Deep, vivid colors and several white hues to choose. Integrates well with most home controllers. Steady "on" maintains reliable contact with hub and apps.
Some lag time reported between command and actual activation. May not remember last settings before shutoff. Only equivalent to a 60 watt bulb, not very bright.
Noticeably brighter than earlier generation bulbs. Can be dimmed even in non-dimmer sockets. With an app, bulbs can brighten or dim over time, like a sleep cycle.
Original kit only contains two bulbs, others must be purchased separately.
Aesthetically pleasing "bowl of light," including a candle setting. Creates customizable back lighting for TV viewing. Wake-up alarm feature slowly brightens lamp.
Onboard battery has short lifespan. Cord placement creates unstable base. Programming custom effects can be a challenge.
Works well with an existing Philips hub and app. Light temperatures run the entire cool/warm spectrum. Can be set to change back lighting during TV viewing.
On the expensive side, not for whole house bulb replacement. First generation, does not reproduce greens well. Must be kept "on" for maximum performance.
3rd generation, produces stronger blues and greens. Capable of creating specific lighting scenes for different rooms and times. Compatible with numerous home controller systems.
HUE controller app has some performance issues. More expensive than standard white smart or LED bulbs. Overheating can trigger other problems.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Smart bulbs have become more and more popular in recent years due to the level of efficiency and customization they provide. Unlike regular bulbs, options such as Philips’ Hue lightbulbs can be tailored with a smartphone app to display different colors and brightness levels. These bulbs are also compatible with smart home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa and offer convenient control over your home lighting.
Whether you want to automate your home’s lighting to deter burglars or enhance the atmosphere of key areas, bulbs in the Philips Hue lineup are one of the best options in smart home lighting. Installing Hue bulbs around your home saves on your lighting bill and provides control over your home’s ambiance. Conveniently, you can switch on the lights from anywhere without accessing a manual light switch.
Our buying guide includes everything you need to know about Philips Hue light bulbs, so you choose the Philips smart lighting setup that’s right for you.
Philips Hue bulbs can be controlled via smartphone using a Bluetooth connection, but the amount of control this setup provides is mostly limited to on/off switching and dimming functions for a given room. For a more robust experience that offers full control, you need the Philips Bridge hub device that plugs into your router and works with its own full-featured smartphone app. The Bridge offers many more options, including the following.
Total lighting control at your fingertips
The Philips Hue A19 Starter Kit is the perfect set for those new to the smart bulb world. The kit includes the Bridge hub, which opens up a bevy of features. If outfitting your whole home with smart bulbs seems like a daunting prospect, this kit lets you tiptoe onto lighting’s new frontier.
All Philips Hue light bulbs allow users to adjust the color and temperature of the lighting to some degree. Different models allow for varying levels of customization. Low-end Philips Hue bulbs are simple white dimmable bulbs. Slightly more advanced bulbs allow you to adjust the color temperature a bulb produces, from clear white to warm candle-tinged yellow. Full-featured bulbs provide total temperature control and myriad color choices.
All Philips Hue light bulbs are compatible with a variety of smart home devices, including Google Home and Alexa.
You can control your lighting via the Philips smartphone app. You will, however, need to hook your smart lighting up to the Philips Bridge smart hub appliance to take advantage of many of the advanced app features.
Not sure if smart bulbs are right for you and your home? Try out a starter kit to get a feel for this type of technology. Choose from kits that include two to four bulbs. Most kits also include the Philips Bridge hub device.
Some bulbs work with a dimmer without the need for special adjustments. If your lighting fixture works with a dimmer switch, be sure to choose a smart bulb that is compatible.
When connected to the Philips Bridge accessory, some bulbs can be synced with your audio, gaming, and entertainment systems. Enhance your viewing, playing, and listening experiences with a bit of mood lighting to match.
One of the advanced features enabled by the Philips Bridge accessory is the ability to gradually dim and brighten bulbs to mimic the setting and rising of the sun to help you wake in the morning or fall asleep at night.
If you choose, you can opt for weather-rated Philips Hue floodlight bulbs to light your outdoor pathways or other exterior areas. They’re also customizable and controlled via the Philips smartphone app.
Philips sells two types of motion sensors: one for outdoor use and one designed solely for indoor use.
You can control up to 50 smart light bulbs using the Philips Bridge accessory, also known as the Philips Hue hub.
The Hue Play light bar delivers ambient lighting and is designed for use with an entertainment system.
Buying bulbs separately is expensive, so you may want to opt for a starter kit to begin outfitting your home. The price for a set of four bulbs fluctuates somewhat, but look for something around the $200 mark. Ideally, the kit would include a Bridge so you wouldn’t have to buy that separately. (A single HUE LED bulb costs about $50, so the savings wouldn’t be extensive if a Bridge weren’t included).
The cheapest Hue bulbs don’t require a Bridge connection to function and have fewer features. Pricing for these “budget” bulbs ranges from approximately $14 to $24. Unless you purchase a starter kit the Philips Bridge included, it will need to be purchased separately. The price for this is around $60.
Track light prices start around $80.
Affordable updated tech
The Philips Hue A19 Bulb is capable of delivering a variety of lighting colors and temperatures when used along with the Philips Bridge hub. Like other Philips Hue bulbs, it’s compatible with smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa. Buy a single bulb to test the waters, and then slowly swap out your bulbs over time if you like what you see.
In addition to our top-rated Philips Hue light bulb choices, there are many other intriguing options out there. We like the subtle drama of the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LightStrip. It’s the perfect addition to the underside of your kitchen cabinets. Add customizable lighting to this area and set the scene when guests arrive at your next dinner party.
If you enjoy evenings on your patio, consider the Philips Hue Lily White and Color Ambiance Outdoor Smart Spotlight Base Kit, which includes three outdoor-rated spotlights and a power supply to create a well-lit backyard oasis.
Q. How do I use Philips Hue light bulbs?
A. Once installed, you can control your light bulbs using the Hue smartphone application (a Philips Bridge hub device is required to access advanced features). You can also manage your lights with your regular lightswitch or a Philips brand switch or dimmer.
Q. How long do these light bulbs last?
A. Philip Hue bulbs last about 15,000 hours, rendering approximately six to seven years of use on average.
Q. If my internet goes down, will my Philips Hue light bulbs remain on?
A. Yes. If you lose power, however, Hue bulbs are the same as regular bulbs: they will shut off, as they require electricity to function.
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