• 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Overhyped but not bad

    • Written by from Berkeley

    Like most shiny new tech things this really only delivers about 70% of what's promised out of the box. The bulbs themselves are great; solid construction, nice range of colors, decent illumination. But the software is just awful; non-intuitive, timers are available ONLY on picking colors from pictures, etc. Further, the system requires a restart of your device after adding new bulbs, and often they still don't respond. Definitely a first gen software clunker.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great product

    • Written by from Santa Barbara

    Just moved and bought Hue to add a little fun to our new place and couldn't be happier with them. While I don't expect to change the colors that often, the variation of shades of white (warm to cool) is fantastic for different activities and times of the day. I particularly love how I can control them away from a computer or my iPhone too. I'll never wonder if I left a light on again and never walk into a dark house again.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Not for accenting areas

    • Written by from Fresno

    The overall quality appears high, the setup was a breeze, and the ability to fine tune each bulb was great.

    All of that said though, the bulbs are non directional. I thought they would be a spot or a narrow / wide flood. Instead, they are like a standard bulb - they are like having a bare bulb in your track lighting system. They can not be used for highlighting your artwork or tuning in a color and intensity on a given wall - they blast the light out 360 degrees.

    I'll be returning mine in the morning - great concept / they need directional bulbs though.

    10 of 34 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Dreams come true

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    This is one of the best purchases ever. Business in the front if you want it, party in the back. Night time is the right time to set a little mood lighting to jam out, chill out, or get down.

    4 of 5 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful Idea, great product...

    • Written by from Jasper

    I've had the hue for about a week now and love it. Everything worked out of the box and had no issues with setup. The bulbs aren't super bright but are very energy efficient and barely get warm when they're on for hours. I like the fact you can set each bulb to be a different colour and brightness and control everything from an iPad or iPhone app.

    The app has a few bugs, it's a bit ugly, and missing some features but here's hoping it will evolve into something better in the near future.

    17 of 17 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Do not buy if you plan on scheduling on/off for more than one time.

    • Written by from Calgary

    I was under the impression that I could schedule the features of these bulbs, on/off, color and hue changes, etc.

    This is not the case, a schedule only works once and then has to be reset. So if you need to regularly turn lights on/off so your home looks occupied this is not for you.

    They do work well if you don't need scheduling, however for my purpose they don't work and I returned them.

    93 of 121 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Everything should be this easy

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I read a bunch of the reviews before decided to purchase this lighting system. And most (if not all) were very positive, etc... So I stopped by my Apple store to see if they had a set.. and they did. Came home and unboxed them and literally within minutes, the lights were up and working.. just like everyone said... The app for the iPhone/iPad is cool but I can see some room for improvement. But it's not bad. Over all I am more than happy with this purchase.

    15 of 15 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Bulbs are awesome, brightness is not

    • Written by from SPOKANE

    Just like the title says, the bulbs are great. Adjusting the colors, brightness, on, off, timer, all from an iPhone app is neat and the variety gives you many many different lighting options at the touch of a finger. Hopefully the app is refined to be a bit more functional and less fun (I'd like a basic control that just lets me adjust light and color, rather then the scene or mood selections the app uses).

    The brightness of the bulbs is a big let down. I have an air purifier that has a light sensor on it (when the lights are on, it knows I'm awake and runs normally, when the lights are off, it runs in quiet mode). I used to light my living room with a chandelier powered by a single fluorescent light bulb, and that was more then enough for the whole room. I replaced that with TWO Philips hue bulbs, and even with two bulbs AND an additional lamp, its still not enough light to wake up the air purifier in the same room.

    So the product gets 3 stars for a nice start, I look forward to improvements in the app and to brighter light bulbs (even having made the initial investment, I'll be first in line to purchase better bulbs when they're offered).

    5 of 7 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

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good, but needed a new wi-fi router!!

