346 of 370 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIVING WITH HUE - THE GOOD AND THE BAD
First off Hue is expensive and not something anybody really needs. However, it's one of those things that has a high cool factor and if your into gadgets whats $200 bucks. I am a gadget guy and had the $200 so I went for it. Hue arrived via Amazon, so he was right on time and a day early. I couldn't wait to get him out of the box and give him a test run. It was...
Published 5 months ago by B. stephens
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not for 199.99
I have many home automation products, and am always keen on acquiring more. This product seemed really great. Having the ability to change your lighting on the fly, dim lights etc....using nothing but the phone was too good to pass up. Reviews were good in general. Let me say, NO!
1 - The bridge DOES NOT stay connected. My home network speed runs on...
Published 1 month ago by Solomon Lekherzak
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346 of 370 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIVING WITH HUE - THE GOOD AND THE BAD,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Philips 431643 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Frustration Free (Tools & Home Improvement)First off Hue is expensive and not something anybody really needs. However, it's one of those things that has a high cool factor and if your into gadgets whats $200 bucks. I am a gadget guy and had the $200 so I went for it. Hue arrived via Amazon, so he was right on time and a day early. I couldn't wait to get him out of the box and give him a test run. It was incredibly easy to set up. I mean really easy, so don't worry about that. First download the app on to your Ipad or Iphone from the Apple App Store. Secondly plug the Hue Bridge into your router with the included ethernet cable (you need an open port on your router) and screw the pricey bulbs into a fixture. Then push the button on the Hue Bridge and grab your device and start making rainbow colored rooms. Everything worked perfectly the first time, the router found the bulds and the app controlled the whole thing. Really very cool, it worked exactly as it should.
One other thing about Hue, it does not work with Dimmer switches. Hue has a built in dimmer system, so you need to switch out the dimmer switches or keep them on full power all the time. That is easier said than done as by habit you turn the lights off when leaving a room. Not having the switch turned on makes the light bulbs not respond, So you need to have all the lights switched on with power flowing. Hue then controls the power to the lights via the bulbs,
Living with HUE
Your whole life you are conditioned to turn off lights when you exit the room. You just flip the switch and its done. Same thing for turning on the lights, its easy and simple. Hue changes this simple everyday thing into a much more complicated process. To turn on or off the lights you must first locate your phone or iPad wherever you laid it down or worse someone else takes it away to another room. Once you find your Ipad/Iphone,. enter your lock code and then find the Hue App open it and then look for the turn off lights button. This drives me nuts, it be no problem if you had an Ipad at every light switch. This is the one thing that I think makes Hue totally not practical for anyone but a single person living alone. Imagine hunting down the iPad that your kid took upstairs etc etc.
This issue changed the relationship i thought I would have with Hue. I thought, this would be the future of lighting, sit back adjust the lights and live in a full spectrum of mood altering colors.
Reality is Hue traps you in a room where you can't turn on or off the lights without locating your phone! I was ready to kick Hue out of my house as he was not what I thought he would be. Then it dawned on my I was expecting to much of Hue, especially in my house. Hue became an expensive accent light here and there. We put him in some cheap spot light fixtures and move him around the house. I would take him into the bedroom and he would turn it into the glowing red hot love volcano. On Sundays, we turn the kitchen lime green and have breakfast on Mars, the kids love it! You can have a lot of fun with Hue just use your imagination.
Hue works great and it is really cool. Lots of wow factor, just think about the practicality of Hue in your home. For us it went from a serious lighting system to basically a toy we really enjoy. For my family, Hue has been great, it has brought us some fun times and it creates a lot of joy and laughter. What else could you want from any product.
I hope that my experience with Hue helps you understand the product better, it's uses and it's limitations. Thanks for reading.
66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Home Improvement that is useful and fun,
This review is from: Philips 431643 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Frustration Free (Tools & Home Improvement)At first, the only way to I could justify this $200 item for gadget junkies is to consider it a new fun "toy". Well, they are a TON OF FUN, especially if you add a couple of extra Hue apps. People love them and most buy their own set soon. However we quickly realized these are also enhancements to our home which are totally worth the price. Our expectations were exceeded and in 3 weeks we went from the 3 pack starter kit to 8 bulbs, yes 5 more bulbs at $60 each and we are totally happy with them.
