The WiZ LED strip smart light is a wonderful way to add some color and ambiance to your home, and can be easily stuck to most surfaces. It's controlled with WiZ' user-friendly app, but it's also Matter-compatible, so it'll work with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri Shortcuts and Apple HomeKit. As an alternative to the more expensive, more feature-heavy Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, it's fantastic, but if you're used to more intelligent and dynamic lighting, you might be left wanting.
Great for smart home beginners
Not Apple HomeKit compatible
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Editor's note 06/07/23 - WiZ moved nice and quickly with its Matter support rollout, meaning that you can now use the WiZ LED strip smart light with Apple HomeKit, provided you're using the new WiZ app v2.
The WiZ LED strip smart light is a simple and sweet addition or starting point to your smart home, offering 840-lumen output across 16 million colors and compatibility with Alexa, Google and Siri Shortcuts. As of writing, WiZ is in the process of rolling out Matter support for older devices, so you can’t yet use Apple HomeKit to control these lights.
The 13ft / 4-meter kit that I tested was affordably priced at $34.99 / £29.99. It’s available from the WiZ store in the US and Argos in the UK, as well as on Amazon, where it can be shipped to Australia from Europe. Otherwise, this light strip is currently unavailable in Australia, though given the number of products that do make it over from WiZ, it should be expected this eventually will too. There are also more expensive varieties available in the US and Australia that offer slightly greater total lumen output and light color.
Although WiZ is owned by the same company as Philips Hue, the two brands operate very differently; you certainly can’t expect the same intelligence and controls from affordable WiZ lights as you would the more premium Hue lights. We’ve compared WiZ vs. Philips Hue if you want more detail. The closest alternative from Hue is the Ambiance Lightstrip Plus smart light, which is half the length and twice the price at $99.99 / £79.99 / AU$149.95.
Broadly speaking, the WiZ LED strip smart lights offer easy installation - simply peel off the 3M backing, stick down your lights and switch, follow the in-app pairing guide, and you’re all set. The pairing process can be a little confusing; for instance, it guides you to turn the switch off three times to begin pairing, but it’s not clear that it’s referring to the mains rather than the controls that come with the WiZ strip lights. It’s also worth noting you’ll need 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, as unlike Philips Hue lights, WiZ cannot connect via Bridge or Bluetooth.
These lights can be cut every 10 inches / 25cm so they can better fit the space you want to brighten up - plus you can buy extensions. They can’t turn corners, so you’re best off lining straight edges. Alternatively (and at your own risk) you can look into purchasing a 6-pin corner piece, which will allow you to connect two strips at a corner or reconnect cutoffs.
Now, onto the interesting part; how these light strips perform. Considering their more affordable price point, the WiZ lights are vibrant and transformed my rather bleak kitchen counter into a warmer and more ambient space, however, they’re not quite as bright as other strip lights available. Some of the red-tone colors are a little washed out, but minimally so.
The app isn’t quite as sophisticated as Philips Hue’s in either form or function, but it certainly looks similar and offers some decent features, including 33 presets and optional customized settings. You can also set up scenes (room-wide pre-sets) and rhythms (matching the lighting to the time of day), or schedule your lights.
Especially considering how much more affordable these smart lights are compared to the likes of Hue, I’d say the WiZ LED strip smart lights are well worth it. For first-time smart home explorers or those already in the WiZ ecosystem, they’re a fantastic choice to brighten any room and add a little ambiance. If, however, you want something that will play nice in a wider smart home ecosystem or work with Apple HomeKit, it’s not the best choice.
WiZ LED Strip smart light: specifications
|WiZ LED Strip smart light|
|Price:||$34.99 / £29.99|
|Designed for:||Any room in the home|
|Connectivity:||2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi|
|Voice command compatibility||Alexa, Google, Siri Shortcuts, IFTTT, SmartThings|
|Lumen output at 4000K:||Up to 840|
|Lifetime up to:||15,000h|
|Light color:||2700-5000 (RGB)|
|Length||13ft / 4m|
WiZ LED Strip smart light: Should I buy it?
Buy it if...
Your smart home already includes WiZ devices
WiZ devices play very well together, and as the brand covers an increasing range of products, you could comfortably stay in that space and avoid messy compatibility issues.
You’re on a budget
The WiZ LED strip smart light currently offers the best value for money as a light strip, and while it would be lovely to see more premium functions and features, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.
You’re learning the ropes with smart home devices
Excluding one or two slightly fiddly moments, the WiZ LED strip smart lights are wonderfully easy to set up and use, presenting an ideal foundation as you build out your smart home.
Don't buy it if...
You’re an Apple fan
If you love all things HomeKit, you’ll struggle a little with WiZ. The LED strip smart light is only compatible with Siri Shortcuts, and while the Matter rollout is well underway, we’ve no solid confirmation on when it may arrive for some WiZ devices.
You want advanced features
As a more budget-friendly device, the WiZ LED strip smart light naturally doesn’t come with all of the value-adding features you’ll see in more premium devices.
You want to line corners or small areas
Once the WiZ LED strip smart light has been cut, there’s no going back - or so the brand says, but third-party providers do offer alternatives to be used at your own peril.
WiZ LED Strip smart light: Also consider
|WiZ LED Strip smart light||Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip||Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus|
|Price:||$34.99 / £29.99||$49.95 / £44.99 / AU$99.99||$99.99 / £79.99 / AU$149.95|
|Connectivity:||2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi||Thread, Bluetooth||Bluetooth, Philips Hue Bridge|
|Voice command compatibility||Alexa, Google, Siri Shortcuts||Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit|
|Lumen output at 4000K:||Up to 840||Up to 2,200||Up to 1,600|
|Lifetime up to:||15,000h||25,000h||20,000|
|Light color:||2700-5000 (RGB)||Unknown||Unknown|
Still not sold on the WiZ LED strip smart light? Here’s how it compares to two similar products.
Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip
Pay out a little more and you can get Nanoleaf’s first strip smart light, which has a few more value-adding features like music or film syncing. However, the app is a little frustrating and it’s not Alexa-compatible.
Read our full Nanoleaf Essentials Lightstrip review
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
On the pricier side by some ways, the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is the ultimate premium smart light strip, offering the full gamut of features, beautiful, vibrant and bright lights, and easy setup.
Read our full Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus review
How I tested the WiZ LED Strip smart light
- I spent a few days testing the WiZ LED Strip smart light
- I installed the lights and tried all of the app features and functions
- I also compared the hue and saturation of colors to my Philips Hue lights.
To test the WiZ LED strip smart light, I installed the lights underneath my cabinets and set up the app, connecting the lights to my 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
I used all of the settings and features in the app to stress test the performance and tried using both Alexa and Shortcuts to control the device.
I also used my Philips Hue Go Table Lamp as a point of reference for the color payoff in these lights, as well as comparing color swatches to the light spray.
Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.