Everyone knows Philips Hue! But its manufacturer Signify offers a second brand for smart lighting with Wiz. COMPUTER BILD reveals what it is good for in this test.
One is not enough! That’s obviously what the lighting experts at Signify thought, and in addition to the popular Philips Hue, they took over Wiz, the second brand in spring 2019, which is intended to smartly illuminate the home. Lamps and Co. are consistently cheaper here than with the “big brother” Hue. And the system also does a number of other things differently, which should particularly inspire smart home newcomers. COMPUTER BILD took a look at the Wiz light in this test.
Works differently: Wiz is at home in the WLAN
Even if Philip Hue and Wiz come from the same manufacturer, the cheap brand follows a different concept and is said to be particularly beginner-friendly. This works with Wiz:
Get started right away: A key difference to Philips Hue is that Wiz lamps do not require an additional bridge or further preparations: It also works without a user account and registration, and the Wiz products simply use the home WLAN for the wireless connection. A smartphone or tablet with a free app is all you need to set up and control the light. Good to know: Wiz offers two apps. We recommend the new “Wiz V2” app because only it has a modern look and some new, important functions such as the “SpaceSense” motion detection (see below) on board.
Smaller range of products
As is usual with WiFi lamps, this is a closed system. Only Wiz products can join the network and can then be controlled together. In addition to bulbs for the common sockets E14, E27 and GU10, the range also includes LED strips, ready-made lights as well as motion detectors, buttons and remote controls. When it comes to outdoor lighting, it looks meagre: Where Philips Hue has outdoor lights of all kinds ready, Wiz only has a chain of lights that is waterproof and therefore intended for outdoors. The Wiz online shop has a total of almost 100 products, and Philips Hue has five times as many.
Local or networked
Since Wiz lamps communicate with the app locally via WLAN and save their settings on a chip in the device, the operation also works without the Internet. The system runs timers and schedules even when the WLAN is switched off. But you need an online account for voice control. Once this is set up, Wiz lamps are in contact with the manufacturer’s cloud. It enables the connection with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri voice commands can be implemented via shortcuts on the iPhone, there is no HomeKit support. Other popular smart home services can be addressed with IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings or Magenta Smart Home.
This is how quickly the smart lights shine
New light sources and new accessories were quickly added to the Wiz app as the command centre of the system: Simply switch on, wait a moment, tap on the message, and be done! It also works with several devices in one go. If you want, you can assign them to rooms that can be created and named as you wish. Two or more lights can be combined or sorted into light scenes – and thus controlled together.
In the test, SpaceSense worked quite reliably. Where external motion detectors react immediately, the lights often needed a second or two before they recognized the movement and switched on the lights in the room. When will it get dark again? As soon as no more movement is detected or with a delay that can be set in the app, i.e. after about 5 minutes “freedom of movement”. The automatic switch-off sometimes a long time to come in the test, even though the room was empty. On the other hand, sitting quietly and typing at the desk as a movement was often not enough for the lamps in the office to signal constant presence. Here it helps to add a third lamp to SpaceSense or to increase the sensitivity in the app. This in turn can ensure that pets trotting through the house also activate the lights. Also on board with Wiz lamps: They measure their energy consumption and display the values and settings of the app, neatly sorted by individual devices, rooms or all Wiz products.
Bright and colourful: E27 bulb Full Color High Lumen A80
If you want to upgrade “stupid” lamps, you need smart lightbulbs: In the test, the new, extra-bright “Full Color High Lumen A80” lamp with an output of up to 150 watts (LED 18.5 watts) was used. Thanks to its size and E27 thread, it cuts a fine figure, especially in large ceiling lamps. It can also make larger rooms shine brightly or illuminate them discreetly – depending on your taste. At 30 euros, it is the most expensive bulb in the Wiz range. Cheap alternative: The small and less bright “Full-Color Mini P45” bulb (40 watts, LED 4.9 watts) for 15 euros. With Philips Hue, you pay at least twice as much for comparable light sources.
To take away: Wiz Mobile table lamp
One of the fresh Wiz products is the mobile table lamp. It can light up in two colours at the same time (“Dual Zone”) and has touch-operated buttons and brightness control on the top so that the phone and Wiz app can sometimes get stuck. The lamp comes with a battery that lasted four to 5 hours at full brightness and could then be charged via USB-C. Striking: The battery drained quickly in standby mode. The on/off switch on the bottom helps here. The table lamp also did quite well on the garden table in the test, but it is not waterproof and is therefore primarily intended for indoor use. Here it is suitable both as a bright reading lamp or as a flexibly placeable mood light. It costs 90 euros. For the price, the practical carrying handle could be made of leather instead of plastic. Philips Hue does not offer a comparable lamp in the lantern design, but portable lamps like the Hue Go, which is also available for 90 euros.
Befitting: Wiz Pole floor lamp
If you like it a little bigger, you can grab the floor lamp from Wiz, which is mainly intended to provide indirect lighting. The base of the lamp is slim, but it also offers little support, so the lamp is a bit wobbly. The base is also detachable if you want to put or attach the glow stick somewhere. Like the table lamp, its standing counterpart has a dual-zone design for two-tone lighting. In the test, this brought out particularly “dynamic” light scenes such as a fireplace, jungle or sunset. The price of the floor lamp is 130 euros. Rod floor lamps from Philips Hue cost twice to three times as much, depending on the length, but they look even slimmer and, thanks to the wooden base, even more stylish, and the light offers even softer colour gradients.
In a nutshell: Wiz Bar Linear Light
Not only the floor lamp is flexible: But you can also set up the “Bar Linear Light” horizontally or vertically. Several light strips can be connected using cables that are included in two lengths. With a length of 30 centimetres, the short bar lights fit on any shelf or provide chic lighting accents there. They are available for 50 euros. Philips Hue has nothing comparable in its range.
At the push of a button: Wiz Portable Button
If you don’t want to constantly control the Wiz lighting via app or voice command, and don’t want to put another remote control on the living room table with the Wiz-Remote, you can use the Portable Button. This allows you to switch lamps or rooms on and off at the push of a button, or place light scenes you like to use on the buttons. In the test, the operation also worked over distances of up to 15 meters and through several walls. The buttons have a good pressure point and are a decent size. So that the switch does not get lost, it comes with a bracket for the wall, for example, which holds it in place magnetically. The Portable Button is not exactly cheap at 30 euros, Philips Hue has slightly cheaper but also more expensive switches in its range.
Smart lighting from Wiz: test conclusion and price
The test showed: Wiz provides inexpensive, but by no means cheap or functional lighting at home. The simple operation works without a bridge and without registration, and the automatic control with movement even without accessories.
Of course, the complete solution for smart light is more likely to be offered by Philips Hue with sophisticated lighting effects, Zigbee radio, its extensive range and accessories. But if you don’t want to upgrade the whole apartment smartly, just need a few chic lighting accents and are more concerned with the price, you can confidently access Wiz. A starter set with three colourful E27 bulbs plus remote control is available from Wiz for a mere 35 euros, with the premium brand Philips Hue you have to shell out at least 85 euros for the same set, and for coloured lights at least 150 euros.