Update Sep 2013: We added the Hue LightStrip over the fireplace, it's great at lighting the wall only. Hue app as of 1.4 now syncs scene timers on the Hue app between IOS devices.
Here's how we use them:
* Control lighting color/intensity for activities like watching TV (blue), entertaining (purple), cooking (various colors), etc.
* Automatically turn on Living Room (med/blue) and kitchen night lights (low purple) at 8:30 , bedroom night light at 11:00 (red). They all turn off 1:00am if we forget.
* No need to go to the wall dimmer to adjust lights as the evening changes, the iPad is also our universal remote (Roomie, which supports Hue) and our cordless phone (Bria) so one device controls everything.
* From bed, turn all the lights off with one tap, no more "who's getting up to turn off the lights".
* Multiple bulbs in a room on the same circuit are dimmed independently, much better than a single wall dimmer! Different areas of a room (doorway vs seating vs TV area) can have different intensities or colors. We have a deck with 2 bulbs, one near the door is brighter than one near seating.
* Use them as night lights since the bulbs maximum power draw is only 8.5 watts. When set low they draw about as much as a normal nitelight, 3-4 watts.
* Control lights remotely from iPhones wherever we are. Turning them on for security or our pets, or off when we forgot.
* The geofencing feature turned on the lights as we drove into the driveway, even with the Hue app closed!
* If there is an intruder we can turn any/all lights on from bed using iPads or iPhones which are always at arms reach.
* We replaced our dimmers ($45-60 each) and simplified wall wiring.
* My wife got the "disco" ball she always wanted in the kitchen (don't ask), but better, hue has strobe and other effects such as changing to music with additional apps.
The bulbs replace a convention light bulb. They can display a range of colors and intensities, all controlled from an iPad, iPhone or iPod. I was very concerned to control something as critical as lights via wifi. I did not want to deal with issues for something that should always just work. Well, 3 months later and there have been no issues at all, even after power failures timers work perfectly.
The bulbs must have full AC power, they cannot be dimmed via wall dimmers. When powered off then on they are white, the Hue app controls everything after they are on. You should always leave the wall switch on for most or all indoor bulbs. However, there may cases where you want them powered off then on with a wall switch. For instance, we use an iPad to control on/off of all 5 inside bulbs, but 3 bulbs on 2 outside decks are turned on/off via wall switches while iPad controls their colors, etc. ISSUE: We had problems with electronic dimmers even when set full on that required us to change them to simple switches. You have to learn not to turn off the lights when leaving a room, this is a hard habit to break.
If you plan to install Hue bulbs in multiple rooms it helps a LOT if you have app devices in different rooms, then you can control any light in the house from any room with an app device. This makes a huge difference because without them you must locate your app device to change a light. Of course you could carry the device while in the house but most people don't want to do that. We were lucky to already have multiple iPads since we use them as A/V remote controllers and cordless phones.
We were surprised that when set to bright white they look brighter than 60 watt bulbs. The 3 in the kitchen are more than enough for normal activity but there are also spotlights over the sink and stove. Our decks are now much brighter than before.
Initial setup is very simple and quick, we had it up and running in about 6 minutes, deciding what you want and customizing the first three bulbs may take 10-15 minutes. Here are the steps:
1. Download and install the Hue app on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch from the iTunes App store, it's free.
2. Plug in the Hue Bridge into an ethernet connection with the included or other cable, No Wifi on the bridge. Most people will connect to a router but other devices connected to the router will work. In my case the Bridge is connected to an Airport Extreme in bridge mode which is connected to an ethernet switch on the other side of the house which is connected to a Zyxel router connected to DSL. If all that works with no changes then most of you should be fine.
3. Plug the Hue Bridge in the wall for power.
4. Once the bridge is active, screw one to more bulbs into sockets and power them up.
5. This step is needed for EACH iPad, etc. that has the Hue app installed: Start the app, then push the button on the Hue bridge.
6. Play with colors and intensities.
To allow syncing of scenes (you will learn them easily) between app devices (iPads, etc.) OR use geofencing (see caveat below) which will turn lights on as you get close to home (or auto turn them off as you leave) you must:
7. Setup a free ID at the meethue.com web site.
8. Go to the Hue app settings and login to the meet hue site. You can leave the app logged on all the time.
They can save energy when used as timed night lights, and eliminate the need to install dimmers.
