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. However, not long ago Wink introduced the Wink Bright Starter Kit which comes with Wink Hub 2 and two Sylvania (Osram Lightify) light bulbs. The light bulbs emit only white color unlike Philips Hue Color and White Ambiance light bulbs. But, if you’re looking for color, you can always buy Sylvania White + Color light bulbs separately from the kit and pair them with the Wink Hub 2 in minutes. Learn more about Osram Lightify vs. Hue by Philips — What’s the Difference?
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 the Philips Hue bulbs, why would you need Philips Hue bridge? Well, you can’t control Philips Hue bulbs without the Philips Hue bridge. Basically, Philips Hue bulbs connect to the Philips Hue bridge, which can connect to the Wink Hub. That’s why we said at the beginning that you’ll probably end up buying both products. However, ever since Wink released the Wink Bright Starter Kit, it makes sense to start with the Wink kit. So, when you decide to expand the variety of your smart home products, you’ll already have a Wink Hub to connect them all together.
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 add color to your home, 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, lamps, and light strips. You can pair up to 50 bulbs with one Philips Hue bridge.
Now, even though the Wink Bright Starter Kit doesn’t offer color light bulbs, you can always buy them separately from the kit. Check out the full list of Wink compatible light bulbs. With all these options, you can build a custom lighting setting around your Wink Hub. So, if you aren’t fully sold on getting Philips, we’d suggest taking a look into GE Link light bulbs or Osram Sylvania 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. We go over them in these articles: