Review: New WiZ smart lighting is a cheaper alternative to Hue

But is it just as good?

WiZ is a new series of smart bulbs and accessories, from the makers of Philips Hue. We have tested the WiZ lamps and accessories and you can read all about them in this review. What are the options and is it worth it?

WiZ lamps review

If you are looking for smart lighting, the choice is huge. By far the best known are Philips Hue, LiFX and the IKEA Tradfri lamps. A year ago Signify, the parent company of Philips Hue, announced the acquisition of WiZ Connected. Now a year later, WiZ has announced the arrival of the new series of lamps and accessories. The set includes colored lamps in all sizes, filament lamps and a remote control and motion sensor. In this WiZ review you can read our experiences with the new products.

WiZ Connected Light in short

These are the main properties of WiZ lamps:

  • Large range: E27, GU10, E14 and Filament, both colored and with white light (warm to cool)
  • Various accessories: remote control, motion sensor and smart plug
  • Connecting lamps via WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Affordably priced from € 12.99
  • Works with Siri Shortcuts, Google Assistant, Alexa and more
  • No hub required
  • HomeKit support is missing

WiZ Filament lamp.

For this review we tested a total of five products: the colored E27 lamp (large and small), the Filament lamp, the WiZ Motion Sensor and the WiZMote remote control. The company has previously released a series of lamps, but they have now been completely updated with a new WiZ 2.0 platform with new smart functions via the app.

Setting the lamps and accessories is relatively easy. Since you don’t need a hub (like with Philips Hue), you just need to download the app and turn the lamp into a fixture. The app recognizes the presence of a lamp almost immediately, after which you only have to create a room and assign the lamp to it. Keep in mind that it only works with 2.4GHz WiFi networks. It is also not necessary to create an account, because you can use WiZ completely anonymously. If you still want to register, you can do so with Log in with Apple. Your settings are saved with an account, which is useful, for example, if you want to use the app on another device.

Set up WiZ lamps.

Quality WiZ lamps

The quality of the WiZ lamps themselves is fine. The colored lamps can display 16 million colors. The normal colored lamp has a maximum of 806 lumens, which is equal to a normal Hue White & Color Ambiance. The larger version has a whopping 1521 lumens. The number of Kelvin is also the same, up to a maximum of 6500K. In terms of specifications, there is therefore nothing wrong with the lamps. In practice, the WiZ lamps are hardly distinguishable from the Philips Hue lamps in terms of light quality, and that is certainly not a bad performance at this price.

What is good to know is that the WiZ lamps cannot be combined with other systems. This means that you cannot buy one WiZ lamp to mix with your Philips Hue or IKEA lamps. It really is a standalone system, so if you choose to buy WiZ, you should really bet on it.

WiZ lamp colored.

WiZ app and smart functions

Basically, the WiZ app is fine. Almost all the functions you want from such an app are included. You can create rooms, group lamps, set scenes and set schedules. For example, with schedules you can set a time at which lights go on. A disadvantage of this is that you can only set this for all lamps or per room and therefore not per lamp or by combining several lamps from different rooms. It is also not possible to have the lights switch on or off automatically as soon as you leave or come home. There is, however, a special holiday mode, in which the lamps simulate your presence to deter burglars.

Operate WiZ lamps and set scene.

Operating lights and scenes is a bit clumsy. This is mainly due to the layout of the app. Everything feels a bit simplistic and to set a custom color you have to press quite a few buttons. There are controls to set the strength and heat and a standard button for, for example, a night light, but if you want something specific you have to dive deep into the app. The whole thing therefore feels quite messy. Although we are not always a fan of the Philips Hue app, we even find it a lot clearer than the WiZ app.

Setting scenes is fairly easy, but activating them is rather hidden by a small button. Where the Hue app offers a nice overview of all set scenes, at WiZ these are large blocks with a small play button to set a scene.