    • Written by from Philadelphia

    Got to start by saying you need a wi-fi router with an EXTRA ethernet/lan port. I have been using the plug in the wall Airport Express for the past 2 years and figured I was all set to use this product out of the box. Yes, the requirements do state a wi-fi router, but it makes no mention to needed a free/empty port. Seen as my router was Apple, i thought i was in good hands. More fool me... Im now down over $300 before even getting the lights to work.

    Lights do work well and are fun, but they are a little less impactful as they are in the video (the magic of editing i guess). Agree with the call outs that there needs to be a basic color wheel option in the app and the timer interface needs a major overhaul, but i found it pretty easy to use. So far, we are on a rotation of only 3 or 4 'hues' but look forward to experimenting more when we have people over and are entertaining vs sitting on the couch watching TV.

    All in all, cool product, but still bummed i had to spend another $100 to replace what was a perfectly good wi-fi router without any mention of needing a new one.

    8 of 15 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Note on pairing bulbs

    • Written by from Mountain View

    Just a quick note ... to pair new bulbs or re-pair existing ones, you must have the bulb you want to pair in direct physical proximity to the controller. Within a foot is best. Only then will using the app to find new bulbs work. You may also have to press the button on the controller, although that seems to be hit or miss.

    Once you complete the pairing, you can move the newly paired bulb to the edges of your mesh network of bulbs.

    Just wanted to save anyone else trying to use these bulbs the confusion I went through.

    Great hardware, but the software and instructions need a lot of work.

    10 of 16 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    I can't wait for the third party apps

    • Written by from Chicago

    The Hue so far has been even better than I anticipated. As my apartment doesn't get direct sunlight, it has been amazing to wake up to a sunrise or the Energize setting. I think these lights are going to be able to do some pretty amazing things once developers start making apps for them. And while each light bulb is expected to last up to 15 years, I think this little piece of home automation is well worth the money.

    8 of 9 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

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Better than expected

    • Written by from Somerville

    Super easy to setup. Got the ok from the wife and was lucky enough to stumble on these at the apple store. Super easy to setup only had a hiccup with one bulb. Once that was taken care of now I have the wife asking me for more bulbs. The colors you get to set each room are amazing. Can't wait to have the entire house wired this way. Will make entertaining great and I'm sure to get compliments. These things are worth every penny.

    3 of 3 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.

    84 of 90 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars


    • 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.

    40 of 42 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….

    39 of 42 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Love it, but you should be aware of problems

    • Written by from West Palm Beach

    Hue arrives beautifully packaged in a truly Apple-worthy box and setup. Setup was easy and fast, and the control software runs smoothly.

    It's loads of fun playing with the free app, and producing lights based on your photos and art. The app is beautifully designed and appears free of bugs or crashes. It would be nice if you could program scene sequences and automatic switching over time. This may be possible to some extent, but it looks inflexible and limited. Fortunately, a public iOS API is planned and that should let us switch and shift to our heart's content.

    I knew this going in, but the bulbs are definitely not as bright as we might like. The full rating of 600 lumens is roughly the brightness of a 50 watt halogen bulb. I can believe this, for the white only. Alas, white is a combination of all colors, so individual colors are much dimmer. Logically, a red light can only be 1/3 as bright as the total red, green and blue. This is unavoidable, of course, but definitely disappointing for anyone wanting anything like the intensity of a 50 watt halogen.

    A related problem is that some colors are far, far superior to others. Hue seems to specialize in red, orange and purple. Even when sampling from bright green photos, I've had a hard time getting any form of deep, rich green. Instead, the green colors look nearly white. Blue seems somewhat better but still flaky in my testing. I hope this is a software problem which can be fixed, since mixed colors incorporating green or blue seem just fine.

    So if you want to create a Christmas display with red and green lights, as I did, you will find wonderful red and washed-out green – not what you're looking for!

    The bulbs are not meant for use in recessed fixtures, but in my testing they work just fine. However, the lack of reflector bulbs makes them even dimmer than you would expect from reading the above.

    Conclusion: Hue is a lot of fun and very well designed and thought out. But with Christmas coming, anyone looking for red and green decor will love the red but not the green. Hopefully a software update can fix this!

    16 of 17 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