When it comes to smart lighting, there are a bunch of brands that all offer their own take. Two major brands are the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania, and it can be difficult at first glance to decide which option is best for you.
The main question comes down to whether the Philips Hue bulbs are worth the extra expense. Should you splurge on the Hue lights? Or do Lightify bulbs get the job done for less?
Let’s get into the details in our Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify comparison below.
Navigate this Article:
- Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Sylvania — TL;DR Comparison Chart
- Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Sylvania — Let’s Get Into Details!
- What do Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Have in Common?
- Philips Hue and Sylvania in a Smart Home Environment
- How to Make Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Even Better?
- Which Would We Choose for Our Home?
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Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Sylvania — Easy Comparison Chart
|Philips Hue Gen 3||Sylvania RGBW|
|Lumens||806 Lm.||800 Lm.|
|Colour Range||16 million colors||16 million colors|
|Requires a Hub||Yes||Yes|
|Wi-Fi Router Requirement||Ethernet Port for Hue Bridge||–|
|App||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
|Apple HomeKit||Yes||Yes, depends on a hub|
|Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes, depends on a hub|
|Google Assistant||Yes||Yes, depends on a hub|
|Microsoft Cortana||Yes||Yes, depends on a hub|
|Full Brightness||10 Watts||10 Watts|
|LED Life-Span||22.8 years (based on 3hrs/day)||18.2 years (based on 3hrs/day)|
|Bulb Types||E26, E12, BR30, GU10, PAR16||E26|
|Beam Angle||160 degrees (A19)||–|
|Product Dimensions LxWxH||2.4 x 4.3 in||2.36 x 4.33 in|
|Warranty||3 years||2 years|
Last update on 2023-05-27 at 16:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Sylvania — What’s Different?
Brightness – There’s technically a difference between the two bulbs in terms of brightness, but the difference is honestly pretty minimal. The Philips Hue Gen 3 is slightly brighter with 806 lumens vs the 800 of the Osram Lightify Sylvania, but it may be difficult to actually notice that difference in practice. The Osram Lightify Sylvania does have a slightly wider range of color temperature which may make it a little more flexible, however, despite the fact that it’s not quite as bright.
Fitting – One significant advantage that the Philips Hue has over the Osram Lightify Sylvania is its support for different light sockets. With the ability to work well with E26, E12, BR30, GU10, and PAR16 sockets, you’ll find that the bulbs work with pretty much any setup you might have. With the Lightify Sylvania only working with E26 sockets, it’s important that you make sure that your existing lighting fixtures are built in a way that can support the bulbs.
Lifespan – While both bulbs will last you quite a long time, there is a pretty significant difference in terms of their lifespan. Based on 3 hours a day of usage, the Philips Hue Gen 3 will last 22.8 years, which is a good amount longer than the 18.2 years of hte Osram Lightify Sylvania. In practical use, it’s likely that both bulbs won’t last quite that long considering the fact that the majority of people use their bulbs more than a few hours a day. Still, overall, you’ll get a longer lifespan out of the Philips Hue regardless of your usage patterns.
Entertainment – Hooking your bulbs up to a hub may seem like an inconvenience, but in the case of the Philips Hue bulbs, you’ll have access to the Philips Hue entertainment features through the Hue Sync App. This app doesn’t add many practical features, but part of the appeal of the 16 million colors of these bulbs is the ability to experiment will all sorts of different color schemes. The Hue Sync App allows you to sync your bulbs to your media, matching the hue of your favorite game or movie. It can really add some ambiance and immersion to your favorite activities, and is a major mark in favor of the Hue bulbs.
Sylvania bulbs don’t have any equivalent to this feature, which is definitely a little disappointing. While both bulbs have a lot of smart functionality, the Hue bulbs are definitely a little more fun.
Warranty — The last major difference between the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania is the fact that the Hue has a 3-year warranty while the Sylvania is only covered for 2 years. When you make an investment in a smart lighting system — especially if you’re replacing a bunch of bulbs at once — you want the assurance that your purchase will be backed up should anything go wrong. Having the knowledge that you will be covered an entire extra year makes the Philips Hue a little bit more attractive when you’re buying multiple bulbs.
What do Philips Hue vs. Osram Lightify Have in Common?
Light Bulbs Options – While the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania bulbs are part of two different smart lighting ecosystems, they offer similar options when it comes to light color. Regardless of your choice, you’ll have access to White, White Ambiance, and White & Color Ambiance options that will give you the perfect hue for any situation.
