Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

Compatible with Hue, SmartThings and a whole lot more - all for a great price

Innr smart lighting
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Innr is making quite a name for itself in the smart lighting world. The Dutch brand, set up in 2012 by a bunch of ex-Hue and Ikea employees, makes affordable, easy-to-use, smart light bulbs, light accessories and other connected products, and is fast becoming a favorite here at The Ambient HQ.

I've had Innr smart bulbs in my house for a couple of months now - running on the Innr system itself, within the Hue app and also independently as Zigbee bulbs connected to a smart home hub.

Here's everything you need to know.

Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

Innr: How it all works

As mentioned above, Innr smart light bulbs are multi-functional and pretty much ecosystem agnostic. Yes, you'll need a Zigbee hub to control the bulbs but Innr isn't fussy about which one you use.

There is a dedicated Innr Bridge, which is a fairly bland looking slab of plastic that will cost you around $60, but our advice would be to totally ignore that this even exists. Instead, opt for a more mainstream Zigbee controller, such as the Philips Hue Bridge or a Samsung SmartThings hub.

Ultimate guide: Everything you need to know about Philips Hue

Obviously, it's a bonus if you already own one of these, and, the chances are, if you're reading this review, you already do. That's because you're already aware that Innr are an affordable way to bulk out your home's smart lighting, without moving away from your existing system or creating a new one.

As Zigbee bulbs, you'll have absolutely no issues getting Innr bulbs up and running with a dedicated hub such as Abode, SmartThings or an Echo Plus (or Echo Show 2nd-gen). Here's a video showing how easy it easy with the Echo hub.

I tested a few bulbs on my existing SmartThings system and I've also got a couple masquerading as Hue bulbs within the Hue app as well - check out this guide on how to get Innr and Hue paired-up, for more information on that. I've had no problems at all.

The bottom line, and the point I'm trying to make, is that Innr bulbs are designed to compliment your existing smart home and smart lighting system. Yes, there's a dedicated hub and app but you should never even need to see it.

Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

Innr: The smart lighting range

The good news is that, for a relatively new brand, Innr already has a pretty huge range. There are white bulbs, color bulbs, candle shaped bulbs (with different fittings for all of these); as well as lightstrips, spotlights, recessed lights, puck lights for kitchen cabinets and a whole lot more.

Rival: Govee smart light review

The double good news is that they are all pretty affordable. They are not quite as cheap as the real bottom end of the market, with a Wyze bulb costing $7.99, but if you buy an Innr white bulb multipack you can get the cost down as low as $9 per bulb.

Expect to pay around 60-70% of what you'd pay for the equivalent Hue light across the board. A 4m color lightstrip kit, for example, will set you back around $70; a Hue lightstrip starter kit is half the size of that for $10 more. The basic color LED is just $29.99.

Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

If you want something that looks a bit more swish than a regular LED bulb then you'll be pleased to know that Innr has jumped on the smart filament bulb bandwagon, and has four different models in its retro lineup; including the awesome, BIG, Vintage Globe bulb, pictured above.

Edison style: The best smart filament light bulbs

These filament bulbs don't offer the same warmth range adjustments of the regular white LEDs - as they are designed to always look warm for that retro feel. You can, of course, adjust the brightness of them though.

Shop for Innr on Amazon
Shop for Innr on Amazon

In terms of quality - both build and light - they aren't quite as good as Hue. At the price-tags they come with, I can accept that but it's noticeable that the bulbs don't feel as sturdy as their pricier rival's and the colors are not quite as vibrant.

You might also notice the odd flickering or humming with some variants (our GU10 sample was guilty of the latter) and there's also sometimes some odd behavior when cycling through the color-wheel; although nothing as glitchy as what I regularly encounter with Lifx bulbs.

Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

Innr: The app and intergrations

The Innr app, which you'll only need to use if you're syncing up your lights with the Innr Bridge, is a very basic offering that does everything you'd expect - brightness controls, color adjustments, schedules and the like - but fails to excite with any bells or indeed whistles. There are no geofencing options for example, or integrations with other apps or services.

However, as mentioned, we would recommend skipping the Bridge and the native app entirely and instead using the interface from Hue, SmartThings - or whatever other Zigbee hub you've got up and running.

Using Hue, for example, the bulbs just show up as regular Hue-branded ones would - you can assign them to rooms/zones, add them to smart schedules, include them in groups and so on. Likewise with SmartThings, you can get them working in tandem with sensors for slick auto-on automations.

See also: How to get Ikea Trådfri bulbs working with Philips Hue

And, of course, if you do use the Innr lights through these popular platforms, you can also make use of voice assistants and the wealth of smart home controls and automations that opens up.

Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility is on board, although there's no love for HomeKit; even if your Hue system, for example, is synced up with Apple's smart home ecosystem. The bulbs just won't show up in the Home app, as your other native-Hue bulbs will.

With Alexa and Google Assistant, though, it's a cinch to get them grouped up, added to routines and so on and the same voice commands you use for all your other smart lighting will work just as efficiently with Innr.

Innr smart lighting review: Innr's Zigbee bulbs and system put to the test

Innr: Extras and accessories

Innr doesn't have its own motion sensor but you can, of course, have lights come on if motion is detected by other motion detectors that are part of your Zigbee/Alexa/Google setup.

There is a remote control, though, which is handy if you don't want to rely on your phone or your voice for controlling the bulbs.

Finally, and totally unrelated to the smart lighting range, Innr also has a great Zigbee-based smart plug on sale for $34.99 for a 2-pack. Just as with the smart bulb, I had absolutely no problems getting this plug working alongside my other connected devices within SmartThings and using Alexa.

Shop for Innr on Amazon
Shop for Innr on Amazon

Innr smart lights
Innr has very cleverly placed itself as a brand that offers a lot of the great features of Hue, at a lower price-point. While it has always been possible to get Zigbee bulbs working within the Hue ecosystem, I've never encountered it being as easy as it is with Innr. Add to that seamless syncing with popular smart home hubs such as SmartThings and Amazon's Echo Plus and you're looking at a very versatile smart lighting option, with a already large and seemingly expanding range.
  • Works with Hue
  • Seamless with smart home hubs
  • Alexa and GA voice commands
  • Great price points
  • Native app is basic
  • Not as premium as high-end rivals
  • No HomeKit

TAGGED    smart lighting

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