Philips Hue Review: The Market Leader Under The Spotlight!
Read Time: 19 mins
The Lowdown On The Entire Range In The Ultimate Philips Hue Buyer’s Guide
Imagine that the lights in your home turn on the minute you get there, you can turn off all the lights in your home with a single click, transform the ambiance in your home with color or change your living room into a home cinema. You can do all this and more with Philips Hue, the smart home lighting system that seamlessly integrates with your smart devices and makes your home super ‘smart’.
Philips Hue is a range of white and color-changing LED bulbs that can be controlled wirelessly. The Philips Hue range of bulbs are just like regular bulbs and they can be screwed practically to any lamp or light fitting in your home. The bulbs come in a range of sizes and shapes. The Hue lights offer a choice between color and white ambiance, white ambiance and white, with each product having a different use case.
- Color and White Ambiance: This is the most colorful range. The bulbs in this range are dimmable and they have around 16 million colors that can completely change the look and feel of your room.
- White Ambiance: These can be dimmed and can change temperatures ranging from 2200K to 65000K, from warm soft white to bright daylight.
- White: These can be dimmed and produce white light and a color temperature of 2700K.
The Hue range is manufactured by Signify, which is the new name for Philips Lighting. Signify is a world leader in the manufacturing of lighting systems, products and services that are top quality and energy efficient. For over 125 years, Signify has pioneered several innovations in lighting and has been the driving force for several inventions.
Signify focuses on turning sources of light to data and connects places, people and devices through light, thereby contributing to making the world safer, more productive and smarter. The company’s energy-efficient lighting solutions enable its customers to enjoy the superior quality of light. The company aims to unlock the potential of light to make the world better and brighter.
Signify has its presence in over 70 countries and employs around 29,000 people worldwide. The company has over 44 million connected light points and in 2018, the company’s sales were around 6.4 billion Euros. The position of Signify as an industry leader in connected lighting makes it the No. 1 lighting company in the IoT (Internet of Things) space.
What Is Philips Hue?
Philips Hue is a smart lighting system which comprises of a collection of smart lighting products such as the lights, controls, sensors and the Hue Bridge, all of which together with completely change the way you experience light. You can now replace all the old light bulbs in your home with smart bulbs from Philips Hue and make your home “smarter”.
The Philips Hue lighting system was launched in October 2102 and it was marketed as the first lighting appliance that is iOS controlled. The Hue system makes use of the Zigbee lighting protocol and can be controlled using smartphone apps over Wi-Fi, cellular network or Ethernet through a Zigbee-Ethernet bridge that is wired to a router. Zigbee is a safe, reliable and low-power technology which works even when your internet is down. The Philips Hue system also integrates with your other smart devices such as your voice assistant to provide you with a truly smart home experience.
The new and improved lighting system has bulbs that can produce up to around 800 lumens and the upgraded system is Apple HomeKit compatible too. Philip Hue’s outdoor version was launched in July 2018 and a range of free-standing light fixtures and fittings that are focused on entertainment was launched by Signify in July 2018. The range of outdoor lights and sensors was launched in January 2019.
The Philips Hue Ecosystem
The Philip Hue ecosystem gives you a fantastic home lighting experience by combining LED lights with intuitive technology. The LED bulbs, the Hue bridge and the Hue app will completely change the way you control the lighting in your home, office or anywhere else, forever. Philip Hue can do a lot – it can welcome you home, refresh you in the morning, relive your favorite moment and a lot more.
You can control your Philips Hue wireless lighting system practically from anywhere in your home and you can control it from your Android, iOS or Kindle smart device. The Philips Hue system works with Zigbee technology and the system is upgradeable and all upgrades to the firmware, as well as the software, are made directly to your Hue bridge or bulb wirelessly.
With the Hue Philips Ecosystem, you can:
- Expand the ecosystem to connect up to 50 lamps and bulbs.
- Based on your favorite photograph, you can create your own personal light settings.
- Use the timer function to set your lights according to your sleep routine.
- Create scenes, select light recipes and also program your timers and alarms using the app.
- Program your lights to switch on or off even when you are away from home.
- Create light scenes depending on your mood.
