Philips Hue: Fancy and colourful lighting at a hefty price

Control your interior lighting with your tablet or smartphone

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Introduction

Philips and light go together like fish and water. While Philips is much more than "that Dutch light bulb manufacturer," their lighting division still is an integral part of their business. From the now-obsolete bulbs, fluorescent light bars, to energy-saving bulbs and commercial fixtures, Philips has been a leading player in about any segment of the lighting industry. With the new Hue system, Philips intends to take living room lighting to the next level. Bathe your household in the colour you want, when you want, and from anywhere you are standing or sitting.


Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack

The Hue light bulbs contain multiple LEDs in various colours that are mixed by an app and can be dimmed at different levels to achieve almost any colour variation. The combination of LED and colour is not a new endeavor for Philips. The company previously released a product called Living Colors which were various stand-alone lamps that projected a selected colour on a wall. Hue goes several steps furthers.

The bulbs themselves look like a traditional bulb and have an E27 fitting which fits in the majority of fixtures. The E27 Hue lamp contains 11 LEDs, consumes a maximum of 8.5 watts and produces 600 lumen according to Philips. That corresponds to the output of a conventional 50-watt light bulb.

The innovation with the Hue system is that it's possible to control lots of these bulbs with a single smartphone or tablet. Officially Hue supports up to 50 bulbs on a single 'bridge', but in reality it's possible to control even more. Considering the price of a single bulb, your wallet will likely be the limiting factor here. What's essential for a system like this is how easy it is to install and use, and whether the added value of the various colours and combinations can justify the £179 price for the three-bulb starter set.


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