• 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great but needs a bit more features

    • Written by from reseda

    Setup was quick and easy. Control is instant and the color and light output is great. The app takes a bit of learning, and is pretty basic right now. Looks like pairing of bulbs or areas together can only be done if you setup a preset that you program. Hard to figure out what bulb you are controlling outside of a preset, would be nice if you could just tap a bulb or bulbs then a preset, color or global control for them, as well as define pairs or groups ahead of time. My biggest disappointment is no way to set the default color and output when they are turned on with a switch, right now it resets and defaults to a very warm light. Would be awesome if you could program what setting they go to when powered on via switch, including an option for them to go to the last used. Other people in the house don't use an app to turn the lights on/off so when the switch is used it defaults back to the warm light and you have to power up the app and reset it back to what you want every time if a switch is used. Looking forward to some improvements in the control and what 3rd party developers come up with.

    74 of 81 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

    Promising, Yet Disappointing

    • Written by from Dallas

    Hue- great idea. This is an amazing idea. Too bad Apple and Philips have placed this on the market before it's developed enough to do anything. This product WILL NOT create a lighting schedule OR recurring timer. If you're wanting automation, a wake-up alarm or light to come on automatically while on vacation, this is not the product- at least not yet.

    I was highly disappointed that the timer is only 24 hour. There are no daily or recurring schedule options. Also, this will not fully mimic a clear incandescent light bulb- it cannot match it, and it casts no shadows or depth you might be used to. Light bulbs are not "Cool to the Touch," gray plastic housing the electronics gets very warm.

    I fear the money we spent on this will be lost. If Philips continues to grow their App and offers the kind of custom options expected for lighting with this kind of technology, most of my worries will go away. If not, I see Hue quickly disappearing. DO NOT succumb to your impulses- wait it out and see if this goes somewhere or gets abandoned by its maker.

    49 of 53 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

  • 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

    Good for mood, not for light

    • Written by from New York

    These lights are pretty nifty, but at 600 lumens don't really throw off enough light for much. They are an expensive, innovative way of decorating with light, just don't expect it to be a great reading light.

    16 of 16 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice but consider this . . .

    • Written by from Las Vegas

    - FIRST you need to consider how you'll use these bulbs. Your control is thru the app. Do you really want to have to grab your device every time you want to turn the light on? These are great for 'atmospheric' lights, but not utility lights. So then is it worth the price?
    - Setup in the house was easy, but I'm still having trouble connecting my bridge to my online account. 2 emails to Philips over 2 days have gotten no response yet.
    - The bulbs are nice and bright, just the amount I need.
    - The pick a color via photo is a bit gimmicky. I'd be fine with just a color wheel.
    - Color range is huge.
    - It took me a while to figure out a real easy way to create my own settings.
    - The price is a major factor. The price will have to come down before I start to add more lights.

    15 of 16 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

    Good not Great

    • Written by from Milton

    The concept of wifi-controlled lighting is amazing and the Philips Hue delivers. My issue is solely with the app. The timer functionality is poorly implemented. First off, they are not timers as they need to be reset/restarted EVERY SINGLE DAY. I want it to be setup once and be done with it. Let the system take care of itself. The timers I have created turn lights on and off and set the scene (such as a night light in my daughter's room); but it is useless, if I need re-enable them nightly. Additionally, timers are not (as far as I can tell) saved to the portal nor sync-ed to other controller apps. I suspect (but have no evidence) that the scenes are stored locally and when the SAVE button is pressed it is sync'ed across controllers. A central repository needs to be defined and self-managed (a la Sonos).

    Secondly, the picture-color selector is a neat gimmick, but it is just that; a gimmick. Give me a color wheel option as part of the "recipes".

    Thirdly, there is no indication that the iphone controller app is connected via the web portal or directly (other than the really bad lag). And there is no way to toggle between or retry wifi connection.Meaning, if I have fiddled with the app while outside of my home wifi, it switches itself to connect via the portal; once I return home, I need to kill the app to force it reconnect via wifi.

    Finally, the scenes view is a bit childish (I say that because my 6 year old loves to play with it). Eventually users want a screen that shows the lights (possibly grouped) with color and dimmer sliders.

    All these shortcomings are application-related and are easily fixed. Cheers to Philips for making my Christmas lighting really easy this year ;) One red, one green, one red...

    The only hardware problem that I see, is when the physical switch is turned off and on, the light reverts to regular light (rather than the last used lighting color strategy). I am okay with this, but would rather see an option in the app to control this behaviour. Case in point, you are on vacation and the power fails for a few moment; all the lights will be on until you return.

    13 of 14 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 9 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

    Hue shortcomings

    • Written by from AUSTIN

    I have two noteworthy shortcomings of the HUE app that might influence your purchase decision. I might NOT have purchased the starter kit if I was aware of these. I hope that they are corrected in a third party app (as Philip's support suggests) or Philips corrects them in a future release. 1.) The scene alarms (timers) can only be set 24 hours in advance while connected to your home network. You can not create new scenes unless you are on your home network. 2.) Scene alarms are not persistent. After 24 hours away from your home network, the only thing you can do with the app is turn the lights on/off, adjust brightness and adjust light color remotely. This does not replace light timers.

    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

  • 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

    Great Bulb, Lame App

    • Written by from San Diego

    I would give the bulb 5 stars, but the app 1 star.

    The App loses all its scenes and needs to be reset to mostly recover its mind, but re-downloaded to fully recover. The process of moving a scene from page to page can confuse it. It's a poor remote control, at best, in its current form.

    The bulb seems solid and I hope the software will mature to provide better support and automation. Maybe 3rd parties will be allowed to provide a decent app, maybe a "disco" mode to play to my music...

    6 of 6 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.

    4 of 4 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

    Great concept, but not enough lumens

    • Written by from Billerica

    I installed these in my TV room (20x25') and they are just too dim to fill the space with enough light to, for example, simulate a bright sunny day on a beach, even at their brightest. Otherwise the product works as advertised. I will wait until 75W equivalent (or higher) bulbs become available before expanding my system.

    6 of 8 people found this useful