• 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.

    235 of 257 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.

    152 of 170 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea, but room for improvement

    • Written by from Royal Oak

    First, be aware that these bulbs are not for use outdoors or in enclosed light fixtures, even though the website clearly shows the bulb being used in an enclosed lamp. You won't discover these limitations until after you purchased the product and read the materials inside. No mention of this is made on Philips website. Setup was fairly easy for the main kit with 3 bulbs but I found adding another bulb took more time and the hub had difficulty finding the bulb and only did so after I installed it in the same room the hub was in and then I was able to move the bulb to another location. The app is fairly easy to use but needs improvement (ex. you can schedule lights to go on at a certain time but you can't pick specific days..it's 7 days a week or nothing). Hopefully minor things like this will be corrected. As far as selecting colors, you can't pick certain colors like blacks or greys or really dark colors. Biggest complaint is this...your light switch has to always be on for these to work. If you turn on the switch by hand, the lights default to bright white. If you turn the light switch off, the bulbs will not respond to the app. So basically you have to turn on the lights, let them go white, then turn them off with the app if you wish to control them outside of your home or from somewhere in your home away from the switch you use to turn them on at a later time. Also, the lights are not compatible with dimmer switches so every time you manually turn them on, they are BRIGHT WHITE and then you have to adjust the brightness with the app. Trying to adjust brightness with the dimmer only causes the lights to go out. For the cost of these bulbs, you would think these things would be addressed or noted so customers are aware of the limitations before spending the money. That being said, the colors can be fun but I think the novelty will wear off really quickly and it's hard to justify the cost solely based on novelty and especially based on the bulb limitations.

    158 of 217 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Returned

    • Written by from SAN FRANCISCO

    I tried this product for a few weeks then returned it. The bulbs themselves are very nice, and I had no issues with connectivity. It's the software that is horrible. Actually, it's not so much the implementation of the software (it works) as the conception (dumb idea). Philips has taken what could be a genuinely useful product and turned it into something cute. I really don't want a blue or red light on in my room. I could care less about matching the color of my shirt. I would like useful ability to control the lighting in my home remotely. The software implements that horribly. The timer function is ridiculous - no ability to set a schedule? What idiot decided that all has to be done manually every day? If Philips sorts out the software and implements a better timer / remote functionality, I may buy it again; in the meantime this is just an expensive and not particularly fun toy.

    107 of 128 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    cool bulbs, but the app is really awful

    • Written by from El Prado

    Easy to set up the hardware, but the app which controls the bulbs is a piece of junk. It's overly complex with cutesy scenes which allow you to pluck colors and assign them to bulbs. Big problems with basic functionality: the timers don't work reliably, the app forgets bulbs and color assignments you've made and supposedly saved, and on and on. The product really isn't ready for primetime with an app that's such a piece of garbage.

    81 of 85 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Hardware is good, software is limitted

    • Written by from Ottawa

    What's good - easy to install and easy to use. The lights themselves render excellent colours.

    What's not - software is very limited, especially in regards to setting timers. There isn't any mechanism to schedule re-occuring scenes (ie - turn on the lights every morning). All you can do is schedule a scene to turn on in the next 24 hours.

    Overall - great for setting lighting scenes to meet your every mood. But if you are looking at something to support home automation, the current version of the software (both the website and the ios app) is too limiting.

    43 of 46 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Very cool but timer feature is horrible

    • Written by from WEST HOLLYWOOD

    Overall this product is very cool. The colors and app are great and super fun. However, one reason why I bought this product was for the "security" feature they advertise. I wanted a timer to go on at 6pm and off in the morning. Working with their tech support, you have to MANUALLY enable the timer Every day. This is ridiculous.

    22 of 23 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Good idea, room for significant improvement...

    • Written by from EDINA

    At its heart, the Hue lighting system is both a fundamentally good idea and has a lot of future potential. That said, in its current form, it feels mostly like a gimmick or party trick at best with some features that allow it some marginal usefulness in specific situations.

