Philips Hue is offering smart home users in the UK the ability to customise their smart lighting starter kit. The Philips Hue starter kit usually comes with three smart light bulbs, which come in either bayonet, screw or GU10 fitting, along with a Hue bridge. The bridge enables the bulbs can be controlled even when you’re not close by, and also lets you create routines that see lights switch on automatically either at certain times or when other smart home devices spring into action - for example when a home security camera detects motion.
If you have a range of different light fittings in your home and need a selection of different bulb fittings, or perhaps you want just one or two smart bulbs, but want to add to the lighting in your home with smart wall or ceiling lamps, light strips or outdoor smart lighting, you could find yourself wasting money on components you don’t need, and having to spend extra to get the lights you want.
However, if you’re in the UK, you now have the option to create your own starter kit, by visiting this dedicated Philips Hue website, where you can choose from the different Hue products available. Even better, you can nab a 25% discount off the RRP if you add a Hue bridge to your basket.
Opinion: Customisation is key
The idea of having a smart home, where we can switch on systems such as heating or lighting in just one tap may feel aspirational, but it’s certainly not quite ‘the norm’ in the UK right now. Research by Uswitch reveals that just 12% of UK homes have purchased smart lights, and of those 57% admit to not using them to their full potential.
It’s not hard to see why – while the heating or power outlets in our homes are pretty much standardised between rooms, it’s not the case when it comes to lighting. As I decorate each room in my home, I put as much thought into the lightning as I do soft furnishings or furniture, because it’s key when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere.
I’ve picked out particular lamps and ceiling lights for each room, and that means that not every lamp uses the same light fitting. This can certainly make switching the existing bulbs for smart versions a costly exercise, especially when starter kits only offer one style of fitting.
Similarly, while I’m happy to use Hue Colour Ambience bulbs in some rooms of my home, enabling me to change the colour of my lighting at will, in other rooms I only really need to be able to choose between shades of white. However, Philips starter kits currently don’t offer a mix of colour and white smart bulbs.
It looks like this new Philips Hue initiative will give you more flexibility when it comes to kitting your home out with smart lighting. However, it’s worth noting that customising your starter kit via the Philips Hue website may not be the most affordable way to purchase Hue bulbs.
Already have a Hue bridge but want to expand your Philips Hue smart lights? Then check out the best deals on smart lighting available right now.
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Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.