Philips Hue |OT| And Siri said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

#1


Philips Hue was introduced in 2012 and is the currently leading Smart Lightning system. It features a big lineup of different bulbs, booth white and multi-colored, Lightstripes and a lot of accessoirs like Dimmers, Switches and can be controlled with all existing operating systems and personal assistens like Alexa or Siri.

I made this thread because I bought my first Hue bulbs a few days ago and am in desperate need for some advice and help, because the App-Ecosystem looks overwhelming as hell. Also I think that with the upcoming Entertainment Update its good to have a place to talk about all of this stuff.

FAQ:

What Do I need?

To begin with, you need a Hue Bridge
Its the Controllsystem of the whole system. Its going to serve as the server, with which you pair bulbs, lightstripes, dimmer and switches. Also, you save your routines and timer here. This is how you set everything up.

Do I need a Smartphone to use Hue? No! You can also set everything up with your PC, but you can have much more options if you have a Smartphone.

The bulbs are so expensive! Where can I get cheaper ones? You can buy Ikeas Tradfri bulbs! They can be updated with the very own bridge of Ikea to work with Hue and the new charge with the serialnumber 1721 for directly from the store with Hue (Source: German Techblog Stadt-Bremerhaven Its unknown yet if this is also true for america). Also, they are much cheaper.

I have bulbs that I can turn on with a switch. Why should I buy Hue? Because you can do much more with Hue. You can make Partylights that match with the beats of rhythm of music. You can make mood lights. You can make notifications when Trump writes something stupid on Twitter. You can make Countdowns. You can make the light switch on when you enter the house. You can switch the color of the light to dark-blue whenever the ISS flies over your house. You can do whatever you want.

I love the concept of Ambilight, but I think that Philips TVs are crap! What can I do? Later this year, Philips is going to introduce Philips Hue Entertainment, a solution to light your room matching with the color of the content you are currently watching. Its still unknown, how this protocol is going to look like in the end and how its going to work in the end, but you can right now do something similar, if you install the App Screenbloom on your PC and start Netflix on booth your computer and your TV at the same time

Why dont you make a general thread for Smart Home stuff?
Because Hue is a big enough ecosystem on its own and deserves a own thread that doesnt fizzle out in discussions about thermostates and doorbells and stuff

Why is this such a shitty looking OP for a Community Thread?
Becuse I cant do Photoshop, but I would love to see someone help me a bit out with fancy graphics ;)

Bulbs (thank you to Vyer for making this part):

Hue bulbs




There are a variety of different types of official Hue bulbs you can choose from. Here are the standard size bulbs:

Hue White

Hue's standard white bulb with dimming.

Hue White Ambiance

White bulb with dimming plus the ability to change white color temperature, like going from a 'soft white' to 'daylight'.

Hue White and Color Ambiance

Everything the White Ambiance can do plus a full range of color changing capabilities.

Important Links:
Official Website
Hue App for iOS
Hue App for Android
If-this-then-this for Hue
LIFX (Concurrence product) overview, thanks to giga
Comparison Hue/LIFX thanks to tokkun
 
#2
Nice OT. I suggest that you still add the link to the smart home thread so posters can bounce back and forth.

I was set on getting Hue lights last year but I've been looking more into their competition.

OP I would love to hear why you decided to pick up Hue instead of the competitors.

Also great timing. I spent the last 2 hours looking up home automation on YT.
 
#3
Closing into our new house Thursday. I've got a couple sets of the flood lights and about 10 bulbs of the A19 with the bridge. Using Siri to dim the lights is a nice feature.
 
#5
How do you get Siri to do it? I have to use the app.
I linked Siri it in the Hue app. What iOS version do you use?

Nice OT. I suggest that you still add the link to the smart home thread so posters can bounce back and forth.
Gonna do this later

OP I would love to hear why you decided to pick up Hue instead of the competitors.
Because of the future update with the almost-Ambilight. I loved the idea of Ambilight for years but I always head that Philips TVs are pretty bad compared to other, so I finally saw a cheap way to emulate it in some other way.
 
