Philips Hue Lights: A Guide to What Each Does (and Costs)

Starter Kits

Philips makes a wide number of smart LED lights that offer a mix of colors and  effects that you can control remotely. Plus, LEDs last much longer than other types of lights, and consume less energy, too. Philips Hue lights also integrate with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, andApple HomeKit (among many other smart home platforms) so you can use your voice to change the lights.

Here’s what each Hue light does, and how much each one costs. Note that, unless specified, these lights don’t come with a Philips Hue bridge ($59.99). While you can connect the lights directly to the Amazon Echo Plus without the bridge, you'll need the bridge if you want to use some of the more fun features in the Hue app, such as lighting scenes and third-party features.

Starter Kits

Starter kits include not only bulbs, but the bridge that's required to connect the lights to your home Wi-Fi network. If you don't have any Philips Hue lights yet, a starter kit is probably the best way to begin.

The original Philips Hue package, these lights are designed to replace a traditional A19 bulb and can change to more than 16 million colors. The starter pack includes three lights plus a Hue bridge (which you’ll need to control any Hue lights). Philips also sells a version of this kit with four lights for $199.

This is the best option if you want only a white light, or if you want to save some money. You can get the starter kit, which includes the bridge, with either two or four bulbs.

The White Ambiance kit lets you adjust the color temperature of the bulbs, so you can go from a more intense blue-white when you need to concentrate, to a softer yellow-white when you want something less intense. This kit also comes with a handy dimmer switch, so you don't need to open the Philips Hue app to control the lights. You can purchase this kit with either two or four bulbs. (The remote can also be used with other bulbs, too.)

If you don't purchase a starter kit which includes the smart bridge, you'll need to purchase one separately. The bridge plugs into your Wi-Fi router, and then connects wirelessly to all of the Philips Hue lights in your house.

MORE: How to Connect Philips Hue Lights to Amazon Echo


Bulbs and Lightstrips


You can expand your lighting options through a number of different Philips Hue bulbs. These include everything from plain white bulbs to multicolored lightstrips and other bulbs that fit smaller sockets. Just remember you'll have to connect them to your bridge first.

Though the hub makes setup a bit complicated, Philips Hue's White Ambiance A19 is easy to control, and can be tuned to numerous hues to fit any occasion and mood.

This four-pack of dimmable bulbs is an affordable way to expand the number of lights in your home.

These LED bulbs, which can produce 50,000 shades of white--from warm to cool--are designed for recessed ceiling fixtures. A two-pack of these lights costs $49.

Designed for track and small recessed lighting fixtures, these GU10 bulbs can reproduce millions of different colors, as well as multiple shades of white. They’re not cheap: Each bulb (sold individually) costs about $45.

This 6-foot color LED strip has an adhesive backing, which lets you affix it underneath kitchen counters or shelving — or anywhere you’d like — to provide some nice accent lighting. The Lightstrip Plus can  be easily shortened using a pair of scissors to fit tighter spaces. An individual strip costs $80, and you can also buy extensions, up to 33 feet. If you want something less expensive, the first-generation Lightstrip costs $25 less, but isn’t as bright.

If you need even more accent lighting, this 40-inch extension for the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus costs $30.

The White Ambiance E12 Candle is a smaller bulb, designed for chandeliers and light fixtures where a full-size A19 bulb won't fit. Users will be able to change the color temperature, from 2200k to 6500k. Each candle light bulb is a 40W equivalent.

This is the same bulb type as the White Ambiance, but lets you change its colors.

The Philips Hue Play light bar is a 9-inch color-changing light bar that can sit horizontally or vertically next to your TV or computer monitor, or be mounted as a backlight. In October, you'll be able to purchase a single-base kit for $69.99, a double-base kit for $129.99, and extensions for $59.99.

The Signe floor and table lamps , also designed to live next to your TV, can cast colored accent light on your walls. It will be available in October, with table lamps for $159.99 and floor lamps for $249.99.

Standalone Lamps

Standalone lights can be placed anywhere in your room, and are generally used to help create accent lighting, rather than as a primary light source. None of these come with a bridge, so you'll need that, too.

This accent light measures about 5 inches in diameter, and can change to millions of colors. It’s best used to bounce light off a wall behind fixtures like a TV or plant to help set the mood.

