WiZ, the more budget-friendly, hubless sibling of Philips Hue (both companies owned by Signify), has expanded its range of Wi-Fi-enabled smart lighting products with new releases this week.
The $89.99 WiZ Mobile Portable Light comes in October, and the $24.99 WiZ Smart Button, which acts as a switch or remote for all WiZ lighting, arrives in September. The company also added: WiZ bar and floor lamps as options for indirect lighting and wall-washing, which are now available.
The current WiZ range starts at less than $11 per bulb and contains the standard shapes for white and colored spheres, light strips and downlights. There are also smart plugs, a wired dimmer, and a motion sensor — most of the building blocks for a smart lighting setup. WiZ products work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Siri Shortcuts, IFTTT, and SmartThings.
Just in case the design doesn’t give it away, the name for WiZ’s new lamp insists that the Mobile Portable Light is one you can easily carry from room to room (but not outdoors, as there’s no water-resistance rating). The portable lamp is battery powered and comes with a USB-C charging cable. WiZ claims it runs for about 10 hours on a full charge, and there’s a handle.
In terms of lighting, this is a smart full-color bulb with preset lighting modes, scenes, and dynamic options like candlelight that simulates a flickering flame, which you set in the WiZ smartphone app. There are also options for a slow fade or slow brighten to relax or wake up, plus you can use two different color gradients for an ombre lighting effect.
There are physical controls on the light – a touch panel to dim, brighten or activate preset modes, and you can use the WiZ app or a voice assistant for remote control (it works with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri with using shortcuts).
You can pair the portable light with other WiZ lights to create scenes in the WiZ app, where you can also set schedules or activate a holiday mode (to make the lights go on and off randomly). The Mobile Portable Light also works with the new WiZ Smart Button, a battery-powered remote control that can dim or turn the light on and off. The button works with all WiZ products and can be set to control a single lamp, group, room or all lamps. It communicates directly with the lights so works even when the internet is not available.
WiZ has also released some mood lighting options. The WiZ Bar Linear Light ($84.99) is a two-pack of full-color light bars, similar to Hue Play Bars but for about $50 less. The WiZ pole floor lamp ($119) is a 59-inch-tall, full-color light bar designed to add a wide-angle wall-wash effect to the corner of a room. It has a removable base so can also lay flat on the floor for some light wash effects under a sofa or behind a bed. The floor lamp has double light zones.
While both WiZ and Hue carry the Philips brand and are owned by Signify, the brands are completely different. They work over different primary protocols – WiZ uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and Hue uses Zigbee and Bluetooth – and there is no integration between hardware or apps. WiZ bulbs can’t be added to the Hue Bridge, and while you can use the bulbs together on a compatible platform, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, there’s no other crossover.