- Vary your ambiance with over 16 million colors.
- Enjoy dynamic light effects.
The Bridge is the heart of the Philips Hue system which acts as a smart hub and connects your smart lights to your smart devices. The Bridge allows you to connect up to 50 lights, lamps and accessories to a single hub. The Bridge is very easy to install — all you need to do is plug the bridge to your home router using the Ethernet cable and set it up. Once that’s done you can control all your lights, set your timers, routines, light scenes, etc. via the Philip Hue app.
The Philips Hue App completely transforms the way that you experience light. The smart light app offers you complete convenience of controlling the lights in your home with the simple click of a button. The Philips Hue app is available for Android and iOS devices; you can download the app and brighten your home in just a few minutes.
With the Philips Hue app, you can:
- Control Your Lights Conveniently: The app allows you to organize the individual lights into rooms. You can switch all the lights in the room on/off, change the brightness or color of all the lights to match your activity or mood. Now, you can control all your lights easily, no matter how many lights there are.
- Customize Your Space: You can change the color of your light according to your mood. You can change the color, brightness, shade of white or the individual lights and create your own personalized space.
- Play with Colors: You can add color to your interiors and your life with the Philips Hue color palette. You can choose from 16 million colors or use any shade of white.
- Discover Light Recipes: You can choose from 4 preset light scenes according to your daily routine. The cool daylight helps to invigorate your mind and body. The white light helps you to stay focused or the warm white light can help you relax after a long tiring day.
- Transform Your Room: You can simply tap a scene to completely transform your room. Enjoy a night out at the Soho district of London or enjoy a Honolulu sunset with the simple click of a button.
- Transform Your Pictures: The state-of-the-art picture-to-light algorithm of Philips Hue allows you to transform your favorite picture into a Hue scene easily. All the relevant colors are extracted by the algorithm and applied to your lights. You can now use your Hue lights in your own pictures and relive your fondest memories.
- Enjoy Scenes: There are around 30 scenes available in the Philips Hue app, which can help to transform your room instantly with the LED lighting that is app controlled.
- Set Your Sleep and Wake Timers: You can now set your lights to wake up in the morning feeling completely refreshed and also to help you go to sleep at night. You can create your custom sleep routines that will dim the lights automatically at night or wake you up in the morning very gently.
- Switch on the Lights Automatically: The location awareness feature in the Philips Hue app allows you to set your lights so that they will turn on automatically when you arrive home or switch off when you leave your home.
- Sunrise and Sunset: You can set your smart lights to follow the natural rhythms of the day i.e. your lights will turn on automatically at sunset and switch off at sunrise. On the basis of your location, your Philips Hue smart lights adapt to the sunrise and sunset routine automatically.
- Set a Timer: If you need a reminder for something, you can set the timer which activates the lights at a specific time by flashing the lights or triggering a scene.
Integration and Connectivity
With Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Nest
The “Friends of Hue” allow you to get so much more from your home lighting. Your Philips Hue lights work seamlessly with smart products and devices making your home smarter and your life simpler.
Philips Hue is supported by all the major voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomeKit. You can turn the lights on or off, set the brightness, etc. in your room by using your voice via any of these systems.
Amazon Alexa allows you to activate any of the scenes that have been programmed; however, you cannot change the color of the light. Google Home allows you to change the color of the light but does not support scenes. And, Apple HomeKit allows you to change the color of the light and also activate scenes; however, you can only change to those that are created in the Home app.
Philips Hue works with Nest support too. If you are away from your home for over 24 hours, the lights can be turned on automatically in selected rooms via Nest when its security camera detects the presence of a person. Nest Protect can turn the lights on automatically and alert you with an alarm.
With IFTTT, Smartthings and Other Apps
The Philips Hue system integrates with other smart products to give you comfort, convenience and complete peace of mind. These integrations allow you to combine all your daily and functional tasks to make them more convenient and enjoyable.
- IFTTT: You can know immediately when something happens with your personal lighting recipes that can be triggered by emails, shares, likes or other web events.
