Philips Hue vs LIFX: The Best Smart Lights in Australia

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Smart lights can transform the ambience of your home with an impressive level of convenience.

The best smart bulbs can be controlled using a smart phone, can be connected to your home assistant system (e.g. Alexa) and offer a range of timer or automation features. They are also energy efficient and the light quality is excellent so a smart light bulb can do everything your old bulb could and a whole lot more without any compromise.

With such a range of smart home lighting systems available, it can be difficult to find the best option for your needs. Below we take a look at the top Philips Hue and LIFX lights available in Australia followed by a comparison of the two brands.


1. LIFX Mini Multicolour Dimmable Smart Light Bulb (Top Pick)

LIFX Mini, B22, Adjustable, Multicolour, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant

Easily transform your home lighting with these LIFX colour changing smart bulbs. The compact, flat top bulb has a domed design and gives you total colour and brightness control.

The set up is very straightforward and once the app is downloaded (on Android or iPhone) you can control your lighting from anywhere, anytime with no hub or additional equipment needed. The user-friendly app interface allows you to precisely and comfortably choose the colour shade you like and dim or brighten the bulb.

The LIFX wifi light bulb can also be voice controlled via Alexa making it even more convenient. If you have more than one LIFX bulb you can control the lights individually or as a group. The bulbs are pricey but they are energy efficient and have a 22 year lifespan (based on 3 hours of daily use).


What We Like:

  • Easy set up
  • No hub requirement 
  • Controlled by the LIFX app or voice controlled via Alexa

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive


2. Philips Hue White and Colour Dimmable LED Smart Bulb

Philips Hue White Colour Ambiance Bayonet Cap (B22)  Dimmable LED Smart Bulb (Latest Model, Compatible with Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant)

The Philips Hue is a powerful and flexible lighting system that can be wirelessly controlled using your smartphone. In order for your new system of smart bulbs to work you need to connect them to the Philips Hue Bridge (which is sold separately). The good thing is you only need one Hue Bridge for your whole smart home lighting system.

Once you have the Hue Bridge it is really easy to set up your smart bulb and you can use voice control, app control or set timers. You can change the colour, the warmth and the brightness of the light in the app, the app interface is simple to use and is incredibly responsive.

You can save your favourite light settings as scenes so they can be recreated at the tap of a button. The smart home system can run your lights automatically too, the app is even location aware so can turn out the lights when you leave the house and turn them on when you get home which is an impressive feature.


What We Like:

  • High quality and powerful
  • Easy to expand your smart lighting system
  • User-friendly app interface

What We Don’t Like:

  • Needs extra accessories (Philips Hue Bridge) to unlock all benefits


3. LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb

LIFX (E27) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, Adjustable, Multicolour, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant

If you’re looking for a smart bulb that is high quality, easy to use and does not require a central hub, the LIFX smart LED bulb is a fantastic option. This bulb is very bright and brings immersive colour to your home, whether you just want one or you want several smart light bulbs the LIFX LEDs are easy to install and use.

No hub needed means you can enjoy all the features and benefits right away by simply downloading the free LIFX app. On the app you can explore colours, themes and create lighting schedules.

This smart bulb also works with Alexa and you can set the colour, shade and brightness of the light via voice control. It is also compatible with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant so it can integrate with your existing smart devices for added convenience.


What We Like:

  • Compatible with smart home assistants Alexa, HomeKit and Google 
  • No hub required
  • Assistant User-friendly

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some users may find light output does not spread outwards as much as they may like due to bulb design


4. Philips Hue White/Color Candle LED Smart Bulb


Philips Hue White/Color Ambiance Wireless E14 Candle 6W Dimmable/LED Smart Bulb

The Philips Candle LED bulb is designed to fit candelabra lamps in chandeliers, nightlights etc. They are great for bringing some style and colour option to your more traditional lighting systems.

The Hue bulbs can be used with most home automation systems including Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Nest as long as you have the Hue Bridge set up. You can also control the lighting via wifi with your smartphone or tablet.

For an immersive experience you can sync your light with music, games and movies. As this is part of the Philips Hue range it is easy to expand your lighting system with their range of lighting accessories.


What We Like:

  • Stylish candle bulb
  • Easily connects to home automatic systems such as Amazon Echo 
  • App gives you complete control

What We Don’t Like:

  • Needs the Hue Bridge to properly work


5. LIFX Z Strip Smart Light

LIFX Z, Starter Kit (International), Adjustable, Multicolour, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Assistant

The LIFX Z Strip is a smart light strip that can be used to transform any space in your home. The strip has built-in wi-fi and LIFX cloud so full control of the colours and brightness is available through the app.

This light is popular with those wanting to create a more immersive experience for watching movies or gaming.

The light strip is incredibly easy to install, you simply peel the paper from the back of the strip and stick the adhesive strip where you’d like it to be positioned. It stays secure exactly where you stick it and if you want to have a longer light strip you can extend it by getting another strip and plugging them together.

The light strip comes with the usual colour and dimming capabilities and you can also create waveforms and patterns which is a fun way to make full use of them and express your creativity. The light strips can display more than one colour at a time which is a fun feature. The expected lifespan of these strips is over 22 years if used for 3 hours each day so they are durable too.


What We Like:

  • Easy to extend
  • Intuitive app
  • Durable and long-lasting

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some users may find the light strip isn’t as responsive to the app as it could be


Buyer’s Guide: Philips Hue vs LIFX


When it comes to buying smart light bulbs there’s two big names at the top, Philips Hue and LIFX. They are both excellent choices but they each offer different benefits. As smart bulbs cost more than standard light bulbs it’s important to find the one that works best for you. We’ve summarised and compared the Philips Hue and LIFX smart light systems below to help make your choice simpler.

Philips Hue Pros

  • Good price bulb-for-bulb
  • Works with Alexa, Siri, HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Reliable
  • Easy set up

Philips Hue Cons

  • Requires Philips Hue Bridge for the majority of features and connectivity
  • Due to hub requirement it increases the overall cost of the lighting system

LIFX Pros

  • No hub requirements
  • Bright
  • Vivid and accurate colours
  • Works with Alexa, Siri, HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Lower upfront cost

LIFX Cons

  • More expensive bulb-for-bulb
  • Not as compatible as the Hue Bridge network

The biggest difference between the Philips Hue and LIFX system is that in order to enjoy the full range of benefits of the Philips system you also need a hub. This means on top of the bulb cost you will also need to purchase the Hue Bridge which is around $60. The LIFX bulbs do not need a hub in order to work which means they are ready to be used straight away.

Philips Hue vs LIFX Summary

If you are looking for a quality smart bulb light that can be voice controlled, LIFX is a great choice. The light is bright, the colours are vivid and the light is simple to set up.

If you are looking to create a system of smart lights within your home and you are looking for a range of home automation options, the Philips Hue may be a better option. Once you have the Philips Hue Bridge you have access to a range of features and a huge variety of smart bulb choice, smart accessories and compatibility options.



Smart Light FAQs


Do smart lights save money on electricity?

Yes, as most Smart lights are LEDs they are much more energy efficient than older bulbs but due to the higher cost of actually purchasing the smart bulbs, you won’t breakeven for a little while. With that said, over time you should save money on electricity.

Do smart bulbs work with any lamp?

A smart bulb is designed to work the same as a regular bulb so they are available in many sizes, shapes and configurations in order to work with any lamp. You just need a wireless connection, a smart phone and sometimes a hub system to utilise the smart bulb capabilities.