Phillips hue vs Govee: Which smart light bulbs are best, and do you get what you pay for? – The Independent
Smart lighting is one of the easiest ways to give your home a living-in-the-future vibe, especially when paired with a voice control system like Alexa, Siri or the Google Assistant.
Once connected, the lights can be controlled via a smartphone app, a schedule or by speaking to your voice assistant of choice.
You can even introduce an element of automation to your home, with the lights automatically switching on to your preferred setting when you get back indoors, then turning off when you leave again, as dictated by the location of your smartphone.
Some smart lighting systems also have a mode that simulates an occupied home, dissuading potential burglars from giving your empty house any unwanted attention.
Lastly, these types of bulbs can help save you money. Forgot to turn the lights off on your way out? You can check on your phone from anywhere in the world, and because smart lighting systems use LED bulbs they consume less energy than the old incandescent bulbs you might have used before.
Until only a few years ago, Philips hue was just about the only smart lighting system to choose from. But now there are dozens of companies all offering very similar products, yet often at far lower prices. So, does spending more – in some cases two or three times the price – on smart light bulbs really make a difference? Or are cheaper options just as good?
Here we’ve pitted smart light bulbs from Philips hue and Govee against one another to help make up your mind.
Philips hue white and colour E27, twin pack
Buy now £69.88, Amazon.co.uk
- Light type: LED
- Wattage: 9 watts
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Fitting: B22 bayonet cap (other options available)
- Brightness: 800 lumens
- Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit (Hue Bridge required)
Unlike previous models, the latest generation of Philips hue bulbs do not require a hub connected to your Wi-Fi router to function. They can still connect to a hub if you already own one, but they also now include Bluetooth for direct control from the Hue app on your smartphone.
The hue app is attractive and intuitive, making it easy to set up the bulbs, add them to your existing system (or create a new one from scratch) and control them in just a few taps. Several lighting presets demonstrate what the bulbs are capable of, switching from the cool, bright “concentrate” mode, to a warmer, softer mode dubbed “relax”.
It’s also easy to pick any colour you like, with LED bulbs capable of shining 16 million different shades. Sliders make it simple to adjust the brightness and temperature of each colour, and there’s an automation system for configuring schedules, like one that gradually brightens the bulb to wake you up each morning.
Read more: 8 best smart lights for your connected home
That said, hue’s gradual wake-up function, plus many other features, are only available if the bulbs are connected to the hub mentioned earlier, known as the hue bridge (£44.99, Amazon.co.uk), and sold separately. This increases the maximum number of lights on a system from 10 to 50, adds support for Apple HomeKit, enables timers, and lets you control the light …….