[Update 5/27]Smart lights are sophisticated devices that do more than just chase away the shadows. They connect with our daily life and synchronize with our lifestyle pattern to deliver a personalized illumination experience. This is what the Philips Hue starter kit is; and more so, a personal wireless LED lighting that offers over 16 million color spectrum choices for your home. Now that you have glimpsed the capacity, how about, we meet the Hue? That is exactly what this Philips Hue review is about.
There are three generations of LED light from Philips. They make up some of the LED lights provided by Philips for end users and are modelled to suit individual preferences and choices.
- Philips White and Colour Ambiance A 19 Starter Kit – Gen 3: having a rich White and coloured globe. This starter kit comes with three bulbs and one hub. It provides a very rich palette of pigments for you.
- Philips White and Colour Ambiance A 19 Starter Kit – Gen 2: this one emits all shades of white and can be alternated between warm and cold temperatures as you please.
- Philips White and Colour Ambiance A 19 Starter Kit: this comes with two bulbs and one hub. It sheds a bright white light that can gently lure you to sleep and gradually wake you up in the morning.
The starter kits each comes with two white globes, a bridge, an Ethernet cable for connecting the lights to your smartphones and a power adapter cable. With these, you have a powerful smart light kit that can transform your home or office into a stylish space.
Hue starter packs have three types for you to choose from. All you need do is review the specs and make a buying decision. Also, there is a color-adjustable pack which is available for those who fancy changing colors to suit their choice or mood. This is best for the home setting because of soft and relaxed emission while the tunable white can be dimmed or brightened to mimic day-time shade or sunrise. Lastly, there is the plain white smart light which is perfect for the office setting to give you the harsh white illumination that keeps you alert.
The Philips Hue and Other Home Appliances: How The Hue Interacts
Beyond just providing mood glow and illumination, Philips Hue kit is a full fledge smart appliance. This means that it can relate and interact with other smart things in your home. A number of reviews have ascertained this fact too. So, when you purchase the Philips starter pack, you are buying a compact LED lamp that can connect with your existing smart gadgets to give you an easy and automated utility and experience.
Leveraging on the connection of a ZigBee mesh network, you can interact remotely with your LED lights from anywhere. Better still, you may tinker with the presets that come with the app or just configure the bulbs to meet your expectation and preference. This is where the interaction comes in for your personalized experience.
Some of the interactivity features that Philips Hue delivers includes the capacity to sense and react to current mood in the environment. You may set it to emit a different color of light when you are watching your favorite TV series or movie.
When testing the Hue bulbs, we discovered that it can also be primed to generate a soft and fresh glow that will calmly lead you to sleep as you lie on the bed. That makes it a nice pick for your bedside lamp. As a smart LED light, Philips Hue lives up to its reputation of a customizable appliance that interacts with everything in your home. An example of this is that It can flicker a preset color of light when it detects motion or when you have a notification of your smartphone. Isn’t that just amazing? A LED light that is as sensitive as it is intuitive.
For interaction with other smart appliance, the app can be used with other home appliances like your refrigerator and washing machine. Using the IFTTT, you can you can configure the lamp to give out a signal by flashing a particular color of light when the fridge is opened or when your washing machine comes off. For further interactivity, the Hue is also compatible with third party apps like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Siri, Samsung SmartThings, etc.
Having discussed the interactivity and other features of the Philip Hue, let us meet the components of the kit.
The Hue Starter Pack
As mentioned above, the starter kit comes with 2/3 bulbs and a hub. That is just about all that you will need to set-up the system. Except you want to have the whole house full of Hue bulbs. In this case, that will not be a bad idea. Now, let us properly meet the Hue and get to know how it functions.
Starter-Kit: The Bulb
Philips Hue lamps are light-emitting diodes (LED) dimmable bulbs that emit 120 volts of power. At 9.5 watt (equivalent to 60 watts of incandescent lamp) they render 2,700 Kelvins or color temperature and are as powerful as they are efficient. If you want to, you could get the colored light to complement the white glow just to soothe your mood choices.
