A networked home offers more convenience and can even save energy. The smart lighting system from Philips Hue is well-known and popular — but it’s not cheap. Here you can learn about possible alternatives.

Smart light is the ideal entry into the world of a smart home. The wireless LEDs are quick and easy to install and have a great effect. Whether via smartphone or voice command, smart lighting systems offer the great advantage that they can be flexibly adapted to your home and your needs. You can set practical timers to save electricity and money or create personalized light and color concepts. No question, smart light has charm and upgrades your own four walls. Philips Hue is one of the best-known systems, but also one of the most expensive. Not everyone wants to dig deep into their pockets for smart light. Here we present possible alternatives to Philips Hue.

Cheap alternative to Philips Hue

The price of the Philips Hue LEDs is often the reason not to buy the smart lights. The alternative from a Dutch company called Innr. There are many different lamps in the range. There are of course classic LEDs in different versions and shapes, but also light strips and light spots. Thanks to the ZigBee wireless standard, you can even add Innr LEDs to existing Hue products by using the bridge as a control unit.

You have to do without Bluetooth, Innr currently does not offer any suitable products. Like Hue, Innr’s alternative has white and colored bulbs. The price is higher if you choose a colored version. Language assistants such as Alexa and Co. also work with Innr if desired.

Bluetooth Philips Hue Alternative

Osram Smart LEDs are very similar to Philips Hue. Here, too, you need a base station that can be used to control all the lamps. Osram currently no longer offers its own gateway, but users can use products from other smart systems such as Magenta Smart Home or Philips Hue. This is possible thanks to the ZigBee wireless standard, so you can also connect and control LEDs from different manufacturers.

Osram has both Bluetooth LEDs and ZigBee based lights. These cannot be combined because they are based on different radio standards. You can connect the Bluetooth version to the Apple Home Kit, which should be particularly exciting for fans of the Apple ecosystem. Like Hue and Innr, Osram has different lights in its range. This applies to shapes, colors and frames. There are also light strips and various other lights such as light spots. This Philips Hue alternative can also be controlled via voice command.

Smart solution from Sweden

The well-known Swedish furniture store Ikea offers its own smart home lighting with Tradfri. Practical for anyone who likes to shop at Ikea and has a furniture store nearby. The advantage of Ikea Tradfri is obvious, the products are coordinated and so you can buy cupboards and the right smart lighting directly during a visit. The assortment ranges from candles or ball LEDs and different sockets to practical LED light panels. You won’t find any light strips at the moment. However, it can be expected that Ikea will continue to expand the smart home system in the next few years and products will follow.

It is controlled via a suitable app or remote control. Similar to Philips Hue, Tradfri also has a gateway. The radio standard is based on ZigBee and is therefore compatible with the Hue system. The Ikea system is also suitable for language assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

What should you consider before buying a Philips Hue alternative?

It is easy to save electricity with wireless LEDs, but the smart lightbulbs are always on standby and therefore also consume some electricity in standby mode, which you should plan for before purchasing. The following five criteria may also be relevant.

1st color

There are colored and white LEDs. With white lamps you can cover different lighting moods in the spectrum of cool white and warm white. As a rule, the white versions are cheaper than the colored ones. Colored light bulbs have a wide range of colors and can create a wide variety of lighting moods. Brightly colored light strips are particularly flexible and are often used as an Ambilight replacement on televisions.

2. Control

A home becomes really smart when your lamps work on demand. Control via voice command is therefore a popular variant. There is no need to reach for a tablet or smartphone and you can operate the LEDs flexibly in every room. Due to the great popularity, most Philips Hue alternatives can be controlled with voice commands. This applies in particular to the well-known competition. You should take a closer look at cheaper products from the Far East if this feature is important to you. Otherwise, control via smartphone or tablet app is common.

3. Radio standard

Optimal networking of the different light sources is crucial, because the better the LEDs can communicate with each other, the easier it is to operate.

4. Central control unit

Anyone familiar with Philips Hue knows that a control unit is required, the Hue Bridge. Because without them, the smart LEDs cannot be connected, which is especially true for LEDs from other manufacturers. With many providers you need a control unit (gateway, hub, bridge) and ZigBee compatible lights to connect. Plan for these additional costs and don’t forget to buy the necessary accessories. If you prefer Bluetooth, the control is omitted. You will find some LEDs on Hue and some competitors that you can conveniently control via Bluetooth with an app, without a control unit.

5. Form and Composition

Smart LEDs are available in various shapes and versions. The wide E27 socket is common, but many manufacturers also offer variations such as E14 sockets. Depending on the type of lamp, round or candle-shaped LEDs can be used. The round models are more common, but some suppliers sell candle-shaped light bulbs. Light spots, cabinet lighting and flexible LED strips are other variations of smart light. Get an overview of the range of products from the various manufacturers and then select the lamps that suit your home.

Tip: You can easily save with a voucher from Ikea.

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