- Logitech: With Philips Hue and Logitech Harmony remote controls, you can create fantastic home entertainment experiences. You can set your lights to the colors of your favorite team while your watching a game or set the lights to a relaxing palette when you’re listening to your favorite music or simply switch the lights off when you’re ready to go to bed.
- Nest: Now you can get your Hue to work with Nest to create a smarter and safer home. The Philips Hue lighting is automated to switch off your lights when you leave home, simulate your presence if you are away from home, switch on lights if it detects the presence of a person to give the impression that someone is at home, etc. The Nest Protect alerts you by flashing the Hue lights in the case of a hazard, alarm, etc.
- SmartThings: You can link your Philips Hue bulbs, lamps, lights and other smart home devices to the SmartThings app and manage everything from a single place. Once it is set up, you can create scenes or automation that allow you to execute several tasks and control many devices with a single command.
- Xfinity Home: The cloud-based solution allows you to control your Philips Hue lights via a central app.
The Philips Hue system can be integrated with many other apps to make your life more comfortable and convenient, such as:
Philips Hue Product Range
The Philips Hue products range consists of the starter kit, bulbs, lamps, light strips and accessories. The range has a wide range of smart LED lights and you can control the colors and the effects of these with a remote. These LED lights are energy efficient and are long lasting when compared with other types of lights.
You have bulbs of various types in the Hue range – from round bulbs, candle-shaped, flat bulbs for ceilings to curved ambiance bulbs. All the Hue bulbs are LED bulbs and have around 25,000 hours (2nd and 3rd Gen bulbs) of life and an output of 9.5 to 10 watts. And, the Hue range has much more than bulb replacements. There are over 50 light and lamp fittings – wall lights, spotlights, table lamps, ceiling lights, runner lights, ceiling lights and lightstrips that let you create spots of hidden lighting around your home such as behind your couches, under your kitchen counters, around the skirting boards, etc. However, the main thing is that the bulbs must be connected to the Hue Bridge.
Philips Hue White Ambiance A19
The White Ambiance A19 bulb from the Philip Hue range is quite easy to control, although, the hub makes the setup of the bulb a little complicated. The bulb can be tuned to several colors and hues according to your mood and the occasion.
Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack
The pack contains 4 dimmable A19 bulbs that are a very inexpensive way to add to the lights in your home.
Philips Hue White Ambiance BR30
The White Ambiance LED bulbs from Philips Hue are designed for recessed fixtures in the ceilings and can produce around 50,000 shades of white light, right from cool to warm.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance GU10 Light Bulb
The GU10 bulbs are designed for small recessed and track lighting fixtures and can produce several shades of white light, as well as, millions of colors.
Philips Hue White Ambiance E12 Decorative Candle
This is a small-sized bulb meant for light fixtures and chandeliers where an A19 bulb will not fit. You can change the color temperature of the bulb from 2,200K to 6,500K and each candle bulb is equivalent to 40 watts.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance E12
The White and Color Ambiance E12 from the Philips Hue range is similar to the White Ambiance bulb; however, this bulb lets you change the colors.
The Philips Hue range consists of switches that allow you to control the Hue lights without the need to open the Hue app on your smartphone.
Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch (With Remote)
The Dimmer Switch looks just like a regular wall switch, but the difference is that it connects to your Hue lights wirelessly, so that you don’t have the hassle of messing around with the wiring in the walls. The switch pops out of the housing, which allows you to use it as a remote. You can pair the dimmer switch with up to 10 Hue lights directly without the requirement of a Wi-Fi Bridge.
The dimmer switch allows you to turn the lights on/off, brighten and dim the lights and also choose between the 4 preset recipes for white light. The Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch is among the best smart light switches available. However, if you’re looking for advanced features such as timers, routines, etc., then you will have to connect all of it via the Hue Bridge.
Philips Hue Smart Tap Switch
You can program the Hue Tap Switch to activate 3 different lighting scenes automatically. This is particularly useful if you have a specific setting for reading, another for watching movies, etc. The Tap Switch can be mounted on the wall and it can be detached and carried with you.
