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Philips Hue Review – Smart Lights

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All Philips Hue products featured in this review were purchased by me.

Wondering whether to invest in smart lighting? Our must read Philips Hue review tells you what it’s really like living in a home kitted out with smart lights.

I hold my hands up here, I do LOVE a gadget and smart home technology is up at the top of my list of things to buy.

Anything that makes my life easier and just does exactly what I want it to, is a good thing! And that’s why I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Philips Hue lights.

I first bought a Philips Hue starter kit when I became totally fed up with the dim, dull, gloomy light emitting from eco-lightbulbs. I hated it’s oppressive vibe.

So I thought I’d try Philips Hue smart lights in my living room. Just to see if I liked them.

Philips Hue Go Portable Light on a dark blue stool with a succulent plant and copper piping candlesticks

What’s In The Philips Hue Starter Kit

I bought the Philips Hue Starter Kit B22 which contains

  • Hue Bridge – this is the little box that links your lights altogether and links them all up to the Philips Hue app for touch or voice control. You can add up to 50 Philips Hue smart light bulbs and 12 accessories to the Hue Bridge.
Philips Hue Bridge
  • 2 Philips Hue Bulbs (which emit white and coloured light)

This enabled me to quickly set up my Hue Bridge, connect to wifi and then control my main living room lights, using a range of white light from cosy warm and ambient to bright, clear white light.

It also gave me the option to use colours, which I can set to the exact shade I want using the Home App on the iPhone and also voice control via Apple Watch, iPhone or HomePod.


The smart lights were just so easy to use, and the light quality was so good and completely adjustable, with flexible automation controls, I wanted them all throughout my home.

So over the next few months I added more smart light bulbs to my Philips Hue setup until they were everywhere, in every main room light and every lamp, all through the house.

My Hue Accessories

Once I’d kitted out the whole house with Hue smart light bulbs, I started to add a few accessories, this is a work in progress but up to now I’m absolutely LOVING the accessories I’ve bought.

Philips Hue Light Strip

Philips Hue light strip in a hallway emitting lilac light

The Philips Hue light strip just adds a little ambient lighting to my hallway, where there isn’t room for a lamp.

The colours and brightness are totally customisable, so I can create the exact vibe I want and change it as often as I like.

The smart LED light strip just plugs into a regular plug socket and the adhesive back sticks onto the surface. The smart light strip bends really easily and is super flexible so you can curve it and get it to fit exactly where you want it to be. You can also cut the strip to size very easily.

Philips Hue light strip in a hallway emitting blue light

The Philips Hue light strips are a great way to add a little mood lighting, or light and vibrance to a dull corner. Or use as feature lighting or work lighting under cupboards and above countertops.

You can also get the Philips Hue LED light strips which are suitable for use outdoors (these are on my list of things to buy)

Philips Hue Go Portable Light

Philips Hue Go Portable light  emitting lilac light. Lamp is on a dark blue stool next to a succulent plant in a copper plant pot and copper candlesticks made from plumbing pipes

I added a Hue Go Portable Light to my collection. This is a BRILLIANT little smart light. And I completely love the half sphere design. Totally sleek and modern.

This portable lamp is powered by rechargeable internal battery which lasts up to 3 hours. I can use it to emit white light or coloured, and again I can choose the exact colour and ambience of the light.

Because it’s portable I can move this around my home, and use it to add a little extra light wherever I fancy. I do use this in the garden sometimes on warm nights, when we’re still sat outdoors, but I am careful as it’s glass and not waterproof!

Even whilst being used as a portable light, it can still be fully controlled using my smart phone/voice control.

Read our Philips Hue Outdoor Light Review here (ad feature) 

Philips Hue Smart Plug

Philips Hue smart plug on a wooden table

I also added a Philips Hue Smart Plug. I 100% admit I added this out of absolute laziness! In the bedroom I have lovely fairy lights hanging around the bed head….

fairy lights hung across the bed head plugged in with a Philips Hue smart plug

But once I get into bed and am just drifting off to sleep, I don’t want to get back out again to switch them off…. so in steps the Philips Hue Smart Plug. Now, from my sleepy, snuggled up position I can just whisper “Hey Siri, turn off the fairy lights” and out they go.

Total 100% laze and I LOVE it!

Philips Hue Accessories on my list to buy!

