Are you thinking about lightening the lights in your house? Philips Hue is one of the first names that you should consider.
Among all of today's intelligent lighting platforms, Hue is the most established .
, also. It does not matter if you're a an Apple HomeKit fan, a a a is a Logitech Harmony connoisseur, a or about a Bajillion of other examples I could enumerate ̵
If you can barely understand what the last sentence means, do not worry: Philips Hue is also a great choice for newbies in the field of smart lighting. And hey, maybe that's why you're here. You want to know more about the platform before you go shopping – especially because many of these lights are not cheap.
Read more: The new Bluetooth lamps from Philips Hue do not need a Hue Bridge at all.
We're here to help with everything you need to know about Philips Hue: what it is, how it works, how it is used at home, what lamps need to be purchased first – and which are overpriced types. Please note that I may have provided links to Amazon as well as some of our top picks here on the internet. Top CNET can earn some of the revenue from purchases made through these links. Must the light stop, right?
The most important thing you need to know if you want to invest in the Philips Hue ecosystem is that the Hue Bridge is connected to your router for you to use can use full control of your lights (it is the square hub in the middle there). The latest Hue bulbs can be paired directly to your phone via Bluetooth without the need for a Hue bridge. However, you'll miss most of Hue's advanced features and integrations.
You Can Also Buy This Hue Bridge Individually The best way to get it is to buy a starter kit that includes a few bulbs – and the best value among these starter kits is the Philips Hue White Starter Kit that is available with two white light bulbs for $ 70 or four bulbs for $ 100. It's a great way to test the platform and learn the basics of automating your lights with the Hue app. You can build on it over time and add new lights to your system whenever they are for sale.
Chris Monroe / CNET
Maybe it's controversial to select Hues relatively new lightbars over the classic Hue bulbs, but if you just want to change the color, have They choose options from other brands that cost less. In addition, the Hue Play lights are perfect for hiding behind a monitor or for mounting under a shelf or on the back of a TV – sneaky, smart places for color-changing accent lighting and places where light bulbs traditionally do not work. They are also very handy if you are occasionally interested in photography – a nice burst of color can really help make Instagram shots stand out.
If you're interested in Hue Entertainment, your lights will be synchronized with what's going on. On the screen of your computer, these displays should keep getting better over time – all you need to know is that Hue Entertainment still needs a lot of work. I also think it's great that you can supply up to three of them with a single plug, but I wish they would be disconnected for battery-powered mobility reasons. And yes, I wish they also cost a little less – but waiting for a sale is a matter of course for Philips Hue at this time.
For $ 50 The Philips Hue Tap is a four-button wireless remote control that lets you control your Philips Hue lights. The coolest thing about it is that it powers itself when you press a button, so you never have to recharge it or replace the batteries.
Like the rest of the Hue series, the Tap also works with Apple HomeKit means you can use it to launch HomeKit compatible gadgets from other brands as well. For several years, we have been driving the lights in the CNET Smart Apartment, and it has never failed us. Seriously, what can you dislike about this thing?
So, what is Philips Hue?
Philips Hue is a series of intelligent LED light bulbs and lights. Everyone communicates wirelessly with Hue Bridge, a small modem you've always hooked up to your home's router. Using this connection to the cloud, you can control Hue's lights through your phone by entering a voice command from Siri, Alexa, or the Google Assistant, or automating power on / off at specific times or when triggered by other devices.
Many Philips Hue lamps and lights can change their color on request (hence the "Hue" brand), but some are just simple lamps that emit only white light and nothing else. Prices range from $ 15 apiece for pears like these up to $ 250 for a 58-inch largecolor change floor lamp (spoiler alert: this is one of the overpriced types that you can definitely skip).
How do I use these lights?
To start Philips Hue, connect the Hue Bridge and connect it to your router with an Ethernet cable. Then screw in your Hue lights or turn on your Hue lights. Download and open the Philips Hue app on your Android or iOS device. You will be guided through the further setup process.
Once you've paired your lights with the app, sort them by space and give each one a unique name. With the app (and if you're using it, the Siri / Alexa / Google Assistant voice controls), you can control entire rooms at the same time, as in "Turn on the living room". You can also control individual lights that require naming everything. Turning On Desk Lamp is a lot less awkward than turning on Hue White Ambiance Bulb 4
The Hue app includes a set of preset "scenes" that, when activated, automatically change all the lights in the room. In addition to the basic scenes for normal, soft white and daylight white light, there are multicolored scenes that randomly apply colors from a preselected palette to all the light sources in a room. For example, a scene with spring blossom motifs will randomly add pinks, reds, and whites to your lights, while a scene with Northern Lights motifs will have greens and blues. You can also create and save your own scenes in the Hue app so you can return to a custom color mix that you like with a single tap or voice command.
