Ambitions are excessive for the good residence. Through the years we’ve been promised that ultimately our smartphones are going to speak to our fridges, which may speak to our toasters with slightly assist from a pleasant neighborhood internet-connected rest room.
By comparability, the ambition of Philips Hue’s internet-connected LED gentle bulbs appear far more restricted in scope. Nonetheless, with its consideration laser-focused on lighting alone, Philips has created one of the full good lighting programs on the market, and it’s one which simply beats a lot of the good residence competitors by way of its robustness and completeness.
Whereas Philips Hue is unquestionably one of many higher good lighting programs on the market, we’re nonetheless not completely satisfied that these are decisively higher than the standard ‘dumb’ gentle bulbs that we’ve been utilizing to gentle our households for many years.
The totally different Philips Hue bulbs
Earlier than we dive into our full Philips Hue evaluate, we thought it greatest to interrupt down the Philips Hue household so you may see precisely what’s on supply. Whereas not a whole record, we aimed to offer you details about the totally different Philip Hue product traces, moderately than particular person merchandise (there are a great deal of them).
The Philips Hue lineup for LED bulbs are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes for almost any family lighting want. Right here, we’ll clarify the important thing sorts of Philips Hue gentle bulbs, what sizes can be found in every sort, and what lighting fixtures they’ll slot in. Additionally included are non-light bulbs, like switches and lamps.
Philips Hue White
That is Philips’ most simple Hue LED bulb sort. The entire Hue White bulbs shine with a heat white gentle. The colour temperature of those gentle bulbs is just not adjustable. Nonetheless, they do nonetheless hook up with the Hue Bridge for full wi-fi management, and their simplicity helps maintain the value down.
Philips presents normal dimension A19 E26 Hue White bulbs with a colour temperature of 2700Okay. It additionally presents outdoor-ready PAR38 bulbs that may function flood lights. The PAR38 bulbs can screw into an E26 gentle fixture, and have a 3000Okay colour temperature.
Philips Hue White Ambiance
The Philips Hue White Ambiance gentle bulbs make issues a bit extra thrilling, as all of those bulbs supply a variety of colour temperatures, starting from a heat 2200Okay all the best way as much as 6500Okay, akin to sunlight.
These bulbs will help set a temper, whether or not you’re making an attempt to wind down with heat lights, or get up with cool white gentle. Philips presents the Hue White Ambiance for the E26 and the smaller E12 gentle socket sorts, in addition to the GU10 lamp sockets. The bulbs themselves additionally are available in all kinds, from smaller lamp bulbs to straightforward dimension bulbs and as much as BR30 indoor flood lights that will help you brighten up massive rooms.
Philips Hue White and Coloration Ambiance
The social gathering actually begins with the Philips Hue White and Coloration Ambiance bulbs. All of those Philips Hue gentle bulbs can shine with a broad vary from heat white to a cool daylight white, and so they are also configurable with 16 million totally different colours.
In different phrases, when you’ve got a really particular lighting scheme in thoughts, these are those that may assist it. After all, with the elevated performance comes the next price ticket. Philips presents the Hue and White Coloration Stability bulbs within the A19, PAR16, and BR30 sizes for E26 fittings; B39 for the E12 becoming; and as a GU10 mannequin.
Philips Hue LightStrip
Along with Philips’ Hue gentle bulbs, the corporate additionally presents the Hue LightStrip Plus, so you may proceed to regulate the lighting even in locations the place you may’t set up a lightweight fixture or lamp.
The Hue LightStrip comes as an 80-inch predominant unit, or as 40-inch extensions. The LightStrip helps heat and funky white lights in addition to the identical 16 million colours of the opposite Hue White and Coloration Ambiance lights.
The strip is versatile, and splendid for mounting onto objects in your own home so as to add a contact of favor. If 80 inches is just too lengthy, the LightStrip has designated sections the place it’s secure to chop it shorter, permitting for extra customization.
Philips Hue lamps with built-in lights
Not all Philips Hue merchandise require you to have your individual lamp or gentle fixture in place.
Philips sells all kinds of lights that come bundled with its bulbs, and it additionally sells specifically designed lamps that include built-in LED lights.
These Hue lamps vary from outside walkway lights, desk lamps, wall and ceiling lights, and hanging suspension lights.
As a result of these are full packages, they do value a good bit greater than standalone bulbs. However, all of them use both Hue White Ambiance or Hue White and Coloration Ambiance lighting, so that you’ll be getting management of colour temperature and presumably 16 million colour choices as nicely, relying on which product you select.
Setup and set up
To get going with a Philips Hue in your house, you’ll want not less than one related gentle and the Philips Hue bridge, which connects to your router and lets you talk together with your good bulbs.
This makes the 2 bulb and bridge-equipped starter package ($69.99 / £59.99 / AU$144.95) the most cost effective entry level into the vary, however you’re forgoing extra superior options corresponding to good gentle switches and color-changing bulbs.
For our exams we used the subsequent step up, a 3 bulb starter package that included the corporate’s color-changing bulbs. Even supposing that is nonetheless a reasonably primary package, this retails for a way more substantial $199.99 (£149.99 / AU$289.99).
When you’ve purchased this starter package issues get loads cheaper, nonetheless, as you solely want one bridge to regulate your entire setup. Further lights and switches can all be synced with this identical bridge as you construct up your own home system.
For those who’re trying to bounce into Philips Hue then this color-changing starter package might be one of the simplest ways to do it, since it is going to permit you to mess around with Hue’s extra superior options with out investing too closely in your preliminary setup.
Exterior of this starter package, you may have an enormous variety of choices for learn how to proceed. You’ve received further bulbs which are out there in all kinds of various kind components from candle bulbs by means of to spotlights, lamps and lighting strips.
Philips additionally sells a few totally different switches, which let you management your lighting with out getting your telephone out of your pocket (though, sure, we recognize that is one thing you may already do together with your current lights – we’ll get to that later).
Set up will differ with the complexity of your setup, however we discovered it to be about as painless a course of because it could possibly be.
When you’ve received the bulbs seated of their fixtures you’ll want to ensure they’re powered on to ensure that them to be discoverable.
Subsequent, you merely plug the Hue bridge into each energy and your router, obtain the Hue app (out there for iOS and Android gadgets), and look forward to it to find the bulbs in your house. Our setup found the bulbs shortly and simply.
As soon as your bulbs are discovered you’ll have to assign them to rooms, which lets you management teams of them far more simply.
Together with your bulbs assigned to rooms, the setup course of is full and also you’ll be capable of get caught in configuring them to your coronary heart’s delight.
The one sticking level right here, and it’s a giant one, is that you just’ll want to go away your bulbs turned on on the wall if you need to have the ability to management them remotely. Flip them off utilizing your normal gentle switches, and the bulbs gained’t have any energy to have the ability to obtain wi-fi indicators.
This proved to be a giant downside, as you’ll see from the efficiency part to return.