Philips Hue LED Starter Kit Review – Does It Live Up To Expectation
What is LED?
LED stand for Light-Emitting Diode. An LED consists of a semi-conductive two-lead light source that when combined with an appropriate voltage allows electrons to combine in a way that gives off light without using up a ton of energy. Earlier LED’s only emitted a red light as this is one of the easiest to create on an ultra-violet level, but now these lights are available in almost every color on the spectrum including white.
Why should I purchase an LED light?
LED’s use up to 80% less energy than their counterparts while costing significantly less per unit, LED bulbs are rated to last a minimum of ten-years without the need for replacement and the use of less energy has already saved millions of people a significant amount of money on their energy bills.
The Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit Review:
So now that we understand the basic idea of what an LED is and why we should all use it, let’s discuss one product in particular. The Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit is designed with your convenience in mind, not only does it use LED technology which saves both energy and money bit is also designed for other conveniences.
What does the starter kit include and what services does it provide?
The Philips Hue starter kit comes with minimal pieces but will have a big impact on your life and home. When you open the box you will find two easy to follow set-up guides, 2 white LED lightbulbs, a bridge or hub which is what will allow you to connect your lights to a Wi-Fi system, a phone line adapter cable if needed and a power cord.
The bridge or hub is a small white box resembling a Wi-Fi router, once plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi it is what allows you to control the lights in your home. While not getting too specific I can tell you that the hub is small and not at all garresh so it can be easily hidden away.
Connecting your household lights to any portable device
The Hue can be connected to any smart phone whether Apple, Android, or Amazon. Depending on the model of your phone you simply go to your app store and download the Hue app.
Once you have downloaded the app it will go through a startup process, first connecting to your Wi-Fi, then locating and connecting to the hub, and then located to the Philips bulbs installed throughout the house. This process takes only a few minutes, and the app will walk you through all the steps you’ll need to take, like unplugging lamps before installing the new lightbulbs and then turning them on so that the app can locate which lamps in which rooms are using the Philips bulbs.
Once the app is fully installed you’ll be able to control your lights from anywhere. Hue will also connect to tablets and smart watches from the same three manufacturers.
When using the app you will see that you can connect the Hue app to any room in the house; kitchen bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, etc. Once connected you will be able to control the lights in each room on an individual basis.
What can I do on my mobile device?
There are four main functions you can utilize on your mobile device all of which are self-explanatory, the app allows you to turn lights on, turn lights off, dim lights, or set lights to a timer.
When used with an apple device, widgets can be used to access the Hue automation system quickly and you can even connect Siri and Alexa to the app so that you can control your lights using voice commands.
From now on if you go out shopping or out with friends and it turns out you won’t get home before dark, you can set your lights to turn on at a specified time so that you don’t have to enter a dark house.
If your lying in bed and don’t want to have to get up to turn off your overhead lights than just grab your phone or use Siri and Alexa’s touch free systems to turn them off without any fuss.
Can the Hue connect to other things?
Yes, the Hue will connect with Apple home or Amazon Alexa, no word yet on if it will connect with Google home.
You will need to purchase a second hub or bridge from Philips if you want to be able to connect your Echo system as the correct bridge included in the kit is not compatible with that product. However once installed the connection is pretty much flawless.
As stated, only two bulbs come included in the starter set but additional bulbs can be purchased from any retailer that carries Philips products. Don’t worry you can install additional bulbs after the initial installation. So even if you decide to wait a couple of weeks before connecting more rooms in your home it can still be done.
While this is called the Hue White starter kit, that only references the two bulbs that are included in the kit. Single colored or multi colored bulbs that are sold by Philips can be used just as easily so long as they meet the volt and watt specifications.
Philips Hue Expand-ability
I will note that the Philips Hue is not adaptable to all lighting products and at present they only connect with the Hue family of products, Philips lightbulbs, ZigBee, and wink home automation products.
At the moments the Hue can only be used to control lights, it cannot control other electronic devices such as putting a coffee maker on a timer, this you would require a smart plug.
The Hue uses 120 Volts and is compatible with lightbulbs no stronger than 2500 watts, it is for indoor lights only, the two lightbulbs included in the starter kit are both 2500 watt and are supposed to last for 25,000 hours each, thought the average lifespan has been reported at around 15,000 hours by consumers.