When it comes to comparing the Philips Hue vs ilumi, you’re essentially choosing between accessible fun and the beginnings (or expansion) of a fully-connected smart home.
The Philips Hue bulbs are more expensive and have some excellent integration, but are the features worth the extra cost over ilumi bulbs? It all comes down to what you’re looking for when it comes to smart lighting.
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Philips Hue vs. ilumi — Easy Comparison Chart
|Philips Hue Gen 3
|16 million colors
|16 million colors
|Requires a Hub
|Wi-Fi Router Requirement
|Ethernet Port for Hue Bridge
|22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)
|20 years (based on 3hrs/day)
|E26, E12, BR30, GU10, PAR16
|160 degrees (A19)
|Product Dimensions LxWxH
|2.4 x 4.3 in
|2.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 in
Last update on 2024-02-25 at 07:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Philips Hue vs. ilumi — What’s Different?
Brightness – The Philips Hue has a lot of things going for it, but there’s no denying that the ilumi light bulb is a little bit brighter than the Philips Hue overall — all while consuming less energy (9.5 Watts vs 10 Watts).
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there are three generations of Philips Hue bulbs that vary in brightness. The second and third generation of the Hue bulbs have brighter colors at 800 lumens vs. the 600 lumens of the first generation — which leaves those bulbs around the same brightness of the ilumi.
If you do decide to opt for the Philips Hue bulbs, however, make sure you opt for the third generation if you’re looking for vibrant greens, as the first two generations give off a yellowish hue.
All in all, the ilumi is a little bit brighter and there’s no need to differentiate between different generations. The best iteration of the Philips Hue is pretty much equal, but but the first two fall behind and it can sometimes be confusing to differentiate among the generations.
Technology & Connectivity – Buying a Philips Hue bulb on its own isn’t enough to get yourself set up with smart lighting, as they use Zigbee technology in order to transmit and receive data. This is a popular smart home automation frequency, but it requires a hub in order to function — in this case, the Philips Hue Bridge. It’s an additional expense to consider when making your decision, and it isn’t optional in any sense of the word. Zigbee technology is fast and widely supported, but it won’t function on its own.
The ilumi bulb, on the other hand, doesn’t require a hub as it uses Bluetooth LE technology to connect straight to your smartphone.
Remote Control – Philips Hue smart lighting may require the additional expense of a bridge, but that bridge offers a number of advantages — most notably the fact that you can control your Hue lighting from anywhere you have an internet connection. Being able to adjust your lighting as needed from work or even when you’re thousands of miles away is a nice perk to have, and a major advantage that the Philips Hue has over ilumi.
Ilumi, due to the fact that it uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone, needs to be within 164 feet of your phone to receive commands via app. This pretty much limits you to your home when it comes to controlling this smart lighting solution.
Fitting – The worst feeling when buying a smart bulb is to invest in a new product only to find out that it doesn’t work with your existing fittings. The Philips Hue is far more compatible — interfacing well with E26, E12, BR30, GU10, and PAR16 bases. The ilumi, on the other hand, only works with E26 sockets, making it a very real possibility that you won’t even be able to use it depending on which sockets you have installed in your home.
Entertainment – Both the Philips Hue and ilumi have support for music syncing. However, the Philips Hue system takes things a step feature with Philips Hue Entertainment and the Hue Sync App. The combination of these two features allows you to sync your lighting to your movies or video games as well, dynamically matching the hue to further enhance the ambiance and immersion.
If you’re just looking for music syncing, either the Philips Hue or ilumi will do just fine. For expanded entertainment options, however, you’ll have to opt for the Hue bulbs and bridge combo.
Unique Features – While the ilumi bulb doesn’t have the same entertainment features, that doesn’t mean it’s without its own share of cool features. One of the fun features of these bulbs is “Torch,” which you can turn on and off as needed through the ilumi app. Torch allows you to set your bulbs to turn on and off automatically based on where you are in your home. As long as you have your smartphone in your pocket, lights will turn on and off as you walk throughout your house — ensuring that the room is lit up automatically when you’re in it and saving energy when you’re not.
Other cool features that you can play with from the ilumi bulbs are the ability to shake to turn on/off and the Simon game to play with your lights — both of which are accessible from the dashboard of the ilumi app.
The Philips Hue doesn’t have the Torch feature. However, it’s possible to buy motion sensor accessories for the Hue bulbs. These are an additional expense and don’t come with the bulbs by default, but they also offer the advantage in that they don’t require your smartphone to function. While the Torch feature is awesome when you’re home alone, it becomes a little less cool when you leave your family in the dark as you step out of the living room and into the kitchen!
Voice Control & IFTTT – There is a pretty significant difference when it comes to integration when comparing the Philips Hue and ilumi.