    First, in high use areas in your home, turning on/off the lights will become a bit of a pain. In order for the Hue lights to work remotely, the physical light 'switch' will need to be left on. Thus, when you leave the room, if you use the switch to turn the lights off, you will not be able to turn them on again using the app. Instead, you'll need to turn the lights off using the app, which is frankly a bit cumbersome and awkward for everyday use (leave room, pause, pull iPhone out, input password, open app, turn lights off, leave room... sheesh).

    The light switches will still work for everyday use, but if you happen to have physical dimmers on your light switches, they won't work at all. Dimming the bulbs has to be done via the app itself. Again, cumbersome for quick, everyday use.

    As far as changing colors goes, it's pretty cool in theory (we used them for an orange glow during Halloween), but not really useful in practice. Sitting around in blue or purple light is just a bit... weird. Sure, the various 'white' colors are nifty, but again - not a huge deal in practice.

    The biggest use I could find in its current iteration is the remote capabilities. Turning on/off my lights while my family is on vacation is nice, but not really a frequent usage model for me. Geo-fencing isn't implemented yet that I could tell and the timers didn't function as I had wanted either.

    All-in-all, this is a GREAT idea that just feels too early in its evolution to recommend to the average consumer. Further development, perhaps third party apps, etc. could all evolve the system into something special. For now, I'd recommend saving your money for something that you'll actually use. I bought the starter pack and 3 extra bulbs, played with it for a week, and returned everything without hesitation. I'll be willing to re-purchase it again as it matures with better features, functions, integration, and usability.

    25 of 29 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

    love the bulbs, hate the app

    • Written by from Gastonia

    pros:
    good bulbs, easy setup, works as advertised.
    cons:
    Was it really necessary to use an additional WiFi router? I hope that thing is safe and is not an open access door to the rest of my network.
    I hate the App. Its about light bulbs. Give me some on and off switches on the first page, some color settings on the second page, some timers on the third page and I am happy. Make it easier to keep the light separated (I use them in different rooms). It is unnecessary to rested the settings inside the app anytime the iPhone sleeps. All the vacation photos are nice gadgets but not the main thing to control lights. Nest Thermostats did a way better job with their app.

    23 of 26 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea, three issues...

    • Written by from Arlington

    This is another "great idea" product from a company I admire, however, after setting it all up, I'm a bit disappointed for a few reasons...

    1) Price is too high for quality of product. $200 for 3 bulbs and a LAN access point is quite high for adaptive lighting. See my reasoning in point number 2 below:
    2) Each bulb only produces 600 lumens. That's not a lot of light per bulb, the equivalent of about a 50 watt traditional light bulb. A 13-watt CFL bulb (60-watt equivalent) bulb on Amazon currently sells for $6.50 and produces 825 lumens. Compared to the standalone hue bulb price of $59, the equivalent CFL is more than 8x cheaper cost and a 38% brighter bulb.
    3) The hue iOS app needs a lot of work. The reviews are awful, and the app just isn't very user friendly and well thought out.

    For these reasons, I will probably have to return this product. I do like being able to control the on/off state of my light from my iPhone/iPad, but it's just not yet worth the money. Maybe in version 2 it will be worth it, but I would need an updated app and a minimum of 800 lumens (1,100 preferred) to justify buying this.

    25 of 32 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Need higher brightness for wake-up function to really work!

    • Written by from STATE COLLEGE

    600 lumen? It is only equivalent to about a 45 watt normal bulb. We need a new version with at less 1000 lumen. 1600 lumen (100 watt equivalent) would be ideal.

    18 of 19 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Fade functionality doesn't work. Poor app, decent bulbs.

    • Written by from Seattle

    It's tough to give these a great review because the functionality doesn't work as advertised. You're supposed to be able to set up a timer to fade in and fade out, but all you get is instant on or instant off. The app is terrible, and anyone on here that tries to deny that probably works for Phillips or has some vested interest in this product's success. The coloring system works well and is kind of fun, so they're great if you are into constantly messing around with your lights. But the app makes this so painful, you just give up after a while. Right now, wishing I would have held off on buying these until I saw less negative reviews. Phillips still has a lot of work to do to make the software more functional. Suprising that the technology in the app is so far behind the bulb itself.