I’m adding to my Philips Hue smart lighting all the time and am definitely looking at buying…

How easy are the Philips Hue smart lights to use?

Honestly, the Philips Hue smart lights are ridiculously easy! I completely LOVE how simple it is to use them and in a busy family home, they just work so well in exactly the way we want them too.

Little things like, having messy or wet hands but needing the light on is now as simple as saying “Hey Siri turn the kitchen lights on” and within seconds, they’re on.

If the kids are awake at night, and there’s ‘monsters’ under the bed, it’s as simple as them saying “Hey Siri turn the boys bedroom lights on” and ping! The lights are on, and the monsters are gone.

Because the Philips Hue has HomeKit support we control the lights via the iPhone Home app, rather than the Philips Hue app. It just means everything is integrated to suit me.

Via the Home app I can control and set a whole range of really cool smart light features. The home app is great because I can control it using Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, HomePod or even Apple TV.

Turning the lights on and off

It’s super easy to quickly go onto my Home app and choose the lights I want to switch on or off.

Home App with Philps Hue lights touch screen


I can adjust the brightness on each light individually, setting each smart light brightness to exactly as I like.


I can select colours for my Philips Hue coloured bulbs. I can choose exactly the shade of coloured light I want.

And once I’ve chosen the colours I like I can change the temperature to add a cool or warm vibe to the colour.

I can create scenes

Creating scenes groups a set of lights together and switches them all on/off at certain times.

Automate lights

I can also automate the smart lights so they all (or selected lights) switch on as soon as the first person returns home, or all the lights off as the last person leaves.

Philips Hue lights automation screen on the Apple home app

What can Philips Hue do?

The thing about smart lighting is it’s really SMART! It does loads of neat extras, things that just enhance day to day life and making nicer, better and easier. And who doesn’t want that?

As well as the obvious – lighting your home, in the way you want it to be lit, controlled via touch app or voice control, Philips Hue also has a few added ways it makes light just a whole lot smarter and better.

Using smart lights to create ambience

With Philips Hue I can choose from over 16 millions colours so I can create exactly the ambience I want.

Be it a cosy night in front of the TV, a romantic dinner for two in the dining room or a bright, high energy party vibe. With Philips Hue I can do lights my way at the touch of a button.

Smart lights home security

I like the added benefit of being able to have all the lights switched on ready for when I arrive home. Walking into a well lit home is way better than fumbling around in the dark trying to find light switches.

I like the fact I can automate lights to switch on and off even when I’m not home, so there’s an illusion of being home, it just adds a little extra sense of security.

Philips Hue Daily Activity Lighting

A really cool feature of the Philips Hue lights is the daily activity lighting, this means you get exactly the right level of lighting throughout the day.

From gentle lights to wake you, through to brighter more energising light, focussed light for work, and then switching again to gentle, relaxing lights in the evening for winding down ready for bed. Perfect!

Philips Hue – Wake Up and Sleep Light

You can set the Philips Hue lights to gradually wake you up in the morning, just like a sunrise and gradually wind down to more relaxing tones in the evening to help you drift off to sleep. This is brilliant during the winter months.

Philips Hue – Entertainment

You can sync your coloured lights with music and films using a range of different apps so that your TV and movie watching or gaming becomes a whole lot more immersive.

You can even create a disco party environment, just using an app. So the lights will dance and change to your music.

Is smart lighting worth buying?

Smart Home is the future, over time homes will be filled with more and more technology to enhance our lives and the assist the way with live.

Smart lighting for me has been a great investment. I LOVE how easy it is to use, I enjoy using all the features from the security features, to the totally controllable and customisable lighting that enhances our family entertainment experience.

It makes it super easy for me to create great light quality, exactly the light we need for everything we do and also create atmosphere. And that is a good thing.

Also… if you have kids and they NEVER turn out lights, then it’s super easy to make sure they’re all off in just a second. Meaning lights are never left on all day accidentally.

Once you’ve bought and installed the Starter Kit, you’ll quickly want to add more and more features to enhance your smart lighting and you’ll just LOVE how easy it is to integrate with HomePod for total ease of use.

Philips Hue Starter Kits are available from £119, so it’s a good price point to start your switch to Smart Lights at home and you can just add to your smart lighting gradually over a few months.

If you’re wondering whether to give smart lights a try I’d 100% recommend buying the Philips Hue lights, I’ve been super impressed and I think you will be too.

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