• 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Works and Looks GREAT. Don't trust any poor reviews.

    • Written by from Raleigh

    Many of the poor reviews given to these bulbs are simply because people didn't take enough time (literally 5 minutes) to learn all of the features in the app.

    These bulbs are AWESOME. The setup was ridiculously easy, and it is really fun to individually control the light intensity and color of different bulbs all over the house.

    51 of 59 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Favorite product since the original iPhone!

    • Written by

    I love this so very much! I had it wake me up this morning with a sunrise in my bedroom! This will forever improve my experience with the cold, sunless winter mornings!

    The only complaint that I could have is that there is a learning curve with the other lights... I accidentally changed the light settings in another room than the one that I was in. I figured it out by organizing the presets by which rooms they affect, but it took a bit.

    Overall it is amazing! Good job Philips and Apple! :D

    44 of 45 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    This is amazing!

    • Written by from Saginaw

    Brought the starter pack. Set up complete in less than a minute. LIght controls are easy to use. Would definitely buy more bulbs... Hopefully will get cheaper.

    46 of 50 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Easy setup, great colors

    • Written by from Birmingham

    Just picked this up tonight and had the system running in a few minutes.
    The only issue I had was that I was using my phone and I could not connect to the router. I had to disable cell service to "be on the same network" to recognize the system.

    We have many existing Philips LED lights but we prefer the color changing capabilities so we can get the "warm" light even at high light output!

    These are expensive but worth the price in a few areas of the house. I put ours in the Master bedroom.

    I am still learning the App, hoping that I can do grouping, scheduling and fading of lights.

    41 of 41 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

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    good concept, TERRIBLE app and cust service

    • Written by from Scottsdale

    This is a great idea executed very poorly. They obviously spent a lot of time on the bulb/hardware and the control app was an afterthought. I am returning my entire system after fighting with it and Hue's poor support for ~2 weeks. Some examples:

    Advertised: "Can I turn hue into a wake up light? You can use the timer option and turn hue into your morning wake up call." [direct quote from Hue's website].

    Reality: You can set a timer/alarm to fade in your lights. ONCE. You have to re-setup the alarm every day, there is no repeat option.
    Additionally, I've only been able to set up 2 timers (I get an error in the app when saving the third timer that I have exceeded the allowed number of timers and I must deactivate one.) I own four bulbs in different rooms....having only two timers is a silly limitation that makes Hue not useful.

    Avoid this until the app/software gets a bunch of these issues worked out.

    44 of 48 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice, but needs better software

    • Written by from Dallas

    Purchased starter pack, plus two single bulbs.

    Cons:
    Turning off the light bulbs with a light switch, and then turning them on will default to bright white light. Prefer you could select the default or have the base station set the last setting when the bulbs connect.

    The app does not allow you to directly set a color. You must have a photo with the color you want to select. This was disapointing when you are trying to get a specific HUE. I had to use Photoshop on my Mac to save a photo to my phone with the color palette I wanted.

    Pros:
    Cool emerging technology that will only get better.

    66 of 94 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Unique

    • Written by from Melbourne

    I bought the starter kit last week. I am using these above my kitchen cabinets as up lighting. Being able to change the color of the bulbs from white to any color I choose is great and being able to create custom settings is awesome. I am able to control it from my iPods and Ipads in the house. Very easy to setup took less then 5 minutes. Will be buying more bulbs soon to expand to other rooms.

    39 of 41 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Really cool! Love it!

    • Written by from LONDON

    Really easy to set up and it works really well.
    You can share scenes with other people and turn off/on, change the lights through their website at no extra cost.
    It would be good to have different size bulbs so I can use them in more places.

    37 of 38 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great experience - design atmosphere in real time

    • Written by from darien

    To start, the packaging looked great: clean and cool, without the thick manuals, plastic to unwrap or hard-to-understand directions. I inserted the lamps, connected the bridge and downloaded the app; all in 5 minutes. Launched the app and pressed the button on the bridge. Voila, it worked. Spent the next hour trying out different designs of the light in my living room. Enjoyed playing with the impact of light on the atmosphere of the room. All in all a great experience….

    38 of 41 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    infuriating

    • Written by from London

    the hardware is bulletproof and the lights are mind blowingly clever. the colours are amazing. however probably the worst software ever to go with it. have had to re-install the app 4 times this week, only way to make the lights re-connect. rage inducingly frustrating.

    so close philips, all you had to do was spend more then 3 minutes developing the app, i am returning my lights to the store today. what a shame. low rating reflects the app not the hardware

    41 of 49 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

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    I love the bulbs, but the app is horrible!

    • Written by from Englewood

    I love the bulbs. The app is dysfunctional. There're so many things wrong with the app that I can't cover them here. My biggest issues:

    1) Lighting is room focused. The app is "scene" focused. If you put your bulbs in different rooms the app's usability is diminished by an order of magnitude. If you create a new scene, it will automatically turn the lights on in all rooms unless you carefully do non-intuitive steps to avoid it. Most likely you will accidentally turn on lights in the bedroom while the wife is sleeping at least a few times a week. The page to change the color and intensity of the light FORCES you to use landscape mode. If you have your rotation locked it's impossible to do it. The page where you change color/intestinally has a control for every single light attached to the bridge. Even with three lights it's non-intuitive and error prone. Lights are numbered 1 2 3 .. n. If you don't memorize which bulb numbers are in which rooms you will certainly change the wrong light. I can't even imagine trying to use that page if you had 5 or 10 lights. If you have lights in three different rooms it will be extremely hard to not accidentally turn the light on and off in a different room. From the app, there is absolutely no way to know what lights will turn on with a given scene. The scene names are truncated at so few letters, you can't even name your scene something like "Bedroom - Purple" because it will be clipped. The app does allow for multiple pages to be created, so you can name each page a room and only put scenes for a room on that page, but because of bugs with scene syncing, you will find that your scenes get duplicated and rearranged on different pages so this hack becomes non-functional from the start.

