Home automation, Internet of Things (IoT), smart home, call it what you will. I think that we can all agree on the fact that this tech is supposed to make your life a little easier. With the more kit I acquire the more little boxes appear.
This has been one of the main stumbling blocks I have had when looking at smart lighting. I really don’t want to add another hub shoved in to my router.
Well, nudge me sideways and call me Brenda if I didn’t get an email from WiZ telling me of thier range of Wi-Fi connected lamps and bulbs.
Yup, these connect directly to your Wi-Fi network, doing away with the need for any additional hardware.
WiZ smart lights design
Integrated Wi-Fi means WiZ’s bulbs may be a little larger than traditional bulbs but you’ll have no problems installing them.
WiZ light bulbs need to be turned on to engage their smart features. I have heard that dimmer switches won’t play nice with them because of this. I have regular on/off wall switches and had no issues. Besides, these bulbs dim without the need for a dimmer dial.
WiZ’s range of bulbs consist of light bulbs, with options to change temperature (WiZ Whites), plus colour and temperature bulbs (WiZ Colors) too. Temperature changes give you a choice of 2,700K (cold white) to 6500K (warm white); you can pick from 16 million colours. Options include bayonet, E27, E14 and GU10 bulb fittings.
WiZ also has a range of standalone downlights and plug-in lights, such as the Wiz Colors Hero reviewed below. There is also a 50s-looking lamp designed to project your chosen colour onto a wall called Colors Quest (above).
Features, app and control
Being Wi-Fi enabled you have to connect them to your home network.
Like plenty of smart home kit I’ve had to review, WiZ lights support only 2.4GHz networking. So, ensure that the device you have the WiZ app on is connected to the 2.4GHz network when you’re setting the lights up.
If you have one of those swish routers that combines the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands under one network name this could prove tricksy. I have my routers display the bands separately so this was an easy thing for me.
Now, just follow the app’s clear instructions. Once you have your room set up it’s time to add the lights.
Tap the plus symbol and then you’ll need to flick the lights on and off until they pulse blue.
Once hooked up to your network, the bulbs are controlled via the intuitively laid-out app. Lights can be organised into rooms, making specific units easier to find.
The bulbs actually respond quickly to any tweaks I made. Furthermore, the light quality is great too.
WiZ also has a natty range of party pieces. Firstly, they offer Dynamic modes.
Secondly, it’s all about control. All the lights we’ve had through Gadgety HQ have been app-controlled. These are not so constrained.
First there’s the WiZ Mote. This is an IR remote control that lets you turn a light on or off, change its brightness or select from four favourite colour modes. Those favourites are set via the app but once in they’re easily recalled by the remote.
The only downside of the WiZ Mote is that you need clear line of sight. Additionally, if you have a number of lights in close proximity with each other, you could find yourself unintentionally controlling different light(s).
WiZ Click is a secondary control option. This is activated in the app too.
Where this differs is that it uses your your main light switch, or the on/off switch on the lamps.
What this does is allow to activate two of your favourite modes through flicking the light switch.
Simply, toggle the switch on once to activate favourite mode one, twice for favourite mode two.
It is a neat idea but it does get you in the habit of using the wall switch. Why is this a bad thing?
Well, this leads me on nicely to the next section. How’s that for a segway?
WiZ, Alexa and Google Home
Alexa is supported through the WiZ skill.
This enables you to turns lights on or off and set the brightness level.
Apparently I should be able to pick a colour or scene name, but I’ve not quite managed that yet. For these options I have simply been relying on the app. I might have to resort to reading instructions. The horror!
A similar skill exists for Google Home, but there’s no Apple Homekit support at the moment.
Alexa works brilliantly and swiftly.
It is so foolproof that even my girlfried has swapped to using voice.
We have both found this more handy than you’d think. Bringing in luggage after Christmas visiting, dragging in the shopping after the ‘big shop’ or simply dimming the lights when watching a movie. All done hands-free.
WiZ also has an IFTTT channel for its connected lights. There are no triggers (you can’t make other things happen when your lights turn on or off), but there are plenty of actions.
For example, you can have your lights turn on automatically when you get home. Awesome, huh?
WiZ Colors Hero
This has a wood-style base and looks pretty classy. The lamp is much lighter than I was expecting but that is simply due to its plastic construction.
This does not detract from its looks.
The Colors Hero has the same range of abilities as the WiZ Colors bulbs.
Set-up and funtionality is basically the same too.
If you are wanting individual lights at different brightnesses, then just use the app.
Wiz Connected Lights review conclusion
If you are looking to get smart with your lighting but are baulking at the thought of hubs and whatnot, then WiZ is for you.
Furthermore, the range of lighting available from WiZ is great too.
I am really taken by them and am seriously thinking of purchasing some for myself.
Wiz Connected Lights price and availability
The lights are all available right now from Amazon.
Prices start at £22.95 for a WiZ Whites to fit a halogen spot.
The 2-pack WiZ Colors bulbs and WiZ Mote comes in at £69.95
The WiZ Colors Hero lamp is £95.94 in the wood finish.