RGB LED lights are great when it comes to setting the mood in your home. But they can also get fairly expensive, especially if you were an early adopter that used products from smart lighting pioneer Philips Lighting. That's probably why back in 2019, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) acquired Wiz, which sells more affordable Wi-Fi smart lights. Take the Wiz LED Strip Starter Kit 2M for example. It costs S$104.90 compared to S$149 for a similar 2M Philips Hue starter kit.
- 2m (length), 0.22cm (height), 1.2cm (width)
- Lifetime: up to 15,000 hours
- Extendable up to 10m
- Two-year warranty
The Wiz LED Strip Starter Kit comes with a 2-metre long LED strip, a controller with a single button, and a power adapter. You can stick the LED strip under your furniture or on the wall, thanks to its 3M adhesive back. Installation is straightforward enough — you should get the lights powered up within minutes. You'll need the Wiz app (for iOS and Android) to properly set up the Wi-Fi connection and get the LED strip twinkling to your preferences. This is where it can get tricky. The Wiz light strip only uses the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band, which can potentially lead to connection issues because most modern routers, by default, consolidate the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands into a single network name. Thankfully, the Wiz app has a workaround that involves powering on/off the lights several times in quick succession.
The Wiz app won't win any awards for its aesthetics. But it's functional and you can get to the right settings quickly. It's also very responsive compared to some smart home apps that I have tried. Settings are applied quickly without much lag. Some of the more interesting options include a circadian rhythm setting that adjusts the lighting according to the time. The Scenes feature lets you save the current status (brightness and colour) of all your lights in a room. This is handy if you have plenty of lights, and just spent a lot of time adjusting them. And given the price of electricity nowadays, I appreciate that I can monitor the energy consumed by all the Wiz lighting products in the app.
Like most smart home devices, you can also get the Wiz LED strip to work with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. Other smart home platforms that Wiz supports include IFTTT and Samsung's SmartThings. But there's room for improvement. How about syncing the lights with music playing on your phone? Or adding a geo-fencing option to turn on/off the lights? In addition, I don't see the entire range of Wiz products in Singapore. Wiz doesn't appear to sell the physical remote control for its lights here, for example. To be fair, you can also press the button on the controller to turn on/off the strip, and switch between four preset colours. You can configure these preset light modes in the app. Note that it also won't work with Hue — as it's Wi-Fi only and doesn't use Zigbee, which Hue uses.
Wiz says its LED strip, which produces up to 1,600 lumens of brightness, is good for up to 15,000 hours of usage, and includes a two-year warranty. The brand also sells a 1m extension at S$27.90 — it can be extended up to 10m. However, while the Wiz is more affordable than Philips Hue, there are even cheaper alternatives in the market. For example, the TP-Link Tapo Smart Wi-Fi Light Strip goes for as low as S$24.90 for a 5m strip, while the Razer Chroma-compatible Yeelight starter kit (2M) is S$70. Having tried the TP-Link Tapo, I find the Wiz user experience to be better overall. Get the Wiz on Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Wiz.
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