What is a nice feature are the rhythms. Based on the time of day, the lamps change color according to the moment. In the morning, a lamp helps you wake up, while showing the most productive color during the day. To help you relax in the evening, the lights are dimmed again. There is also a standard Circadian Rhythm, which automatically chooses the most suitable lighting for you.

WiZ lamps: rhythm and settings in the app.

All in all, we find the app a bit unkempt. The design is a bit messy and the Dutch texts sometimes do not fit well into the picture, so that the text appears through buttons or is broken off in a strange way. Due to the cluttered design, the operation is also a bit clumsy, while you want to be able to set a smart lamp in one tap. An Apple Watch app is missing, but there is a widget to activate scenes faster.

Siri with the WiZ lamps

The biggest downside to the smart features is the lack of HomeKit support. With HomeKit you ensure that lamps are easy to operate and communicate with other smart products in the house. The lack of HomeKit is actually a reason for us to choose a system other than WiZ, but if you do not use HomeKit at all and do not want to have any other smart products at home, you will not miss it.

Instead, the bulbs do support Siri Shortcuts, but their capabilities are limited. You can only link scenes to Siri Shortcuts. This means that you cannot switch individual lights on or off with your voice. Moreover, scenes are linked to a room, so you can’t turn off all lights at the same time with Siri. Siri support via Siri Shortcuts is just one bandage for the lack of HomeKit support. We therefore prefer to choose a light system that works with HomeKit and has extensive Siri support, such as Philips Hue, LiFX or IKEA.

Control WiZ with Siri.

WiZ accessories

Regarding the accessories, we tested two products: the remote control and motion sensor. Both are made of plastic and therefore feel a bit cheap. They hardly weigh anything and therefore feel very vulnerable. In both accessories you have to add batteries yourself (AAA and AA). The motion sensor is also suitable for hanging.

WiZ accessories: motion sensor and remote control.

The remote control has an on and off button, a button for night light, four preset buttons for scenes and a plus and minus button to adjust the brightness. The disadvantage of this remote control is that it is linked to one room. So you directly control all the lamps in the room and you do not have the option to operate other lamps in the house with it. You can change rooms via the app, but that is also a bit cumbersome. With the remote control you can operate the lamps much easier than via the app, but due to the limitations, we are not a fan of it.

WiZ lamps: set motion sensor and remote control.

The motion sensor does what it is supposed to do: switch on the lights as soon as movement is detected. That goes quite smoothly, without any noticeable delay. This is also linked to one room. You can set what the lamp should do when the motion sensor detects movement. In addition, you set a time limit on which the lamps must switch off automatically if there is no movement. That is roughly comparable to the motion sensor of Philips Hue, so WiZ copied that well from its own partner.

Score

7


WiZ lamps

WiZ lamps

From € 12.99

Pros:
+

  • Excellent light and color quality of the lamps
  • No hub required
  • Easy to set up
  • Cheap

Cons

  • App is messy
  • Operation often a bit cumbersome
  • No HomeKit
  • Siri support is limited
  • Low quality accessories

The WiZ lamps will soon be available at the well-known retail chains. Please note that only the old series is currently available.

Conclusion WiZ smart lamps review

We are satisfied with the light quality of the WiZ lamps: the brightness and color distribution is beautiful and the color reproduction is also accurate. That is by far the most positive aspect of these lamps. We are a little less enthusiastic about the smart functions, operation and possibilities. The app is messy and it is difficult to find your way between the options to quickly operate a lamp. The lack of HomeKit is the biggest shortcoming for us and the limited Siri Stortcut support is not a practical solution. The available accessories do their job, but because of the limitations, it all feels a bit less than, for example, the buttons and sensors of Philips Hue.

The new WiZ lamps are therefore only worthwhile if you are looking for cheap smart lamps, without wanting to use HomeKit or attaching great importance to smart useful functions. As far as we are concerned, Philips Hue is a much better long-term investment, even if you spend more money on it.

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