Are you looking to spice up one of the rooms in your home with some smart home lighting? Smart LED lights has been a standout product for smart homes but which smart light setup do you go with? The Philips Hue line of light strips and luminaries or the Nanoleaf Aurora?
Right off the bat, we believe these two products serve two different purposes. From our perspective, the Philips Hue lineup is used to highlight your room whereas the Nanoleaf Aurora is more of a centrepiece.
For the rest of this article, we’re going to:
- cover the design differences between the two products
- talk about the functionality each one has to offer
- cover how we would personally use these products
We’ve also consulted with an architect/interior designer to get their thoughts on how to use these different types of smart home LED’s. If you need more info, check out what we think are the best smart lights for Apple Home or Amazon Alexa.
Nanoleaf Aurora vs Philips Hue – Is one smart light designed better than the other?
When it comes to design, the Nanoleaf Aurora stands out. It just looks cool whereas the Philips Hue Go and Bloom look like bowls of lights. You could easily mistaken a Philips Hue smart bulb for a regular bulb but there is no way you could mistaken a Aurora panel.
Each set of lights is dimmable and both allow you to customize the color of the light. When it comes to brightness, the 9-paneled Aurora is going to much brighter than a single Hue Go or Hue Bloom but if you’re going with the Philips bulbs, you’re probably going to be getting several different bulbs.
The Aurora requires more effort to setup as it needs to be semi-permantley mounted. You can definitely swap the provided mounts with 3M Command Strips to add a bit flexibility if you want to change the panel setup. As a side note, we had to figure out how to move our Nanoleaf Aurora around for the video so we created a portable mount. Find out more in this post.
For functionality, both Nanoleaf and Philips have apps that allow you to control the color as well as set scenes for the product. In general, the Philips Hue app is a bit easier to use than the Nanoleaf app. The Philips Hue app doesn’t favour one product over the other whereas the Nanoleaf app is completely focused on the Aurora. The Nanoleaf App doesn’t have much for their other smart light product, the Nanoleaf Smart Ivy. Find out more in our comparison between the Smart Ivy and Hue bulbs.
When would we use the Nanoleaf Aurora over the Philips Hue?
So when how would we use these products? In short, we see the Philips Hue accessories complimenting a room whereas the Nanoleaf Aurora is a stand alone accessory. According to our architect, both products offer different uses. The Phillips Hue line is shaped like traditional lightning whereas the Nanoleaf Aurora is more modern so it depends on people’s taste. The Philips is what you would expect for typical lighting and the Nanoleaf is more of an artwork or centrepiece for a room.
We totally agree with this statement and to simplify it a bit more, we think the Aurora would be great for any room where you plan to entertain people, if you have the space for it.
Philips Hue vs. Nanoleaf Aurora – What should you use in the Living or Family Room?
In Aaron’s living room, his wife has a bunch of paintings put up and the entire setup of the room revolves around those colors. There isn’t much empty allspice so there isn’t any room for an Aurora. Realistically, having an Aurora in the room would most likely distract from the paintings. In this setup, we’ve added Philips Color Ambiance bulbs to the pot lights closest to the walls, a Philips Hue Bloom and Go on the paintings and an LED strip beneath the mantle and in the cabinets below the TV.
Now if there weren’t any paintings in the room, we’d setup the Aurora between the built in cabinets. The Nanoleaf Aurora has a power cord which would be hard to hide if we were to put it above the mantle. With this setup, we’d definitely put coloured smart LED bulbs in the lamps to supplement the colors of the Aurora.
Philips Hue vs. Nanoleaf Aurora – Which works better in the bedroom?
In general, we believe having an Nanoleaf Aurora would be overkill in bedroom. But it does depend on your situation. We’re personally don’t spend enough time awake in the bedroom (only for sleeping). So having the pricey Nanoleaf Aurora is going to be a waste. The bedrooms we used in our rooms are also quite small so the amount of light putout by the Nanoleaf Aurora would be overkill.
However, if you have a large bedroom or you spend a lot of time awake in your bedroom (i.e. renting a room in a house), the Aurora could be a good choice.
For the bedrooms, we’d definitely put a Philip Hue Color Ambiance smart lights in the night lamps. Using the light bulb as an alarm clock has been incredibly refreshing. We’re not sure where you would put a Hue Bloom or Hue Go in the bedroom. If we were to go out of our way to use a light, we’d put a Bloom or Go in the corner.
Philips Hue vs. Nanoleaf Aurora – Does your kitchen need a set of smart lights?
How about in the kitchen? We don’t think coloured smart lighting has any reason to be in the kitchen. A smart light switch maybe but definitely not lights. Why? Because there isn’t a need to set the mood when you’re chopping carrots for a meal. Kitchen’s are usually filled with sharp utensils so preventing bodily harm is going to be more important than having a splash of color.
Philips Hue vs. Nanoleaf Aurora – How about the office
For the office, we had a full set of Philips Hue bulbs and a Nanoleaf Aurora on one of the walls. For the majority of the review period, the Nanoleaf Aurora was turned off as it was distracting. We like about the Aurora’s is the ability to change the color of each panel but it’s distracting when you’re trying to work.
For the office, stick with the Philips Hue lineup of smart bulbs. You’ll fall in love with the “concentrate” setting in the morning as it will help you focus!
Hopefully our “Nanoleaf Aurora vs Philips Hue” smart home LED lights comparison was helpful. We were surprised at how long it’s taken to wrap our heads around the concept of smart lights. If you liked this post and are considering getting some for yourself, check out our links to purchase your products. Let us know if you have any comments or questions in the comments below!