• 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea but needs work as some shortcomings and bugs.

    • Written by from London

    Hue is great in principle, letting me tailor the lighting in my house in colour and brightness, plus control it from an app. The system was easy to setup and get going, plugging the bridge into my router and following the steps on the app. The bulbs are nicely built and quite bright. Two light my lounge in the evenings nicely.

    APP:
    The controller app is garish in colour and needs to be improved, but overall it does the job. You get brightness and colour controls, though the latter are hard to use on an iphone's small screen, especially if you have lots of bulbs.

    A big focus in the app seems to be on picking colours from photos, but this feels gimmicky. I can't think of many occasions where I want my lounge the colours of photos I've taken.

    Programming presets is easy enough, though the app could be more intuitive here too. I still don't understand the difference between 'scenes' and 'light recipes' - seems a needless distinction. It's nice to have a slider to control the overall brightness of the scenes I have created though.

    The timer feature is great - it's swish to be able to fade a preset scene up over say 30 minutes in the evening. Having the app know when it was getting dark would be even better and would save me needing to adjust the timer every few weeks. This is actually something I thought I could do with the geofencing feature (lights coming on when you are near home) but sadly this doesn't work in practice for 2 reasons.

    Firstly because I want my lights to only come on when it's dark, and to do this you have to click the "sunset" option. But the apps determination of sunset can be quite different to the light levels outside.More importantly it doesn't take into account if I am already home or not. So I can have my lights turn on if I approach the house and it's dark, but if I am already home and then it gets dark the lights don't come on. This is because I've not crossed the geofence .

    Finally it's a bit of a pain to setup different rooms. E.g. if I want to go in the bedroom, I have to either press a few clicks to get to the bedroom slider which is a pain, or make 2 scenes such as "lounge on bedroom on" and "lounge on bedroom off". With more rooms you need more permutations of scenes which gets confusing. Other 3rd party apps try and overcome this with the concept of rooms, but I've not found one I like yet.

    ISSUES:
    I've had numerous issues with the system after 3-4 months use, which along with the high price and clunky app is the reasoning for the 3 stars.

    One big problem is that 2 of my 3 bulbs emit an irritating high pitched whine when turned off. It's loud enough that you can hear them from across the room. I'm being sent replacements, but reading the forums it looks like people often get sent more noisy bulbs in return.

    Also I have had the system lose 2 lamps. I've come home to find they've turned on by themselves to strange colours and show as not contactable in the app. I can search and add them back in, but they then show as new additional lamps, so my presets don't use them. Plus it leaves the old 'lost' bulbs in the app which is a pain as they get in the way. The only way to clear them out is to reset the whole system from the bridge, at which point you lose all your presets / alarms / settings... everything.

    So overall, nice idea, but for the price needs improvement.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    A good idea, but really lacks whats promised

    • Written by from vanløse

    I've had this kit for a couple of weeks now, and even though im loving the ease of changing colours and to damp the lights, there is a few things that really dull..

    Firstoff the colours. This is no living colors, it only does like 4-5 colours really well. Green is like none existing and the hue saturation does little compared to the colour scale.

    Second, the software... Its not bad, but its not particularely good either. I think that most people know that there is alot of possibilities with these lights, unfortunatly philips doesnt really take the effort to utilize this properly.

    Last is a quiet hum comming from these bulps, and turning them of through the software actually only makes its worse.. The hum is not as bad as experienced from my living colors lamp so i can live with it..

    The price should match a somehow better product, hopefully we will se a hue .2 doing these things better in the future

    5 of 6 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Love them. Hate them.

    • Written by from MARIETTA

    We have a love-hate relationship with our Hue system. The lights themselves (4 Hues plus a Bloom)-love them. Even my tech-averse wife likes what we can do with light "scenes." Ever the gadget freak, I enjoy the automation tricks via IFTTT. On the other hand, I loath the "bridge." It's frustratingly unreliable. Despite being located in an adjacent room, and being connected to the network via Ethernet cable, it frequently looses touch with the Hues. Once a week I find I need to reboot the Bridge. Today, being a holiday, I turned off last night the "morning alarm" that turns up 3 lights in our bedroom at 5:45 AM. One light, the one nearest my wife's side of the bed, did not get the memo. Not the first time this has happened I might add. Two weeks ago, all the lights went on strike, and did not wake us. Hopefully, Philips will work out the networking kinks. Until then, expect some annoyances.

