Philips has been one of the first manufacturers to put on the market a connected light bulb. And it has done pretty well, as the Philips Hue products are amongst the most versatile solutions.
Up to fifty lights can be connected to a bridge included in the starter kit. The lights can then be monitored with an app, compatible with iOS and Android devices. Two generations of the Philips Hue have already been produced and the luminous intensity has been increased, rising from 600 to 800 lumens.
Pre-set light settings
The Philips Hue uses RGB colors, which allow the user to choose from 16 million colors: much more than what a human eye can perceive. Several lighting ambiances, created by Philips Lighting engineers, are pre-installed. For example, the “Concentrate” mode will give the bulb a color and light intensity adapted to help the user focus; the “Energize” mode will diffuse a bright light, ideal to boost energy; as for the “Read” and “Relax” modes, they will spread a soft light perfect for reading or resting.
The lighting system can be controlled remotely from all around the world, through free mobile applications that have been specifically developed for the Philips Hue. Those who want to can even go further in the automation process, as lights can be controlled by voice via Siri, if the Apple HomeKit technology is installed. This feature allows the user to monitor a number of accessories, including lamps, thermostats, smoke detectors and connected door locks. The Philips Hue bulbs will also work with Amazon’s vocal assistant “Alexa”, which is equivalent to the “OK Google” command.
Waking up gently
An integrated timer makes it possible to modify the lighting throughout the day. It can also be used as an alarm clock: the light intensity will increase gradually at the time set by the user, to make them think they are waking up naturally with sunlight. This feature also works the other way around: light intensity can be set to gradually decrease at bedtime. But this is only one of many options. The Philips Hue can also be programmed to come on during your vacations, to simulate your presence in the house.
Ready for a real cinema atmosphere?
The light bulbs can also be synchronized with your music, TV and games thanks to many applications. For example, the Ambify app for iOS can be connected to an iTunes library to turn your living room into a dance floor, where the DJ would be your phone. A similar result can be obtained with the Hue Disco app for Android, which can recognize music through the microphone and use it to create a lightshow. It also works with video games and movies, for those who want to live an immersive experience. For example, the Huey app can create dramatic lighting effects using the colors on the screen.
The Philips Hue has proved its worth. It provides a good lighting, comes with many features and a solid technical support. More than 200 apps can be connected and it is compatible with many products. The only negative point is the price, which can be viewed as a deterrent.
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