* Geofencing only works with 1 device, you can't have 2 iPhones using geofencing at the same time. Hopefully, this will be fixed.
* The Hue app groups bulbs into "scenes" for 1 click operation, but multiple scenes for a room can't be grouped together into a folder to simplify organization. Customizing "scenes" is a little cumbersome and could be easier, but we picked it up quickly.
* Hue can't replace all lighting because there are no hardware controls for them, some rooms are impractical to run from an app like a closet, bathroom, etc. I would love Philips to make a wall mounted a/c powered controller.
* Update Sep 2013: Syncing now updates scene timer settings between multiple IOS devices.
After only a month we are sold on this technology and will never go back, this is the future of lighting. We purchased ours at Apple stores since it was easy to bring back quickly if we didn't like them.
110 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hue - Is it worth it?,
This review is from: Philips 426353 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Retail (Tools & Home Improvement)$200 bucks for 3 light bulbs? Hmmm... Well, all I can say is that if you are a techie and enjoy adjusting your environment (music, lighting, climate, etc) this is your gadget. One of the few things I have purchased that my wife is learning to use because she likes the impacts. The bulb over our infant in the kitchen gets a warm mellow glow while the 3 over her head get full blast energize. We have no regrets about buying the starter pack and 3 additional bulbs. It is not a need but if you can toss $300 bucks to the pile that is for having fun in life - get them. They perform well, software is great and got it working on three phones without issue. Even adding the extra bulbs was easy. Most fun I've had since the iPad came out.
70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally worth it!,
This review is from: Philips 426353 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Retail (Tools & Home Improvement)I received this product from my girlfriend for Christmas, and I have to say that it is the most reliable wifi enabled device I own. Since we've installed them, we have had zero issues with the connectivity. Another nice aspect of the design is that you can control them from your computer as well. You can also get involved in the Phillips Hue community, and sample other members' scenes, or even share your own. It's incredibly easy to install.
Another thing to mention is that the lights can either be turned on wirelessly or by a conventional switch. This is great if you want to put these in your overhead fixtures, but still want the convenience of switching them on and off without your phone handy -- yet still have the ability to change their colors when you do. Extremely handy for lamps, especially those in different rooms, or areas of your home. And because they work remotely, you can check the app to make sure you didn't leave the lights on when you're away.
Don't listen to the poor reviews about them being to expensive, or how easy it would be to do it yourself. The ease and quality of this product alone makes the purchase worth the price. Controlling the lighting from multiple devices is a breeze, and being LED technology, these bulbs should last for well over 50 years. If you like gadgets and can afford this product, the hours of fun you will have will completely out weigh the price tag.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not for 199.99,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Philips 431643 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Frustration Free (Tools & Home Improvement)I have many home automation products, and am always keen on acquiring more. This product seemed really great. Having the ability to change your lighting on the fly, dim lights etc....using nothing but the phone was too good to pass up. Reviews were good in general. Let me say, NO!
1 - The bridge DOES NOT stay connected. My home network speed runs on average of 95-105 MBPS. Speed is NEVER a problem. Yet, i would constantly have to reconnect the bridge because it was going offline.
2 - The app is poorly designed. Very counter intuitive, and slow to operate. You'll move the lighting pin from color to color, and it takes a while to finally adjust the light. Therefore, by the time it adjusts, you've already switched to another lighting color, and it forces the system to essentially crash.
3 - If this product was under 100, it might still be worth it as i'm sure Philips would rework their app to operate better. But at 200, it's way overpriced, and undelivers what it's supposed to do.
Wasn't happy, and subsequently have returned for refund.
