Philips Hue is famed for making some of the best smart lights, offering the widest ranges of color shades (16 million) in a host of shapes and sizes. With product lines such as Hue Go, the brand has been moving the dial beyond individual bulbs to other lighting form factors – including its latest creation, the Hue Go portable table lamp.
Previously, models such as the spotlight-shaped Philips Hue Go 2 and the Philips Hue Gradient Signe table lamp have sported wonderful standout designs, but haven’t necessarily had the traditional homely feel you might be looking for.
The Hue Go portable table lamp takes its design cues from traditional bedside table lamps, with a round base plate and central column supporting its lamp shade top. Available in black and white metal, the lamp makes for a fetching and chic piece on your side table, and comes with a hand grip in situ for moving the lamp from room to room. It’s lightweight at 975g and can be carried with ease around the home – and outside, thanks to its IP54 dust and water protection.
Petite at 35 x 14.2 x 14.2cm (h x w x d), the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is clearly designed with ambiance in mind, rather than lighting up a whole room. The lamp “shade” is purely aesthetic – the round light plate is located on the underside of the lamp shade, meaning the light splays out downwards as it would on a standard lamp without the need of a shade to diffuse the glaring light of standard light bulbs. The light plate itself measures only 25cm high, which proved a little short for use as a reading lamp unless it's on near-full brightness, which maxes out at 530 lumens.
The top of the lamp is fully covered, and home to a button to turn the device on and cycle through the eight color hues available. This button placement is far better than the Hue Go 2, where it was perplexingly positioned on the underside of the lamp; but this does come at the expense of having any light spray from the top of the shade as you might expect from a traditional table lamp. Personally, I didn’t mind this so much, preferring to use the lamp for mood lighting; but this does limit its use somewhat.
The lamp charges on a small wired dock – and, fully charged, the battery can last up to 48 hours, depending on the hue selected. This is almost double the lifespan we saw in the Philips Hue Go 2. On test, more vibrant hues at full brightness saw it last just under 6 hours, while dimmer and less intense settings such as the flickering Cosy Candle scene saw it last close to 48 hours. One of my greatest gripes with Philips Hue lights is that there’s no way to determine the level of battery remaining, but the manufacturers suggest it takes 3-4 hours to fully charge.
The black charging dock itself is the source of two of my biggest complaints with the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp. Although I tested the black lamp, I’ve seen customer feedback online stating that the base plate for the white colorway is also black. This feels like an oversight from a company as design and aesthetic-intensive as Philips Hue.
Second, the lamp isn’t terribly secure on its base. A decisive knock will see it fall off its dock, and even when placed on a table, vibrations through the floor as you walk around your home can cause the lamp to teeter, flickering the light on and off in the process.
You can opt to exclusively use the preset hues on the lamp (my personal favorites are Forest Green and Cosy Candle), but as with all of the best smart lights, there’s no need to fork out for one of the best smart switches to remotely control the Hue Go portable table lamp and unlock its true potential. Simply download the app and, where relevant, add the device to your preferred smart home ecosystem, and you’re good to go.
As with all Philips Hue lights, it’s spectacularly easy to connect the table lamp to the app with either a preinstalled Philips Hue Bridge, which allows for up to 50 devices, or Bluetooth, which allows for up to 10. Once that’s done, you unleash a whole new world of potential for your portable table lamp. You can either use the color wheel to choose from 16 million shades, use some of the many ready-to-go “scenes” (multiple themed colors through which the light will cycle) in Philips Hue’s library, or even create your own custom scenes using the color wheel or your favorite photos.
All in all, the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is a slightly flawed yet fantastic addition to the Philips Hue Go lineup. It could certainly do with being a little taller and a little brighter to meet the expectations a user would have of a regular table lamp, and it feels like Philips Hue fell at the last hurdle when it comes to the wobbly, sometimes mismatched charging base.
Still, it’s the only smart table lamp I can think of to take its design cues from the more familiar, traditional table lamp form factor, and as a first attempt it works fantastically well. I found the lamp to be really useful, too. Its battery life is truly impressive, and its portability came in very handy when I was looking in dark cupboards, crawling around under my desk trying to fix my PC, and enjoying company on my balcony.
It also feels like a great entry point for newbies to start building their first smart home. Its inoffensive design, user-friendly app, and simple setup make for the perfect companion.
Philips Hue Go portable table lamp review: Price and availability
- List price: $159.99 / £139.99
- Available in the US & UK
- Can be bought direct from Philips or resellers
The Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is available for $159.99 / £139.99 directly from the Philips Hue US and Philips Hue UK websites and online retailers such as Amazon. The main body is available in two colors, each with two different hand grip options; black with either a dark grey or orange grip and white with either sage green or teal. The charge plate for both colorways is black.