#6
Gonna do this later
Cool since I still lose track of the most popular home automation thread

Because of the future update with the almost-Ambilight. I loved the idea of Ambilight for years but I always head that Philips TVs are pretty bad compared to other, so I finally saw a cheap way to emulate it in some other way.
This is the feature where you have lights behind your TV mimic the colors on screen correct?

Do you know when this update is coming? Also do you still need to have your phone positioned towards the TV or do they have another solution to get it to work?
 
#7
IME if the competible non-Phillip light is less than 1/3 cheaper than the name branded Phillip Hue light, you are better off paying the extra and get the real ones. I had 4 compatible ones, two died pretty early. The remaining two works, but the connection is spotty.

In the eneving when I press the master switch to turn off everything, half of the time the bootleg lights stay on, I have to press one more time to turn them off. It's pretty funny like that. These are not the Ikea ones but spotty connectity is still an issue you have to look at.

If you are keeping the Ikea ones, make sure you keep the receipt since they have good return policy.

Also if you want discount on Philip light bulbs, they only run deals during holiday. Check slickdeals for prior deals. Normally they only run deals on bindles.
 
#8
I really want a set when I can afford to get the money down for my gaming set up. Do they need to be plugged into a lightbulb socket? I wanted them like...either side of my set up if that makes sense.
 

jts

...hate me...
#9
Nice.

I've been interested in Hue for a long time, and since I started I've amassed already a small collection (6-7 bulbs + strip + sensors and switches), although our house isn't completely Hue'd yet. Cannot believe how expensive the E14s are, and need 5 for the living room chandelier so that has put me off them in a long time.
 
#11
Nice OT. I suggest that you still add the link to the smart home thread so posters can bounce back and forth.

I was set on getting Hue lights last year but I've been looking more into their competition.

OP I would love to hear why you decided to pick up Hue instead of the competitors.

Also great timing. I spent the last 2 hours looking up home automation on YT.
1. Compatible with everything: HomeKit, Alexa, Google, etc.
2. Usually cheaper options available (white, white ambiance, white + color ambiance) compared to others like LIFX which only make high-end bulbs
3. Uses the Zigbee standard, which means you can use cheaper IKEA bulbs with Hue
4. Has a wide variety of bulb styles and accessories available
5. Wirecutter recommended
 
#12
thought it might be a good idea to list the standard bulbs. feel free to use this if it helps GP:



Hue bulbs




There are a variety of different types of official Hue bulbs you can choose from. Here are the standard size bulbs:

Hue White

Hue's standard white bulb with dimming.

Hue White Ambiance

White bulb with dimming plus the ability to change white color temperature, like going from a 'soft white' to 'daylight'.

Hue White and Color Ambiance

Everything the White Ambiance can do plus a full range of color changing capabilities.
 
#13
I have two of the wide area bloom lights that sit on the floor in addition the original starter pack I got back when it came out. I want to get back into lights and shit. They’ve kinda just sat for a while. I need the second gen base station.
 
#14
2. Usually cheaper options (white, white ambiance, white + color ambiance) to higher-end options like LIFX
I wish this were true for the new color e12 (candelabra) bulbs. I just bought 4 for a ceiling fan so I can finally get rid of the adapters I've been using and it cost me over $200. LIFX color candle bulbs are 2 for $60 wtf. Granted the Hue is brighter unlike most LIFX/Hue bulbs

At any rate, I still love Hue. I have them in pretty much every fixture in my place. I've go the Beyond desk lamp too

Also if you want discount on Philip light bulbs, they only run deals during holiday. Check slickdeals for prior deals. Normally they only run deals on bindles.
They're on sale all the time at B&M stores, especially the non-color
 
#15
I wish this were true for the new color e12 (candelabra) bulbs. I just bought 4 for a ceiling fan so I can finally get rid of the adapters I've been using and it cost me over $200. LIFX color candle bulbs are 2 for $60 wtf. Granted the Hue is brighter unlike most LIFX/Hue bulbs
The E12 price is completely ridiculous. Really looking forward to IKEA pushing Philips back to reality.

