I tested a number of different Outdoor Smart Lights and smart Garden Lights that are available in Australia. There isn’t a huge range of smart outdoor lights available in Australia, but there are a couple of great lights that I think are the perfect choice. Here’s what I recommend:
Philips Hue Outdoor Smart Lights – My Pick
If you’re looking to add a smart outdoor light to your home than my top recommendation is using Philips Hue. While I test out a lot of different smart lights, I actually use Philips Hue lights as part of my smart home setup.
Philips has a huge range of different types of lights, so you can mix and match lights to create a perfect outdoor lighting setup.
Philips Hue Pros – Why it’s my top pick
- Highest Quality LEDs – Not all LEDs are equal! I’ve found that the LED’s in Philips use are the number 1 in the industry for quality. When it comes to LEDs there is a huge range in quality. Cheap LEDs found in many smart lights tend to overheat and will have short lifespan. Ever wondered why you need to keep replacing those cheap LED bulbs from Aldi or Woolies? A good bulb should last for 10 years. Philips Hue bulbs last a very long time (I haven’t yet had to replace any)
- Good Connection – If you use Philips Hue bulbs with a Philips Hue Bridge (which I recommend getting) the connection is very reliable. There’s nothing worse than a smart lighting setup that constantly has connection issues. Phillips Hue tends to have fewer problems and if setup correctly should have no problems at all.
- Good Brightness – Philips Hue bulbs are particularly good at colour lighting and tend to be brighter than other bulbs when lit using colours. However most people will tend to just use a shade of white.
- Change White Tone – The Philips hue Outdoor range can be adjusted to pretty much any colour. Great for setting a warmer shade of light that isn’t so harsh.
Philips Hue Cons
- More Expensive – Philips Hue Bulbs are more expensive than other options. You can buy cheaper bulbs but you will need to keep replacing them. I do believe that in my smart home I’ve saved money by using Philips Hue. The initial cost though is going to be more expensive.
- No All in One – Philips Hue Doesn’t sell a light + motion sensor all-in-one device. They do sell an outdoor motion detector. If you want a motion controlled light you’ll need to get the motion sensor plus an outdoor light. This could potentially work better for many homes as you can put the motion sensor anywhere.
Philips Hue Outdoor Lights Available in Australia
Here are the Philips Hue outdoor smart lights available in Australia:
Philips Hue Impress Wall Lantern
Philips Hue Outdoor Spot
This spot is perfect for shining brighter light over an area or used as a feature light to illuminate a tree or other feature. Can be pointed down to throw light over a wall.
Plugs into a Hue Outdoor Power Supply – which you can add multiple lights to and doesn’t require professional install.
Philips Hue Calla Pedestal Light
This Pedestal Light uses the Hue Outdoor Power Supply. Using this power supply you can install multiple outdoor lights on your own. This doesn’t need to be installed by an electrician.
This light can change colour and you can also change the white balance.
Philips Hue Pedestal Light
This light is designed for path ways and garden beds.
You will need an electrician to install this outdoor light as it’s hard wired. These lights provide a warm white and the colour is fixed.
Philips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor
The Philips Hue Motion Sensor lets you automate your outdoor lighting based on motion. You can setup this motion sensor to turn on any hue lights (or other brand using Apple Home or Google Home)
This Motion Sensor is battery powered so you can position it anywhere and it includes mounting options.
Arlec Grid Connect Outdoor Smart Lights
Arlec Grid Connect lights are available at Bunnings. These lights are very cheap compared to Hue lights, but I’ve found many users tend to have connection issues. The outdoor lights tend to lose Wifi Connection and don’t use the more advanced and reliable Zigbee Networking that Hue uses.
- Cheap – Arlec Grid Connect devices are cheap. You can get a smart outdoor light for around $50.
- All in One Device – You can buy an all-in-one Arlec device that has a motion sensor.
- Wifi Connection Issues – If you look at the reviews on Bunnings you’ll see most Grid Connect products (especially the outdoor range) have Wifi Connection Issues. This mirrors my testing where I had issues with the bulbs disconnecting.
- Lower Quality LED – The Arlec bulbs uses a lower quality LED compared to the LED in the Philips Hue.
- No Apple Home (HomeKit) Support – If you use Apple Devices you won’t be able to add these devices to your Apple Home app. Grid Connect doesn’t support Homekit which I believe is a big issue.
Arlec Grid Connect Outdoor Smart Lights
Mirabella Genio Outdoor Lights
Mirabella Genio does sell a range of Outdoor lights, but I was unable to find any of these in stock. It’s not clear if these are still being manufactured. I’ve had connection issues trying to setup Mirabella Genio lights in the past, and they don’t work at all with my mesh wifi router. So it’s not a brand a recommend people buy.
Buying Smart Outdoor Lights Overseas
I wouldn’t recommend buying smart outdoor lighting from overseas. These products might not meet Australian standards and might not use our power voltage. There are a number of brands that have great products, but unfortunately haven’t brought the range to Australia. You can also get very cheap products imported from Chinese marketplace sites. I would avoid these at all costs. The hardware is horrible and setting these products up are not worth the hassle.
Can You Use Philips Hue bulbs Outdoors
You can use regular Philips Hue bulbs outdoors in a verandah light fitting as long as the fitting is protected from the elements. That being said, Philips Hue sells a number of lights that have been designed to run outdoors. LED lights are sensitive to heat and overheating. The Hue outdoor lights contain extra shielding and are designed in a way to run in all weather outdoors. So it’s better just to get a dedicated outdoor light.
Using Arlec Grid Connect Lights Outdoors
Arlec sells a number of “Smart” products at Bunnings using the Grid Connect Platform. They do sell a number of products that are designed to be used outdoors. I wouldn’t use the regular Arlec Grid Connect Bulbs outdoors. These LED bulbs use a lower quality LED and are sensitive to overheating. Being outdoors these bulbs will easily overheat and shorten the lifespan. It’s better to buy a product that is designed to be used outdoors.