Lamps and Strips
You can place the Philips Hue standalone lights or lamps anywhere in your home and these generally create accent lighting rather than being used as the main source of light. None of the standalone lights come along with a Hue Bridge and so you will have to purchase that too. Some of the Hue standalone lights are:
Philips Hue Bloom
The Hue Bloom is an accent light that is around 5 inches in diameter. It is extremely vibrant and you can choose from millions of color options. The Hue Bloom light is best for bouncing light off a wall behind a plant, TV, etc. and helps to set the mood.
Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellness
The Wellness lamp contains a single white ambiance bulb that can be changed from warm to cool white depending on your mood. If you want, you can also replace the white bulb with a colored one too.
Philips Hue Wellner
The Hue Wellener lamp is just like the Wellness lamp, only that it has a more bulbous and round design. It is very easy to set up the lamp and you can simply fix any smart bulb you like in the lamp. The Wellner lamp is very cute but the dimensions of the lamp make it quite large and it is sure to occupy a lot of space on your desk or shelf.
Philip Hue Go Light
The Hue Go is a great accent lighting option, which glows both from its flat top, as well as its circular base that is 4.7 inches. The Go light produces 300 lumens of light and has an in-built rechargeable battery that will last for around 3 hours and is a great outdoor party décor option. However, the Hue Go is not waterproof, so you will have to bring it indoors if it starts raining.
Philips Hue Iris
The Hue Iris is a small-size accent light and is similar to the Hue Bloom with a clear and funky plastic base. It can create millions of colors.
Philips Hue Beyond Ceiling Lamp
The Hue Beyond comes in a pendant style too and the lamp has a downlight, as well as an uplight that illuminates the ceiling. Measuring 17 inches in diameter, the Hue Beyond features color LED bulbs.
Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair
This is a ceiling light which can be flush mounted or you can purchase it with a large or small extension and allow it to drop down a little. The lamp has a finish of brushed aluminum and you can change the LEDs to a warm or cool white light.
Philips Hue White Ambiance Being
This is similar to the Ambiance Fair, the only difference is that the Being has a clear panel across the midsection. Also, it can only be flush mounted to the ceiling.
Philips Hue Play
This is a 10” LED color-changing bar light which you can place on the floor or stand on a table or cabinet or mount behind your television or computer monitor. The Hue Play can produce color and light patterns matching your music, games and videos and you can use the Hue Sync app to control the light. You can connect up to 3 Hue Plays to a single power supply unit.
Signe Floor and Table Lamps
These are designed to be placed next to your television and can cast a nice colored accent light on the walls.
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
The Hue Lightstrip is a 6-foot long color LED strip that has an adhesive backing. You can fix it anywhere you want, under the shelves, kitchen counters, etc. and it provides very nice accent lighting. The Lightstrip Plus is flexible and you can cut it easily with a pair of scissors if you want shorter lengths of the lightstrip for tighter spaces. Extensions of up to 33 feet are also available.
There are many accessories available in the Philips Hue range that allow you to control your Hue lights easily without the need for using the app on your smartphone every now and then.
Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor
This turns on the lights in a room automatically when it senses that someone is entering the room. You can also program the Motion Sensor for levels of sensitivity i.e. to vary the brightness of the lights at different times of the day or for the lights to remain for a certain amount of time until after the person exits the room, etc. The Motion Sensor is very small, so much so that you can conceal it or you can even choose to display it as it’s very stylish. It is very sensitive and will pick up the smallest of movements.
Philips Hue Dusk-To-Dawn Outdoor Motion Sensor
This is a battery-operated and wireless motion sensor that can control both your indoor and outdoor lights. The Motion Sensor also monitors the light outside and ensures that your lights do not switch on until it is night time. The sensor can also switch on your indoor lights when you are not at home to prevent burglars and intruders.
The Philips Hue range has several outdoor lights that are weather resistant to illuminate your lawn, garden, driveway and patio. Let’s take a look at the Hue outdoor lights in more detail.
Philips Hue Single PAR38 Outdoor
The bulbs are not just for the Philips Hue products but can be used with any outdoor fixture that uses a PAR38 bulb and you can make it a smart light. You can schedule and control the bulb remotely just like any other fixture in the Hue range.
