Philips Hue vs. LIFX vs. TP-link: Which has the best smart lights for the entire home?

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What is a Smart light?

Smart light is the new technology that allows you to control the lights in your home from your smartphone. You get access to all sorts of features such as scheduled timers, ambient or adjustable colored lighting. Some apps can even show you how much energy and money each light is consuming!

Philips Hue

Philips has released their smart light product line called Philips Hue in October 2012, Philips Hue also is known as Zigbee wireless smart light system, by now Philips hue contains dozens of different types LED lamps. The lamps are currently created and manufactured by Signify N.V., formerly the Philips Lighting division of Royal Philips N.V.


LIFX is a relatively new and not very well known company to join in offering the smart LED lights in 2014. LIFX offers similar light bulbs that Philips Hue has to offer, the big difference is LIFX bulb use Wi-Fi instead of Zigbee.

TP-Link Kasa

TP-Link has launched their smart light products under the name Kasa in 2016. TP-Link is known for having a great Wi-Fi reputation so it makes sense that they would launch their own smart light bulb that is connected by Wi-Fi.

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Round#1 – Best Smart Light Bulb

Philips Hue vs LIFX vs TP-Link Kasa


Flagship Products

The Philips Hue white and color ambiance single bulb E26 has countless features, such as synching the colors and lights to your favorite music and movies due to its powerful and constantly updated app. LIFX’s A19 light bulb offers the brightest capable light bulbs at 1100 lumens while Philips Hue’s and Kasa’s light bulbs have a maximum of 800 lumens. Kasa does not really offer much in terms of different features for these flagship light bulbs besides being the cheapest of the three.

HUE White and color ambiance E26 Bulb KASA Multicolor light bulb KL130 E26 LIFX Mini Color E26 LIFX + A19 Bulb E26
Connectivity Wi-Fi via Hue bridge Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Lumens 800 800 800 1100
Color 16 million 16 million 16 million 16 million
Color temperature 2000K – 6500K 2500K – 9000K 2500K – 9000K 2700K – 6500K
Hub Yes No No No
Work hours 25000 hours 25000 hours 25000 hours 25000 hours
List Price $49.99 $39.99 $44.99 $59.99

Winner: Philips Hue E26

Philips Hue E26 light bulbs win because Philips Hue has the most powerful app with the most options for color and display, such as light synching with music and movies. Although you need a Philips Hue bridge to work these lights bulbs, purchasing a Hue White and color ambiance Starter kit E26 will get you four of their flagship light bulbs and one free Philips Hue Bridge.

Follow up: LIFX A19

LIFX A19 are most brighten light bulb and much easier installation compare to Philips Hue color bulb, but its lack of app support in entertainment.

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 Medium Class Light Bulbs

 The differences between these light bulbs are quite marginal. All are the same price with the only small differences being in color temperature and wattage. Ranging from 9W-11W, they are all going to be friendly to your electricity bill.

The LIFX Mini Day & Dusk will not be able to get as much of a bright white with a maximum color temperature of 4000K compared to the other light bulbs,and KL120 look like a upgrated version of LB120.  I believe the Kasa Tunable White KL 120 comes out on top and with E26 Philips Hue White ambiance E26 as a close second follow up. Both are able to give a wider range of color temperature(warming to daylight) than the rest. However, Kasa KL 120 has a really nice feature that can track real-time energy usage with their feature called, “Monitor Power”.

HUE White ambiance LIFX Mini Day & Dusk A19 Kasa Tunable White LB 120 Kasa Tunable White KL 120
Connectivity Wi-Fi via Hue bridge Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Lumens 800 800 800 800
Color temperature 2200K – 6500K 1500K – 4000K 2700K – 6500K 2700K – 5000K
Hub Yes No No No
Work hours 25000 25000 25000 25000
Wattage 10.5W 9W 11W 10W
Price $29.99 $29.99 $29.99 $29.99

Winner: Kasa KL120

Reasonable price with energy monitoring feature.

Follow up: Hue White ambiance E26 Bulb

Most tunningable light but a little costly since it need Hue bridge, you can also get a 4-pack starterkit include 1 bridge about $140.

