No hub required

LIFX Z LED Strip

Well integrated

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

The LIFX Z is no slouch when it comes to brightness and color reproduction. Unlike others, the LIFX Z has 16 total color zones, which allow it to display multiple colors per strip. This bright and vivid light strip may cost a little more than its competition, but it makes up for it with a direct Wi-Fi connection, skipping the need for a separate hub.

$90 at Amazon

Pros

  • Does not require a hub
  • Modular design
  • Individual color zones
  • 16 million colors
  • 22-year life expectancy

Cons

  • Not the brightest
  • Only supports 2.4ghz Wi-Fi networks
  • Not weather resistant

The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can produce up to 1,600 lumens of colorful brightness, capable of lighting up most rooms. The Hue light strip also benefits from a vast ecosystem which expands its functionality beyond the major smart home platforms. Only problem? It requires a hub for all of that sweet smart home goodness.

$78 at Amazon

Pros

  • Faster, more reliable Zigbee connection
  • Wider range of integrations available
  • Bright 1,6000 lumen output
  • 16 million colors
  • 22-year life expectancy

Cons

  • Requires separate hub
  • No color zones
  • Not weather resistant

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 Strip Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
Length 6.6 feet 6.6 feet
Colors 16 million 16 million
Color Zones Yes, 16 No
Brightness 1,400 lumens 1,600 lumens
Wattage 17w 20w
Life Expectancy 22 years 22 years
Warranty 2 years 2 years
Extendable Yes, up to 32 feet Yes, up to 33 feet
Weather Resistance N/A IP20
Alexa Support Yes Yes, with hub
HomeKit Support Yes Yes, with hub
Google Assistant Support Yes Yes, 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.

No hub required

LIFX Z LED Strip

Bright, colorful, and ready to go

The LIFX Z not only produces bright, rich, colors, but it has 16 individually addressable zones, creating truly customized lighting. This light strip is also compatible with all of the major voice assistances right out of the box without a hub.

Colorful connections

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

Even more experiences

The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is one of the best light strips around thanks to its ability to light up any room with bright, clean whites and vivid colors. Just keep in mind that it requires an additional hub, which adds to its expensive price tag

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