Vox Media

2022-08-12 10:28:54 By : Mr. Leo Tsui

WiZ’s budget-friendly, Wi-Fi-powered lights add portability, wall-washing, and a fun ombre effect

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WiZ, the more budget-friendly, hubless sibling to Philips Hue (both companies are owned by Signify), beefed up its range of Wi-Fi-powered smart lighting products with new releases this week.

The $89.99 WiZ Mobile Portable Light is coming in October, and the $24.99 WiZ Smart Button, which acts as a switch or remote control for all WiZ lighting, arrives in September. The company also added WiZ bar and floor lights as options for indirect lighting and wall-washing, which are available now.

The current WiZ range starts at under $11 a bulb and includes the standard shapes for white and colored bulbs, light strips, and downlights. There are also smart plugs, a wired dimmer, and a motion sensor — most of the building blocks for a smart lighting setup. WiZ products work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Siri Shortcuts, IFTTT, and SmartThings. Signify has also committed to supporting Matter over Wi-Fi in the WiZ line when the new smart home standard arrives later this year.

Just in case the design didn’t give it away, the name for WiZ’s new lamp hammers home that the Mobile Portable Light is one you can easily carry from room to room (but not outdoors, as there’s no water resistance rating). The portable lamp is battery-powered and comes with a USB-C charging cable. WiZ claims it runs for about 10 hours on a full charge, and there’s a carrying handle.

Lighting-wise, this is a full-color smart light, offering preset lighting modes, scenes, and dynamic options like candlelight that simulate a flickering flame, which you set up in the WiZ smartphone app. There are also options for a slow fade or slow brightening for winding down or waking up, plus you can use two different color gradients for an ombre lighting effect.

There are physical controls on the light — a touch panel to dim, brighten, or activate preset modes, and you can use the WiZ app or a voice assistant for remote control (it works with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri using Shortcuts).

You can pair the portable lamp with other WiZ lights to create scenes in the WiZ app, where you can also set schedules or activate a vacation mode (to have lights turn on and off randomly). The Mobile Portable Light also works with the new WiZ Smart Button, a battery-powered remote that can dim the light or turn it on and off. The button works with all WiZ products and can be set to control a single light, group, room, or all lights. It communicates directly with the lights, so works even if the internet is down.

WiZ also released some ambient lighting options. The WiZ Bar Linear Light ($84.99) is a two-pack of full-color light bars, similar to Hue Play bars but for about $50 less. The WiZ Pole Floor Light ($119) is a 59-inch tall, full-color light bar designed to add a wide-angle wall-wash effect to the corner of a room. It has a removable base, so can also lay flat on the floor for some light washing effects under a couch or behind a bed. The floor light has dual light zones.

The WiZ brand includes Connected By WiZ and Philips Smart LED light with WiZ Connected products — both of which work with the WiZ app. While both WiZ and Hue carry the Philips branding and are owned by Signify, the brands are distinct. They work over different primary protocols — WiZ uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Hue uses Zigbee and Bluetooth — and there’s no integration between hardware or apps. WiZ bulbs can’t be added to the Hue Bridge, and while you can use the bulbs together on a compatible platform, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, there is no other crossover.

Update August 11th, 1:50PM ET: Added confirmation from Signify regarding Matter compatibility for WiZ and clarified the different branding you might see when shopping for WiZ products.

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