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Hands-on review: Phillips Hue starter kit

By Lama Farhat
Fri 1 Jul 2022

For the past few years, I have been very interested in home automation and more specifically smart lighting. My smart lighting needs started small with thoughts like “ no one wants to get out of bed to turn off the light” and then evolved into much more than that to include scenes and mood settings. 

I have reviewed a few different lighting solutions over the years, but I have not tried Philips before. Even though they are one of the biggest names in this space, they are also one of the most expensive, which made it harder to commit to them. 

I recently got my hands on the Philips Hue starter kit as well as their lighting strip. My first impressions were extremely positive. The Kit is packed really well. It came with three light bulbs and the Hue bridge. The lighting strip came with the strip and the power plugs. 

The set-up was one of the simplest I have ever had to do. It is also where the products shine. I was able to connect the bridge, the three lightbulbs and the strip within 10 min. All that is required is for the bridge to be plugged into the wifi modem, and for bulbs to be screwed into a light socket.

The first time I set them up it did it on an Android device. I have since then moved the lights to an iPhone and added them to the HomeKit. This was one of the easiest transitions I have ever done. In the past, I have had a lot of issues when moving lights from one OS to another but the Philps Hue process is so smooth. 

Now that they were set up, It was time to start playing with the settings. The Hue app itself runs really well and is very simple to use. It can turn lights on and off, create rooms, create scenes, and it allows for a lot of automation. For example, I have one of the lights set up in the hallway over my cat’s food and water bowls. The light automatically turns on at sundown and off and sunrise to make sure they always have a light over their food. It might seem extremely simple, but these little automations make life so much easier. 

One other worry I had before I tried the lights out was the colours. Other providers on the market offer a range of colours but the white and warm tones are just never 100%. Phillips offers 16 million colours as well as a wide range of warm to cool whites. I was finally able to find a colour that resembles a regular lightbulb and does not look “off”.

After about 3 weeks of having the Phillips Hue lights around, I am now looking at getting more. I have actually decided that every time a light bulb dies, I will replace it with a Phillips Hue bulb. I will also be slowly adding more light strips to different places in my house like under the kitchen cabinets. 

Even though the price is slightly higher than other options on the market, it is one of those “ you get what you pay for” situations. The overall user experience with Phillips is simply superior and more reliable than anything else I have tried before. 
 

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