Philips Hue smart LED bulbs now have more competition from Philips Smart LED bulbs

Technology

Signify, owner of the Philips Hue brand, today announced the global launch of its Philips Smart LED bulbs. The new lineup originates from Signify’s 2019 acquisition of Wiz, and carries the “Wiz Connected” logo on its blue packaging to differentiate it from Hue products. A similar collection of bulbs launched in the US at Home Depot stores at this time last year, only under a slightly tweaked “Philips WiFi LED” name.

Signify assured The Verge during a press briefing that they’ve tested the multitude of Philips smart LED brands with consumers and they weren’t confused. That’s good, because Zigbee-based Philips Hue smart LED bulbs and Wi-Fi-based Philips Smart LED bulbs are not compatible.

At launch there are 36 products (individual bulbs and multi-packs) launching under the Philips Smart LED brand in Europe that undercut comparable Hue bulbs on price. These include basics like the 60W E27 warm white dimmable bulb for €9.99, a 50W GH10 tunable white frosted spot for €13.99, a 2-pack of 50W GU10 color frosted spots for €29.99, and a gold 25W E27 decorative white filament bulb for €54.99. Signify says that Philips Smart LED bulbs should be available to buy today from most retailers that already sell regular LED bulbs.

Signify also sells dozens upon dozens of Wiz-branded lights and accessories that differ in availability by region. The Wiz lighting collection includes temperature- and color-changing bulbs of all sizes, spots, ceiling lights, decorative filaments, lightstrips, and luminaries. Wiz accessories include smart plugs, remotes, motion sensors, and in-wall dimmers.

The company added a few new items today including the Wiz Hero Gen 2 (€49.99 / $49.99) and Squire (€54.99 / $59.99) table lamps, a slim ceiling light, and its first smart plug with an embedded power meter (€19.99) that will let you monitor energy consumption within the Wiz app when it launches on October 1st in Europe and the US.

Wiz Connected bulbs can also be found from a number of partners. Notably, Walmart Canada sells Wiz Connected bulbs under the “Great Value” brand. Liteline and the UK’s 4Lite are also signed on as a partners.

As mentioned earlier, the collections are incompatible despite sharing the Philips name: Philips Smart LED bulbs can’t be controlled by the Philips Hue app, and Philips Hue bulbs can’t be controlled by the WiZ app. Fortunately, the Wiz / Philips Smart LED collections, like Philips Hue, supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, IFTTT, and SmartThings to help mask the incompatibility.

Compatibility across Philips brands could change in the future since both Wiz and Philips Hue have committed to supporting the interoperable Matter smart home protocol when it launches in the first half of 2022. However, Signify has committed to updating the complete range of Hue devices to Matter, while only committing to new devices for Wiz. That’s likely because all Hue devices will support Matter after updating the Hue Bridge in homes, whereas hub-less Wiz devices must be updated individually since each product is fitted with its own WiZ module. Signify is looking into my query about future interoperability under Matter but didn’t have an answer in time for publication.