What are smart Zigbee lights?

Zigbee is one of two most popular smart home automation protocols. One of the most popular products it powers is smart light solutions (think Hue, Xiaomi and GE)

Read more about Zigbee in our in-depth article: Zigbee – Definitive guide

Smart Zigbee lights are essentially smart lights that make use of the Zigbee standard. They allow users to control different aspects of their lights like colors, when they switch and on and off, and the ambiance they set using a Zigbee hub.

Main types of Zigbee lights are:

  • Smart Bulbs
  • LED strips
  • LED Controllers
  • Lights Switches
  • Dimmers

What lights in your home should you automate?

We’re past the times when home lighting was just globes of incandescent bulbs which were controlled by separate on and off switches in every room. Today, advancements in smart lighting and LED technology offer various cutting edge options which give you complete control over your lighting.

The main question is, which lights in the house will be the best for automation? Well, here are some ideas:

  • You can put automated lights in vacated rooms to give off the impression that someone lives there by controlling the lights with your smartphone.
  • Automating porch lights also seem to be a good idea since you can have them switched on before you come home after dark to reduce the risk of potential theft or burglary
  • Another great idea is to automate your bedroom’s or study’s LED lights such that the lighting is raised or reduced depending on the incoming natural light. Ultimately, this will help you save money on energy bills.

What is the difference between Zigbee lights and Zigbee switches?

Zigbee lights are essentially LED lights that can be controlled using either your smartphone or a smart home automation hub via Zigbee wireless technology. While these are more expensive than regular light bulbs, they use a lesser amount of energy and have a long life.

Zigbee switches, on the other hand, are light switches that have a shape that is similar to the switches we use to operate the lighting around our house manually. However, Zigbee switches are controlled wirelessly. In addition, they also wirelessly control the lights using Zigbee wireless frequency protocols and channels.

Installing smart bulbs is much easier

While smart bulbs come with integrated Wi-Fi capabilities, they are installed in the same way that a conventional bulb is installed. However, smart switches are not as straightforward as lights when it comes to installation. In most cases, to install smart switches, you have to alter the wiring in your house and add a component which automates the functionality of the switch instead of the bulb. Usually, this means that you’ll have to replace your current switches with newer, advanced ones.

Switches are more cost-effective

When people look for smart bulbs and switches, they find the bulbs to be cheaper. However, they only appear to be cheaper.

Of course, one can argue that bulbs cost $15 or more while Zigbee switches start at $40, depending on the brand, making bulbs cheaper. However, smart switches can control numerous lights. For instance, you can have one switch control all the lights present in your lounge. In addition, smart switches can work with almost all kinds of bulbs.

So, due to the way switches can work with any bulb as well as allow people to set the switch such that it can control several lights instead of one, they tend to pay for themselves over time.

You can set your desired ambiance with smart Zigbee lights

For those wanting to set a mood using colorful lighting like making the atmosphere more lively and exciting during a party, then smart lights are the only option. This is because smart switches can only turn the lights on or off and dim them; however, only lights can add color to the room.

Both technologies work to provide additional safety

Despite the differences and cons that both Zigbee lights and switches have, they do have one common benefit which is that they offer safety against intruders. Both of these come with an app that lets you switch the lights on and off even when you’re not at home. So, people who travel frequently can give the impression that they’re at home to mimic occupancy.

Hue is the most popular Zigbee lights brand. Why should I look into others?

It depends. Philips Hue has quickly made its name as one of the most popular Zigbee lights. However, it is not the only Zigbee light you can get. Plus, Hue does come with some drawbacks which make it worth it to check out other brands.

  • It is expensive – Primarily, the Philips Hue kit is available at a fairly high price. In fact, even if you decide to purchase a single Hue bulb to add to your existing lighting, you’ll see that it is relatively expensive. Plus, since the Hue bridge is always switched on, it contributes to the overall power consumption of the house, adding more to your utility bill.
  • It might not suit all needs – While Hue has quite a user-friendly technology, you still need to be familiar with using smart devices and apps. Moreover, to make sure that you fully benefit the technology’s full potential, you will need an internet connection which again adds more to your cost. Moreover, Zigbee has a maximum range of roughly 70m which can be slightly more or less depending on the obstacles present in the environment. If you intend to place a He bulb at a longer distance, then you will have to buy Wi-Fi repeaters. Apart from being highly inconvenient, it will also add to your energy consumption and overall cost.

