• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Not necessary, but absolutely cool!

    • Written by from Emmen

    The Philips Hue bulbs are definitely not necessary, but absolutely cool. If you don't mind spending some extra money on light bulbs, buy these. They work very well, the app works nice, and with the Hue Tap that is coming out soon it will even be better! The different scenes really bring lighting to the next level. I'm really into gadgets, and this is the best i've bought in a while. I'm looking forward to testing them in the winter and use the timer for waking up with a sunrise.

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    It works!

    • Written by from Preston

    Forked out for the starter kit despite being a bit skeptical. Easy to set up and jump into with the app, and above all, it works! Brightness is on the low side but just sufficient. Off to the Apple retail store for some more globes...

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Worth every cent.

    • Written by from Wellington

    I brought this with some reservations about the price, as you can buy single colour changing LED bulbs with remotes from eBay for nix. However, this product exceeded my expectations and does not disappoint! The bulbs are heavy and have a quality feel to them, the wireless bridge is elegant and looks nice sitting next to an Airport Extreme. Using the Philips Hue app to begin with is excellent, and I cannot say how much lazy me likes to be able to change/turn off the lights from my phone/tablet.
    Best features:
    - How bright full white is
    - Renders a wide range of warm & cool whites
    - Does not hum or flicker
    - Full blue is basically black light, it will render yellows & oranges fluorescent and looks awesome
    - Connection from lights to bridge is easy
    - Making up new light configurations is stupidly entertaining or maybe I am just an easily amused magpie. Ooo shiny
    Worst features:
    - Price
    - Troubleshooting connection from bridge to internet is hard and may require you to change the DCHP settings on your router. Philips App will work solely on your lan, but third party apps require the bridge to be fully connected
    - LEDs on the bridge itself are a crazy bright blue, and I wouldn't recommend sleeping in the same room as the bridge if you can help it. I live in a hotel room and I have to cover mine with a saucer at night
    - Lights do not render a fully saturated teal/aqua colour at all. For colours these lights perform best in the orange/red/pink spectrum and worst in the green/yellow spectrum

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great product. App is pretty powerful, despite what "they" say.

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I bought Hue about four weeks ago. I figured I would wait a month before writing a review to see if there might be any stability issues. Everything has worked pretty much as well as the day I set the system up.

    Based on the reviews out there that I read before I bought my starter pack, I thought that my 2 cents worth might help those thinking of buying. I have so far been very impressed with this product. Like others here I did have some problems setting Hue up, but nothing that couldn’t be solved with a search of a forum and about half an hour. As mentioned in some other reviews, I was unable to access the alarm feature in the Philips app and got a message that the firmware on the bridge needed updating, yet the settings menu in the app showed the software was up to date. A forum post suggested disconnecting the power to the bridge and reconnecting after updating the iOS app and the bridge then updated automatically and everything worked fine after that. Initially I also had some lights showing off or out of range but that problem seems to have sorted itself out once the bulbs found each other. I understand that Hue bulbs create a mesh network so you only need one light in range of the wifi network and other bulbs will relay the signal to each other.

    There has been a lot of criticism of the Philips app which is in some ways justified, but I think is a little overwrought. Yes the user interface and user experience leave a lot to be desired, but think of what you are asking from the app. Most apps do one or two things and that’s it. Like catapulting an angry bird at a target, or telling you which way is north and if your desk is level, or does a bunch of things in a linear fashion. But think for a minute what you are asking the hue app to do. It can control up to 50 lights in any permutation or combination, in brightness settings of 1 to 100, in any one of 16 million colors (OK, realistically about oh, 10 distinguishable colors). I don’t really remember my high school statistics, but that is a lot of possible combinations - billions and billions? Added to which, you can set timers, alarms, use the app remotely if you set up an account on the Hue website, and control the lights via ifttt.com. All of which I have done with relative ease.

    OK, the app is not perfect, but take a few hours to determine its logic, patterns and functions and you will realize how powerful this set up is. I didn't give Hue five stars simply because individual bulbs are currently too expensive for me to consider buying enough bulbs to create a comprehensive lighting system in my home.

    7 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    great product, a few tweaks needed

    • Written by from Blessington

    Recently bought this and i have to say we were impressed. there is a few things you need to consider.