While the light can be easily set up using Bluetooth, you might want to opt to connect more devices and use the Philips Hue Bridge, which is sold separately for $59.99 / £49.99.
Philips Hue Go portable table lamp review: Specs
|Philips Hue Gradient Signe table light|
|Price:||$159.99 / £139.99|
|Designed for:||Portable use around the home|
|Connectivity:||Bluetooth and Hue Bridge|
|Voice command compatibility||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit|
|Lumen output at 4000K:||530lm|
|Battery lifetime up to:||20,000|
|Light color:||2000-6500 Hue White Colour Ambiance|
|Dimensions:||35cm x 14.2cm at widest (H x W)|
|Protection:||IP54, dust and splashproof|
Should you buy the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp?
|Price||Given its slightly low brightness and the issues with its base plate, I’d say the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is marginally overpriced. However, everything else is made with fantastic care and attention to detail.||4/5|
|Design||The base plate really takes away from its design, as does the height of the light plate and the lack of any overhead light spray. Nevertheless, the simple design is attractive.||3.5/5|
|Performance||As we’ve come to expect from Philips Hue, the light performs splendidly. There’s minimal delay between the app and the light, it integrates easily with various smart home ecosystems, and delivers a wonderful ambient light.||5/5|
|App||I was impressed with how long the table lamp lasts off a single charge when projecting vibrant and bright colors, but even more so with how energy efficient it is on less intense settings. I just wish Philips Hue would give us a battery percentage indicator.||4.5/5|
Buy it if...
You want a lamp for use indoors and out
Having a portable lamp is something I never knew I needed; however, it proved super useful on many occasions during testing. Unlike the standard Philips Hue Go, the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is also suited for outdoor use – a boon for those summer evening gatherings.
You want a mood light, not a room light
The Philips Hue portable table lamp offers soft lighting that’s great for brightening the corner of your room, or as a bedside lamp. Its massive color range and the ability to customize scenes makes it an excellent choice for those who want mood lighting.
You want an easy access point to smart lighting
Of all of Philips Hue’s lights, this feels one of the most accessible for those who are beginning to switch to smart lighting. It’s magnificently easy to set up, looks more familiar than other, more modern or futuristic form factors, and still works with features such as Philips Hue’s music synchronization, which means users can grow into their new smarter home at their own pace.
Don't buy it if...
You want to light up the whole room
With just 530 lumens to play with and a light plate that’s only 25cm high, the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is neither bright enough nor tall enough to light up a whole room.
There are lots of vibrations in your home
Due to its slightly unstable charging dock, homes with frequent vibrations might not be the best choice for the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp. During testing, simply walking through my flat was enough to slightly dislodge the lamp from its charger and cause it to flicker.
You’ll mostly be using its portable mode
I really do love the portability of this lamp, but not being able to determine its battery percentage discourages its use in portable mode for anything more than a few hours. Following that time frame, I found myself worrying that I’d be plunged into darkness at any given moment.
Philips Hue Go Portable table lamp review: Also consider
|Philips Hue Go portable table light||Philips Hue Bloom Table Lamp||Wiz Mobile Portable Light|
|Price:||$159.99 / £139.99||£79.99||£79.99|
|Designed for:||Indoors and outdoors||Living room, bedrooms||Indoor|
|Connectivity:||Bluetooth Hue and / or Hue Bridge||Bluetooth Hue and / or Hue Bridge||Wi-Fi|
|Voice command compatibility||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant & Siri|
|Lumen output at 4000K:||530lm||500lm||400lm|
|Lifetime up to:||20,000h||25,000h||25,000h|
|Light color:||2000-6500 Hue White Colour Ambiance||2000-6500 Hue White Colour Ambiance||2200-6500 (RGB)|
|Wattage bulb included:||6||7.1||13.5|
|Dimensions:||H35cm x W14.2cm at widest||H10.1 x L12.6 x W12.9cm||H19.3 x L11.6 x W11.6cm|
How I tested the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp
- I tested the table lamp for 2 weeks
- I connected via Bluetooth and the Hue Bridge
- I set routines to which I could wake and fall asleep, and used Apple HomeKit to control it
I used the Philips Hue Go portable table lamp around my home for a couple of weeks, using it as a reading light, desk light, outdoor light and room light to see which settings it worked best in.
I charged the lamp fully and then tested how long it took to drain the battery with different light settings and also used the Philips Hue app to test its functions and features, including its scenes and music sync features. During testing, I used Apple HomeKit, and it worked an absolute treat.