Philips Hue review

Smart lighting that connects to more than just your phone

Philips Hue
Image Credit: Philips

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Philips definitely understands what the smart home needs right now. It’s produced a wide range of different LED bulbs, which create a complete lighting ecosystem, and it’s made an effort to integrate with almost every third-party service under the sun. 

This is really what the smart home needs right now. Not isolated products working in silos, but smart devices ready to integrate together to work as a team. 

All of this means that the Philips Hue bulbs are among the best smart bulbs on the market today, but the real competition is from traditional ‘dumb’ bulbs, which can be bought at a fraction of the cost. 

On this point we still think that unless you’re prepared to invest a lot of money in a full suite of bulbs and switches, then you won’t get the most out of your Hue bulbs. 

We liked

The Philips Hue range has grown considerably, and it now has led bulbs for almost every type of light fixture. It’s also got a number of smart switches that allow you to control your lights the old fashioned way. 

The bulbs themselves produce a nice quality of light that’s much better than the harsh white light that used to be associated with LED bulbs. 

After a couple of key updates, the Philips Hue app is in a pretty good state. It’s quick and easy to turn your bulbs on and off and it’s also no trouble to set custom colors and scenes. 

Finally, Philips Hue integrates with an impressive number of third-party services, meaning that it makes it as easy as possible to get the bulbs speaking to the rest of your smart home. 

You'll need to have the Philips Hue Bridge plugged into you router for the lights to work

You'll need to have the Philips Hue Bridge plugged into you router for the lights to work

We disliked

They’ve come down in price over the years, but Philips Hue bulbs are still far more expensive than their non-smart equivalents. If you’re going to purchase them then you’re going to need to make the most out of the bulbs' smart functionality or else that extra money will have been spent in vain. 

This expense gets even worse if you want to build a complete ecosystem. Additional light switches can cost as much as the bulbs themselves. 

The problem is that without them you’ll need to constantly pull your phone out of your pocket to turn the lights on and off, and over time you might find yourself just using your old light switches - which makes your smart lighting seem redundant. 


If you’re prepared to invest in the complete ecosystem, then Philips Hue really does offer the best smart lighting solution around. 

Philips offers almost everything you could need to build a smart lighting system, and its integration with third-party services allows you to fill in any blanks. 

But, if you’re hoping to get away with investing in a couple of bulbs and calling it a day then you might end up being disappointed as it can end up feeling like a hassle having to use your phone to control your lights. 

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.