    1. setup is a dream. one of those setups that work according to the tiny flier on setup delivered in the box. connecting the bulbs to the hub was simple and worked flawlessly for us.

    2. the remote login works well over 3g, about a 3-5 second delay which is pretty darn good IMHO.. the apps on the iphone work. the version on android is a little wobbly. the geowalling does not work with older iphone. my wife adores her 3s because of the shape but the geowalling is not supported on that version, she did not upgrade to the recent version for performance reasons. there is no geowalling on android at all and im running it on a nexus5 with the latest kitkat version.

    3. sometimes you do have to get the app to reconnent to the bridge or hub supplied, especially on android. its easy to do but you do need to reconnect to the meetme website and renew the security tokens. also works on ipads and android tablets, with the same limitations for android.

    4. i also have one of the backlighting options from philips. this is a light classified as a 'friend of hue'. it could be my ignorance but i cannot get that to automatically go on with all the other lights. perhaps its the friends of hue limitation. the app and bridge do recognise it, it just doesnt appear as an option to automatically turn the lights on when you group them together.

    5. the app is easy to use, the picture option for colours i personally think is more a marketing ploy than anything. it does work but i think it is a bit overkill.

    6. there are other apps appearing now, one activates on sound, XBMC (the home theatre app) is also working on one , i have not tried that yet.

    7. the colour array is huge. my better half loves the soft cream colour. honestly we must have spent about a 100 euro looking for a led light that is not some type of military quality searchlight. we didnt really find one until we came across this and the flexibility of colour change with something beside you always..namely a phone or tablet.

    8. i gave it 4 starts because i do think there is a the odd bug in the apps and honeslty philips...the price is stupidly expensive. you do get the feeling however that this is they way lighting should be and will be. if they made them even 30 euro per bulb we would replace the whole house but at 70 euro per bulb that aint happening. i personally am waiting for the competitor friends of hue products as they are sure to appear and that will drive the price down.

    9. overall, if you have the money, and lighting is something you like, it is worth getting...but it definitely falls into the category of 'wants' not 'needs'.

    1 of 1 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Thrilled with this purchase

    • Written by from Austin

    I'm a semi-pro photographer and I've found it's awesome for adding an extra element to indoor shoots as well as adding general ambiance for a room.

    The Good:
    The system is a snap to set up.
    The array of colors is amazing
    The alarm function works great!
    Good value over the life of the bulbs
    The ability to create your own "scenes"

    The Bad:
    Large Initial investment
    The app is a little clumsy
    Not as bright as standard bulbs - but still sufficient

    That said, I'm happy enough with the system where I'm planning on picking up an additional bulb and a light strip.

    1 of 1 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Easy to use, very handy product

    • Written by from Hyllykallio

    Installing the bulbs and the bridge is very easy. Aswell as controlling the lights via iPhone, internet or iPad. The only bad thing is, after a power cut the lights will turn on to their brightest mode regardless if you had the bulbs turned on or off.

    1 of 1 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Good Product, A Few Caveats

    • Written by from Lake Zurich

    I've had a Hue starter pack for about a month now. The infinitely adjustable colors and ability to draw color schemes from photos, digital artwork, etc allows me to create unique illumination patterns, in addition to the pre-set ones on the app. Since I don't have smart home functionality yet, the ability to set timers, schedules and turn the lights on remotely for my greyhounds has been useful as well.

    The bulbs themselves are only rated at 600 lumens, which is adequate for rooms such as a bedroom or den but could be too dim if used in larger rooms or main living areas. My wireless router (previous-gen Airport Extreme base station, dual band N) seems to slow down when the Hue system is active (when an iOS device is connected to the Hue bridge). Multiple tests with Speedtest.net have confirmed this observed drop in speed. The "bridge" that controls the Hue lamps must also be connected to a wireless router via a network cable to function.

    Overall, the Hue system has been great for its novelty as well as practical features. I'll probably wait to add more bulbs until they're cheaper and at least 60w equivalents (800 lm) are offered.

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Really cool lighting, but abysmal app on iPhone and iPad.

    • Written by from Windsor

    This is an ingenious product. We hold a house concert series and I got these for lighting the artists. Works perfectly and our guests (artists and guests) loved them. I probably sold 5 people on these. They were asking how and where to buy them.

