Smart lighting company WiZ has updated all its smart bulbs, lamps, and plugs manufactured in early 2021 or later to Matter, beating its sister brand Philips Hue to the punch. The company’s new app, WiZ v2, now lets users migrate any compatible product to the new smart home standard directly in the app and, from there, add them to any Matter-compatible platform, including Apple Home.
Previously, the WiZ smart lighting line was only compatible with Apple’s smart home platform through Siri Shortcuts. Now, with Matter, many of its products can be added to the Apple Home app and controlled along with any other product supported by Apple Home. Signify, which owns both brands, has said Philips Hue will also be Matter compatible, but that update has been delayed.
WiZ products also work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings through Matter. WiZ was previously compatible with these platforms but, when connected with Matter, will work locally on your home Wi-Fi network rather than relying on a cloud connection. This should bring better responsiveness and reliability to the bulbs; they should also be controllable even if the internet is down.
WiZ boasts a big selection of smart lighting options, from all shapes and sizes of bulbs and lamps to luminaires, string lights, and other outdoor products. At just $13 for a full-color smart A19 bulb, they are much less expensive than their more famous sibling, Hue, which runs $50 for a single A19. WiZ works over Wi-Fi and doesn’t need a hub or bridge, unlike Hue, which uses Zigbee and relies on a bridge.
How to upgrade WiZ lights to Matter
Signify has said that all WiZ lights and smart plugs manufactured from Q2 2021 onwards are Matter compatible. WiZ doesn’t appear to have started selling products with the Matter logo on yet, but an FAQ on its webpage shows how to identify compatible models.
However, the WiZ A19 bulbs I have aren’t showing as upgradeable, despite fitting the bill. WiZ told me that any compatible model on firmware 1.2 and higher should work. However, this Reddit post from someone who claims to work at WiZ indicates the update is rolling out slowly to specific model numbers and that more will be compatible next month. I’ve reached out to WiZ for confirmation.
To get started, you need the new WiZ v2 app and a Matter controller, such as an Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, or Google Nest Hub.
If you already have WiZ bulbs, you’ll need to migrate your system to the new app. Then, open the app, tap on the Integrations icon in the settings tab, and tap the Matter logo. A list of any devices you have that can be updated to Matter will appear, and you can click on each one to start the migration process to Matter. WiZ has a step-by-step guide on its website and more details here.
Once migrated, you can control the bulbs in any Matter platform — turn them on/off, change brightness and temperature, and adjust color. However, any advanced features will only be accessible through the WiZ app.
Is a WiZ smart security camera around the corner?
It looks like WiZ may be expanding beyond lighting. German blog SmartLights.De spotted this product image of new smart security cameras from WiZ, packaged on a box with three WiZ bulbs and a Matter logo.
Billed as a Home Monitoring Starter Kit, the camera appears to have Full HD video and IR night vision, fairly basic specs for a security camera. However, paired with WiZ’s SpaceSense tech, which uses the bulbs’ Wi-Fi to monitor for motion, it could be an interesting entry into the home security space.
Update, Wednesday, April 26, 4:15 PM: Added details on the firmware number needed for lights to upgrade to Matter and that the option to upgrade is still being rolled out to compatible models.