Edit: I'm looking but can't find the LIFX E12?
 
#16
1. Compatible with everything: HomeKit, Alexa, Google, etc.
2. Usually cheaper options (white, white ambiance, white + color ambiance) to higher-end options like LIFX
3. Uses the Zigbee standard, which means you can use cheaper IKEA bulbs with Hue
4. Has a wide variety of bulb styles and accessories available
5. Wirecutter recommended
I have both Hue and LIFX. If casual acquaintances ask for a recommendation I usually say Hue , mainly because it has more accessories and wider third-party support. In many ways I still think the LIFX tech is superior though:

1. I like the LIFX official app better than the Hue app (or any third-party app I have found).
2. LIFX bulbs have better color saturation than Hue bulbs do, so they still make for better party lights than Hue. It's not as dramatic a difference with the newer Hue bulbs, but it's still there. LIFX can also get dimmer before turning off. You can do a very seamless fade-in with LIFX that is not possible with Hue.
3. LIFX bulbs respond much faster than Hue bulbs. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say the LIFX bulbs respond in around 100 ms when I turn them on / off whereas it is pretty common for the Hue to take > 1 second.
4. The Hue bridge can be kind of annoying if you don't keep your router somewhere easily accessible, since it requires a wired Ethernet port and you need to interact with it for authorization.

So if you are a "power user" type you might still prefer LIFX. But for the average joe, I think Hue's wider compatibility and range of bulbs make it an easier system to use. The differences between the two systems are becoming somewhat narrower over time. The big weakness of the old Hue system was terrible color reproduction, but that has gotten better with Gen 3. The achilles heel of LIFX was not supporting many types of fixtures, but they've released several new form factors to make them more competitive with Hue.

I am using LIFX for my main lights and using Hue for accent lights or in fixtures that wouldn't fit the LIFX bulb (prior to the mini).
 
#17
I've got a Philips Hue Bloom and a Philips Hue Iris. Gotta say: they are awesome devices. The only problem I have is that after a few days/weeks, I can't control them via the iOS HOME app anymore. It just says "no signal", while I can still control them via my Hue app (which sucks since it's a few extra steps).

I've tried re-pairing my Bridge, removing them from the Hue app, re-adding them to the Home app, etc.

One "workaround" I've found is using the Hue widget. It's fast.
 
#18
I have both Hue and LIFX. If casual acquaintances ask for a recommendation I usually say Hue , mainly because it has more accessories and wider third-party support. In many ways I still think the LIFX tech is superior though:

1. I like the LIFX official app better than the Hue app (or any third-party app I have found).
2. LIFX bulbs have better color saturation than Hue bulbs do, so they still make for better party lights than Hue. It's not as dramatic a difference with the newer Hue bulbs, but it's still there. LIFX can also get dimmer before turning off. You can do a very seamless fade-in with LIFX that is not possible with Hue.
3. LIFX bulbs respond much faster than Hue bulbs. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say the LIFX bulbs respond in around 100 ms when I turn them on / off whereas it is pretty common for the Hue to take > 1 second.
4. The Hue bridge can be kind of annoying if you don't keep your router somewhere easily accessible, since it requires a wired Ethernet port and you need to interact with it for authorization.

So if you are a "power user" type you might still prefer LIFX. But for the average joe, I think Hue's wider compatibility and range of bulbs make it an easier system to use. The differences between the two systems are becoming somewhat narrower over time. The big weakness of the old Hue system was terrible color reproduction, but that has gotten better with Gen 3. The achilles heel of LIFX was not supporting many types of fixtures, but they've released several new form factors to make them more competitive with Hue.

