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Philips Hue vs. Nanoleaf: 3 Main Differences Compared

What Is The Difference Between Philips Hue And Nanoleaf

Smart lights make illuminating your home intuitive and straightforward, and they can even offer color customizations that reflect your preferences.

Nanoleaf and Philips Hue lights are some of the best smart lights on the market.

Although they’re similar, they have some key differences. 

The main differences between Philips Hue and Nanoleaf lighting include Nanoleaf colors being not as bright as Philips Hue’s. Nanoleaf also uses a Thread network, while Philips Hue uses a Zigbee bridge. In addition, Nanoleaf Essentials are more affordable than Philips Hue Lights.

Let’s talk more about these popular, cutting-edge smart lights.

The rest of this article will help you understand all of the significant differences between Philips Hue and Nanoleaf lighting.

This way, you can make the best, most informed decision when it comes to brightening up your home. 

1. Nanoleaf Colors Aren’t As Bright as Philips Hue’s 

If you want your smart light bulb to shine in vibrant colors, Nanoleaf bulbs aren’t the best choice.

Nanoleaf and Philips Hue lights technically have the same brightness and color spectrum selections.

However, Nanoleaf’s colored lighting isn’t as vibrant and bright as Philips Hue lights. 

Hue and Nanoleaf light bulbs also function with 800 lumens and can get even brighter if you adjust the settings. But they don’t always look the same. 

Generally, the white light settings on both bulbs look similar.

However, when compared to Philips Hue, Nanoleaf’s colors are much duller. They also don’t fully illuminate a room, even when you turn the brightness up. 

The same problem arises when you compare Nanoleaf and Philips Hue light strips.

The Hue strips are much brighter when you use colored lighting, and they offer much more light.

However, the Nanoleaf strips look duller and offer much less illumination, even when turning on the brightest setting. 

To see the differences compared side by side, check out this helpful YouTube video from HomeKit Authority, a tech reviewer: 

So, if you want to illuminate your home in a spectrum of shades, Phillip’s Hue is the way to go. 

2. Nanoleaf and Philips Hue Use Different Networks

One of the most significant differences between Philips Hue and Nanoleaf lights is the network that each one uses. 

Nanoleaf’s Thread network uses a low-latency mesh network.

It speeds up processing times and connects your light to every other thread-enabled gadget in your home.

Philips Hue lights use a bridge that works with Zigbee networking to connect your lights via a radio frequency. 

So, what does that mean for you? Let’s get into the details. 

Editor’s pick: Unable To Connect To Philips Hue Remotely? 7 Instant Fixes

Nanoleaf and the Thread Network

Nanoleaf uses a network called Thread to connect to the internet. Nanoleaf’s products are the first thread-enabled smart light bulbs and strips ever to exist. 

Thread is a simpler version of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Its simplicity makes it much faster than other connections. This is because it doesn’t have to run through thousands of pages of code to connect to your smart tech. 

The Thread network allows all of the thread-enabled devices in your home to connect to each other.

That means that Thread works as a mesh web to keep your devices connected to the Wi-Fi. It also works even if they’re far away from your router

Although Nanoleaf is Thread-enabled, you don’t have to use it.

You can just as well use Nanoleaf bulbs and strips with Bluetooth. But the processing times will be much slower that way. 

So, Thread is much faster, more energy-efficient, and more reliable than standard wireless networks.

That means that Nanoleaf usually follows your commands much faster than Philips Hue light bulbs. And you won’t ever have to wait for buffering or loading times. 

To use Thread with Nanoleaf, you’ll have to use a Thread border router.

These routers create a Thread network in your home, allowing you to connect to any Thread-enabled device. 

If you’re looking for a border router, I recommend the Eero Mesh WiFi Router (available on 

You can use the Eero as a router for any internet-enabled device. So, it’ll replace your current router. 

The Eero router is also powerful, and it’ll deliver connectivity up to 1,500 square feet (139 square meters) around it.

So, if you want to prepare for a new generation of faster Thread-enabled devices, you may want to consider using Eero.

Once you have a border router, Nanoleaf lights automatically jump onto the thread network when you power them up. This makes the setup simple. 

If you want to learn more about the Thread Network, take a look at this YouTube video from Nanoleaf: 

Philips Hue’s Zigbee Bridge

Philips Hue lights use a bridge that makes the light’s response times faster.

You can still use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to your Hue bulbs. But using a bridge can help it work much better. 

The Philips Hue bridge works with Zigbee. It’s a network that uses radio signals to connect all of your bulbs to each other. 

This network gives the lights a designated wavelength to communicate with your apps and bridge.

This ensures that the Wi-Fi traffic from your other smart devices doesn’t interrupt the signal. 

One significant benefit of using Philips Hue is that many smart speakers already have a Zigbee network integrated into their system.

This includes Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePods.

So, even if you don’t have the bridge, you can connect your lights to your smart speaker. 

However, Zigbee isn’t as fast as Nanoleaf’s Thread network, and it isn’t nearly as versatile.

So, even if you get the bridge for Philips Hue, it won’t work as efficiently as Nanoleaf lights.

The difference is very minute, though, so it shouldn’t influence your decision too much. 

Still, Hue lights work much faster when you use the bridge with them.

You can keep your hue bulbs fast, efficient, and connected to your other smart home gadgets with a bridge. 

The Philips bridge can connect to up to 50 lights in your home. You can also use the bridge to set routines and schedules for your Hue lights. 

However, Philips Hue lights can use standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to your smart devices. So, you don’t have to use the bridge if you don’t want to.

However, using one will make your light bulbs much smarter, and it’ll add many advanced features to your smart lighting. 

3. Nanoleaf Essentials Are More Affordable Than Philips Hue 

When it comes to automating your home, matching your budget to your lighting preferences can be challenging. However, smart lighting doesn’t have to be expensive.

Overall, Nanoleaf Essentials light bulbs and strips are more cost-effective than Philips Hue bulbs. 

Even when you compare the price of a Philips bridge and a Thread border router, Nanoleaf Essentials lights are much cheaper than Hue’s options.

That’s especially true, considering that the Thread network will be helpful for all of the Wi-Fi-enabled devices in your home. 

Still, it’s crucial to note that Nanoleaf Essentials are relatively new on the market. And most retailers run out of stock quickly.

So, it may be challenging to find the Nanoleaf product you want when you want it, even if it’s cheaper than Philips lights. 

Since both bulbs and light strips are similar in longevity, brightness, and efficiency, there’s no distinct advantage to using Hue over Nanoleaf.

So, in the end, Nanoleaf is the way to go if you want to pay the least for the most. 

Learn more: Do Philips Hue bulbs work in any lamp?


Overall, Philips Hue offers brighter colors at a higher price point than Nanoleaf Essentials lights.

However, Nanoleaf has faster processing times than Philips Hue since it uses a Thread network to connect your devices constantly.

Both lights can use Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or tablet. But they work best with a bridge or router, so you’ll have to purchase an extra hub for either one.

Read next: Nanoleaf Essentials vs. Lifx: 5 Main Differences Explained