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Low-Class Light Bulbs

All of these light bulbs are smart light bulbs but will only be able to emit a simple white light without much in terms of additional features. You will still get the timers, schedules and dimming capabilities, but no colors or ambiance. I believe Philips Hue comes out on top of this comparison with having 800 lumens and being the cheapest. Although you will need to invest in a Philips Hue bridge or Philips Hue controller switch in order to control these light bulbs. A good idea would be to purchase the Philips Hue White starter kit E26  which includes 4 light bulbs and a free hub or the Hue White Wireless dimming kit E26 which includes 1 bulb & 1 dimming switch.

The set up of these smart light bulbs is generally the same. Screw in the light bulbs, download their respective app, and connect the light bulbs through the app using your Wi-Fi connection. The only additional setup needed out of these 3 will be the Philips Hue light bulbs which require the Philips Hue Bridge or other Philips Hue controlling devices.

HUE White E26 Bulb LIFX Mini White A19 E26 Kasa White LB 110 E26 Kasa White LB 100 E26 Kasa Dimmable KL 110 Kasa KB 100
Connectivity Wi-Fi via Hue bridge Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Lumens 800 800 800 600 800 600
Color temperature 2700K 2700K 2700K 2700K 2700K 2700K
Hub Yes No No No No No
Work hours 25000 25000 25000 15000 25000 15000
Wattage 9.5W 9W 11W 8W 10W 8W
Price $14.99 $24.99~ $24.99 $29.99 $24.99 $19.99

 Winner: Philips Hue White E26 Light Bulb

Lowest price and most expandability with other Hue products, you can also get a 4-pack  starterkit include 1 bridge about $94.

Follow up: Kasa Dimmable KL 110

Upgrated version of LB110, energy monitoring and No hub required .

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 Round#2 Best Smart Light Strip

Philips Hue White and color ambiance Light Strip Plus vs. LIFX Z LED Kit


Philips Hue and LIFX are the only companies out of the 3 that have a Light Strip product, TP-Link does not have a Light Strip product. Philips Hue and LIFX light strip products are the same lengths but Phillips Hue allows you to cut your light strip into more workable pieces and spread them around the room while LIFX does not have this function. Philips Hue White and color ambiance Light strip plus puts out a maximum of 1600 Lumens while LIFX light strip only puts out 1400 lumens. The only small advantage LIFX has over Philips light strip is it consumes 17 watts of power in comparison to Philips Hue which consumes 20 watts.

Spec comparison table

Philips Hue White and color ambiance Light Strip Plus LIFX Z Starter kit
Connectivity Wi-Fi via Hue bridge Wi-Fi
Lumens 1600 1400
Hub Yes No
Wattage 20W 17W
Length 78.7 inches 78.7 inches
Price $89.99~ $89.99~


Winner: Philips Hue White and color ambiance Light Strip Plus

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Round# 3 – Best Smart Lamp

Philips Hue vs LIFX

Philips Hue has a huge range of smart lamps for both inside and outside use. Philips Hue has 40 different types of smart lamps ranging from outdoor spotlights and lanterns to suspended ceiling and tabletop lamps. All ready to work as soon as you plug in and connect them to the Philips Hue app.

LIFX does not have much in terms of smart lamps in comparison to Philips Hue. LIFX is newer to the smart light game than Philips Hue and hasn’t had a chance to launch all their products yet. They have only 2 smart lamps available.

Winner: Philips Hue Smart Lamps

Round# 4 Best App and Light Control

Philips Hue vs LIFX vs TP-Link Kasa

All these apps are designed to make controlling the smart lights in your home from your smartphone easy. Some come with additional accessories that you may be able to use and control your lights in your home. Some apps are going to suit you more than others depending on the features that are more important to you. The apps from all 3 companies are constantly being updated to fix any bugs and to add additional features for you to enjoy in the future.

Philips Hue

Philips Hue is a great app that is constantly receiving updates. Philips Hue Home & Away feature is incredibly convenient, especially if you live by yourself. With locations services turned on, the smart lights will automatically turn off when you leave the house and turn back on when you arrive!

