It's no secret that Philips Hue and WiZ dominate the smart home lighting industry, producing some of the best products known on the market. Both brands are owned by Signify, meaning a lot of similarities naturally pop up between the two brands. Whilst WiZ is known for being cheaper, it still causes confusion whether the quality differs between the two, and whether there's one brand that smart home enthusiasts should stick with. We've already looked at the similarities and differences between the two brands as a whole, but today we're examining two of their individual products on a closer level: the WiZ Outdoor String Lights and the Philips Hue Festavia lights.
The WiZ Outdoor String Lights are new, launched only a few months ago. The Philips Hue Festavia was released in 2022, but the company announced at IFA 2023 that it was launching a new generation of the popular lights. The new model is able to work outdoors as well as indoors, and became available in two more varieties: 100 mini LEDs and 500 mini LEDs. Make sure you check out T3's original review of the Festavia before you read more!
Today, we'll be comparing the price, features and design of both products, hopefully helping you decide which brand to go with to light up your outside space this winter.
WiZ Outdoor String Lights vs Philips Hue Festavia: price and availability
The WiZ Outdoor String Lights have an RRP of £109.99 and can be purchased on Amazon. The 48ft (12 bulb) option is the only available variety.
Philips Hue Festavia String Lights come in three different varieties. The 100 smart mini LEDs are £109.99, the 250 option is £199.99 and the 500 option is £319.19. All options are available on the Philips Hue website and other retailers such as Currys.
WiZ Outdoor String Lights vs Philips Hue Festavia: features
Both brands have included a huge amount of interesting and advanced features for each product, but they're slightly different in how users go around them.
For WiZ's Smart Outdoor String Lights, all you have to do is simply download the WiZ app and connect the lights to your existing Wi-Fi. You will then be able to control the lights when you're away from home as well as set schedules to turn them on and off automatically. If you keep the controller within Wi-Fi range, the lights will be fully controllable even out of Wi-Fi range.
Users can also choose from millions of light colours, from energising cool white to soft warm white. You can apply a preset dynamic light mode such Ocean, Forest or Party to create an amazing atmosphere in your outside space, perfect for a bit of al fresco dining! The lights can also glow different colours for each segment at the same time, creating a fun, multi-coloured environment.
The WiZ app also keeps records of the energy consumption of your lights. Users can view their weekly or daily report and plan lighting wisely for an optimised energy consumption at home.
The WiZ's Smart Outdoor String Lights are Matter Certified, meaning you can control them with your preferred smart home platform and other Matter Certified devices.
The Philips Hue Festavia lights can be controlled with the Hue app, BlueTooth or via Hue smart accessories, such as the Hue Tap Dial. They can also be linked up to a Hue Bridge so users can align them with other Philips Hue lights in the home - read our guide on what the Hue Bridge is and how it works for more information on this.
Like the WiZ lights, the colours of the Philips Hue Festavia can also be altered. Users can customise the lights for a gradient of colour in a single line, scattered for a random arrangement of colour or mirrored to reflect the colours from the middle of the string. The main string can also be separated into three sections, allowing users to pick a different colour for each section.
The latest indoor/outdoor Festavia lights have two lighting styles which look to mimic traditional fairy lights. The Sparkle setting makes the LEDs twinkle, perfect for the festive season. The Scattered setting focuses on the colour of the lights, and allows users to randomise up to five colours in different sequences.
Like WiZ, the Philips Hue Festavia are Matter compatible but users will need a Bridge for full access. This was only imposed recently so read our guide on Phillips Hue and Matter to find out more.
Whilst the WiZ Outdoor String Lights are simpler to use and have a convenient energy consumption tracking feature in the WiZ app, the Philips Hue Festavia come with a wider range of smart features which are perfect for users with an already established smart home set up. Both lights also offer a huge range of colour options, but the Festavia's varying lighting styles bring a bit more variety. Both lights are also Matter compatible, but users will need a Hue Bridge for the Festavia lights to be included.
WiZ Outdoor String Lights vs Philips Hue Festavia: Design
When it comes to the look of both products, they are rather different. Wiz's Outdoor String Lights are large bulbs, whereas the Philips Hue Festavia lights are made up of small LEDs. This gives means both products give off a very different look, with many people preferring the larger, rounder bulbs of the WiZ lights to have outdoors, and the smaller Festavia LEDs to have indoors.
This WiZ Outdoor String Lights have been rigorously tested to ensure optimal performance outdoors. They can withstand a range of conditions from extreme sunlight to heavy downpours, strong winds and garden sprinklers. They use low-voltage technology and have an extremely easy installation process - just plug them in and go.
The Philips Hue Festavia lights are also weatherproof, but they can be used both inside your home or outside all year round. Like WiZ, they're also low-volt compatible and can therefore be connected to the same power supply unit as your other outdoor lights. It is important to note that Festavia string lights purchased during or after 2023 are for both indoor and outdoor use. If you purchased Festavia string lights before 2023, the string lights are for indoor use only.
Both lights have a different look, with many people preferring the larger, rounder bulbs of the WiZ lights to have outdoors, and the smaller Festavia LEDs to have indoors. However, both lights are suitable to have outside all year round and use low voltage technology which adds a level of safety no matter the weather.
Overall, both the WiZ Outdoor String Lights and Philips Hue Festavia are great options to consider lighting up your outdoor space this winter. The WiZ lights are undeniably cheaper and simpler to use, so if that's what you're looking for, then they are probably the ones for you. On the other hand, the Festavia lights have a wider range of lighting styles and smart features. They can also be used indoors as well as outdoors, bringing a bit more variety overall.
Interested in more? Have a look at our guide on how to introduce smart lighting to garden!