I am using LIFX for my main lights and using Hue for accent lights or in fixtures that wouldn't fit the LIFX bulb (prior to the mini).
1. Can agree that the Hue app is not great. If you're on iOS, have you tried the built-in Home app? Definitely a more pleasant UI. Same with this third-party Home app.
2. No argument there, if you're looking for the best colors, LIFX is the choice.
3. Weird. That hasn't been the case for me on a second gen Hue bridge using HomeKit. I'm tapping right now on my light sources in the Home app and they respond instantly with a slight gradual fade on/off. Are you using the 2nd gen bridge?

I'd say that if you're OK with spending >$50 on a bulb, then go LIFX. But otherwise, I just don't see regular people buying into smart bulbs for that high of an investment when they're used to paying <$5 for a regular LED bulb. $15 for a cheap hue white bulb (or $18 for an ikea white ambiance bulb) is just much easier to swallow.
 

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MeisaMcCaffrey
#19
Have two lightstrips and one bulb along with a bridge. I love playing with it, the app is very nice. Best feature is the one where they turn off on their own when I'm out of range and turn on when I'm in range. Wanted to put one behind the TV but I guess the floor lamp will do for now.
 
#20
Didn’t realize that there was a hue candelabra out. We have a few Lutron caseta switches but it would be nice to have bulb based controls. I would have to get a new router at this point for the hub unfortunately! I have zero free ether net connections available.
 
#23
1. Can agree that the Hue app is not great. If you're on iOS, have you tried the built-in Home app? Definitely a more pleasant UI. Same with this third-party Home app.
Nope, using Android, and most of the interactions are via the widget to save the time of opening an app. I suppose that once I switch over to using an assistant with voice controls it may become a moot point. It is a daily routine for me to hit the Lights Off button on both the Hue and LIFX one after the other when going to bed, so the difference in responsiveness is something I get frequent comparisons of.

I'm tapping right now on my light sources in the Home app and they respond instantly with a slight gradual fade on/off. Are you using the 2nd gen bridge?
Yes, I have the Gen 2 bridge. It is the initial interaction that is slow. Once you have interacted once, the lights will continue to respond quickly for some period after that. I would speculate that this is related to the fact that Zigbee is designed as a low power protocol so devices do not poll very frequently when they are in a sleep state. Once you have woken them up, they are faster.

I'd say that if you're OK with spending >$50 on a bulb, then go LIFX. But otherwise, I just don't see regular people buying into smart bulbs for that high of an investment when they're used to paying <$5 for a regular LED bulb. $15 for a cheap white bulb is just much easier to swallow.
I haven't found the Hue color lights to be any less expensive. I paid $50 a pop for my G3 bulbs. I have a couple of Hue Blooms that I use for ambient lighting that are $60 each. My Hue Iris (now discontinued) was something like $90-100. That's not even counting the cost of the bridge or the fact that I replaced several of my G2 color bulbs with G3s.

If someone doesn't care about color, then they can definitely go cheaper getting some of the off-brand Zigbee compatible bulbs. I would warn people who take that route that Philips already attempted to disable support for third-party bulbs in the past. If lots of people start buying Ikea bulbs to use with their Hue bridge, I would not be surprised if they do it again.
 
#25
Great thread and good tip on the cheaper bulbs.

I'm currently in the process of adding motion sensors and other automations for my bulbs.
 
#26
Nope, using Android, and most of the interactions are via the widget to save the time of opening an app. I suppose that once I switch over to using an assistant with voice controls it may become a moot point. It is a daily routine for me to hit the Lights Off button on both the Hue and LIFX one after the other when going to bed, so the difference in responsiveness is something I get frequent comparisons of.



Yes, I have the Gen 2 bridge. It is the initial interaction that is slow. Once you have interacted once, the lights will continue to respond quickly for some period after that. I would speculate that this is related to the fact that Zigbee is designed as a low power protocol so devices do not poll very frequently when they are in a sleep state. Once you have woken them up, they are faster.