Best Zigbee Lighting Solutions

Best Zigbee LED Strip: Quotra ZigBee Smart LED Strip

Amazon Reviews:
  • Works with Philips Hue, Google Home Voice Control, and Alexa
  • Also works with Stringify and IFTTT to link with other smart devices
  • Compatible with Zigbee hubs, Echo Plus, Philips Hue, and their Android and iOS apps

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Strong adhesive that stays put
  • Comes with numerous functionalities at a suitable
  • Coating prevents moisture and everyday damage

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • It doesn’t work with Philips Hue Hub v2
  • The white balance might seem to be a little off for some

With the Quotra wireless LED strip lights, you can not only decorate the different areas of your house with ease, but you can also adjust the lighting atmosphere from wherever you are. Plus, it comes with several excellent features such as hands-free voice control. Plus, using the recommended app, it is also possible to have your lights synchronized to your game, music, and movie!

When to use?

Since this smart strip supports both RGB color and shades of white ranging from warm to cold, you can use it for various applications such as decorating your cabinet, TV back, kitchen, and bedroom, etc. With a choice of more than 16 million colors and thousand different shades of white, you can make use of the strip to transform your space just like you want to. If that’s not enough, you can even add life to your room with the help of animations. With these Quotra strip lights, you have the flexibility to extend, bend, or cut the strip to adjust it to your preferred application.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

  • If you think the whites are too off for you or if want to connect your lights with Philips Hue Hub v2, then one good option is the SYLVANIA SMART RGBW Starter Kit . With just a compatible Zigbee hub, you can start controlling your lights in very few simple steps!

Best Zigbee LED Strip Controller: Zigbee RGB CCT LED Strip Controller

Amazon Reviews:
  • Control RGB and white colors separately
  • Can be controlled via voice control
  • Allows group control of up to 50 to 60 pcs controllers
  • Comes with timer and app control

This LED strip controller, as the name suggests, allows you to control the LED light strips installed in your house. You can even use it for controlling multiple strips in one go. Plus, it comes with numerous features, allowing you to customize the lights in your house fully.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Solidly designed and reliable
  • Blue backlit display makes it super easy to control the lighting
  • Doesn’t heat up while doing its job

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Doesn’t function with Philips Hue bridges

When to use?

This LED strip controller is the ideal option for you if you wish to personalize the lightings in your house. With this controller, not only can you switch the LED strips on and off, but you can also change the color, and brighten or dim it too. Given the multi-functionality of the controller, you can also make the lights change with the rhythm of your smartphone, power on as the sun rises to wake you up gently, and even power off as you leave.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

If you’re unsatisfied with this LED strip controller, then as an alternative you can check out Home Smart Zigbee RGBCCT Strip Controller . It comes with all the functionalities of the controller reviewed above along with additional ones that make it a good choice.

Best Zigbee Light controller: Smart ZigBee 3.0 Light Switch

Amazon Reviews:
  • Compatible with Lightify Hub, Hue Bridge, and Echo Plus
  • Supports smart app and voice control
  • Control a loop of lights with just one controller

This Zigbee smart light controller switch by Nue is designed primarily for wireless hotel, office, and home automation. Available at a relatively low price, this gives you full control about how you can set your house’s environment.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Easy to install and connect with the lights
  • Priced reasonable and is constructed quite well

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • The installation might seem to be
    too technical and may require professional help

When to use?

This light controller can be used for various uses. For instance, you can protect your house with home automation tasks while you are out of the country. Similarly, you can auto control the lighting in your kids’ room with just your mobile. You can also use the light controller for scene management; with one click, you can control a group of devices. Moreover, since this works with LED, halogens, and incandescent lights, you can easily cover the whole house.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

One alternative that’s worth checking out is the Smart ZigBee Strip Light Switch Controller by 3A . It is also designed for wireless home, hotel, and office automation.

Best Zigbee Light switch: GE ZigBee Smart Lighting Control Switch

Amazon Reviews:
  • Supports dimmable CFL and LED bulbs
  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Echo Plus
  • Allows energy monitoring

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Easy to use and pair with the hub present in your house
  • Responds quite quickly to various commands

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Doesn’t work with Philips Hue
  • It is a bit oversized

With this in-wall smart switch, you can transform any house into a smart home. With this easy-to-integrate switch, you get the ultimate flexibility. So, you can enjoy seamless wireless control of the lights in your house.