    The only detraction is the application to control them. It needs help, it could be so cool. I'd give it a 5-star rating if the app was better.

    I downloaded a color wheel image and used that as my basis image for setting the light colors. Then it was a snap to dial in the desired mixture of reds and blues to make a nice "stage" setting.

    Expensive, but really, really cool product. I'll be buying more lights for other locations in the house.

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Amazing!

    • Written by from Jamaica Plain

    I've had this product for almost a year now and completely love it. While the manufacturer's application is bulky and cumbersome the third party apps you can download are amazing. I have completely relamped my house with these bulbs. While they are pricey, I feel they are worth it. It's a total hit during parties and holidays!

    The only downside to these bulbs is that I have two kittens who like to tug on the lamp cords. If the bulb glass shatters, you can't replace it. This is the only downside to this system.

    BUY IT! You won't regret it!

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great product, software could use some work.

    • Written by from San Jose

    When I first saw this I wondered why Apple was selling light bulbs, but after I realized what it did I was pretty impressed. Love the fact that you can set various lighting scenes and turn them on and off when you aren't home. No surprise, my kids love playing with it too.

    The software is ok, but I wish it were better. Philips has done a nice job of updating and adding features over time but it still has some annoyances. For example, you can't turn on a scene that has a schedule attached to it remotely. You have to be on your home wifi to do that. In older versions of the software, scheduled events could not be repeated daily, but at least they have fixed this now. Seems to defeat the purpose of having scheduled scenes if you can't turn them on/off while away.

    Some really nice features:

    - Geo fenced so you can have scenes turn on when you arrive at home or off when you leave.
    - Scheduled scenes can be set to start/stop with some randomization of the actual time so it's not exactly the same every day. This is particularly good for when you are on vacation and want it to look like people are home.

    Looks like there are a bunch of 3rd party asp which can now also control the lights based on music that is playing. Seems interesting but I haven't tried it yet.

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Believe It or Not, They're Worth It!

    • Written by from Portland

    So to be honest, the first time I saw these in the Apple Store I said out lout do my girlfriend "who would pay $200 for three light bulbs?". The answer? Me. After mulling over the idea and reading reviews for almost two months I finally broke down and bought the starter pack. Trust me, these things are awesome! They work nearly flawlessly, and the fact that the WiFi daisy-chains off each individual bulb is ingenious for placing bulbs in areas that would normally be out of range. The official Philips app could use a little polishing, and the geo-fence feature that turns our lights on and off when you get home could use a little a little as well. Living in the city my lights don't turn on or off if I stay within the city. I have to drive outside of the city to see any effect. Other than that, I highly recommend these!

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Darned Awesome

    • Written by from MONTEREY

    Although when I originally purchased this item I was quite upset by the fact that I could not use it to set a permanent program of on/off (when I travel it's important that home patterns not be interrupted), the latest software update fixed all that and I truly appreciate this product. Said latest update includes features such as "randomize" and also allows the user to set days as well as times for lighting. The incredible range of light "recipes" combined with the ability to set alarms (replacing those plug-in timers with vastly improved to-the-second reliability) makes this a worthy addition to one's home.

    I have, however, experienced issues whilst simultaneously using the app on both iPhone and iPad. Once I deleted the app on one device it was fine.

    6 of 6 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome Product — Software Needs Improvement—Obvious Capability Overlooked

    • Written by from Lake Worth

    Awesome Product in General:
    This product so intrigued me that I purchased it a few days after first seeing it in the Apple Store. I found set up quite easy and had purchased three additional bulbs for a six-light system. In general this is an awesome product but the software screams for improvement.

    Main Software Failing:
    The most obvious expected use—to light an environment and have it fade through various colors in sequence over time—has been completely overlooked in the app. It appears that this is supposed to be handled by the timers but when setting up a timer in a "scene" there's no provision to have it go to the next scene. This is made worse by the fact that the timers do not work anyway. (And I have downloaded the version 1.1 software update.)

    Application Suggestion:
    There should be a feature allowing multiple scenes to be arranged along a timeline and then saved like a movie. Running the timeline on a loop would create fade between scenes for constant color (and mood) shift within the environment. This capability is such a no-brainer that Philips software designers must be working on it for the next update. I'd be very surprised if they are not. Philips do you copy?