    12 of 12 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Slick, easy-to-use, but not a true RGB bulb

    • Written by from Santa Clara

    I really liked Hue's easy smartphone control and reliable wireless operation. The bulbs were a disappointment to me because they are optimized for generating white light in different color temperatures. The result is washed-out very dim greens and blues rather than the bright saturated light in any color that a true RGB bulb would generate. However, reds are strong, and the white looks good and does warm and cool color temperatures perfectly, and as I mentioned before, the dimming, iOS app and wireless operation are very nice.

    5 of 5 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great if you don't experience stability issues

    • Written by from Ottawa

    Received these as a present. Have had them for about 3 months. Initial set up was easy. Just follow the simple steps and you will get it all set up on your home wifi. Setting it up to access outside of your home wifi is not as obvious but easy once you figure it out (best way to do so for me was to disconnect my iPhone from my home wifi and follow the prompts in the Hue app after doing so).

    Once you get it set up it works great. All in all it must have taken me less than 15 min for the full setup. I also really like the fact that if you are away from your wifi and there is an internet or power outage, once everything comes back the Hue system restarts to work without you having to do anything (which has not been my experience with other systems). This is particularly useful when you are on vacation. The app is great to play with as well and the luminosity of the lamps is great!

    So, why only three stars? Because of a well documented issue with the bridge. After a few days the connection from the bridge to the internet stopped working. Wifi still worked, so I could control the lamps from inside my wifi but not from outside of it. This is well documented online with many potential solutions that I tried and did not work. In the end, after a very frustrating couple of days, only a hard reset did the trick (deleting application, closing account and opening new one with Hue portal, resetting router, modem and hue bridge).

    It has now been working without an issue for a while, but the fact that the issue I faced is still being documented and does not seem to have a clear solution is a major problem for me as it makes it hard to know when it may stop working again.

    I still have the hue and really like it, but this uncertainty warrants a deduction of 2 starts from me.

    9 of 10 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Not bright enough and app is horrible and not user friendly. Works Harmony

    • Written by from Dedham

    I purchased these yesterday from the Apple store and saw reviews about the brightness factor of these bulbs but ignored it. I switched out my 75 and 100 watt bulbs for these and noticed instantly that the room got darker and these bulbs are very dim. I want to say they are equivalent to 60 watt bulbs. The changing color modes is pretty cool and you can go from cool to warm and various colors and blends. The app on the iPhone is horrible and not user friendly in my eyes. It takes lots of stumbling around to find what you need and the timer settings keep telling me my bridge needs updating even though I am using the latest updates. The color blending is okay but unless you want your rooms to be red and blue etc, there is no usefulness to this. I have yet to try this turning lights on prior to coming home. The app keeps telling me I need to be connected to Wifi and kicks me over to the Phillips website. The one thing I do like is that this is configured to my Harmony Ultimate Remote. Using the remote I can set up activities to turn on with the lights at the same time plus I can adjust brightness and tone setting etc. That to me was great. However the bulbs are so very dim, not sure I can highly recommend this to anyone if they want to light up a large room. The email and Facebook and Instagram signaling via the bulbs was a pretty cool factor but I know I would never use it. In all these bulbs are just okay and need work to make them a brighter bulb for the consumer.

    5 of 6 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Disastrously buggy software

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I actually really like this product. It's fun and useful. The hardware is great. The software is another story. It's so astoundingly buggy it's amazing it's actually a shipping product. Scenes edited on one device disappear on another device. Edits made on one device will update the bridge, but then won't synchronize to the other device. A scene started by an alarm will leave a bulb dark, whereas manually selecting the scene will turn it on. I just hit the "All Off" button on my iPhone, which not only turned off all the lights but also deleted the current scene off all my devices. Trying to restore it deleted all the OTHER scenes.

    So, even though this review has sort of a "Aside from the shooting, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" feel to it, hue really is a nice product (aside from the childishly inept software). Fortunately, it's easier to fix software problems in the field than hardware problems.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Hardware, Portal and Bridge Software are a Mess

    • Written by from La Grange

    Flawless local and remote control of these lights through my z-wave home automation system (Veralite controlled through Homewave App on iPhone). The lights themselves are flexible and produce high quality output.
    The Philips portal and bridge link software produces constant connection errors and doesn't work consistently for anything beyond playing around changing light colors. Philips color control through mousing over photos is bizarre.
    Don't buy these lights believing that Philips portal software will provide useful and reliable automation functions.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great but could do better

    • Written by from London

    Good but could put much more effort into these

    3 of 7 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Almost Awesome - but why no fade times?

