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LIFX Z Light Strip vs Philips Hue Light Strip Plus: Which should you buy?

If you're looking for a great quality light strip that works with Alexa, HomeKit, or Google Assistant right out of the box, then the LIFX Z is the one for you. However, if you already have some Philips Hue gear, then the Lightstrip Plus is a perfect complement that integrates with other features and services that only the vast Hue ecosystem can provide.

Breaking it down

When looking at light strips, there are several important features to consider, including things you may not be able to see, like integrations with third-party services. At their core, both the LIFX Z and the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus provide the same basic functions, with each lighting areas in your home with up to 16 million colors. However, there are some differences, like brightness, that may make one more attractive then the other.

The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is slightly brighter than the LIFX Z, coming with 200 additional lumens, which may not sound like a lot, but it can certainly make a difference in areas such as hallways for path lighting, or simply as a lamp replacement. However, the LIFX Z supports individual color zones, which provides a more colorful, custom look. It's great for accent lighting or for get-togethers where it's certain to be a conversation piece.

Another thing to consider is placement. While both measure 6.6 feet in length, the LIFX Z sports a modular design versus the one piece Lightstrip Plus. The LIFX Z comes in 3.3 foot sections, which makes shorter runs easier, and potentially less wasteful compared to cutting the Philips Hue light strip down to size.

LIFX Z LED StripPhilips Hue Lightstrip Plus
Length6.6 feet6.6 feet
Colors16 million16 million
Color ZonesYes, 16No
Brightness1,400 lumens1,600 lumens
Wattage17w20w
Life Expectancy22 years22 years
Warranty2 years2 years
ExtendableYes, up to 32 feetYes, up to 33 feet
Weather ResistanceN/AIP20
Alexa SupportYesYes, with hub
HomeKit SupportYesYes, with hub
Google Assistant SupportYesYes, with hub

When it comes to picking a winner, its clear that the LIFX Z LED Strip is the best for most due to its ability to operate without a hub. This direct connection to your Wi-Fi network approach makes it slightly cheaper upfront, and it can be up and running within a few minutes after unboxing.

While it is not the brighter of the two options, the LIFX Z supports individually addressable color zones — 16 in all. This means that it can display multiple colors throughout the light strip, which not only looks cool but opens the door to neat effects like candle flickering.

That is not to say that the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a bad option, especially for those who are already in the Hue ecosystem. The power of the integration is strong with this one, as it supports tons of services and hardware, such as ones that can sync the color of your light strip with movies and television shows. The Lightstrip Plus is also brighter, and has great color reproduction, even though it only supports one color at a time for the entire strip.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.