28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philis Hue,
This review is from: Philips 426353 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Starter Pack, Retail (Tools & Home Improvement)First off wow. I love these bulbs. Second of all these bulbs are married to the receiver they come with, how ever adding bulbs to them is not a problem at all, one controller can handle 50 bulbs trust me I only have one controller for the entire house, and the bulbs can be labeled anything you want like what room and what socket they are in... example: say you have two bulbs in your bed room one in the closet and one in the main area, you can name them on the app what one they are, or if you have a lamp like mine that has five sockets I labeled mine living room lamp bulb one, living room lamp bulb two and so on. Yes these bulbs are expensive... but let us look at this, how many other lighting effects can you use your Apple devise with, or any other smart devise with and how much are they? That's what I thought. Here is the skinny if you don't have an Apple devise don't fret they still work like a standard 60watt bulb using the light switch and give off the same wavelength (color) you just have to use a computer with internet and a wireless router to turn on or off or change the color. Energy savings, these bulbs (if you are using an Apple devise or computer to control them) use .3watts when "off" because they have to maintain a connection to the internet, as for when they are on most I have ever gotten mine to show is 6.4 watts on the brightest whitest setting, and if you just want it to turn on and off and look like a normal 60watt bulb, these bulbs use 5.5 watts. As for the app that controls it... how in the heck are people having a hard time with it?!?! The app does save all of your work, just be smart enough to press save instead of cancel and you have nothing to fear. If you don't know how to plug and play then the problem is not the app it is you. Instead of setting a timer on my phone I let my lights tell me. Set a time using the app and set your lights to change to a different color. When your whole house tells you about your laundry is done by changing the color it is really really hard not to take notice. You can control your lights from anywhere if you have an internet connection (yes even cell phones) and an internet browser. Going away for the week? Set your lights to turn on and off and exactly what lights to turn on and off. The control is phenomenal. Only thing the app developers lack currently is a random setting. Say you are having a party and you want the lights to go crazy like at a club or bar... currently there is no function to allow your lights to change colors randomly other than that I cannot complain. As stated before these bulbs are not cheap ($59.99 each) but they do use ten times less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb and two times less energy than an equivalent compact Florence bulb without the annoying yellow light and they last thousands and thousands of times longer than any other bulb and give you any color you want, think of all the holidays like Halloween and Christmas or Valentine's day the possibilities are literally endless. Give it a shot you will find yourself purchasing more bulbs after your starter pack.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Hardware, Decent App, More 3rd Party Apps Hopefully Soon,
Philips just released a significant app upgrade! While Philips did not add any support for transitions or controlling color fading, the app update fixed all the scheduling issues while adding new useful features, especially Geofencing.
There's now proper "Alarm" support for ongoing scheduling of lights to go on or off on any combination of days during the week. So you can set lights to fade on each morning on the weekdays only or just weekends or just Tuesdays and Thursdays or whatever. The "Instant on," "3 minute fade in (or out)" and "9 minute fade in (or out)" are intact too. I reported before that these didn't work, but now I see the issue: initial brightness is somewhat high. In other words, the fading had always worked, I just thought they were starting up to the full brightness of the scene because the bulbs can't fade up from 0%. It's still somewhat dim, though not like the extreme dimness of incandescent.
Other useful new features are "Timer" and "My Location." Timer is an easy way to quickly set the lights to go off (or on) after a set amount of time one time without having to set the more complex Alarm method. More interesting is the "My Location" feature which uses Geofencing to determine if you're near your Hue lights or not. So you can easily set your lights to turn on when arriving and turn off after leaving. My Location also uses an awkwardly labeled way of only turning on if it's night called,"Only outside of daylight hours." The Geofencing feature alone goes a long way toward that Jetsons future we all have been dreaming about!
Apparently, there's also better color display and more consistent bulb behavior and other optimizations. Thanks to Philips for vastly improving an already stellar product!
As other commenters said, the hardware is remarkable. Beyond pretty colors, I was concerned with warm hues, color transitions, buzzing, and dimness over brightness. Hue hardware delivers on all and then some! I've tried both CFL and LED dimmable non-RGB bulbs with poor results in buzzing and a lowest dim that's way too bright. CFLs need warm-up time too. Hue bulbs suffer from nothing really and do it all beautifully. They're nearly as bright as 60w incandescent too with a soft warmth that matches or even improves.
The Hue app though mires the bulbs in novelty with both bugs and lack of basic features. Philips went for ease and fun with the app over solid usefulness. I love the ability to set colors from my photos and save them as "Scenes" with pretty icons, but that's where the fun stops. Example is the timer which only allows turning a scene on and off ONCE at set times (requires manual reactivation each day). You can't schedule weekday vs weekend which limits weekday morning wake-ups and vacation security scheduling. There arealso 3 and 9 min fade up or down times on the timer, but they don't work at all. The bulbs always timed on to full scene brightness immediately. Also, It's great that they work with a wall switch, but lame that I can't set a default scene for turning on (they always default to a bright warm).
