• 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

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Just what I've been looking for!

    • Written by from Boston

    I have seriously been waiting for years for something like this to hit the markets. I don't like audible alarms at all because they tear me out of sleep violently and I feel grumpy the rest of the day. I also haven't been very happy with instant-on lighting solutions because there's so much light so fast. The Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack comes with everything you need to 'wake up with the sun' (you can dim the lights from dark to full brightness over 3 or 9 minutes), even at 4:30am during winter in a room with no windows! In addition, the diversity of color options means that if you want to do any creative lighting for photography purposes you can do it without dealing with filters or gels.

    I give this product 4 stars rather than 5 primarily because the App that you use to program the bulbs could use a little work. If nothing else, I did not find it intuitive that to set up the dimming function I had to create a new 'light recipe' (who picked that name? And why not a simple 'alarm' setting that is independent of other recipes?). Also, I generally have to reset my wake-up 'recipe' each night before bed, which I find disappointing; I feel I should at least have the option of setting up light recipes that automatically trigger on weekdays (early wakeup) and weekends (late wakeup). The price is also a bit steep and it would be nice to see a higher-power bulb in the future (1000+ lumens), but these are still my favorite light bulb of all time. I would replace every light in my house with these if I had the money. Highly recommended if you can afford them!

    13 of 16 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Outstanding Product - Easy Set-up and Use!

    • Written by from Spokane

    The product worked perfectly with 5 minutes set-up. The iOS apps are fast and reliable. The lights are bright and operate at a cool temperature. The timed on and off feature via the Philips web site works equally well. It is possible to use two or more starter pack bulbs together for a total of 6 or more bulbs. Google for the small OSX program based on the Philips API. Impressive product!

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great bulbs, easy to control

    • Written by from Inman

    I cannot say enough good things about these light bulbs. What at first seems like a steep price for light is actually a great investment when you consider all that these lights do. I use them in my home office, and they provide more than enough light (with only 2 bulbs in the room, mind you) to do work at night. I particularly like the ability to set the color of the bulbs to match your mood. For working, the "Concentration" mode is especially helpful.

    One additional feature that's useful is as security lights. You can set these lights to turn on and off at a specified time, or you can turn them on or off remotely using the Hue portal. Great for when you're traveling and want to leave a light on; or, if you're coming home late at night.

    9 of 10 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    fun but iOS app is lacking

    • Written by from Phoenix

    The lights themselves are pretty fun to play with. And the system is super easy to configure and works just great. That said, the iOS app is severely lacking some very major features (like turning all the lights on, there's one for "all off" but none for "all on" durrrr!!!! And the iPad app flakes out in navigating your photo collection.

    Also interesting to note ... Philips has said they are giving up on the consumer market ... and I'm not sure what this will mean for continued support. Also extra bulbs are extremely difficult to acquire (only available via the Apple Store if at all!).

    9 of 11 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    not enough light

    • Written by from Emery

    I replaced 3 700 lumen CFLs with 3 Hue 600 Lumen bulbs. The ability to change colors was great but there was not enough light to read comfortably so I am returning them. When they have brighter bulbs I would buy it.

    13 of 16 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Lot of Fun

    • Written by from Falmouth

    I bought the starter pack and one bulb and it took me 2 mins to get the starter pack going and then I realised one bulb was changing. Another 5 mins and I had linked the fourth bulb.
    I did have to turn on the fourth bulb in each scene and choose a point for it.

    I am delighted with the system. The software will hopefully be improved. I want to put them in the bedroom also but I can't work out how room by room will be dealt with? The scenes will have to be doubled so that the others rooms settings are included?

    I have 4 LEDs on my bridge and everything over the wifi but not yet managed to link my bridge to the online account?

    That's where the missing star is.

    4 of 7 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Product! Updates coming soon?

    • Written by from OKLAHOMA CITY

    This is a wonderful product that gives you a million different ways to light a room. I have presets to read with, watch movies with and even sleep in. The alarm feature provides a nice easy way light to way up to. Hoping for more app updates to improve and the app and add more features but the current app gets the job done well!! Totally worth it! Get it today!

