We’ve already taken a look at the Philips Hue Lily Outdoor Spotlight vs Chiron Solar Spotlight – one mains-powered, the other solar – in our exploration of the best outdoor lights, so let’s step away from the flower borders and onto the verandah.
This time we're comparing how well the mains-powered John Lewis & Partners Strom LED PIR Outdoor Wall Light performs against the similarly-styled Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Appear LED Outdoor Wall Light.
Both of these wall-mounted outdoor lights require an electrician to install, but once in situ they will provide ample entrance illumination and accented light for verandah, patio and passageway use. They are also both IP44 rated for water resistance, which means they’re ideally suited for placement under the eaves of a house or anywhere that isn’t too badly affected by a deluge of rain tumbling over the gutters.
To be clear, these two lights require a supply of electricity via wire, so if you're more looking for outdoor lights that are powered by the sun then you need to browse the best outdoor solar lights instead.
John Lewis & Partners Strom: features and performance
The John Lewis & Partners Strom shines both up and down so its light pattern is ideal for adding ample accent to a verandah and a great choice for locating either side of an entrance or illuminating a house number. With its Kelvin output of 5,000K, this wall light is on the whiter – ie cooler – side of the light spectrum. I wouldn’t say its light profile is especially harsh but at 345 lumens it’s surprisingly bright for its modest 16.4 x 8.5 x 9.3cm dimensions. Thankfully the light is dimmable if used with the correct type of dimmer switch (John Lewis recommends a V-Pro dimmer for full functionality). The 7-watt bulb itself is also replaceable.
The Strom also comes with a built-in PIR (passive infrared sensor) which makes it doubly perfect for entrance and porch use – it automatically switches on when someone arrives. Like any PIR outdoor light, it can be programmed to stay lit for five seconds to 15 minutes and its sensitivity (detection distance) easily adjusted.
Philips Hue Appear: features and performance
The Philips Hue Appear costs twice the price of the Strom but then it can be controlled with an app and easily dimmed using the app or Alexa and Google. And, being of Hue origin, it can also be programmed to illuminate in any colour and shade of your choice – from 2,000 to 6,500K – and even be set to smoothly transition from one lush colour to another.
The Hue Appear is very similarly in style to the Strom but, at 1,200 lumens, it’s much brighter. With its 24 x 11.7 x 8.4cm dimensions, the Hue Appear is quite a bit taller than the Strom and it creates a more pleasing triangular up and down light formation which is perfect for verandahs, patios and outdoor passages as well as front doors, porches and arches.
The only stipulation with any Hue product is that the light must be located within range of the home’s WiFi signal or you won’t be able to access its features. Unfortunately, if you don’t already own a Hue system, you will also need to purchase a Hue Bridge internet connection box at a cost of £50. And if you want motion sensing added, you will need to splash out a further £30 or so for a Philips Outdoor Motion Sensor which can be mounted alongside.
John Lewis & Partners Strom vs Philips Hue Appear: verdict
The Philips Hue system is a marvel in the world of domestic lighting. Yes it’s blooming expensive to buy – this model retails at around £130 – but the system will revolutionise your home lighting to amazing effect. I guarantee that if you purchase the Appear, you will soon be on the Philips website looking at other Hue lights you can compliment it with. The Hue app is great fun to use, too, and very easy to get a handle on. The range of colours at your fingertips is simply staggering – and I’m talking about every conceivable colour you can imagine apart from some very dark tones like brown and of course black.
The John Lewis & Partners Strom, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper to buy (around £60) and you get a motion sensor with it. Its light formation isn’t as defined as the Hue Appear but then that could also be considered a good thing because the glow is a bit more diffused.
Both of these porch lights add style to any entrance, verandah or patio, but if it were my money, it would be on the Philips Hue Appear, despite the extra cost. It’s just such an appealing system to use while its wide colour range ensures you’ll always find the right tone to suit your needs.
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