There's Zigbee compatibility, though I haven't tried it. I wish it had ifttt.com support or other ways to automate with other systems. Example is in LIFX bulbs that support Twitter alerts by flashing or phone Geofencing so the lights turn on when I arrive and off when I go automagically.
For me, the biggest miss is lack of color transition control. Philips built in a multi-scene saving system but there's no way to control transitions between them. It's sad because the bulbs support the most gorgeous smooth color fades to sharp strobes, yet there's no control at all. Why not allow me to group my color scenes and create transitions between two or more with speed settings? This would be great for strobing dance floor effects or very slow calming color wash effects. But no. There are a couple apps like Hue Disco and MagicHue that attempt to transition to music, but it's a novelty sledgehammer approach to make eye catching effects without much control or subtlety.
Good news is the bulbs are fairly young, released in late Oct 2012. The API was only just released a little over a month ago in March 2013. Hopefully, devs are busily coding away now to fill these major gaps (which is probably what Philips had in mind all along).
Though The app deserves 1 or 2 stars for so many basic misses, I'm still overjoyed with hue. The bulbs get 5 stars+ easy and the elegant color plus energy savings make these the ideal bulbs for most any consumer need.
33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Suprises,
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)
I was pleasantly surprised by the Philips Hue Personal Wireless light kit as it provides a versatile lighting environment which works perfectly for my study area in the house.
Attached is a video which demonstrates the lighting effects from the pre-programmed lighting modes from the App. The App is free and downloadable from both the Apple Store and Android Play Store.
Here is a summary of what I like about this product :
- very easy to install and set up. All we needed is to screw the bulbs in the lamp socket, plug in the hue switch, connect the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet router, and install the App. The App automatically searches for the lamps and it does not require any other settings nor registrations
- the bulbs are energy efficient with an 8.5 W 600 Lumens rating
- the App allows customization and creation of your own settings on color and intensity
The only drawback I could think of is that the Apps is not entirely user-friendly and the lack of instructions. But the hardware works like a charm so far.
I would highly recommended this product to those who want versatile lighting and controlling through your Apple or Android devices.
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced, under-featured,
1. There is no scheduling mechanism whatsoever. You can't use these very expensive wifi-connected bulbs to turn on your lights at a specific time, vary them to achieve the illusion someone is home, etc. This is a glaring deficiency that may result in me returning the product altogether.
2. Scenes are great...as long as you want every single one of your lightbulbs to have the same scene on at the same time. I have found no way to individually control them, short of a screen which displays all your bulbs and you have to drag each one to the color and brightness you want...every time.
Basically, this is a potentially good product not ready for prime-time. They have created such a featureless App to control it, it's just plain useless.
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gadget Junkies Rejoice!,
This review is from: Philips 426361 Hue Personal Wireless Lighting, Single Bulb, Retail (Tools & Home Improvement)This is a must have for any gadget junkies like myself. Hue worked perfectly right out of the box. I had it up & running in 5 minutes without any detail instructions. Just screw in the bulbs, plug the bridge to power & your router. Download the app & follow the connection instructions which is simply pushing a button on the bridge and you are in business.
I love the ability to create the ambiance. I have all three bulbs into one fixture. This is great since each bulb can be customized for a scene. As far as the complaints about the brightness. I do not share those. Maybe because I have all three in the same fixture, but found it extremely bright using Energize or Reading themes.
I have my hue working with my iPhone,iPad mini, & iPad 3. It is important you first create an account on meethue dot com. Once you have an account, login on your devices so that it shares all your scenes and alarms.
Okay, the app. It's not great nor intuitive and lacks basic controls one would have expected. For example, no simple on or off & dimming using the basic lighting. You must choose a scene. But the killer is lack of setting up weekly timers. Yes, you can program a scene to come on and off but only for that day. You can NOT create a weekly schedules as you can with bulky plugin lamp timers.
But there is hope since this is open source & developers will soon be selling their own apps. Once that happens, this will be PERFECT.
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