These cheap smart home lights have a cool Philips Hue beating feature

Fancy Philips Hue-style features and more besides? Say hello to Wiz's affordable new smart home lights

Wiz SpaceSense smart home lighting
(Image credit: Signify)

The market for the best smart home lighting has been fairly static for a while now: we're essentially seeing endless variations on the same basic themes, with various manufacturers offering similar bulbs in slightly new shapes.

So it's nice to see something genuinely innovative happening in the smart home lights space, and for once it doesn't require a massive financial investment, either.

Wiz, the more affordable sibling brand to Philips Hue, has just updated its smart lighting app – and it's also added a new feature called SmartSense that's very clever indeed.

How Wiz can see you from your Wi-Fi

As officially confirmed (opens in new tab), SpaceSense uses Wi-Fi sensing tech to detect motion without the need for dedicated motion sensors. Instead, it detects the little ripples people and pets make as they move around the room, slightly occluding the radio signals, and it can then measure the deviation to work out if a large human-sized object is in motion.

Another big advantage of this tech over standard IR motion sensors is that it doesn't require a line of sight; it's omnidirectional and simply requires you to have at least two lights in the room. It needs multiple lights so it knows where the signals are usually coming from and going to, but you don't need to replace your existing bulbs: the new feature is backwards compatible and should work on any Wiz or Wiz-compatible products bought since late 2021.

It's good to see privacy being up-front here too. SpaceSense is opt-in and everything happens locally: there's no face detection being done by faraway servers or data being transmitted to anyone else.

The new version of the Wiz app with SpaceSense will be available at the end of September 2022.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).