Lifx vs Hue
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Philips Hue vs Lifx – Battle of The Smart Bulbs
Who is the king of smart lights for your smart home?
During the early days of smart home development, smart switches lead the revolution as the pioneering smart home devices. Then came along smart bulbs – more affordable, accessible and practical for most than the alternative. To this day, smart bulbs vs smart switches is one of the first questions most of us face.
As you are reading this article, you have clearly decided to explore the best smart bulb options for your home and looking to make a decision between Lifx and Hue. And lets make no bones about it, for many years Philips owned this niche and to this day still does. However, there is a new kid in town and they’re looking to dethrone Philips Hues of its title as the best smart home lightbulb.
Lifx, an upcoming underdog in the smart home lighting niche is showing its strengths as the new kid that’s going to take on Philips hue. Unfortunately, there is only one throne and we’re here to determine who is the worthy successor.
In the following showdown, we’re going to determine which is the best smart bulb in the game and which is the best smart home lighting system for you! Let’s get into it
What’s the difference between Philips Hue & Lifx?
There is one fundamental difference between Philips Hue and Lifx that you need to be aware of, especially if you’re not already an owner of a smart home hub such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. That difference being that Philips Hue requires a bridge whereas that Lifx doesn’t. Without going into the technicality of it all and boring the head off you essentially a bridge is needed because the Philips hue system communicates on both Wi-Fi and ZigBee. Whereas Lifx only operates on Wi-Fi.
In the case that you don’t own Amazon Alexa or Google Home you will need to ante up more dough in order to afford the Philips Hue starter pack (which includes a bridge and smart home bulb).
On the other hand, Lifx doesn’t need a bridge to get you started on lighting your smart home. The only wavelength that Lifx needs to communicate on is Wi-Fi. All you need to do is purchase the bulbs one at a time.
It should be noted however that amongst the smart home community that there has been some connectivity issues with Lifx over Wi-Fi. Predominantly this is due to poor Wi-Fi connections. In this case, if you are already experiencing issues with your Wi-Fi on a day to day basis perhaps it may be a good idea to find out why that is, upgrade or opt for Philips hue bulbs.
This is quite a contrarian statement and many smart home users may disagree as other devices that use Zigbee connectivity tend to be more problematic. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Philips hues bulbs so you’re safe.
Philips Hue Bulbs vs Lifx Smart Bulbs – Let’s talk options and features
Let’s not beat around the bush here and get straight into it
What are the Philip hue bulb benefits?
- Cost less in terms of bulb for bulb
- More compatible with a bridge (not just Philip hues bridge but Amazon Alexa and Google Home)
- More third party support
- Wider portfolio of smart home lighting
What are the Philips Hue bulb cons?
- The requirement of a bridge drives up the overall cost of set up
Now that we got out of the way, let’s get critical about Lifx –
What are the benefits of Lifx bulbs?
- Lower up front cost for connectivity
- Does not require a hub for integration
- There is support for the Home Kit straight out of the box
What are the cons of Lifx?
- Costs more in bulb for bulb terms
As we can see both are on level playing fields here. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. In this case, it really comes down to then what is best for you. Granted Philips has the edge when it comes to options however Lifx is still getting started and who knows what the future may hold for them.
Where the bridge makes a difference
I understand for most of this post we’ve been bad mouthing the bridge as a burdensome but necessary purchase however it’s actually everything but.
In fact, the bridge offers benefits in and of itself. Unfortunately, accessories communicating over wifi use significantly more power than Zigbee and more importantly, the bandwidth is being shared with all your other internet connected gadgets.
Also with Zigbee capability baked in, Philips Hues are compatible with a wide array of switch dimmers, motion sensors and tap switches straight out of the box. You can also setup some truly useful event based automations when combined with a hub and other smart home devices – how about an automation rule to turn on your porch lights when your Ring Video Doorbell motion sensor is triggered after dark?
In addition, Philips hue offer more variations of different types of lighting. Hue goes beyond your standard lighting options and fixed lamps. Even more so than Lifx which seems to just extend to LED strips.
Who’s got the better app?
From the app you will be able to do various functions such as sync your lights, change colors and turn them off and on. When it comes down to it both apps offer pretty much the same functionality but both have one feature that gives an advantage over the other.
Philips Hues Sync
Philips Hues Sync allows you to sync various entertainment mediums such as your movies, games and music and thus matches the light to the tone of that medium in real time. And again, with other smart devices synced to a central hub, you can even setup a smart thermostat like Ecobee or Nest, to adjust the temperature just right for movie night. It’s these little things that make all the difference to your experience with a smart home ecosystem.
Similarly but differently Lifx offers effects. In essence, Lifx effects can creates various scenes such as using lighting to simulate a fiery atmosphere or sync with your music to create a party atmosphere.
However, while both are essentially the same because of the greater hardware options (smart bulb variations) the atmosphere is more alive with Philips Hue Bulbs.
It’s tight but overall we would have to side with Philips Hue. Initially, it might be more expensive setting up your smart home lighting set up but in the long run it works out to be the better option in terms of features, price and hardware. Unfortunately, Lifx hasn’t yet dethroned Philips Hue as the kings of smart home lighting but they definitely are coming close. Without a doubt, keep an eye on Lifx in the coming years.
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