Philips Hue is a platform for automation of indoor lighting. It consist of lamps, LED light bulbs, remote controls and hubs. It connects to WiFi networks.
Some of the things you can do with Philips Hue are:
- Remotely control lights.
- Set light controls based on certain times or sunrise and sunset.
- Control lights by detecting movement.
- Control lights in groups (top floor, bottom floor, hallways, bedrooms).
- Dim lights in 100 steps.
- Set wake up or sleep lighting that dims up or down over a period.
- Control light temperature. For instance cold for work and warm before sleep.
- Control light color.
- Coordinate light and music.
- Coordinate light and video color.
Our goals when we got Philips Hue were to:
- Save energy by automatically controlling when to turn on or off lights instead of having them on all day and night.
- Save energy by automatically dimming lights according to needs. For instance navigation lighting at night.
- Save energy by using LED lights instead of other low energy lights.
- Make the house look welcoming when we arrive home.
- Deter burglars by having lights turn on and off automatically.
- Not having to depend on one or a few remote controls. Hue can be controlled by all family members with smartphones and iPads.
Some of the smart things we have done with Philips Hue are:
- Have lights turned on at sunset.
- Grouped lights so they can be turned off all at once when we go to bed.
- Automatically dim hallway lights to the lowest level during nighttime.
- Automatically dim our six-year-old son's bed lamp 30 minutes after he goes to sleep. It also automatically sets the color temperature to warm to make it easier for him to fall asleep.
- Have all lights automatically turned off at sunrise.
- I have my bed lamp dim up for 30 minutes in the morning when I should wake up. The light temperature goes from warm to normal daylight. The feeling is like waking up to the sunrise. I don’t have to use an alarm clock with sound.
- We have set up lighting scenes. With the press of a button, we can set all lights for watching a movie. Roof lights off, and other lamps dimmed.
Setting up Philips Hue is easy
You plug in the bridge to a wall socket. You install the lamps. You install the Philips Hue app on your iPad. Then you search for the bridge in the app and identifies it with a code that is written on the back of the bridge and in the package. After that you let it search for all installed devices like lamps, remote controls and motion detectors.
When this is done, you can begin naming the devices and sorting them into rooms in the app. Everything can be controlled manually as well as automated. The Hue app isn’t optimally designed, but it is pretty easy to use after a while. All in all, it is painless to create a smart home with Philips Hue. It is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Philips adds new features and updates over time. This means you have to update the bridge and all devices. Updates are made in the app and usually takes less than a minute. The Hue app notifies you when updates are waiting.
In the video above you see what having only one Philips Hue light bulb can do to a room.
If you add (or already have) a Google Home mini for 30 dollars, you can control your Philips Hue lights by speaking to it.
“Hey, Google, turn on the bedroom lights.”
“Hey, Google, dim the living room lights.”
“Hey, Google, turn off all lights.”
The cost of Philips Hue probably is an interesting aspect to many. You often begin with a starter kit containing a bridge, 1 to 3 light bulbs, and remote control. The prices range from around 80 USD to 200 USD. When you have a starter kit, you can add up to 50 devices. A single white lamp with E27 socket cost just a little more than a single high end LED bulb. They last around 20,000 hours. There is a big range of lights in case you don’t want to upgrade the ones you have with new bulbs.
Do you have any questions about Philips Hue?