And how does Philips Hue work?
In a word? Zigbee.
… Oh, right, I should probably be more specific. Zigbee is a wireless communication technology like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can think of this as a language in which smart lights can communicate with each other and with their control hub. All Hue lights and fixtures have their own built-in Zigbee radios, as well as the Hue Bridge that you have connected to your router. His job is to behave like a ZigBee to Wi-Fi translator for your home network and lights.
For example, send a signal to your router when you turn on a hue lamp through the app. From there, the Hue Bridge translates this command into a ZigBee signal and sends it to the light bulb. All of this happens in fractions of a second. Because the connection to your router connects your Hue Bridge to the cloud, you can control your lights from anywhere in the world where your phone can connect to the Internet.
Wait – does Zigbee cost anything?
No, Zigbee is not Wi-Fi in that sense. It's more like Bluetooth. It's a local wireless network for your home – especially for your smart home devices. As soon as you connect the Hue Bridge to your router, screw in a Hue lamp and pair the two over the Hue app, the two communicate through Zigbee like two children playing with walkie talkies. You do not need to sign up for the ZigBee service or pay for a monthly ZigBee bill or similar.
Are these Zigbee signals safe?
Yes. Because Zigbee is a local area network, none of the Hue bulbs connect directly to the cloud. All Zigbee transfers between each other and the Hue Bridge have been subject to regular firmware updates for several years, following the standard encryption procedures developed and developed by the Philips Hue team.
If you're talking about Hue Bridge, you need to connect it directly to your router with an Ethernet cable. While this is slightly less convenient than hubs that only connect wirelessly to the router.that this approach ensures that your home Wi-Fi credentials will never be wirelessly transmitted. This would make it easier for someone to intercept them. Hue requires users to tap the button at the top of the bridge during the initial pairing process and during setup of most third-party connections. This is a great way to prevent someone from taking over your system from outside your home. In addition, each Hue Bridge has its own verification key. This means that in case of danger the hacker can not find a way to take over others.
Connecting to the Internet, of course, involves risks. However, Philips Hue has a long and solid history of securing its platform. There is no reason to assume that connecting your lights to the Internet poses a greater risk than, for example, connecting your laptop, phone or TV. As always, be sure to protect your Wi-Fi network with a secure password. Better yet: update this password from time to time.
What about the new Bluetooth lamps?
Hue's latest light bulbs are the same basic things as before, but they now include Bluetooth radios in addition to the Zigbee receivers. It lets you pair them directly with your phone without the need for a Hue Bridge.
You'll need to use a separate, Bluetooth-based version of the Hue app on your Android or iOS device. It's a much simpler experience than the one you get with Hue Bridge's full-featured Hue app. You can still turn the lights on and off from your phone, dimming them up and down and grouping them by room, but without a hub you can not control them from outside the Bluetooth range, and you will not be able to do that Use features like wake-up fades or hue entertainment (more on that in the next section). Also, you can not sync them to most external services, including Apple HomeKit and IFTTT.
However, you can connect them directly to Amazon Echo speakers of the current generation, as well as Google Home speakers and Google Nest smart displays – once you've done that, steer them through the Alexa or Google Home apps and serve She's on and off with Alexa and Google Assistant commands.
This makes them attractive to people who only want smart bulbs for their voice The assistant of your choice can control, and anyone who is not interested in plugging a hub into their router to unlock advanced features (and you can go anytime later Add a Hue Bridge if you wish). For most users, Hue Bridge is worth a visit right from the start, especially as you can usually pack it in one of Hue's starter kits at a very low additional cost.
We expect more Philips Hue products to be built -in Bluetooth radios– I'll update this area as soon as we learn more about them.
What else can these lights do?
At a basic level, smart With lights like Philips Hue, you can control and dim your lights using your phone, voice commands, or automations that you can use in the Hue app or with a third-party compatible third-party automation service IFTTT.
With simple automations such as these, you can specify, for example, that the lights be turned on automatically in the morning or at sunset, or in even more creative use cases, such as: If you receive an e-mail from an important contact. You can also connect your lighting to a motion sensor and then program it to automatically turn on when someone enters the room.
Other advanced features includewhich can slowly fade out your bedroom lighting in the thirty minutes prior to the morning Assistant Assistant alarm. Another current feature called lets you set your lights to mimic the color of what's playing on your computer screen in real time. Connect this computer to your TV in the living room for a color-coordinated movie night with the kids – if you do not find .