Color Range – For the colored bulbs on either brand, you’ll have access to 16 million colors. With a near-endless amount of possibilities, you can truly customize your smart lighting to fit your personal aesthetic. Changing things up is pretty easy as well, so you can have multiple favorites for different moods.
Technology – Both the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania use ZigBee technology in order to communicate with their hubs and respond to commands. This is a common smart home technology that has both advantages and drawbacks.
Some of the primary advantages are that it doesn’t have to compete with all of your WiFi devices when it comes to transmitting information, allowing for a faster and more responsive connection. Setup is also relatively easy, it’s scalable for when you want to expand, and it’s possible to control devices remotely.
As far as disadvantages go, the range of Zigbee technology isn’t nearly as wide as WiFi, which means that your lighting will probably be limited to the confines of your home rather than being able to set up bulbs outside. The signals are also admittedly less secure, which means that there’s a possibility that there could be outside interference. The likelihood of someone hacking your smart lighting is probably not super high, but it’s a vulnerability worthy of note.
Require a Hub – Simply buying the bulbs and plugging them in isn’t enough to enable the smart functionality, and if you don’t have a hub you’re basically left with a more expensive regular light bulb. The Philips Hue requires the Philips Hue Bridge, and the Osram Lightify Sylvania requires a compatible ZigBee hub. The flexibility of the Osram model means that you can pretty easily hook it up to hubs like SmartThings, Wink, or Amazon Echo Plus.
App Control – The main way that you’ll adjust the various settings of the Philips Hue or Osram Lightify Sylvania is through the dedicated Philips Hue or Lightify app. While the features of the apps themselves differ slightly, they both offer a wide amount of control over a number of different lighting features.
Voice Assistants – Both the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania offer support for voice control, although they differ slightly in the types of controllers they offer by default. The Philips Hue bulbs work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit as long as you’re using the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0.
The Sylvania bulbs, due to the fact that they use a third-party bridge rather than one specific to their brand, have voice control based on the type of Zigbee hub you decide to buy. If you want a bulb that works well with HomeKit, make sure you look for the “Works with HomeKit” label on the light bulbs’ package to ensure compatibility. If you’re looking for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support, the support will be based exclusively on your hub.
Philips Hue and Sylvania in a Smart Home Environment
In addition to the voice controllers mentioned above, the Philips Hue also works with products from brands in the “friends of Hue.” With companies represented from Nest with their thermostats and security camera, to Razer with gaming peripherals, there is a wide variety of brands and products represented.
In addition to the notable companies mentioned above, you’ll find support for smart home controllers like SmartThings, Logitech, Xfinity Home, and Vivint. IFTTT support also greatly expands the functionality of the bulbs, and opens up a lot of cool integrations with other aspects of your smart home.
As far as integration for the Osram Lightify Sylvania bulbs, it’s really going to depend on the type of hub you purchase. While the Phillips family has their own hub, the Sylvania bulbs function with a third-party controller — so your supported products and brands will vary.
How to Make Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Even Better?
While the Philips Hue and Osram Lightify Sylvania are excellent products in their own right, they are also pretty easy to expand with other products from their respective ecosystems.
The Philips Hue family is larger, and has support for products like the Light Strip, and lamps like the Go, Bloom, and Beyond. There’s a wide variety of lighting styles available within the brand, and the lamps in particular are perfect for low-light and relaxing activities like meditation.
The Sylvania smart family, while not quite as large, also offers the opportunity for expansion with their own Light Strip as well as the Sylvania Smart Plug.
Which Would We Choose for Our Home?
At the end of the day, both of the bulbs have their advantages. It’s pretty clear, however, that the Philips Hue is the superior product.
With a greater degree of control, a more established smart lighting product family, and more fun features to play with like the Philips Hue Entertainment functionality, it’s overall just a more well-rounded product.
The Lightify bulbs do have an advantage, however, in that they are far more budget friendly. If you’re looking to replace a bunch of lights at once, the Philips Hue bulbs could potentially be cost-prohibitive. There’s no denying that you’re trading away some useful features if you opt for this bulb, but the cost savings mean that you may be able to set up your entire home with smart lighting rather than just a few bulbs or lamps.
Last update on 2023-05-27 at 16:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API