Philips Hue Inara White Outdoor Lantern
This is a conventional wall lantern which you can use to light the area outside the door or the porch area. The lantern does not change color as it uses a white bulb; however, you can control it via your voice assistant or smartphone and also program it to turn on/off when you come and go. The Hue Inara comes along with an A19 bulb.
Philips Hue Lucca Outdoor Wall Lantern
This is quite similar to the Hue Inara, but the design of the Lucca wall lantern is smaller and more modern.
Philips Hue Lily Outdoor Spotlight
The Hue Lily spotlight is excellent for lighting up your porch, backyard or patio. It is LED integrated and can change millions of colors and hues. The base pack of the Hue Lily contains 3 spotlights.
Philips Hue Calla Outdoor Pathway Light
You can place the Hue Calla pathway light, which is an LED-integrated bollard to light up your front walk or driveway. The pathway light allows you to choose different colors for different occasions. The base pack contains 1 bollard along with the power supply.
Philips Hue Ludere White Outdoor Security Light
The Hue Ludere is a floodlight which contains 2 bulbs and is ideal for lighting your garage area or your driveway. The floodlight has 2 PAR 38 bulbs. Although it does not change color, it produces a huge 1,350 lumens of light.
The starter kit consists of bulbs as well as the bridge which is needed to connect the lights to the Wi-Fi network of your home. And, the starter kit is the best way to begin, if you don’t have Philips Hue lights in your home already.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit
With the Hue White and Color Ambiance starter kit, you can completely transform the lighting in your home and create an extraordinary experience. The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit contains 4 A19 bulbs and a Hue Hub. The starter kit can be voice activated and works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Homekit and you can also pair with your Samsung SmartThings or Nest for home automation.
You can choose from 16 million colors and different shades of white. The lights can be controlled via your smartphone or device and create personalized scenes. The Hue smart bulbs work for around 25,000 hours and practically lasts for a lifetime. Now simply install the Hue smart bulbs in your home, download the app, pair your Hue Hub and you’re all set to light your home in a “smart” way.
- Includes 4 bulbs and a Hub
- 16 million colors and shades of white
- Control remotely via your smartphone or smart device
- Create custom scenes
- Voice controlled using Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit
- Compatible with Nest and Samsung SmartThings
- 25,000 hours of life
- The light settings are highly customizable
- Bulbs pretty much last an entire lifetime
- The app experience is quite intuitive
- The entire kit can set you back by a fair amount of money
- Setting routines is difficult
Philips Hue White A19 LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit
The White Starter Kit from the Philip Hue range is a great way to automate your lighting experience and enhance the beauty of your home with soft white lighting. The kit includes 4 bulbs and a Hub. The starter kit is packed with features such as scenes, routines, sunrise/sunset automation, vacation mode and more. The Hue system works with your Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, SmartThings, IFTTT and many other smart home devices. So, if you’re not looking for color and just need smart white lighting, then the Philips Hue White starter kit is an excellent choice.
- Includes 4 Hue White A19 bulbs and a Hub
- Star-certified LED bulbs
- Fits most overhead lights, lamps and 4” recessed cans
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Philips Hue app
- Installation is extremely easy
- Great app that offers plenty of options
- The app is very well designed and easy to use
- Lets you dim or brighten the lights
- Cannot adjust the white light temperatures
- Bulbs cannot display color
Philips Hue White Ambiance Smart Bulb Starter Kit
Now you can light up your home with smart white lighting, thanks to the Philips Hue White Ambiance Smart Starter Kit. You can create the atmosphere you want, whether you want a cool brilliant light or a warm relaxing white light, no matter whichever temperature you choose, the Hue White Ambiance produces great looking light. The starter kit comes with 4 smart A19 LED bulbs that can fit regular table lamps or any fixtures, the lights can be controlled remotely and you can also set schedules, timers, etc.
- Includes 4 Hue White Ambiance A19 bulbs and a Hub
- Philips Hue app
- Voice controlled via Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa
- Compatible with IFTTT, Nest and SmartThings
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Adjustable white color temperature, cool and warm white lights
- Scheduled dimming timers
- Can be voice controlled
- Is relatively expensive
- No color capabilities, only white light
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Philips Hue energy efficient?