Philips Hue comes with over 30 handpicked lighting scenes to help give you some ideal lighting to choose from should you not wish to create your own. Philips Hue even has an option to take the lighting and color from a photo, and extract the colors and display them letting you relieve the lighting from that awesome moment! This is a function exclusive to Philips Hue.

Philips Hue gives you different options to control the lights. The first one being from the app and another option being from the Hue motion sensor device, which will turn on the lights when it detects motion and turns them off when motion is no longer detected.


LIFX uses the LIFX go app which comes with similar features to the Philips Hue app allowing you to control your lights from anywhere you have an internet connection. The app includes some unique lighting effects allowing them to have a flicker effect like a candle. You can even get the colors to pulsate to different types of music depending on the beat.

LIFX has the only app that can support their LIFX + A19 light bulbs for night vision which allows infrared cameras to record footage with much higher clarity. LIFX has full functionality over every popular voice control app including Apple Home Kit and Microsoft Cortana, while Kasa does not support either of these voice control apps.

TP-Link Kasa

TP-Link Kasa probably is the most basic of the three apps. However, that does not mean its reliability is basic when working with your smart lights.

Kasa has amazing reliability using a Wi-Fi connection and TP-Link continue to win awards for their Wi-Fi and routers each year. Kasa includes real-time energy usage that is clear and easy to use. LIFX does not have this function. Kasa even includes how long your light bulb has been turned on for in a day to help you understand your light habits and energy consumption. Kasa and LIFX do not need a hub or additional hardware in order to work which can make the setup process a little bit more simple and you can buy as little as one light bulb to play around with the features if you choose to do so.

 App Detail

Philips Hue LIFX TP-Link Kasa
Accessories for control Yes No No
IOS/Android App Hue App LIFX Go Kasa
Windows App Yes No No
Create scenes Yes Yes Yes
Set Routine/Timer Yes Yes Yes
Entertainment support Yes No No
Light sync Yes Yes No
Home/Away Yes Yes Yes
View Power Usage No No Yes
Work with Amazon Alexa Yes Yes Yes
Work with Apple Homekit Yes Yes No
Work with Google Assistant Yes Yes Yes
Work with Microsoft Cortana Yes Yes Yes
Work with NEST Yes No Yes
Work with IFTTT Yes Yes Yes
Work with SmartThings Yes, but only with Philips Hue Bridge Yes No

Winner: Philips Hue App

Philips Hue has a staggering amount of more features and options than both of the other apps combined.

Follow up: TP-Link Kasa

Although TP-Link Kasa does not have as much support for other applications it has more practical features such as energy consumption.

Final Round

All companies have their selling points and their pros and cons. Philips Hue has the most different types of smart lights available. LIFX is doing a great job competing against Philips Hue both in features, price, and technology. Kasa doesn’t seem to have many other smart lights like lamps or light strips. Kasa does seem to have great connectivity and is perhaps the most simple to set up and seems to be on the cheaper side of smart light bulbs, especially on the high-performance light bulbs with colors.


LIFX provides some features and products that no one else is doing such as the LIFX Tile Kit. Their most high-end light bulb also provides a night vision feature which is exclusive to LIFX. If these are some features or products that stand out a bit more to you this might be a better option in some way. The most downside is LIFX lack of entertainment support compare to Philips Hue.


TP-Link Kasa can be a practical decision with the low start-up costs but is not available for all voice control apps which minuses some points of where it stands in comparison to Philips Hue and LIFX. like LIFX, Kasa also does not have the entertainment feature for its smart color bulb. The biggest benefit is Kasa not just provide the smart light solution, but it also has other smart home products include Smart Router, Smart Cam, Smart Switch and Smart Plug.

Philips Hue

If the price is not that much of a concern and you want the newest features and a broad range of products and technology, I think Philips Hue comes out on top. The prices of all 3 companies are quite competitive depending on what type of lights or features are desirable to you. The only drawback to Philips Hue is requiring Hue Bridge or controller which will add on to your start-up costs. So I think the Philips Hue is a wonderful option except for the cost.


Ultimately you will need to decide for yourself which brand can provide best solution base on your needs, not about the better product, better features or a better price, it’s more about the scale of usage and what feature is important to you .


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