I’m going to review a product I got just recently, Philips Hue Smart Lights.
- Colour Bulbs with 16 million colours
- Apple Homekit Enabled
- Can add up to 50 lights in one bridge
- Easy to set up
- Requires A Bridge
I bought the Hue Colour and White Ambience Starter Pack, which included 3 of the latest Colour and Ambience bulbs and a bridge. I have one in my bedroom, ground floor hallway and in one other room. Since I got Philips Hue, I’ve looked at standard lights with a switch like they are so old fashioned. And they kind of are.
The amazing range of colours, ‘scenes’ and ‘recipes’ are a great way to set the mood in your house. My hallway lamp, which is set to turn on at sunset, automatically brightens up my hall at Hue’s ready-made ‘recipe’ of ‘Relax’ – A form of white which looks very natural and easily brightens up my house when it gets dark.
I can choose from 16 million different colours, 4 ‘recipe’ options (relax, read, concentrate and energise) and I can use a picture to make a scene, where my lights automatically copy the colour from my image into a beautiful scenery in my house.
Philips’ App for Hue needs updating in my opinion, I love the colour wheel to select colours and the ease of changing brightness but yet it still looks like it’s outdated.
I now wake up to my lights slowly dimming (over a 10-minute period) which is great, I also chose the specific dates that I want to be woken up, so I can get a long lie at the weekend.
In the Explore section of the app, there is a ‘Friends with Hue’ category which tells me apps and products to buy that will work really well with Philips Hue and make my life easier, for example, my Nest Smoke Alarm and Hue are linked, meaning if there is smoke in my house, my lights will flash red, in case I’m listening to my noise-cancelling Beats Solo3 Headphones.
The app currently doesn’t have any bugs other than it’s ugly dark look. I’m sure this is something Philips will update in the future but until then, I’m sticking to Apple’s Home.
Speaking of Apple Home, Philips Hue supports Homekit and Siri, meaning I can use Apple’s easy-to-use app and (the best bit) Siri to turn my lights on and off. At night I simply say “Good Night Siri” and my lights turn off. When I leave the house Siri turns my light off, in case I forget to turn it off myself. There’s plenty more options available too.
The bit that you might not want to hear – The Prices.
The main rival to Philips Hue is LIFX, a product I actually used to have. This comes at £60 per colour bulb without the need for a bridge. Philips Hue individual bulb comes at £50 (with the requirement of a £50 Bridge). But of course, Apple get their say in the price of Hue, as LIFX does not have Siri or Homekit Capabilities.
If you want Hue, I would suggest buying the £150 starter pack, which includes 3 ‘Richer Colours’ White and Colour Ambiance bulbs and a Hue bridge. Then to expand your range of lights, buy extra bulbs for £50 per bulb.