How does Philips Hue work?
Like I said, it works pretty much. Most notable are the language assistants – Hue was the first intelligent lighting platform that reached Trifecta, syncing with Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant (and hey, Hue also works with Cortana). When you make the connection, you can turn the lights on and off, dim up or down, or trigger your scenes by asking your assistant to do so.
On the Alexa front, Philips Hue also offers direct compatibility between its lights and theAlexa Smart speaker with built-in Zigbee radio. This means that Echo Plus owners will not need the Hue Bridge if they want to pair Hue lights with Alexa – though they can only control these hue lights in the Alexa app and using Alexa voice commands. If you want to use the Hue app or any of Hue's other integrations, the Hue bridge must still be connected to your router.
You can also add Philips Hue lights and fixtures to many other smart home platforms, includingand security-oriented automation systems such as and Just know that you need the Hue Bridge for everyone.
Speaking of Hue Bridge, it also supports third-party Zigbee lamps that are not manufactured by Philips. These include inexpensive smart bulbs by names such asand which cost a few dollars less in retailing than Hues' white light bulbs. Just make sure these smart bulbs send their signals via the ZigBee wireless protocol.
One more thing to keep in mind: Morewill keep your automations and voice controls working even when the switches are off (A normal light switch shuts off power so your lights can not receive signals from the Hue Bridge.) We have already tested such an intelligent switch
Okay, tell me something about these light bulbs. What options do I have?
You have many! Hue sells both color changing and white light bulbs in a variety of shapes and sizes. These include:
- Philips Hue White LED : A soft, white standard dimmable LED smart bulb for $ 15 each. The latest versions include ZigBee and Bluetooth radios, which allow you to radically control the lights of your phone without the hue bridge. A starter kit with two bulbs and Hue Bridge costs $ 70, while one with four bulbs costs $ 100.
- Philips Hue White Ambiance LED : Slightly advanced – offers the ability to change the white light color temperature from a yellowish, candle-like glow to bluish-white daylight shades. Still no colors. Following recent price reductions, White Ambiance bulbs, available as both regular A-shaped bulbs and BR30 bulbs, cost $ 25 each or two for $ 45. In the meantime, a starter kit with four bulbs and Hue Bridge will cost you $ 120. That's quite a bargain if you like color tunable light, because for $ 20, you basically get the all-important Hue Bridge. The latest versions include Bluetooth.
- Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED : Hue's Smart Bulb is now also available with Bluetooth and offers white light at any color temperature and color gamut. They cost $ 50 each, but are often offered. The same applies to the Starter Kits – for example, a two-bulb kit and the Hue Bridge cost $ 150, but is currently available at Amazon for $ 110 with a free Echo Dot.
- Philips Hue BR30 Floodlight LED : Floodlight hue lamps that are better suited for ceiling lighting that shines in an available downward direction. New Hue White floodlights cost $ 20 each, while White Ambiance versions cost $ 25 apiece. Two packs are available for $ 45. White and color versions that extend the RGB spectrum cost $ 50 each. All are now also available with Bluetooth in addition to Zigbee.
- Philips Hue GU10 LED Spotlight : Hue headlamp bulbs designed to replace dual-socket halogen special bulbs. A bit of niche and the same price as the headlights: $ 30 for a single White Ambiance bulb, $ 50 for a White Ambiance 2 pack, $ 50 for a single White and Color Ambiance bulb. A white and colored ambient light bulb with a more traditional screw base is also available for $ 50 apiece.
- Philips Hue Smart Bulb Candle for White and Colored Ambiance Bulbs : The name is hellishly clunky, but this is just the Philips Hue color changing candelabra LED. Each one costs $ 50, which is too expensive, as you will almost certainly have to buy at least a few to fill out a light.
- Philips Hue Outdoor White PAR38 Floodlight : Available in two finishes. This weatherproof Philips Hue floodlight is available for $ 50 and can be used outdoors. It does not change colors or color temperatures, but is tough enough to withstand the rain.
Gosh, that's a lot. And what about the fixtures?
There are many of them (and more if you shop in Europe). Among the most notable:
- Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus : The second version of the color-changing, attachable light strips of the brand. They can be moved behind televisions, under countertops and cabinets, or over the enclosed self-adhesive backside. A single 80-inch strip costs $ 80, and 40-inch extensions cost $ 25. You can also buy the Hue Bridge for free if you buy two strips of light.
- Philips Hue Go : It looks like a cereal bowl with color changing light and has a built-in battery that lets you unplug it and take it with you wherever you want. Strange, but strangely sympathetic and a great choice for kids as it has a physical button for quick, easy color changes. They each cost $ 80.
