Comparing Philips Hue with Zipato RGBW bulb

Today I lined up both lights to see how they compare. No suspense here; the Hue wins hands down (except if you require/own zwave technology…)

What are they?

These are so called ‘wireless’ RGBW light bulbs. They only require electric power to be connected, switching and dimming is done through remote controls and/or apps. The lights are RGBW capable (Red, Green, Blue, White) meaning they can do regular white light as well as coloured light.

What do you need?

The Philips Hue works on a network called Zigbee, whilst the Zipato runs on Zwave. The Hue starterpack includes a bridge device (required) and three bulbs, the bridge is all you need to control it from your smartphone. The Zipato one comes alone but does require a Zwave controller that is capable of controlling the Zipato RGBW bulb (for now that seems to be only the Zipabox, also from Zipato). The controller has an app that allows you to control the light (and other stuff on the controller obviously)

What do they look like?

2014-10-03 11.14.13The Philips is on the left, both feel solid. The biggest difference is that the Philips one has a glass top that extends beyond the base, the Zipato one does not. The direct result is that the Zipato directs most light upwards, whereas the Philips one also shines side- and downwards. The pictures below show the difference (taken at a brightness that optically equaled each other)

2014-10-03 11.09.272014-10-03 11.11.55


Comparing them

  • Warm white light; the Zipato has to be at its warmest setting, to match the Philips middle setting. The warm light for the Philips light goes beyond the Zipato capabilities.
  • Brightness; Zipato does the lesser job in brightness control. When dimming the Philips to 25%, the Zipato must go down to 4% to match it. With the Zipato the upper 50% has limited impact (appr. 10% of the full range).
  • Overall colour; The Zipato can match most Philips colours, though not as fine grained as the Philips one achieves. Yet the Zipato doesn’t take away the ‘artifical-ness’ of the light, somehow the Philips Hue feels more natural in all its colours.
  • These lights are meant to be remote controlled, so you shouldn’t switch them physically (and never dimm them), but this is bound to happen anyway. In this respect the Zipato has the better settings as it retains its set colours even after a power off. The Philips Hue just returns to its default white setting when power returns.
  • Maximum white brightness seems to be equal, be it with a slight difference in colour, without my preference for either one.
  • For coloured light, the maximum brightness of the Hue has a factor of nearly 2x the brightness of the zipato one (tested it with red particularly)


The Philips one wins handsdown. Only when you have a Zwave home automation network the Zipato brings something extra to the table as it functions as a Zwave repeater and hence increases your Zwave network strength.

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