigbeeWiFi
Requires a Hub/BridgeYesNo
Wi-Fi Router RequirementEthernet Port for Hue Bridge2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n
AppiOS, AndroidiOS, Android
Apple HomeKitYesNo
Amazon AlexaYesYes
Google AssistantYesYes
Microsoft CortanaYesNo
IFTTTYesYes
Full Brightness10 Watts9 Watts
LED Life-Span22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)
Bulb TypesE26, E12, BR30, GU10, PAR16E26/27
Beam Angle160 degrees (A19)160 degrees (A19)
SecurityN/AWPA/WPA2
Water ResistantNoNo
Outside UseNoNo
Product Dimensions2.4 x 4.3 in2.1 x 2.1 x 4.7 in
WeightN/A0.33 lbs
Warranty3 years1 year

Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — Accessories

Philips Hue - Accessories - 01

When it comes to smart lighting with Hue or Yeelight, there are a variety of ways that you can extend your system with additional accessories.

The Philips Hue is a long-established line of smart lighting, and you’ll be able to expand your setup with products like the Philips Hue Light Strip or a lamp like the Go, Bloom, or Beyond. The lamps in particular are highly recommended, and add the perfect ambience for general well-being and your next meditation session.

If you’d prefer to stick with the bulbs themselves, you can also add in accessories like the Dimmer, tap switch, and motion sensor to afford you more control over all aspects of your new bulbs.

Just as the Hue has lamps that are perfect for mood lighting and meditation, the Yeelight Candela is an excellent smart candle that is great for relaxation before bed or perhaps to add ambiance to a romantic dinner date. The Yeelight sensor night light also ensures that you’ll never be left completely in the dark, and the adds customizable lighting to your home office.


Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — Our Thoughts

Philips Hue - Extra - 02

When it comes to comparing the Philips Hue and Xiaomi Yeelight, it’s clear that both have their pros and cons.

The Philips Hue is a brighter bulb, and features geofencing and scheduling features which is a definite plus. The Philips Entertainment support means that it syncs not only with music, but with your favorite movies and games, and there are a huge number of options for third-party smart home integration. The main detractor from these bulbs is the greater expense due to the fact that you’ll have to shell out for a Hue Bridge.

The Yeelight is a more budget-friendly option when compared to the Hue — largely because you don’t have to buy any additional equipment to get things set up. With the purchase of a single bulb, you can be well on your way to colorful smart lighting with minimal investment. While it might not be as bright as the Philips Hue, it does offer the same 16 million colors to play with, as well as the ability to sync with music, schedule lighting, and control the lights when you’re far away from home. The notable downfalls with the Yeelight are that it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of smart home integration, it offers zero support for geofencing, and it doesn’t offer the same brightness.

As far as our recommendation goes, the Xiaomi Yeelight is an excellent option if you’re not looking for smart home integration. However, as soon as you decide you want your lighting to interface well with other smart products, the Philips Hue is our top pick. With wide integration and fun features included, you just really can’t go wrong with these bulbs.

Our Score:
  • Philips Hue
  • Xiaomi Yeelight
4.7

Let us know what you think!

Have you noticed other differences between Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight? Feel free to add them or share your experience with the products in the comments section below. Your input can help other people make the right choice!


Last update on 2018-12-13 at 17:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6 Replies to “Philips Hue vs. Xiaomi Yeelight — What’s the Difference?”

  1. Just a few comments, maybe because the new Yeelight may have been updated:
    1) The Yeelight color bulb is rated at 800 lumens, same as Philips Hue
    2) Not requiring a hub, and using existing Wifi rather than Zigbee should be bonus points for Yeelight
    3) Yeelight has party modes, and also color recognition using a smartphone’s camera. Not sure about movie or game modes.
    4) Yeelight’s software allows for people to create their own modules

  2. While the Yeelight doesn’t support GPS based geofencing, the Mi Home app supports wi-fi connect/disconnect macros. So you could use that feature to have the lights react to whether you are connected to your home network or not.

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