    20 of 25 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Flaky is good in pastry not a tech product

    • Written by from NORMANDY PARK

    They "work" but not as advertised. The "recipes" for lighting don't stay set and will not follow the rules you set. The settings for the the lighting recipes are poorly designed and do not allow you to change colors easily (as of 2/2013).

    The lights do have a great color range and the color controls are interesting, but, there is a lot more UX that should have gone into the design of the App.

    14 of 16 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    buggy. Philips need to improve

    • Written by from Blackheath

    Setup timer to turn on two lights, but often only one will turn on. Also setup geo-location "My location" to turn on lights when approaching the house, but it doesn't work, and worse, while in the house, it thinks I have just arrived and randomly turns on the lights. I only needed two of the three bulbs in the startup pack, so not sure if only installing two of them is reason for my problems. I am using Hue V1.1.1.

    14 of 17 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

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Not ready for prime time...unable to add additional bulbs

    • Written by from Boston

    I purchased the starter pack (3 bulbs) and it was fantastic. So much so, that I purchased 4 additional bulbs for another room. I have attempted to add the additional bulbs to my bridge to no avail. I went so far as to plug the bulbs into a light socket NEXT to the bridge and try to get the system to find them using the search function on the iPhone App. No luck. I think there must be a bug as I have been unable to get it to work with more than 3 bulbs. On the verge of returning this, which is unfortunate, because this would be an amazing product if it worked.

    17 of 24 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Lame App, Cool Lights

    • Written by from Rancho Mirage

    Only two stars, due to the lame App. Lights are great. Hopefully they will release brighter one in the future, but these are fine. The App is the worse, really. You need to use the App to control these lights, so the App is a big part of the "experience." The App is clunky, non-intuitive and very lame. It'll drive you nuts. Hard to tell at-a-glance if a light is on, and what color it is -- you have to dig into the App some. Sort of difficult to do real basic things. You can not, via timer, turn on lights, then brighten or change colors at a certain time, then dim, etc. Only on and off. Phillips needs to redo the App. I wonder if any of the App makers actually have these lights in their own homes? Seriously, use this App in a real environment once, and you'll be able to figure out how to make it better. Grandma and Grandpa should be able to "turn on lamp by couch, and make it green" in a second -- and they can not. They will need to dig around. Ugh. Other than that, the lights are cool, the App is so freaking lame.

    11 of 12 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Idea But, everyone that I know seems to have issues

    • Written by from Los Angeles

    Only made for indoor use, and with a single day program not a full month or even week long program. (Meaning you will have to set the time each day) if you desire different timing each day. You can not program it for a 30-day duration.

    - Great Idea but not to much thought went into it.

    Bring it back. it's not worth the headache...

    13 of 17 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Good, But I Expected Much Better

    • Written by from New York

    I rated 2, but it could have been 3, depending on what is most important to you below. I won't rehash what others have written, but here are some bullet points:

    Good:

    > Very easy set up. There are three steps. Simple. Good Job.
    > Well made. The lights and base seem like solid, well-made products.
    > Cool factor. Nice customer experience. Nice packaging and presentation. You feel like you're about to experience a whole new thing - and you are.
    > The lights work well. They are very responsive to the changes you make in the app (just like some of the videos you have undoubtedly seen).

    Needs Improvement:

    > Brightness. This is huge for me. The bulbs - even at their brightest - are not bright enough. They are good for ambiance, not not nearly bright enough for my small (170 sq. ft.) bedroom/office, in which I have 2 of the 3 bulbs.
    > App UX needs work. After a while you get how to use it, but it needs to be more intuitive and faster. Speed is key. More of a dashboard control for quick and easy settings. I'll bet some good UX folks could come up with the "right way" do this app.

    10 of 12 people found this useful