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

philips hue smart lights room
(Image credit: Future)

Philips makes a wide number of smart LED lights that offer a mix of colors and effects that you can control remotely. All Philips Hue lights integrate with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit (among many other smart home platforms) so you can use your voice to control your lighting. It's why numerous Philips Hue lights make the grade as some of the best smart lights around.

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). A bridge is an efficient option if you're going to own multiple Hue lights and would like to set scenes. But Philips also continues to develop bulbs that work sans-Bridge, so be sure to check back here for the latest updates.

Philips Hue News and Updates (October 2019)

  • Philips announced a whole slew of new Philips Hue bulbs and accessories. They include 3 different Edison-style bulbs, an updated Hue Go Portable lamp, Hue Spotlight bulbs, candle bulbs that work without a bridge. We'll be reviewing them soon. 

Starter Kits

Philips Hue starter kits include both bulbs and 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 Starter Pack is designed to replace traditional A19 bulbs and can change to more than 16 million colors. The starter pack includes three lights plus a Hue bridge. Philips also sells a version of this kit with four lights.

Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit: $149.99 @ Amazon
The White Ambiance kit lets you adjust the color temperature of the bulbs, so you can go from intense blue-white when you need to concentrate, to a soft yellow-white for something mellower.View Deal

Philips Hue Smart Bridge: $59.99 @ Best Buy
If you don't purchase a starter kit which includes the smart bridge, you'll need to purchase one separately. It plugs into your Wi-Fi router, and then connects with all of the Hue lights in your house.View Deal

MORE: How to Connect Philips Hue Lights to Amazon Echo

Philips Hue 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.

Philips Hue White Ambiance A19: $29.99 @ Amazon
This single Philips Hue White Ambiance bulb requires a hub, but it once it's connected you can control its brightness. View Deal

Philips Hue Ambiance BR30 Floodlight: $47.99 @ Best Buy
These LED bulbs, which can produce thousands of shades of white--from warm to cool-- and color, and are designed for recessed ceiling fixtures. View Deal

Philips Hue White Ambiance GU10: $24.99 @ Best Buy
Designed for track and small recessed lighting fixtures, these GU10 bulbs can reproduce thousands of shades of white. It provides soft white illumination that mimics the look of natural light. View Deal

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus: $79.99 @ Best Buy
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. View Deal

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus Extension: $29.99 @ Amazon
If you need even more accent lighting, this 40-inch extension for the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus costs $30. You'll need the original Lightstrip for the extension to operate.View Deal

Philips Hue White Ambiance E12 Candle: $25 @ Amazon
The White Ambiance E12 Candle is a smaller bulb, designed for chandeliers and light fixtures where a full-size A19 bulb won't fit. Each candle light bulb is a 40W equivalent.
View Deal

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance E12: $49.99 @ Best Buy
This is the same bulb type as the White Ambiance, but lets you change its colors.
View Deal

Philips Hue Lights with no bridge required

Philips Hue is constantly adding to its collection of smart LED bulbs that work without a Philips bridge. You can activate them via Bluetooth and pair them to your voice assistant the same way you would the hub-based bulbs. But you won't get all the features that you do with the bridge, like scenes and timers.

Hue White And Color Ambience E26: $49.99 @ Amazon
The White and Color Ambience E26 can act as a white or colored light, and is one of Philips Hue's first products that can operate without a Philips Hue Bridge or other smart-home hub.View Deal

Philips Hue White E26: $14.99 @ Amazon
The White E26 is a soft white light that can operate without a bridge, and delivers 800 lumens. There is also a White Ambiance version available for $25.


View Deal

Philips Hue White E26: $24.99 @ Amazon
The White Ambience E26 is the same light as the White E26, but you can change the warmth of the light it delivers.View Deal

Philips Hue entertainment lights

(Image credit: Best Buy)

Another category of Philips Hue lights is entertainment enhancers, like the play light below. The Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is the next evolution the light bar. It syncs your smart lights to your on-screen TV content, including games and movies. The Sync Box is available on October 16, 2019.

Philips Hue Play Light Bar: $69.99 @ Best Buy
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.

Philips Hue 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 to sync, too. 

Philips Hue Bloom: $59.99 @ Best Buy
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.View Deal

Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellness: $99.99 @ Amazon
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.View Deal

Philips Hue Wellner: $99.97 @ Amazon
The Wellner is similar to the Wellness, only it has a more bulbous design. The lamp is easy to set up, and you can screw in any smart bulb you'd like (including one that's Wi-Fi enabled).View Deal

Philips Hue Go Light: $79.99 @ Best Buy
The Go is a splendid accent-lighting piece, and glows from both its circular 4.7-inch base and its flat top. The 300-lumen Go has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 3 hours while unplugged.
View Deal

Philips Hue 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.

Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair: $222 @ Amazon
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.View Deal

Philips Hue White Ambiance Being: $199.97 @ Amazon
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.View Deal

White Ambiance Cher Pendant Light: $220 @ Amazon
Install this fixture anywhere you would a standard overhead light, adjust the height, and pair it with the Hue Bridge. There's also a variant with great suspension for $230.View Deal

Philips Hue outdoor lights

(Image credit: Best Buy)

Philips has several large, weather-resistant outdoor lights for illuminating your garden, lawn, patio, and driveway. 

Philips Hue Single PAR38 Outdoor: $29.99 @ Amazon
These 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' can control and schedule the bulb remotely.View Deal

Philips Hue Lily Outdoor Spot Light Kit: $339.99 @ Amazon
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 $99.99.View Deal

Philips Hue Calla Outdoor Pathway: $127.99 @ Amazon
Place this LED-integrated bollard along your driveway or front walk to light your guests' way. The base pack includes one bollard and a power supply, and extension kits are $109.99.View Deal

Philips Hue Inara White Outdoor Lantern: $59.99 @ Amazon
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.View Deal

Philips Hue Lucca Outdoor Wall Lantern: $69.99 @ Amazon
The Lucca wall lantern is very similar to the Inara, but it has a smaller, more modern design, and is $10 more expensive.
View Deal

Philips Hue Ludere Outdoor Security Light: $129.99 @ Amazon
This floodlight contains two bulbs and is perfect for lighting your driveway or the area outside your garage. Like the Lucca and Inara, it doesn't change color, but it does deliver 1,350 lumens.View Deal

Philips Hue smart lights accessories

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

The Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch with Remote is one of the best smart light switches for Philips Hue owners. However, if you want advanced features, like routines and timers, you'll need to connect everything through the Philips Hue bridge.

Smart Dimmer Switch with Remote: $24.99 @ Best Buy
This switch looks like a traditional wall switch, but connects to your Hue lights, so you don't need to mess with wiring in your walls. Plus, the switch can pop out of its housing, so you can use it as a remote.View Deal

Philips Hue Smart Tap Switch: $49.99 @ Best Buy
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.View Deal

Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor: $39.99 @ Best Buy
This turns the lights on in a room when it senses movement. It detects varying levels of sensitivity, keeps lights on for a period after a person exits, and alters brightness based on the time of day.View Deal

Dusk-to-Dawn Outdoor Motion Sensor: $49.99 @ Best Buy
The Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor is a wireless, battery-operated motion sensor light. It also keeps track of the light outside, and makes sure your inside lights don't switch on until nighttime.View Deal

Philips Hue Sync app

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.