Hue sister company Wiz offers smarter controls for its Wi-Fi lights

What you need to know

  • Wiz Connected has a new remote and a new sensor to control its Wi-Fi lights.
  • The remote control does not require a Wi-Fi connection.
  • The company also announced app updates and hardware plans aimed at optimizing energy usage.

While Philips Hue sells smart bulbs that use Bluetooth and a Zigbee radio hub, sister company Wiz Connected makes light bulbs that work directly with your Wi-FI network — no hub needed. Wiz is expanding its offerings with a remote control that can talk directly to the lights without needing your Wi-FI network, as well as a motion and light sensor. The company will also update its app to closely monitor power consumption, part of Wiz's future plans to help users monitor and manage energy usage.

The eponymous Wizmote has a range of up to 50 feet, so you won't be able to control lights across the house, but it should see every light in your room. The buttons are simple and there is a dimmer switch built-in. Once you pair the Wizmote with the Wiz app (Wizapp?), the remote controls lights locally without an internet connection, and it can even activate the Wiz circadian rhythm pattern that you set. The Wizmote will cost a very reasonable $15 when it launches in April.

Wiz also has a motion and daylight sensor that will trigger smart actions you can manage through the Wiz app. It can turn on lights when you enter a room, and turn on path lighting at night. The Wiz Motion Sensor is battery-powered and connects to your home Wi-Fi to control the lights, so it isn't talking to the bulbs directly, which is preferable in this use case.

Wiz will also update its Wiz app with energy optimization features, including tracking the power consumption for individual lights. You can then visualize your consumption by room and over periods of time. The app works with the motion and daylight sensor to dim lights and schedule lights-out timers to save more power. Wiz also says it is developing a line of power meter smart plugs that will presumably also monitor the power consumption of individual outlets.

Philip Berne