Much more than the average incandescent lamp, Philips Hue carries an average life span of 15000 hours or 15 years (calculated based on 3-hours daily usage) – whichever comes first. With this, you are assured of a longer lasting experience that is durable and personalized.
This is the hub of the starter kit. It serves as the connection point of the globe and your smartphone for control. This relationship is created through the ZigBee protocol. You need the bridge to connect and manage the luminant, and it allows you to make necessary reviews when selecting from the 16 million color options available.
As the hub of operation, the bridge is required to connect the globule to the app. When this is done, you enjoy an unlimited level of management and flexibility tweaking the lamps to your preference. Also, the bridge can regulate about 50 bulbs, so there is an extended level of supervision at your fingertip.
With your bridge in place, you just need to download the application, and the freely create the beautiful experience that you want.
The Switch – Philip Hue Tap
Controlling the lamp is not limited to Hue app alone. For those times when your phone is not handy, one can still exert a level of supervision on the globule with its mobile app.
A wireless switch, the Tap allows you to manage the preset themes that you have made with your smartphone. So, when you are busy with your phone, or not disposed of it, you or anyone around can make substantial governance on the connected lamp.
Using a kinetic energy battery, the Tap gets it energy from activities of tapping or pressing the switch to conduct the bulbs. This control does not accompany the pack; it can be purchased from Amazon if you need one.
The Philips Hue App
- Control is the main thing about Philips LED smart light. This control is well personified for utilizing the app to its full capacity. Available for iOS and Android users, it can be readily downloaded from the stores’ corresponding operating systems.With it, you will be introduced to a world of mood setting and spectrums of color that can change and lift the ambiance of your home. Our review showed that fetching from 16 million colors available from the app, it is possible to perform some more settings by selecting from the color chart. It also lets you recreate past experiences by pitching the color of your favorite pictures and Hue will mimicking the mood. In a nutshell, there is no limit to things to be done with Philips Hue app.
IFTTT – The Philips Hue and Your Lighting Recipe
- Taking full administration of your lighting system is driven to another level with IFTTT features. With it, you may review some of the preset rules to generate configured actions when some situations or conditions are met.There are a whole lot of conditions to be set up that have underlying themes from fun to delicate. For example, you may set it that if the temperature in the room is beyond a degree, the glow should emit a bright red color. Or that a bulb shows a blue or purple color when a particular music is playing. You can also set it that your light comes on at any given time during the day.
Merits and Demerits of The Philips Hue
- The starter kit has come a long way in LED lighting and has left a big print in the sands of time. All these regardless, there are a few merits and demerits that we have noticed about Philips Hue.
- Low-Energy Consumption: The Hue is a LED light that consumes 80% less energy compared to typical incandescent light. This means that you conserve more energy using the Philips smart globe.
- One-Size Fit All Feature: with a few Philips Hue bulbs (2 or 3 at most) you can create a vibrant spectrum of color in your home that changes to fit your choices and preferences.
- Easy Installation: the setup process of kit is very simple and easy. All you need do is unbox the bridge and connect it to your router, install the globes in the sockets, download the app and pair to the bridge, download the Alexa or Apple HomeKit app and then select from the endless commands available to your taste.
- Remote Control Ability: with ZigBee connection, you can manage your Philips Hue from any location at any point in time. You don’t need to be physically available to do this.
- Longevity: Our Philips Hue review of bulbs showed that it has a longer lifespan compared to other incandescent lamps.
- Cost: even with all the features and advantages of Philip Hue, the cost is on the high side. It may serve as an easy deterrence to making the purchase.
- Recommended for indoor use only: recommended to be used indoor only, one cannot extend the great experience for outdoor purposes.
Thus far, we have run an extensive review of the Philip Hue LED lights and have shown the features, merits, and demerits of the system.
For many, the benefits are a better consideration for purchasing the Philips brand of lighting when compared to its demerits. I hope that this review has been able to clarify all your concerns about the LED lights.
- See also: Philips Hue vs. Lifx
- The 6 Best Philips Hue Alternatives