The Philips Hue is compatible with all other parts of the Hue product family. There is also the option to pair Philips Hue with other smart devices such as Nest cameras, sensors and thermostats, and the Beddit 2.0 Smart Sleep Tracker.
The types of features you’ll get from your lights when you hook up to these products vary, but we can give a few examples. If you hook up your Nest Protect system to your Philips Hue lighting, your Philips Hue lights will flash red when it detects smoke or carbon monoxide. This is an excellent visual cue for anyone, but especially for those who are hearing-impaired. Once it detects the smoke or carbon monoxide, the lights will stay lit up to help guide you to safety. This is just one example of how integrating Philips Hue with other smart products can make your home safer and more convenient overall.
The Philips Hue ecosystem also works well with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can easily control multiple aspects at once such as dimming the lights and making the room warmer with just simple voice commands.
Philips Hue is also well-known for its IFTTT recipes. There are a number of cool integrations that come by default, but you can adjust the conditional triggers to do everything from flashing green when your favorite team scores to turning blue when it starts to rain.
The ilumi has significantly fewer options for integration and voice control, and doesn’t work with any other third-party devices. It’s possible to use IFTTT to control your ilumi lights via Alexa or Google Assistant, but that takes some finagling to get set up and isn’t enabled by default.
Apple HomeKit – While it’s possible to control ilumi via Alexa or Google Assistant by using IFTTT, there’s no way to get your bulbs to work with Apple HomeKit. You can still use the iOS light to control the various settings, but there is no way to use Siri in order to control your ilumi bulbs.
The Philips Hue, on the other hand, has wide support for Apple HomeKit and iOS devices. You can tell Siri to “turn on the upstairs lights” and adjust scenes, colors, and much more just with Apple voice control. The ability to dim your Philips Hue lights from Apple Watch is another cool perk, and ensures you’ll never be without the ability to control your system.
If you have a smart home controlled by HomeKit or are even just a big fan of Apple products, there’s no denying that the Philips Hue is the better choice. Just make sure you use the Philips Hue 2.0 Bridge because the Philips Hue 1.0 Bridge is not compatible with HomeKit.
Finish – When it comes to finishes and colors, the Philips Hue light bulbs offer only white hardware. White works with pretty much anything, but the white and black options with the ilumi bulbs do offer you a little more choice when it comes to aesthetic. The ability to accent the color scheme of your room with black or white hardware isn’t necessarily a major selling point, but it’s certainly a nice perk that is worth mentioning. Not everyone likes white fixtures, and unfortunately, it’s your only option with Philips Hue.
What do Philips Hue and ilumi Have in Common?
16 Million Colors – We’ll go deep into the differences between the Philips Hue and ilumi below, but no matter which product you go with, you’ll have access to 16 million colors with which you can express your creativity. With so many colors at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever before to have the perfect color for every situation and mood. Adjust the hue to suit the seasons, or light up your living room with the perfect colored lighting for your favorite movie. There are near-limitless options for experimentation with either product.
App Control – With either product, you can control your smart lighting through a smartphone app. This allows you to do things like set your lights on a certain schedule, change colors on a whim, or even to dim at specific times so you have the perfect lighting when it’s time to wind down for bed.
Music Syncing – Whether you decide on the Philips Hue or opt for the ilumi, you’ll be also have some neat fun entertainment features. In addition to the ability to set schedules and wake-up modes as discussed above, you can sync to your favorite tunes with either app. Just keep in mind that the ilumi music syncing can be a little off-beat from time to time.
How to Make Philips Hue and ilumi Even Better?
When it comes to accessories, the Philips Hue lighting system is very much expandable. The Hue product family is expansive, and includes everything from the flexible Philips Hue Light Strips to lamp options like the Go, Bloom, and Beyond that add the perfect ambiance for general well-being and meditation.
If you’d prefer to stick with just the Philips Hue bulbs, however, you can still enjoy additional features by purchasing additional accessories. Consider investing in a Dimmer, Tap Switch, and Motion Sensor for complete control over your new Hue bulbs.
Which Would We Choose for Our Home?
Comparing these products on a 1 to 1 basis and trying to decide which is best is a little bit difficult, as they are designed with different target audiences in mind.
With the Philips Hue bulbs, you have the ability to expand an existing smart home system or kick start a new one. The bridge and third-party integration make it the perfect option for adding bulbs into a connected home, and they’re generally more fully-featured than the ilumi system.
If you’re just interested in colorful lights and aren’t tied to the idea of converting your home into a smart home, then the ilumi may be the perfect option for you. It doesn’t have nearly the same amount of integration, but it’s a fun option with some cool features that are pretty easy to control.
If we had to choose one or the other, however, we would recommend the Philips Hue. It’s more expensive than the ilumi, but the advantages are numerous and it’s frankly a superior product. While the ilumi feels more like a fun toy, the Philips Hue is a fully-featured smart lighting solution.
Last update on 2024-02-25 at 07:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API