We’ve discussed the variety of potential uses for smart lightstrips before, and our findings should entice you to get a lightstrip (or 10) of your very own. But once you’ve decided to hop on the smart lighting bandwagon, how do you choose the right brand when selecting lightstrips for your home? I spent some time comparing the two most well-known lightstrips on the market; the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus and the Osram Lightify Flex RGBW.
For a look at the different strengths between these two products, check out the video below.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at these products head-to-head, focusing on the factors most important to lightstrip users.
Watch our installation tutorial here!
Both the Hue Lightstrip Plus and the Osram Lightify lightstrip are quite simple to install. The major difference in the installation process between these two products is that the Osram comes in three separate pieces that can be connected to each other, while the Hue strip comes in one long piece that can be cut down to size. Because of this difference, the Osram strip can actually wrap more tightly around corners, while the Hue cannot bend more than 90 degrees and still function properly. While often you don’t need more than a 90 degree bend, in certain instances this additional flexibility can be helpful and you may want to consider where you’ll be installing the strip with this in mind when you make a purchase.
Both smartphone applications are well-designed and easy to use.
Both the Philips Hue and OSRAM smartphone applications are simple to use and make the setup of the lightstrips an easy process. The strips themselves are searchable via their respective applications and can be fully controlled remotely. Each application has a number of functions including the ability to time lights to turn on or off at specific times of the day and the ability to change their colors among other options.
The Hue line seems to have more associated third party applications available, which allow you to manipulate the lights even further. There are apps that allow you to set color schemes that change to the beat of the music you’re listening to, or to set a “light show” of colors within a theme. Let’s say you’re hosting an epic Halloween party, you could have the lights swap between tones of orange, red, and dark purple throughout the evening. The possibilities are endless, and undoubtedly more applications of this type will be created as smart lighting becomes more mainstream. Of course, the OSRAM also has third party applications associated with it, but likely because the Hue line is more well-known, more apps have been created for it.
This side-by-side comparison shows that the OSRAM lightstrip is brighter than the Philips Hue
Head-to-head, the OSRAM has a brighter light output by a pretty clear margin. Many users also say that the color variations that the OSRAM produces are more varied than the those of the Hue. To my own eye, however, the color options appeared to be similar in both products.
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus comes in one long strip that can be cut down to size.
The OSRAM Lightify Flex RGBW comes in three separate pieces that can be connected.
As mentioned, the OSRAM Lightify lightstrip comes in three separate pieces, while the Hue Lightstrip Plus comes in one long strip that can be cut down to size. The full-length of the Philips strip is about half a foot longer than the OSRAM, but the OSRAM’s separate sections make for more flexible installation when tight corners are involved.
Adding multiple light strips to your home makes a dramatic statement, so price matters!
The Philips lightstrips are more expensive than the OSRAM line, though as mentioned above they are slightly longer. Philips is also a more well-known brand, which may account for the higher price point.
While there are a number of differences between these products, their respective pros and cons outweigh each other enough that if you already own products from either of these lines (the Hue line for the Lightstrip Plus or WeMo-associated products where the OSRAM is concerned) you’ll want to stick with that association when choosing a lightstrip for the sake of convenience.
However, if you’re completely new to smart home products like these and aren’t already attached to a product line, the OSRAM slightly edges out the Hue lightstrip because of its lower price, flexible installation options, and brighter output.
Have you installed smart lightstrips in your own home? Which brand do you prefer?