The Dutch company Philips has pioneered many different technologies, throughout its many decades of life. she introduced the smart bulbs with Philips Hue, which then countless brands have copied. But its ecosystem is still the most premium and complete.
Philips Hue has everything you need to personalize the indoor and outdoor lighting of your home or business. A comprehensive ecosystem that includes LED bulbs, light strips, accessories, motion sensors, lamps, spotlights, etc.
This smart lighting system works with its own wireless communication system, ZipBee, much more powerful and versatile than Bluetooth or WiFi. But its great virtue is that it is 100% compatible with all others: those mentioned Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Matteror the assistants and platforms of Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, Samsung Smarthingsetc.
Philips Hue is he smart lighting system further premium and complete. He has more options and does more things than anyone. But you also have to be clear that he is expensive. At least if you want to light more than one room. The good thing is that you can start little by little, with a simple bulb, and expand it when you want or can.
We will explain the key features of Philips Hueand the best way to start using it.
Hue Bridge, the brain of the system
the key to Philips Hueand what differentiates it from almost all ecosystems of smart bulbsit’s the bridge Hue Bridgea concentrator that handles control the entire lighting system. You control it from your mobile through the Philips Hue app.
Hue Bridge create a Zigbee network throughout the house, similar to Bluetooth, but much more powerful. All bulbs and accessories have a Zigbee chip inside, which is used to create a mesh networkwhere each device amplifies the signal.
Here you can see the Hue Bridgewhich should be connected to router via wire:
Using a Hue Bridge, the Zigbee network has a range of 291 meters outside and 25 meters inside. Instead, bluetooth only has a range of 20 or 30 meters outdoors, and 10 meters indoors.
By connecting to the router, you can also control the lights from outside the home, over the Internet.
Another advantage of using a Hue Bridgeis that you can control up to 50 devices or accessories at the same time, vs. 10 for Bluetooth.
Should you buy a Hue Bridge, or use Bluetooth? It depends on what you want to do. If you are only going to illuminate a small room, the short range of Bluetooth and its support of 10 bulbs or devices may be enough.
If you plan to illuminate the entire house, Bluetooth is not going to cover the entire house. So you need a Hue Bridge, which costs around 60 euros. Although it will be cheaper in a starter kit, as you can see if you keep reading.
Before you start shopping you need to decide what kind of lighting you are going to implement
exist three types of lights, which apply to light bulbs, lamps or LED lights. They cover different needs, and it is reflected in the prices.
They are available in different luminous fluxes (800, 1100, 1600, etc.), which indicate their intensity. Also with fine thread (E14), coarse thread (E27) or apply GU10.
The white light generates a soft warm white light. It can be increased or decreased in intensity, but it always maintains the same color.
It is used to create classic environments that are maintained over time. Logically, it is the cheapest model, around 22 euros.
The Warm to cool white light (White Ambiance) it offers 50,000 shades of white light from warm light for relaxing or going to sleep, to cold light for working. It is adjusted with a smart switch, or the mobile app.
White light from warm to cold (White Ambiance)
Finally, we have the variant White and colored light (Hue White and Color Ambiance)which offers millions of ambience colors to create combinations that suit all tastes.
White and colored light (Hue White and Color Ambiance)
With a single bulb you can create a global setting, but very basic.
The key is to combine several, with different colors or shades of white, to create infinite settings:
In addition to light bulbs, Philips Hue recently released the lED stripswhich add to the current trend of modern homes, especially among young people.
The advantage of LED strips is that it allows you hide them under a railing, behind a cupboard or counter, or behind the TV or monitor, to illuminate without the bulbs being seen:
The lED strips of Philips Hue They have specialized software that allows synchronize them with what happens in the TV screen, or a PC monitor.
You can start with the Light Strip Base Plus V4 It includes a 2 meter light strip, and the power supply. From here you can add extensions, controlled by the same source. It costs around 90 euros.
Light strip base Plus V4 2 meters
The 1 meter extensions cost about 30 euros.
PlusV4 Light Strip Extensions
There is also a more advanced variant called Gradient Lightstrip, a gradient technology that allows mix different colors of light at once. But she is much more expensive.
2 meter Gradient lightstrip base
If you want synchronize the LED strip with what the PC screen showsyou need a special version for PC, which is prepared to cover the entire monitor.
Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC
Lamps and light bars
In addition to LED bulbs and strips, the ecosystem Philips Hue includes all kinds of decorative lamps and light barsto improve the environments and decorate at the same time.
The light bars They are placed facing the wall, so that the light bounces off it and creates light sources:
They can be synchronized with the PC or with your home theater device. But in this case you need a device called Play HDMI Sync Box, which costs 269 euros.
A light bar It is worth about 80 euros, and you will need two, one on each side of the TV or screen, to synchronize environments.
But they are very versatile. Some people put them on a bookstore shelf, behind a door, etc.
Single pack light bar Play
There are also Table, floor, ceiling, pendant, wall, recessed lamps…
The desk lamp most popular is the Bloom, which is worth around 90 euros:
It can be used as a conventional lamp to spread light, but the most common is focus it on the wall to create environments.
It is also spectacular Signe table lamp, which looks like a lightsaber. Create all kinds of environments while remaining almost hidden from view:
It is available in several table and floor models, which can be combined, as seen in the photo.
They are very elegant and discreet.
Bloom lampSigne table lamp
There is also ceiling lamps that combine fluorescent-type bars with spotlights:
It has the advantage that it allows you to create different environments for a complete room. from a single luminairewith a single installation.
You can control and adjust at different angles, up to 3 different lights.
Centris ceiling lamp with two bulbs
If you plan to take advantage, really, to Philips Huethe smartest thing to do is to start with the starter kits. They are packs of products that, when bought together, are cheaper.
The cheapest Philips Hue Starter Kit, and the most essential, is made up of a Hue Bridgeand two warm white bulbs, which comes out for about 70 euros. That’s about the loose Hue Birdge, so it’s a good price:
It is also very popular Starter kit 3 smart bulbs E27 (1100) + smart button.
It contains the Hue bridge, a smart button to turn lights on or off without using your phone, and three bulbs from warm to cool white:
It costs around 130 euros.
Another alternative version is the Starter kit: 2 E27 (1100) smart bulbs + dimmer switchwith a regulator that allows you to increase or reduce the intensity from a switch on the wall, instead of the mobile.
Starter Kit: 2 E27 (800) Smart Bulbs Starter Kit: 3 E27 (1100) Smart Bulbs + Smart Button Starter Kit: 2 E27 (1100) Smart Bulbs + Dimmer