    • Written by from Ormeau

    Loving the Hue lights. Though main downside is lack of being able to set a fade time. I bought these primarily for my home theater. However was rather surprised that the default app and others out there, would not let me create a fade in/out time for presets :(. Fade times are probably 1 second which is too quick for that theatre experience, and a shock at the end of the movie. I'm just surprised you can't sepcify say 10 second fade in/outs for the presets - hence 2 stars dropped for that.

    Other downside would be lack of bulb types and sizes limits my ability to put these in many other fittings throughout the house as I have a few Bayonet Cap fittings. I'm sure if these prove as decent sellers Philips will be adding a wider variety.

    Otherwise very happy with my Hue and will be buying a few bulbs for other areas in the house that will fit them :)

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    No Bridge Found Error Message

    • Written by from La Verne

    My app keeps coming up with the message saying there is NO BRIDGE FOUND. It can not locate my bridge. I have everything connected the way it should be but nothing works. All of the lights on the bridge are lit and the globe looking one is now blinking. There is no number to call, I have submitted an email and no response.

    I will add that when this device did work, I had a blast with it and multiple friends have bought it since. It seems as though that the NEW APP UPDATE had something to do with this problem. Well I guess it is now time to sit and wait and pray that a new update comes out soon or I have just wasted $200. I hope this helps you and hope yours works if you purchase it and hope mine gets fixed because its cool when it works!

    7 of 8 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Cool but not ready for prime time

    • Written by from WASHINGTON

    The Hue is a brilliant concept, and the lights themselves are great and easy to hook up. The app, however, is disappointingly rudimentary, and until that is fixed, it renders this system little more than a gimmick. One example is that you have to set the timer each time you want the lights to come on -- there is no way to set daily, recurring times. Also, if you switch the lights off with a switch, they will default to their plain color, so you pretty much have to rely on the app -- and once the novelty of controlling lights with your phone wears off, that can get pretty old.

    31 of 42 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    600 lumens is not such a bright idea

    • Written by from London

    If you predominantly use 60W bulbs in your house, then bear in mind that while those put out around 800 lumens, these Hue bulbs only manage 600 lumens, which is obviously a fair bit darker.

    So while these are great for use in rooms that never need to be brightly lit, they're not really suitable for kitchens or study areas.

    32 of 33 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    No fade in or fade out

    • Written by from Barcelona

    Overall the product isn't bad but it has 2 big problems:

    1 - It doesn't fade in / fade out. Simply switch on or off! To switch lights out and on a timer can do it for less money. The advertisement video clearly shows it, but after several attempts I couldn't do it.

    2 - doesn't memorize the alarm, you have to set it each day, again the timer does a better job that this system.

    I leave also a suggestion, integration with iCloud to avoid the double work of doing the same light scenes on several devices

    13 of 17 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Timer work?

    • Written by from South park

    hi everybody, pretty much same review, great lights, not so great software, bad app.

    but, I cannot get the timer to work either on or off. no matter what I selecrt, 3 or 9 minute fade in or out they come on fully bright or shutoff right away,

    Any ideas??

    12 of 15 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    ONLY for Apple Products

    • Written by from Fort Lauderdale

    I read the reviews online and they were dead on accurate. The lights are great fun to play with and they have a full range of colors. They are not bright, about 50w. My biggest issue is I don't have an Apple device. I was using an Android and the app is still in development. No alarm, no timer and no remote connection. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, don't bother. If you do, might be just the thing you're looking for.

    8 of 43 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Cool, mostly well done, but expensive

    • Written by from Briarcliff Manor

    I had this setup for a couple weeks before deciding to return them. Setup was pretty easy, everything worked as advertised. In general i just cant see spending the $$ on these for what they offer. I also would like some different size bulbs - i put these in my recessed lighting fixtures in the master bedroom and the leave too much space - they are smaller than a regular flood bulb that goes into a standard recessed lighting enclosure.

    i may try these again if the price comes down, or they offer more options. but right now, in my opinion, not really worth the money they charge.

    5 of 9 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Love It & Hate It

    • Written by from WEST LINN

    How can something be so cool in some ways be so lame in others?