Yes, Philips Hue bulbs are energy efficient. One Philip Hue bulb of 8.5 watts can replace a 60-watt standard incandescent bulb. The Hue bulb has a lifespan of around 15,000 hours (1st Gen bulbs) compared to an incandescent bulb which has a lifespan of around 1,500 hours. The Hue bulbs use about 85% less power compared to incandescent bulbs and also last 10x longer. The savings that you can incur using Hue bulbs are substantial.
Do you need Hue Bridge for Hue lights?
Yes, you need a Hue Bridge for your Philips Hue lights. Since the Hue bulbs cannot be connected directly to the Wi-Fi network in your home, you need the Hue Bridge, which is a hub and acts as a ‘middleman’. Your Hue light bulbs connect the Bridge and the Bridge, in turn, connects to the router.
What do you need for Philips Hue?
The setup of Philips Hue is extremely easy and the system is also very easy to control. All you require is a Philips Hue starter kit or a Philips Hue Bridge and you need to download the Philips Hue app on your smartphone or your smart device and you’re all ready to get started. There are two ways in which you can get started with Philips Hue. You can either choose a starter kit which includes light bulbs and a Hue Bridge or you can purchase a separate Bridge and build a system of your own.
Is Philips Hue a ZigBee?
Philips Hue is based on Zigbee, which is a safe, low-power and reliable technology that works even if your Internet connection is down. Philips Hue supports open interoperability making use of the Zigbee Light Link standard, which ensures that any devices created by third parties can work along with Philips Hue lights within the purview of the Hue ecosystem.
Are Philips Hue bulbs LED?
Yes, Philips Hue bulbs are LED bulbs.
Does Philips Hue work with Alexa?
You can control your Philips Hue lights with your Amazon Alexa from one place without lifting a finger. You can switch your lights on/off, brighten or dim your lights, change the tone of the lights in the room, recall your favorite scenes and do lots more with Alexa. And, new functionalities are added continuously to provide the best voice-controlled lighting experience.
Will Philips Hue work with SmartThings?
Yes, Philips Hue works with Samsung SmartThings. You can connect your Hue bulbs and lights to the Samsung SmartThings App and manage it all from a single place. Once you have set it up, you can create scenes, automations, etc. that allow you to control several devices and also execute many tasks with a single command.
Do you need a Philips Hue Bridge if you already have a Google Home?
You can control your Philips Hue lights with your Google Home; however, you will require a Philips Hue Bridge that acts as a smart lighting hub and will connect all the lights to the network.
Does Osram Lightify work with Hue?
Yes, Osram Lightify works with Philips Hue.
Are Hue bulbs worth it?
While the price of the Philips Hue system may be steep, yet, the experience probably makes it one of the best buys you can make. The Philips platform is quite robust and the bulbs work practically with anything at all. And you can opt for one of the more inexpensive starter kits which costs around $95 for 4 white bulbs and a Philips Hue hub.
How long do Hue bulbs last?
The 1st Gen Philips Hue bulbs last around 15,000 hours (7 to 8 years), while the 2nd and 3rd last for around 25,000 hours (12 to 13 years).
Is Philips Hue secure?
Yes, Philips Hue is secure and to this end, Signify is dedicated to ensuring the complete safety and security of the customers using Hue products. Signify has a network of security experts who are committed to developing and deploying the best security features for all Philips Hue products and also to manage all security events.
Welcome to the future of innovative smart lighting. Now, with the Philips Hue range of smart lighting products, you can buy bulbs and lamps that you can program via your smartphone and switch your lights on/off, change the brightness, color, timing and a do a lot more with just a few clicks. With all the products in the Hue range, you can makeover your home’s lighting system to make it fully integrated with the Internet. The only thing that could hold you back is the cost, but it’s important to note that you get an experience unlike any other with smart lights like the ones offered by Philips Hue. If you have the money to spare and are on the lookout for the most comprehensive and feature-rich smart lighting system, then Philips Hue is a fun lighting option that’s definitely worth considering.
Trending On Amazon
Find This Article Useful?
Share It On Social!