The idea of smart home has been around for quite a few years now, however, still majority of households and commercial users rely on the conventional lighting setups. The slow rate of adoption is primarily due to the high initial cost associated with the smart accessories, especially the Philips Hue lineup. About a month ago, I decided to give it a try, hence, this review will talk about various aspects of owning Philips Hue.
Starting with some numbers, this review is based on the 3rd generation of Philips Hue’s starter bundle. It consists of three 800 Lumens, 10W multi-colour bulbs with standard A19 fittings. Apart from the 3 bulbs, the bundle includes a Philips Bridge (Hub), which is connected to the WiFi router with an ethernet cable for a stable connection. This bridge acts as the brain of the Hue network, as all the user inputs are communicated through it. The bridge is also capable of connecting and controlling up to 50 Philips Hue devices simultaneously.
This starter bundle will set you back around $200, which is definitely not cheap for 3 LED bulbs.
It takes about 10 minutes to get everything up and running. Once everything is set up, the first thing you need is your smart phone. There is a dedicated app for Philips Hue in the Appstore that can be used to interact and try different colour combinations. There are even some presets in the app that can quickly change the lighting of an entire lounge. However, the app sometimes does not communicate properly with the bridge and there is a significant lag in changing the light settings. Apart from that, it works as expected. Now, let’s talk about a few nice highlights about Philips Hue.
- It allows to personalize an entire room by providing numerous colours to choose from.
- Users can download Hue compatible third-party applications and enhance the usability of their smart lights.
- The compatibility with Apple HomeKit makes it extremely easy to communicate via Apple’s eco-system.
- The Philips Hue family is continuously expanding to enhance the user experience.
- The brightness and colour accuracy is definitely top-notch.
Moving on towards the cons of Philips Hue.
- The official app needs to be updated to enhance the usability, the remote on-off feature is glitchy and should be fixed.
- If there is a power outage, the entire system resets and when power’s restored, the bulbs light up in a default warm-white colour.
- The cost is certainly quite high as compared with a normal LED bulb of the same capacity.
Philips Hue is definitely a step in the right direction. However, it comes at a steep price and some flaws in the usability which makes it a hard sell, especially for the masses. Having said that, it’s certainly a stepping stone towards smart homes and a user focused equipment. However, Philips need to work on making it cheaper so everyone can familiarize themselves with the future.