    CONS:
    1) Bulbs in starter set are permanently tied to the bridge. The bulb are supposed to last 15 years. If the bridge has a problem then I lose $180 in bulbs

    2) I have two bridges, one in my home, one in my home office. I wanted to switch my extra Hue bulb from home to office. There was no intuitive way to do this or info on the website. I wrote Phillips tech support and they said, "Reset the bridge and ghost bulbs are forgotten." But wait a second. What if I was using 50 bulbs as it can do. To move one I have to forget 46 (not counting the three permanently tied to bridge).
    This is absurd!

    Phillips motto is "Sense and Simplicity." I got news for you Philips, all of the above makes no sense and it's not simple.

    3) The App is counter intuitive and the script font is useless to actually read.

    4) I have two bridges and can't name them. I have to recognize them by IP address. Obviously with only two bridges it's not difficult to remember which is which, but that doesn't make it any less lame.

    5) It's only 600 lumens. It's not going to be the primary illumination.

    PROS:

    1) It is really cool. We have a three paper lantern lamp and my professional artist wife spent a half hour dialing in her perfect combination for holiday party.

    2) In my office I find the pre-sets for energize, concentration and relax very useful. Then I created others like red alert.

    3) The bulbs are only 600 lumens so they are not going to be a primary illumination if you actually want to see something, but for ambience and accents they are awesome.

    I've created great accents in the home theater. Like putting a light behind the wood stove. If I make the light orange you see the silhouette of the stove and the orange light like fire. Very cool.

    4) Apps can be fixed so hopefully the non sense and non simplicity will get fixed.

    50 of 52 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good hardware. Abysmal software. Nonfunctional distant remote control.

    • Written by from Lenexa

    When I say good, I don't mean great. As mentioned elsewhere the light output on these are underwhelming. I read that starter pack bulbs are locked to the base they come with. I can't imagine any scenario where this is helpful to a consumer or benefits the manufacturer.

    Software for this has been discussed in other reviews. I agree that the interface is backwards and convoluted. It is ugly and fails to do the things it claims. The fade in/fade out does not work on any interval with the alarms. To turn an alarm on or off you have to select the picture, which changes the lights. Alarm settings should work the other way around. I choose the time I want the lights to change or come on and then I pick how they should change without changing the lights before the alarm goes off.

    To me the worst failing of this system is the portal, which is what they call the web based control. Controlling it when you are out or on vacation is one of their big selling points. It does not work! I expected a delay while the portal contacted the base, but it fails from my computer and from my phone when I turn off the phone's wifi. It says it is connected through the portal on my phone and indicates the bulb settings you select even though there is no change whatsoever to the light. My computer was even on the same wifi network and it did nothing.

    Even with all it's shortcomings, this is a really fun product. I enjoy it immensely. My issue is that the company promised so many things and then didn't deliver. If they added these features later after they worked that would have been a far better strategy. They also should have considered asking apple to develop the software.

    37 of 41 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea; dim bulbs.

    • Written by from Bay Minette

    The Philips Hue is a great idea, moderately well executed. The bridge is easy to set up (though it'd be better if it supported WiFi connections to the home network) and the bulbs feel well-made. They definitely output a wide range of colors, and the third party apps available in the App Store are fun novelties. Two things keep the Hue from being truly great.

    First is the light output. These bulbs output only 600 lumens each; less than a 60-watt incandescent bulb. I have three lamps in my 8-square-feett office. I installed a Hue bulb in each, but it's not bright enough for comfortable night time reading. This presents a dilemma -- do I add another lamp and buy another Hue bulb, or replace one of the Hue bulbs with a 1100-lumen CFL? The usefulness and interest of Hue comes from being able to control all of the light in a room, so having to rely on other types of bulbs seems inelegant. But in such a small room, I don't really have space for a fourth light fixture. I'll probably wait for Philips to make higher-lumen Hue bulbs, and eventually move these to places where I generally want less light output -- bedside lamps, etc.

    The second issue is the Philips Hue app. The user interface is mystifying, as it's based around choosing colors from photographs. I expected to find a standard color palette to choose the bulb colors, and there is one, but it's hidden in a collection of sample photos. The whole experience really needs to be re-thought, making the process of choosing colors and adjusting brightness more of a primary activity, instead of basing everything around a strange collection of pre-set colors.

    29 of 33 people found this useful