Philips Hue wireless lighting review: An IoT set-up that’s easy to use

Philips Hue is an intelligent LED lighting system that comes with bulbs, a bridge that helps you controls the lights and a smartphone app

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: September 9, 2015 3:57 pm
Philips Hue, Philips Hue lighting, Philips Hue lighting system, Philips Hue lights, Philips Hue LED, IoT, Internet of Things, Philips Hue launch, Philips Hue smart lighting, technology, technology news Philips Hue is an LED lighting system, but it is also intelligent in a way. (Source: Philips)

The Internet of Things is the buzzword in technology these days. Or should we say it has been for the past few years. But it only now that we are getting access to devices and set-ups that will really bring this new web of connected things to life.

Yes, we have all used connected cameras and audio systems that can be controlled remotely by smartphones. But how about a scenario where all the lights in your house are controlled using a smartphone? Better still, what if they could be programmed to do more that just be lights? Well, this is exactly what Philips Hue wireless lighting systems aims to achieve.

What is Philips Hue

Philips Hue is an LED lighting system, but it is also intelligent in a way. It comes with bulbs, a bridge that helps you controls the lights and a smartphone app where the controlling happens.

Price: Rs 16,495 for Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Kit

How do you set it up?

Frankly, I was a bit intimidated with setting up a IoT setup. I have tried and failed more than once with Wi-Fi cameras as they can be so complicated. But the Philips Hue system is anything but complicated.

The bridge is the most important part of the rig and hence needs to be connected to your Wi-Fi router using a LAN cable and plugged into a power outlet. It will use the Wi-Fi network in your house to talk to the Hue bulbs. The Hue bulbs are regular LEDs, but need an adapter holder as we don’t use screwable bulbs in India.

Philips Hue, Philips Hue lighting, Philips Hue lighting system, Philips Hue lights, Philips Hue LED, IoT, Internet of Things, Philips Hue launch, Philips Hue smart lighting, technology, technology news The bridge connects to your WiFi router in the house via LAN Cable.

Once the bridge is connected, with all three LEDs on it glowing solid, and the bulbs up where you want them to be, download the Philips Hue app on your iOS or Android smartphone. When installed use the app to connected to the bridge. After this is done, all the Hue bulbs in your house — ensure the power is on — will show up in the app. It would be better if you name them according to their location so that it becomes easier to control.

The app can then be used to create a variety of colour sequences on the LEDs and even to dim or brighten the same. In fact, there are straightforward options for reading, relaxing, etc which you will end using up more that the colours of the sea or sunset.

How good is it?

The entire Hue concept is a fun. It works well for people who have a lot of time on their hands. Working households like mine might not really bother about changing the hues of their lights depending on the mood or what they are watching on television that day.

Philips Hue, Philips Hue lighting, Philips Hue lighting system, Philips Hue lights, Philips Hue LED, IoT, Internet of Things, Philips Hue launch, Philips Hue smart lighting, technology, technology news The entire Hue concept is a fun. It works well for people who have a lot of time on their hands. (Source: Philips)

However, where it really works is with the proper reading and relaxed settings, which is something that  will go really well for all households. Also, the ability to dim or brighten lights is something I would love to have all the time, especially when I am trying to make my four-year-old sleep.

For those who travel a lot, the Hue app lets you create the impression that there is someone at home all the while.

Another feature I really liked was the alarm, which will wake you up by gradually increasing the light in the room. But I fear most of us will still need a loud alarm to wake us up.

The future

Hue is still a nascent platform, especially in India. In other markets, you can download apps that like Hue to other IoT concept likes the Nest smart thermostat.

Watch video: (App users click here to see video)

But that does not prevent you from downloading a bunch of apps that make great use of Hues capabilities. For instance, the Ambify iOS app makes the lights dance according to the beats of the songs playing from your phones. There are many more apps of this kind, though the better ones are all paid.

Philips Hue, Philips Hue lighting, Philips Hue lighting system, Philips Hue lights, Philips Hue LED, IoT, Internet of Things, Philips Hue launch, Philips Hue smart lighting, technology, technology news The bridge is the most important part of the rig and hence needs to be connected to your Wi-Fi router using a LAN cable and plugged into a power outlet. (Source: Philips)

Also, there are developers working on more practical uses, like using the lights to alert people of a ringing doorbell or phone in a house with hearing impaired people. The possibilities are endless.

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  1. Rahul Yadav
    Dec 28, 2016 at 7:35 am
    Hue Power India App is one interesting app. In case of power outage, it can reset colors to previous settings without any efforts. Many other apps will reset lights with default color in case of power outage.
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    1. M
      Mark
      Sep 9, 2015 at 10:51 am
      If you are able to purchase a Hue Starter Kit, you definitely will want to try some of the third-party apps. These can take the smart lights to a w new level. Would you like to fall asleep to rain, birds, and distant thunder while your lights are dynamically changing colors and fading off? It is possible with the Hue Lights third-party app:
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