I haven't found the Hue color lights to be any less expensive. I paid $50 a pop for my G3 bulbs. I have a couple of Hue Blooms that I use for ambient lighting that are $60 each. My Hue Iris (now discontinued) was something like $90-100. That's not even counting the cost of the bridge or the fact that I replaced several of my G2 color bulbs with G3s.

If someone doesn't care about color, then they can definitely go cheaper getting some of the off-brand Zigbee compatible bulbs. I would warn people who take that route that Philips already attempted to disable support for third-party bulbs in the past. If lots of people start buying Ikea bulbs to use with their Hue bridge, I would not be surprised if they do it again.
Ah yeah, use voice control and routines! I just rarely physically tap on/off on my devices to notice something like that, but it could also be because I'm 100% hue right now.

And yes, if we're talking about color spectrum bulbs, the price difference is not that great. But I'm just talking about white/white spectrum bulbs. But thankfully it looks like LIFX is listening with their new mini line. Wish they would get some E12 bulbs too.

I don’t think there’s any situation where I like cold light. Warm light 4 life.
Same. 4000K is my max.
 
#27
I really want a set when I can afford to get the money down for my gaming set up. Do they need to be plugged into a lightbulb socket? I wanted them like...either side of my set up if that makes sense.
You can buy bulbs with different fittings (screw or bayonet) and plug them into light fittings or standalone lamps (table or freestanding). Basically anything that’ll take standard bulbs. Also the light strip plugs into the mains directly (I have this stuck to the back of my TV)

You can get specific hue lamps but they can get expensive. Bloom often goes on sale on amazon though

For my use you may want to consider the dimmer switches. I have these in the living room replacing the normal light switches (the lights have to be always ‘on’ to be able to be controlled - even when turned off by hue). Personally at least I found physical switches essential for the rest of the family to use them - automation is lovely but most of the time you just want to turn the light on
 
#31
I am using Ilumi, but I have been thinking real hard about switching to Hue....have to find a way to use these things until they burn out...which will be AWHILE from what I understand
 
#32
Two A19 bulbs and a lightstrip is a game changer to your setup.

I'll post a picture of them in action later tonight. I fucking love Hue.
 
#36
I hope Hue Entertainment ends up good and that Sony and Microsoft update their consoles for support.
Not very hopeful for a solution for my Samsung Blu-Ray Player, cant see anything happening there unless they release a HDMI Dongle.
About Amazon updating their FireTV I am very confident.
 
#38
I was thinking about getting into Hue with my new lamp but dropped that thought when I saw the two (!!) bulbs I needed were priced at a comfy 99,95€ - sans Bridge.
 
#41
How do I remove Hue Labs from my App? I tried some of the out but now the TV Simulator starts every evening at 8 o clock and I dont want this.

I was thinking about getting into Hue with my new lamp but dropped that thought when I saw the two (!!) bulbs I needed were priced at a comfy 99,95&#8364; - sans Bridge.
Buy IKEA bulbs
 
#44
Awesome thread! I just got some color ambiance bulbs last week, and im still messing around with what cool things I can do with them. Just being able to change the color and turn them off and on with my google home has been incredible.

You mentioned them being able to change when the ISS passes or when trump tweets.... how would you go about setting up something like that?
 
#45
Yah, there are good deals on a semi regular basis for the starter kit, I was specifically looking at the E14 with color for said lamp. Maybe some good sets around christmas, I'll keep an eye out
Oh yeah, we were just talking about the E12/14 Hue bulbs. They're charging up the ass for em. IKEA is coming out with color spectrum bulbs later this month so wait for those.
 
#46
#47
Also: be wary of buying IKEA bulbs for a little longer - there's a lot of old bulbs in stock out there which haven't been updated to the firmware that has Hue support. Those old bulbs will need an IKEA hub to update them

Edit: missed that it was in the OP &#128517;
 
#49
Worth noting that the new Amazon Echo comes with a white Hue bulb and has a built in hub
Thats great. The required 'kits' were always the one thing holding me back from smart bulbs, seems so clunky and lifx was too expensive.

Now if only amazon would release the echo in Canada..