When to use?

This light switch is the best to use when you want to control your appliances, fans, and lights. Plus, you can use it to create a personalized scene regardless of where you are at any time of day. Moreover, you can also use it if you have CFL, halogen, LED, and incandescent bulbs in your house.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

If you think the size of the switch might be a problem, then you can check out the GE Smart Dimmer Switch . Apart from all the basic functionalities, you can also use it for additional purposes like mimicking occupancy for added security.

Best Zigbee LED Ballast FLS-PP lp with Power PWM interface

Amazon Reviews:
  • Compatible with various Zigbee systems like Philips Hue
  • Zigbee Light Link certified. Allows control via smartphone, tablet, and desktop application
  • Suitable for both RGB and RGBW luminaires

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Works quite well with RGBW lights
  • Integrate easily and perfectly with Zigbee systems
  • Comes with 24V option for double wide strips

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Plastic tabs for inserting the wires are flimsy and may break

This electronic ballast lets you experience the unlimited color spectacles and doesn’t hold you back when it comes to playing around with your smart lighting solutions. With this product, you can come up with such harmonious lightings that will leave you and your guests absolutely enchanted.

When to use?

Since this electronic ballast doesn’t hold you back, there are numerous applications you can use it for. For instance, you can use it for creating a powerful background for your TV, having an environment set up with soft lights to fall asleep easier, or making harmonious lighting in your bathroom. Plus, with the daylight sensor and FLS-PP Ip, you can make a pleasant lighting environment in your rooms according to the amount of daylight entering it. Plus, with the plethora of colors available, you can stage expressive lights that suit each occasion.

Best Zigbee Dimmer: Quotra Wireless Smart Dimmer

Amazon Reviews:
  • Requires neutral wire
  • Works with IFTTT, Google Home, and Alexa
  • Only works with dimmable halogen, CLF, and LED up to 180W

WHAT WE LIKED

  • All features work very well
  • Screwless wall plates make the switch look beautiful
  • Works seamlessly with Philips Hue

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Installation can be a bit of
    hassle

The Quotra wireless smart dimmer allows easy control of your lights, allowing you to control the brightness from wherever you are. It works well with home lighting and comes with a slider that increases or decreases the brightness, making it easy to use.

When to use?

This Zigbee dimmer light switch is suitable to use for supporting physical on and off, dimming, and for connecting with Alexa to set timers and schedules. It is also ideal to use for any dimmable lighting fixture such as halogen, incandescent, CFL and LED fixtures.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

As mentioned earlier, you can check the Zigbee GE dimmer if you think this one just isn’t cut out for you.

Best Zigbee A19 Bulb: Philips Hue Single Premium

Amazon Reviews:
  • Allows voice control
  • Supports smart control via a smartphone app
  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit

WHAT WE LIKED

  • All the lights you install this bulb in works flawlessly
  • Numerous colors to play with

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Slightly expensive

With this Philips light bulb, not only do you get the chance to expand your smart home, but you also get limitless possibilities when it comes to setting the lighting environment of your house.

When to use?

This Philips smart bulb is ideal for changing the atmosphere and look of your room instantly thanks to the 16 million colors you can choose from. It can be used not only in ceiling fan lights, but also in pendant lights, table lamps, floor lamps, and other similar applications available throughout your smart home.

What are Zigbee alternatives?

A good alternative to this Philips bulb is LIFX + (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb which you can pair up with a security camera for enhanced security.

Best Zigbee Under Cabinet Light SYLVANIA 72569 LIGHTIFY

Amazon Reviews:
  • 20,000 rates hour lifespan
  • Plugs into a standard wall outlet
  • Whites can be adjusted from 2700 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Since it is thin, it makes an ideal option for low ceilings
  • Allows adjusting color temperature and brightness

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Doesn’t work well with SmartThings

Add a little more light to your utility room, closet, garage or kitchen with this edge-lit under cabinet light.

When to use?

Sometimes you need to add a little more light around the house to lighten it up. With this under cabinet light, you can illuminate not only the underside of the cabinet but also bookcases, work benches, and closets.