Product Review – Philips Hue Light Bulbs

I have been using the Hue bulbs for a monthnow. I purchased the starter three bulb kit from the Apple store. It worked out well since I have a floor, table and kitchen overhead lamp in my apartment.


The setup was very straight forward. I just have to install the Hue app on my iPhone after hooking up the controller box to my router andinstalling the three bulbs. You just press the button on the controller and the app sees and associates the unit to your app. Nowyou can control the bulbs with any of the preset lighting profiles.

The App

Now the bad part of all this is the app. It is nearly pure garbage. It tries to sync the profiles between your online account and to alldevices with the Hue app connected to your controller. My experience has been that it often glitches and you get duplicate or missing profiles across devices. They would have done better to support iCloudor dropbox sync support. The worst part of the app by far is the timer function. You can set profiles to start and stop on a timer. Youwould think that the timer settings get loaded into the controllerunit. The best I can tell is that the timers only work if you leave the app running on the device where you set the schedule. Any glitches in connectivity can cause them to fail to go off as well. In a nutshell they are completely unreliable.

General Experience

Overall the setup was very simple. The app is the worst part of the experience for automation. The bulbs are 60W equivalent. If you needbrighter then these are not the bulbs for you. I did enjoy takingphotos and setting my own color profiles as long as I was satisfied manually switching to those profiles rather than scheduling them. I definitely do not regret the purchase, since I can climb into bed and flip all the lights off at once. If I need to get up in the middle of the night I can flip them all to a low power profile like “moonlight.”That is great so I can move around without waking myself up too muchfrom bright light.

Keep in mind the limitations of the scheduling if you are considering this purchase. That might be a deal breaker for most folks. Instead look at the Belkin WeMo to control your existing lights.