- Philips Hue Beyond : Fancy lamp-style fixtures with integrated color-changing LEDs. Available as a table lamp worth $ 200, a ceiling light worth $ 300 or a hanging lamp worth $ 350.
- Philips Hue Wellner : A strange-looking product with a strange name. It's basically a white plastic blob of a table lamp that emits white light at any desired color temperature. It costs $ 100.
- Philips Hue White Outdoor Lighting : Special porch lights that you can attach outside your home. Each model has its own Hue White bulb, but I would like them to have built-in motion sensors. There's the classic lantern-style Inara headlamp for $ 50, a more modern Lucca headlamp for $ 60, and a workshop-style Ludere projector powered by two outdoor Hue PAR38 LEDs for $ 130 ,
- Philips Hue Outdoor Lightstrip : A rubbery, weatherproof version of Hue's Color Changing Lightstrip. Not nearly as easy to assemble as the inner bars and with 90 USD per piece also a bit more expensive.
- Philips Hue Lily Outdoor Spotlight : Outdoor spotlights that you place in the ground to illuminate your garden or the exterior of your home. Unlike the mountable devices mentioned above, these can be completely changed in color. A basic kit with three bulbs and the power adapter costs $ 280, while a single extension kit costs $ 80.
- Philips Hue Calla Outdoor Pathlights : They put these color-changing lamps like the Lily headlamps in the ground. but they are omnidirectional path lights that look a bit like little lighthouses. A single light starter kit costs $ 130.
- Philips Hue Signe : The Signe is probably my least popular Hue headlight. He is basically a vertical staff, throwing color-changing light in one direction. You should focus it on your wall as an accent light, but it throws a very narrow color pool and has no physical on / off switch. At $ 160 for a 25-inch table lamp and $ 250 for a 58-inch floor-mounted version, the recommendation is far too expensive.
- Philips Hue Play : A black or white plastic strip with color-changing light that you can use behind your computer or mounted to the back of your TV. A pretty good choice for Hue Entertainment, where the color of your hue lights is synchronized with the playback on your screen. A note: You need a special plug, which is included in the starter kit. Each connector can support up to three lights, which prevents your power strip from becoming crowded. A starter kit with a plug and a lamp costs $ 70, a starter kit with two lamps costs $ 130. Additional lamps without plugs cost 60 USD each.
Man, OK. Is that it?
No! Philips Hue also sells accessories for its system. These include:
- Philips Hue Tap : Probably . The Hue Tap is a wireless remote control for your Philips Hue lamps worth $ 50. No batteries are used – instead, the clever design uses the kinetic energy of each press just enough to send a low-power ZigBee signal to the Hue Bridge.
- Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch : A wireless remote control that can be paired with up to 10 Hue lights simultaneously for quick dimming control. You can also attach it to the wall using the supplied base plate. It's not as energy efficient as the Tap but has a good price of $ 25.
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor : For $ 40, a wireless ZigBee motion sensor that automatically triggers your hue lights as you enter the room.  Philips Hue Exterior Sensor : For $ 50, a mountable, weatherproof version of the Philips Hue motion sensor that also detects temperature and ambient light.
- : A "Friends of Hue" partner accessory from RunLessWire (formerly known as "Illumra"). The Click is a smart, four-button ZigBee switch that can be paired with your light bulbs to turn things on and off, dim, rotate or trigger scenes. The cool thing about it is that it uses the same energy trick as the Hue Tap, so it powers itself every time you press the button. This means that you can perform the installation without having to connect cables. It costs $ 60.
- : The Lutron Aurora is now on pre-order for $ 40 each. Its color shines on the light switch itself. Instead of replacing your old light switch, the Aurora is a smart, battery-powered ZigBee dimmer knob. locks the light switch, locks it in the on position, and prevents your children and house guests from interrupting the power to their lights and playing their voice. Controls, automations, and app controls do not work. From there, simply tap on it to turn on or off the lights that are connected to it, or turn them to dim them up and down.
In a nutshell. Welche Philips Hue-Produkte sind es wert?
Ich denke, dass die meisten Menschen mit einemdas die wichtige Hue Bridge und ein paar Hue White-Glühbirnen enthält, den größten Mehrwert erzielen. Ein Bausatz mit zwei Glühbirnen kostet 70 US-Dollar, ein Bausatz mit vier Glühbirnen 100 US-Dollar. Es reicht aus, um Ihre Füße nass zu machen, und da die Hue Bridge im Lieferumfang enthalten ist, können Sie darauf aufbauen und Ihr Setup schrittweise Licht für Licht erweitern.