    2) There is no simple straight forward way to turn a light off. You would link there would be a way to do this, but there isn't. You have to tap a scene in order for the off button to appear. The catch 22 is that if the light was already off, it will turn it on. Looking at a scene on the page gives no indication that it's the active scene or that it's on. Again, an obvious usability issue.

    3) Buggy! Timers don't work. All On/Off button doesn't work -- it's also a horrible idea anyway. Why would I want to turn on bulbs in multiple rooms and and off all at the same time? To make things worse, you can't delete the icon. If you log into the portal your scenes get duplicated and rearranged on different pages.
    4) My one complaint with the bulbs is the minimum brightness. In a completely dark room at night, the darkest you can make the bulb is actually pretty bright. Incandescence bulbs can get way dimmer than the led. If you are trying to get a room as dark as a few candles or a night light, don't even bother. Even if the fade in over 9 minutes worked, I think the lowest output is already so bright that it would abruptly wake me up in the morning.

    Thankfully, with the exception of point #4, all of my complaints have to do with software which I think will be addressed by 3rd party apps and/or phillips. Over all I'm happy with the physical product even though the software is hideous. Honestly, I'm shocked Apple approved this for exclusive sale on their stores. It reflects very poorly on them.

    44 of 58 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea, but VERY BUGGY!

    • Written by from CAMBRIDGE

    I really want to like these bulbs, and they generally work great if you just want to control the lights at home, however if you ever want to control these lights remotely, you're going to have a lot of TROUBLE! The servers that run the meet hue website is very buggy and they constantly go down or don't respond at all. It constantly asks you to reconnect and reconnect and you wait forever and nothing happens. If you want people to love this product, you're going to have to fix this Philips!

    29 of 29 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    BEST BUY OF THE MONTH

    • Written by from Fort Lauderdale

    These bulbs are great and I love them...took 5 minutes to set them up...very happy with the "investment"!!!

    31 of 33 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Product

    • Written by from Atlanta

    I was really surprised at what a REALLY well put together product this turned out to be; the hardware and packaging is top notch. The iPhone and iPad app is ideal. I'm very pleased with this purchase. It's one of the coolest things I've bought in a long time. Philips really thought through usability in my opinion. I plan on expanding to many more bulbs. I have a three story townhome and I tested the bulbs on each level and they work flawlessly. I was worried about the distance between the bulbs/base, but it does not seem to be an issue. I have the base in my basement and the test bulb in the top level; works perfectly. I do hope the individual bulb prices come down a bit as i would love to have them all over the house. Given the order backlog, they must be pretty popular right now! I was hoping to order a set or two as Christmas gifts.

    29 of 30 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

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Many problems with HUE

    • Written by from Tilburg

    After using the HUE system for a couple of days now i am not happy. especial the application is very buggy and does things i don't expect.
    I paid 200 euro's. I expect more from a Philips product that is "linked" to a "Apple audience".
    If Apple should release this product, i should NEVER BE released at all !!

    The lightbulb:
    Can't make the color blue

    Application:
    randomly craches, even when i'm doing nothing with it.
    Seems to be "busy" all the time (spinning indicator in the IOS bar on top of the screen)
    When i have the swipe panel (white panel) in the up state and swipe it down, the messages panel from IOS comes down. (active areas are to close to each other)

    Scenes:
    Scenes do random change position in the list or end up in a new page that i didn't create
    Scenes do sometimes disappear or suddenly re-appear. (in some cases the scene is in place but without an image)
    Scenes sometimes group up colour pickers into one picker ( i didn't create this)
    In one rare case i had 11 bulb markers in the beach scene. (i have only 3 bulbs)
    When dimming the group slider to almost zero (scene dimming) bulb 1 goes off and the other two stay on. I can only switch bulb 1 back on by selecting another scene.
    When selecting a scene the pencil (edit) button is relative small and does not respond directly when trying to touch

    Timers:
    The settings for timers are not user friendly. When i change the time, 2 error messages pop up that i have set the maximum amount of timers. (why? changing = replacing)
    Why are the timers called "alarm"?
    Why are some timer icons grey and only one is red. (i assume it's related to the active scene, but that isn't true)
    My current scene (relax scene) was switched off by a timer setting from another scene

    Internet (meethue.com site):
    A lot of error messages (little red bar) with server/communication error message or full white page with " internal server error" while changing scenes.
    Slow response of the website ( i have a 60Mbit internet connection and the Hue website takes up till 20 seconds to display )

    Another (small) thing: You talk about the low power consumption of the bulbs, also when in standby, but you not say anything about the base station. ( if you talk about 0.0x Watt, then you also mention the 5Watt from the base station)

    27 of 29 people found this useful