• 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

    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

    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

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    A new way to light a room

    • Written by from Vancouver

    I recently bought this starter pack and was quite amazed. The Phillips Hue definately introduces a number of new options to light a room.

    The setup was a breeze - much easier than I expected. I had the whole thing up and running in a few minutes. The experience of creating your online account and tieing it to your home system could be made a bit more intuitive, but it is do-able.

    Really love the light options available, including the programming of the times and which lights.

    My only frustration with the system is it is very photo based. What I mean is that to create a scene (which is basically choosing which lights are used and what colours) you have to select a photo. I can understand why because they want to help you re-create a scene; however, if you are wanting to do something like have lights a certain group of colours for a party, etc., you first have to find a photo that has those colours in it. If you could simply choose, if you wanted, to see a RYG colour wheel and choose the colours that would make it easier to program too.

    10 of 13 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Love the Hue

    • Written by from Salt Lake City

    Just picked Hue up a week ago and we love it. Installation and setup on our devices and iMac was a breeze. The color/lighting combinations are fantastic and endless. We will be expanding from the living room and kitchen into the study and bathroom. Would recommend this to anyone looking to upgrade to LED lighting in the home.

    2 of 5 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

  • 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

  • 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