    2 of 3 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    No support, can't bridge starter kits

    • Written by from Edmonton

    Easy to setup, however returned after 3 days. Read in blogs that starter kit bulbs are linked to bridge that came with it so can't buy additional kits and keeps second bridge if first one dies. Thius all linked bulbs to that bridge are useless. Blogs say there r ways of getting around this with a Phillips remote or a program but why all the trouble when $200 is spent. Tried face booking philips as no support regarding hue could be found. Even then no response.
    Also 50 watt bulbs so depending on room size will need a lot of bulbs!

    26 of 37 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Too much fun!

    • Written by from Billings

    Works as advertised right out of the box! Easy to learn & use in 2 minutes.

    7 of 11 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Bulbs are brilliant. Don't expect consistency from the pretty (poor) app.

    • Written by from San Francisco

    Don't try to edit a scene on your iPhone. Even as you are designing it, the bulb colors and brightness settings will change without warning.

    The settings will change even after you have saved them.

    And if you try to edit your edited scenes on your iPad, the changes you made on your iPhone will not be transferred to your iPad. Scenes that you deleted on your iPhone will still appear on your iPad.

    The cute handwriting font used to label scenes is unreadable.

    Dear product manager: redesign this product from scratch. Watch users as they try to use it.

    16 of 22 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Needs recurring scene schedules

    • Written by from Smyrna

    Bought starter kit. Explored features. I don't have a need for colors, but I find different qualities of white to be useful. Would buy additional bulbs if schedules automatically recurred and could vary by weekday / weekend. I personally would prefer a list or grid format rather than individual icons for each scene / schedule.

    5 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent

    • Written by from Coquitlam

    Bought the starter kit for my son and his wife last week. They had the three bulbs up and running in less than 30 minutes and have been very enthusiastic about it since. They continue to find new ways to use the lighting and plan on adding more bulbs.

    My very decor-conservative, non-technical wife now wants to replace all our lights with these, which is a little scary!

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    It was like the dream of awesome was taken away..

    • Written by from AUSTIN

    I was really looking forward to using these. The bridge kept recycling and rebooting and would not keep a consistent connection so could not control lights. Seems this product is not ready for ther masses yet. Returning for a refund.

    17 of 23 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Great bulb technology but...

    • Written by from Long Beach

    It is very neat that the bulbs can be set to various colors etc. But that effect wears off after 5 minutes use of ooo and ahhh.

    As others have indicated, setting automatic functions for regular home use is the key and this software has none(except a one time use timer).

    Unless you have a specific need to set various mode lighting scenarios on a regular basis to justify the purchase, I would recommend not purchasing this product untill the control software is vastly improved with programmed functions. Im considering returning it.

    Also, it is disappointing that have to pay for 3 bulbs as the base package. One bulb to start would be fine.

    27 of 34 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Somehow Bittersweet

    • Written by from Huntsville

    I bought a starter kit and in a few words, I was amazed. However, I went back to the Apple store and bought a second kit because there were no single packs available and thought about having a spare bridge.

    The bad news is that found out the bulbs that comes with a starter kit cannot be used with a different bridge from another starter kit. Each bridge holds up to 50 bulbs only if single packs. That makes no sense!!!

    Does that mean that if the bridge breaks there is no way to use the bulbs?? Now I am deciding if returning them all, because why would I want these bulbs that last ~ 15 years and if the bridge brake they cannot be used with another bridge.

    225 of 246 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    One of the coolest things ever

    • Written by from Boston

    The house is getting smart. The smart house! Yet the technology is starting in our pockets and moving outwards instead of the other way around. Very cool.

    6 of 9 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Timer feature is not as advertised!

    • Written by from Huntington Beach

    One reason I bought this was to set the lights to go off and on to make it look like I'm home when I'm not, which seemed reasonable considering their advertising. It turns out that times can only be set for a single 24 hour period, which means I have to re-set the timers EVERY DAY! After multiple contacts with Phillips Tech Support over multiple days, I have been told that "when the SDK for Hue will be released then you will be able to create your own Apps for the Hue system. We apologise that there is nothing that we can do to help you further with your issue."

    Take this into consideration before buying this product.

    144 of 161 people found this useful