It’s 2014 and the incandescent bulb is now banned. What do you do for lighting your house? You can choose from both flourescent and LED. LED is the most efficient but also has the highest up front cost. If you choose to go with LED, why not choose a LED setup that allows you to both save money on your energy bill and also light your house with a variety of colors. The Philips Hue does just that. With The Home Starter Kit provides you with everything you need to get started in converting your home to LED lights. The kit includes 3 LED bulbs and a Hue Bridge that allows you to control your lights from your wireless device.
Setup of the Hue is simple. Just replace your current lightbulbs with the Philips Hue LED bulbs, plug the bridge into a power outlet and a LAN and your basically good to go. Next you need to download the HUE app from either Google Play or Apple . Then just connect your phone to the bridge and you are ready to go.
The Philips Hue allows you to choose from any color in the spectrum for each individual bulb. The starter pack comes with 3 bulbs, but the HUE system can control up too 50 bulbs with one Bridge. This allows you to control all your bulbs from one phone and only using one app. With this system you can adjust every bulb in your house (providing you have less than 50 lights in your house).
The Hue App is very easy to use. There are preset lighting “Scenes” for you to use with just the touch of your screen. When you first set up their app, there are 17 scenes to choose from plus the all off icon. These choices give you a wide variety of lighting options to use in your house. If you log onto the Philips Hue Website and set up an account, you can download other scenes that fellow Hue users have created. There is even setting to help you relax, concentrate, and even make it easier on your eyes to read. The colored pencil allows you to choose from the colors on the pencils on the screen, customizing each bulb with the color you want. Another great feature is you can take a photo from in your phone gallery and tap on a specific color in that picture and your bulb will change to that exact color. Each Hue bulb is able to be controlled independently of the others.
While creating your own scene, you have the option to choose between every single color available for each individual bulb. There are almost no limits to what you could create lighting wise with this app.
The Hue app also has the option to set your lights to turn on at a set time to help you wake up. The on feature can be set so the bulbs to all the way on instantly, or can be faded on over the course of several minutes to make your morning wakeup more gradual. You can also set the lights to turn on as a safety feature to make it appear as if someone is home at your house even if you aren’t.
To go along with your Hue, IFTTT gives you hundreds of options to customise your Hue. With these “apps” you can set your lights to flash if you get an email, have your lights turn on when you get home. Change the color of your lights to blue when it rains. The list goes on and on, and is only limited to your imagination.
Also with the fact that you can choose almost any color and brightness, these make good lights for photography. You can get as many or as few as you need to get the lighting effect you want. Plus you can make the lighting any number of colors. This saves you from having to buy multiple filters for your lights.
Overall the Philips Hue light while only using 8.5 Watts of power per bulb do very well at lighting up a room. The Hue bulbs output approx the same amount of light as a 60 Watt incandescent bulb. Each bulb is rated for 15,ooo hours, so if you do the math and figure the lights to be on for 10 hours a day, that would be about 1,500 days or just over 4 years of use per bulb.
While the upfront cost may be more than traditional bulbs, with a longer life span than flourescent and a ton more color choices, Philips Hue LED bulbs not only pay for them self, but also let you enjoy the many colors that you can create and the many different moods you can set.
Price for the starter kit is $199.99 from Verizon Wireless and each additional bulb is $59.99 also from Verizon Wireless. If you find that the hue app doesn’t have all of the options you want, there are multiple 3rd party apps that allow you to do things with your Hue lights that Philips probably never even imagined.