Inside this lamp is a single Philips Hue white ambiance bulbs, which can be changed from cool white to warm white. You can also replace the bulb with a color bulb if you like.

The Wellner is similar to the Wellness, only it has a rounder, more bulbous design. The lamp is very easy to set up, and you can screw in any smart bulb you'd like (including one that's Wi-Fi enabled, if hubs aren't your thing). It's a very cute lamp, but at 10.55 inches long and 10.55 inches wide, it's going to take up quite a bit of space on your table or shelf.

Similar to the Bloom, the Go is a splendid accent-lighting piece, and glows from both its circular 4.7-inch base and its flat top. Plus, the 300-lumen Go has a built-in rechargeable battery that will last up to 3 hours while unplugged, which is great if you want to add a bit more color to an outdoor dinner party. However, it’s not waterproof, so bring it inside if it starts raining.

Like the Hue Bloom, the Iris is a small accent light that can recreate millions of colors. It has a funkier, clear plastic base, which makes it look somewhat like an early iMac.

Light Fixtures


While limited to a few options, Philips light fixtures have the bulbs built directly into them. That means that when the LEDs burn out—which should be at least 10 years, if not more—you'll have to replace the entire fixture. These also require a bridge (sold separately) to control them via Philips' app.


This ceiling lamp, also offered in a pendant style, has both an uplight for illuminating your ceiling and a downlight. It measures 17 inches in diameter and comes with color LEDs. The table lamp version costs $199.

This ceiling light can either be flush-mounted, or purchased with a small or large extension to drop it down a few inches. It has a brushed aluminum finish, and the LEDs can be tuned to a cool or warm white light.

The Being is similar to the Fair, but has a clear panel running around its midsection. It also can only be flush-mounted with the ceiling.


Outdoor lights

Philips has several large, weather-resistant outdoor lights for illuminating your garden, lawn, patio, and driveway. They're currently available for pre-order, and will ship later this summer.

These smart bulbs aren't just for Philips Hue products; you can screw them into any outdoor fixture that fits a PAR38 bulb and make it a "smart light." You'll be able to control and schedule the bulb remotely, just as you could any Philips Hue fixture.

Designed to light your backyard, porch or patio, the Lily spotlight is LED-integrated and can shine in millions of colors and shades. The base pack includes three spotlights, and extension kits are $79.99.

Place this LED-integrated bollard along your driveway or front walk to light your guests' way. You can select different colors for different times and occasions. The base pack includes one bollard and a power supply, and extension kits are $89.99.

The Philips Hue Inara is a traditional wall lantern for lighting your porch or the area outside your door. It uses a white bulb, meaning you can't change its color, but you can control it remotely with your smartphone or voice assistant, and schedule it to turn on and off as you come and go. It comes with an A19 bulb.

The Lucca wall lantern is very similar to the Inara, but it has a smaller, more modern design, and is $10 more expensive.

This floodlight contains two bulbs and is perfect for lighting your driveway or the area outside your garage. It comes with two PAR38 bulbs. Like the Lucca and Inara, it doesn't change color, but it does deliver a whopping 1,350 lumens.

Accessories

Philips also makes several accessories that let you control your Hue lights without having to open the app on your smartphone.

The Smart Dimmer Switch With Remote looks just like a traditional wall switch, but connects wirelessly to your Hue lights (it can control up to 10), so you don't need to mess with any wiring in your walls. Plus, the switch can pop out of its housing, so you can use it as a remote. No more getting off the couch to dim the lights!

The Hue Tap Switch can be programmed to automatically activate three different lighting scenes, which can be helpful if you have a particular setting for, say, movie night and another for reading. It can be wall-mounted, and detaches so you can carry it with you.

The Hue Motion Sensor will automatically turn the lights on in a room when it senses someone entering. You can program it for varying levels of sensitivity, for the lights to remain on for a given time period after a person exits, and even vary the lights' brightness based on the time of day. It's both small enough to hide and stylish enough to display, and will pick up even the slightest movement.

Finally, Philips has an app, Philips Hue Sync, which allows users to synchronize their smart bulbs with multimedia content on their Mac or Windows PC. For example, you can set your lights to flash and change color in time with music, video, and movies being played on your computer. Hue Sync, which runs on your notebook or desktop, connects with the Hue app on your smartphone. Users can also modify the color schemes, brightness, and themes to suit their tastes.

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