Der clevere Weg, dies zu tun, besteht darin, herauszufinden, welche Produkte Sie am meisten ansprechen, und dann auf einen Verkauf zu warten. Sie sollten nicht lange warten müssen – Philips Hue-Produkte sind häufig bei großen Einzelhändlern wie Amazon, Best Buy und Home Depot erhältlich. Gute Deals an Tagen wie Black Friday undsind an dieser Stelle so ziemlich selbstverständlich.
Jeder für sich, aber ich neige dazu zu glauben, dass Lampen und Deckenleuchten, die Sie normalerweise als primäre Lichtquellen für gemeinsame Räume verwenden, häufig etwas frivol sind (im Ernst, wie oft wollen Sie das wirklich?) um dein gesamtes Wohnzimmer in lila baden zu können?) Stattdessen finde ich, dass Lichter wie diese am besten als Akzente geeignet sind, die du auf deine Wände abzielst, wo immer sie von einem Farbtupfer profitieren könnten.
Deshalb gefallen mir dieund die kinderfreundliche, batteriebetriebene Fassung ein bisschen besser als die Glühbirnen. Mit 60 US-Dollar bzw. 80 US-Dollar pro Leuchte sind sie jeweils ein bisschen teuer, aber sie eignen sich hervorragend als farbige Akzentleuchten für High-Tech-Häuser. Gleiches gilt für den obwohl ich mir wünschte, er könnte mehr als eine Farbe auf einmal ausgeben, wie der .
Philips Hue bietet auch einige solide Zubehörteile für sein System an. In meinen Augen ist dies die erste Fernbedienung mit eigener Stromversorgung. Da keine Batterien benötigt werden, ist es ein großartiges kleines Gerät für 50 US-Dollar und auch ein hübsches Apple HomeKit-Zubehör.
Kürzlich war ich auch beeindruckt, als ich denausprobierte, der wie der Tap 50 US-Dollar kostet. Stellen Sie es außerhalb Ihres Zuhauses auf, wenn Sie möchten, dass sich Ihre Hue-Lichter automatisch einschalten, wenn Sie nach einem langen Arbeitstag an der Haustür nach Ihren Schlüsseln suchen. Ich mag es auch für den Innenbereich – noch mehr als der Standard . Für weitere 10 US-Dollar fügt der Außensensor Sensoren für Temperatur und Umgebungslicht hinzu.
Welche Philips Hue-Alternativen sollte ich in Betracht ziehen?
Wenn es um farbwechselnde Leuchten geht, stehen Ihnen zahlreiche Optionen zur Verfügung. Denken Sie daran, dass kein anderer Wettbewerber eine intelligente Beleuchtungsplattform hat, die so stabil oder gut entwickelt ist wie Philips Hue.
Das nächste ist wahrscheinlich Lifx, ein intelligentes Beleuchtungs-Startup aus Australien, das vor einigen Jahren in der Crowdfunding-Szene Feuer gefangen hat. Lifx bietet großartige App-Steuerungen, es funktioniert mit einer Vielzahl von Drittanbietern, einschließlich Alexa, Siri, IFTTT und Google Assistant, und es hat gute Arbeit geleistet, eine breite Produktpalette aufzubauen. Lifx-Produkte kommunizieren über WLAN und nicht über ZigBee. Sie benötigen also keinen Hub. Sie können einfach eine einzige farbwechselndefür 35 US-Dollar kaufen App und los.
Lifx bietet auch farbwechselnde LED-Lichtpaneele mit der Bezeichnungan, die Sie ähnlich wie die sympathischen an Ihre Wände kleben können. Philips Hue bietet so etwas nicht für Ihre Wände an.
If you just want a cheap color-changing bulb for your next party or for a game room, then a Philips Hue starter kit is probably overkill. You'd be better off with Wi-Fi alternatives that don't need a hub.
Low-cost color-changing bulbs from names like Eufy (Anker's smart home brand) and Kasa (TP-Link's smart home brand) will do the job just fine, complete with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. For a hub-free color-changer that works with Apple HomeKit, consider thewhich costs $45 at full price, but often goes on sale (as of writing this in April of 2019, it's marked down to $23 a piece on Amazon).
Recently, GE Lighting jumped into the color-changing category with. Those are worth keeping an eye out for, too — especially if you're a Google Assistant user, since . And, while Philips Hue offers you might consider waiting for which looks to have a good variety of fixtures with their own built-in motion sensors.
Originally published Apr. 16.
Update, July 22: Includes info on Philips Hue's newest bulbs, which add in Bluetooth radios to connect directly with your phone without need for a Hue Bridge.