    Bugs and Nits:
    I agree with a number of the complaints in other reviews: script font is silly, deleted scenes reappear, scenes duplicate themselves, scene arrangement changes, frequent connection error messages, turning on and off at wall switch reverts lights to default, bulbs do not do blue very well, etc...

    On a positive note:
    Alarms do work and I have successfully set up a recurring daily lighting event.

    Commercial Potential:
    Let me reiterate that in general this is an awesome product with great potential. I am considering using it professionally to light a museum exhibit. It could be a great low-cost solution for dynamic lighting design with a few obviously needed software improvements.

    7 of 9 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Hue lights up the room

    • Written by from Melbourne

    Replaced 3 halogen bulbs with the 3 Hue bulbs in the starter kit and I'm very impressed. Aside from the 30 minutes childish fun I had of using the pre-defined colour patterns, the ability to tune the colour was fantastic, especially in areas where a brighter more blue light is required, like when reading. I would replace alll of the bulbs in my house, but the cost of the bulbs is prohibitive.

    2 of 4 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Hue starter pack - expensive but great

    • Written by from Newcastle

    There is a novelty value to buying these... lovely colours, etc. But for me the real value is waking up to a timed light alarm which wakes me up gently. Felt guilty about paying so much for these but I'm glad I did. Check out the most recent update of the app.. Geofencing and IFttt compatible makes it awesome. In summary.. if you just want some mad lightbulbs then OK, but the price is a bit steep. But if you are prepared to properly integrate these with your other apps then go for it.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    A new approach to everyday lighting

    • Written by from Everett

    I'm impressed. Build quality looks superb. The bulbs are attractive, and importantly to me, the color rendering index (CRI) is > 90, far better than CFLs. That’s even better than most other LED bulbs. Tomatoes look red, not dull. I was delighted that these bulbs gracefully ramp up to full brightness when power is applied, and no warm up time like CFL. Brightness is indeed comparable to 50W incandescent in my testing, just right for my living room lamps. Color is stable through the entire dimming range.

    The iOS software works OK to get started, but leaves me wanting more. I expect it to improve along with 3rd party offerings. Already, I have enjoyed having the lights dim down to a cozy candlelight as my evening winds down, then to wake me up in the early morning with dawn simulation. Tuning the white balance of the lamps for study, reading, or relaxing is great. Other colors are fun, too, perhaps for accents or parties.

    Pricing? The main cost of these bulbs is the premium pure color high-efficiency LED chips and individual drivers. Philips did not skimp here. To bring the cost down and brightness up, they'd have to switch to white phosphor LEDs, which would defeat the purpose and reduce light quality. Remember, with each bulb, you are also getting a wireless network dimmer, on-board flash memory, and tunable color. Compare to other home automation kits paired with dimmable LEDs/CFLs.

    I hope Philips releases additional bulb formats, i.e. for track lighting and recessed cans. I'd also like to see ZigBee compatible accessories for control, such as wireless wall switches to flesh the system out. It’s great that Philips is using open standards for these bulbs and inviting developers to create new ideas.

    13 of 18 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome!

    • Written by from Washington

    Right, firstly the App could do with some work. Mostly intuitive but some basics like setting the timers are very unclear. Tip - you just need to double tap to reset the alarm.

    Other than that the product is awesome.

    Aside from the geekery of the thing I was most amazed is that almost no perceptible heat comes from the bulb. After an hour or so they are just slightly warm to the touch. They must be incredibly efficient.

    But above all this is totally cool. It may be a stretch to pay for them at $60 a bulb but I am sure costs will be recovered over time. But these are LED bulbs with wireless built in, how cool it that???!!!

    I find my self laughing every time I turn on and off the lights.

    18 of 26 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great as an early adopter product

    • Written by from Foster City

    Yes, they are expensive, not as bright as one may like and the app has room for improvement. But its also a fantastic new concept not available anywhere else. I wired the living room with 10 lights and use a 3rd party app (Ambify) to make them pulse to music. The effect is awesome and great every time there is a party or a playdate in the house.

    7 of 10 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    NEAT!

    • Written by from Tempe

    Great product, my European friends have had LED colored lights for years and was always envious.. now this is a step ahead of those. I do wish the app was more robust however.

    6 of 8 people found this useful