Philips Hue Smart Lighting Review Summary
+ Build Quality
+ Out Of Home Control
+ Easy to use
+ 2 year warranty
– Bulbs are expensive
– Initial setup might seem complicated
– Software updates slow
The Philips Hue Bridge and Lighting system is the future, intuitive, convenient and reliable. No home should be without one!
Design and Build
The Hue Bridge is the main control unit for the Philips Hue Lighting System, it is compact and measures 26 x 90.9 x 90.6 mm. There are four rubber feet on the base for desk placement and additionally two holes to allow wall mounting.
On top of the Bridge there is a round button surrounded by a blue light ring, this is used for connecting new devices and displaying the connection status. Three lights above the ring signify Power, Local Network and Internet Connection, these are also blue.
Philips Hue Starter Kit featuring two bulbs and bridge
Hue Bridge can be purchased separately but for new users it would be more sensible to buy a starter kit which includes the bridge and two bulbs with either bayonet or screw fitting.
Additional bulbs can be purchased either singularly or in twin packs. Bulb types range from standard warm white dimming to versions with 16 million colour combinations.
There are also colour light strips available which are perfect for use under cabinets, behind bed head boards and for general furniture up or down lighting – review of these to follow soon.
In the last few years Philips have also extended the range to include outdoor and indoor light fittings.
Philips Hue Bridge showing light ring and status LED’s
Setup and connection
After you have removed the Hue Bridge and included cable from the packaging it will need plugging into a power socket. The only other cabled connection required is a network/Ethernet cable which needs plugging into your internet router.
Once the router connection is made, setup is continued from within the Hue App on your mobile device, this will require registration with Philips which assists when controlling the lights whilst away from home.
Hue Bulbs are simply fitted in place of your existing bulbs and these are also then added to the system from within the Hue App.
Rooms can also be created to allow more detailed control, grouping together lights is very convenient and means they can be turned on together with one command. Hue always give you the option to turn the entire house lights on or off with one command also, this can be useful.
Power and Ethernet Socket on Hue Bridge
Rooms and Routines
Rooms is where the Hue system really comes into its own, giving you the ability to group multiple Hue bulbs together and turn them all on or off with one command.
Rooms is where the Hue system really comes into its own.
Even better, each bulb can be set to a particular brightness or colour (if available) which the system remembers. Many homes have table/side lamps which require turning on individually, with the Hue system these can be easily grouped making life much easier.
Hue Bridge and Hue Bulb
Routines take convenience to another level. Most people are creatures of habit which means lights get turned off at roughly the same time each day. Similarly lights will mostly get turned on when the sun sets and dusk falls.
Imagine if your lights automatically came on each day 20 minutes before sunset and turned off at a set time each night. Routines makes this possible, the time before sunset can be adjusted to suit and schedules can be set to turn the lights off at different times each day if required. Once this has been setup you might never touch another light switch again!
Out Of Home Control
Maybe you are going to be late home from work, on holiday and wanting to turn on the lights? Out of home control makes this possible.
Incredibly easy to configure the Hue system allows full control of your home lighting from anywhere in the world using your mobile device. Turn on individual lights or the entire house with just one touch. For some the routines will eliminate the need for this function but it can still be useful.
Top view of the Philips Hue Bridge
Out of home control is even smarter than that! When configured to use GPS location on your smart phone the Hue system will automatically turn on your lights when you arrive home and turn them off when you leave again. This can be useful if you don’t have a regular schedule which the Routines would normally cover.
Hue App room control on Apple iPad
Amazon Echo Voice Control
Controlling the lights from your smart phone too much like hard work? Welcome to Amazon Echo voice control! The Philips Hue System fully integrates with your Echo smart speakers.
Alexa, turn the house lights on…and its done.
All it takes is one command…”Alexa, turn the house lights on”…and its done. Want to dim the lights for a film or party…”Alexa, house lights fifty percent”…simple as that! You might soon forget what it was like to use a light switch. If you do then Philips has that covered with wire free switches which can be configured to control individual lights or entire rooms.
Echo Dot controlling Philips Hue Lights
Should you buy the Hue System
Philips Hue system can be integrated into almost any home or office space. For the most part it is a convenience product, for some it will save money on energy bills if switching from standard halogen bulbs.
With the Hue bulb range now covering the most popular fittings, it becomes increasingly difficult finding reasons not to convert your home to smart lighting.
Being able to setup your popular rooms to automatically turn on the lights just before sunset is a massive convenience. Some people already use mechanical and digital timers to do the same job, these lack the ability to adjust to changing sunset times, Hue has this covered.
There will be some who are not technically able to initially setup the system, in these instances maybe a family member or friend could help. Otherwise there are always professionals available to assist with installing the Hue Smart Lighting Systems in your area.
Apart from the cost there is no reason not to buy the Hue lighting product range.
Hue Bulb and cordless switch
Some might call it lazy, a gimmick even! For this reviewer it’s one of the best smart home innovations yet.