Philips Hue review: Lighten up your surroundings

When we talk about smart lighting, Philips Hue is the first name that pops up into our heads. With its mood lighting and smartphone support, the product has opened new possibilities in the space of smart lighting beyond mere illumination.

The company has added support for Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Smartthings with the new Hue and it also offers a slew of new switches and motion sensors. The Hue range began as a starter kit comprising of three color changing bulbs and a hub that lets user connect to their router.

While the integration with Smart home systems and voice-controlled speakers have kept Hue on the leading edge of technology. End customer benefits are still core to Hue. With pre-set scenes like Reading, Relax, Concentrate, Energize, & Sleep and schedules like ‘wake up to natural sunlight’ and sleep to a ‘relaxed light’ – the occasion of usage and relevance in customer’s daily life and importance to general health and well-being have been kept in the center.

Want to know if Philips Hue is the ultimate solution for lighting in your home? Let’s find out:

Installation

The Philips Hue bulbs come with intelligent features such as dimming capabilities and incorporating these features and inbuilt sensors also make the bulbs heavier than usual bulbs but it can still fit into regular light fittings.

In order to get started, one requires a Philips Hue Bridge which is available at just Rs. 5995 and at least one bulbs. The square-shaped Bridge is the most recent model that’s compatible with HomeKit, so buying the latest bridge will make more sense.

The DIY installation process may vary considering the complexity of a user’s setup. Users can simply plug the Hue Bridge into both power and router, and then discover the bulbs using the Hue app. However, Hue is not compatible with dimmers, so users will have to switch these out for standard on/off light switches.

Hue App

Philips has worked well with the mobile app this time around. The app now comes with a plethora of new features and enhancements compared to previous versions. The default screen displays the available rooms and lets user control all the bulbs as a group. All the bulbs can be turned on just by tapping on the switch button on the right of the screen. The bulb color can be customised by tapping the room’s icon on the left of the screen

The app also offers Philips’ pre-configured scenes. The Hue app is also capable turning the lights on/off automatically. Philips has made the app location-aware, enabling the bulbs to switch off when the user leaves the room or a specific area. But the downside is that the location feature only supports one user at a time. We hope to see this change in the upcoming versions of the app.

Switches and sensors

It’s not always a convenient to use your phone to access the app to trigger the bulbs. Philips has taken this into consideration and responded with just one switch and the new motion sensor.

The dimmer switch is a simple, elegant, and powerful alternative to using the Mobile app or the voice assistants. It comes with 4 buttons, the top button can be used to switch on and then circle among 4 pre-set scene modes. The bottom button is used for switching off the lights. The middle 2 buttons are used for dimming up and dimming down the light intensity. The dimmer switch can be either wall mounted, or pasted, or can be just stuck to a metallic surface with the help of magnetic base that it comes with.

The motion sensor, depending upon the time set for night sensing, can also switch on lights just enough for your midnight bathroom walk without waking up anyone else around.

Verdict

Philips lighting without a doubt is offering the widest range of smart bulbs with the best third-party support alongside a slew of controllers and sensors. The bulbs are very responsive and produce high-intensity light. The Hue comes with a higher price compared to other smart bulb setups, but it also has an edge over its competition with a big margin, giving you a bang for your buck.

As they say, ‘applause doesn’t come without caveats’, the Philips Hue has some flaws. The Hue is yet to give full-fledged support to Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem. Although we cannot blame Philips for this, there are still a lot of devices that the Hue can make better.

Overall the Philips Hue is a great solution for your home lighting. If you want to do away with all the wire lying around your house, then this is the solution for you.

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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