Adds a dimmer to any light fixture
Works with voice control
App is very user friendly
You can use your light as a timer
More expensive than traditional bulbs
Must be in same room to control bulb
Most features need Hue Bridge (sold separately)
We purchased the Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulb so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
There’s a lot to love about smart home products and accessories. Every year, there’s something new on that market that promises to make our home lives a little easier. Is the higher cost per lightbulb worth it for me to turn lights on and off with my phone or a voice command? I tested a four-pack of Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulbs to see if they are a worthy addition to my home.
The Philips Hue line includes a variety of smart light bulbs and fixtures, all designed to connect with the Philips Hue Bluetooth app and allow you to completely customize the ambiance of your home, inside and out.
The lights are energy-efficient LEDs and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and models to suit your space. The light bulbs I tested are called "White" and are the shape of a traditional bulb, meant to fit most lamps and fixtures. They provide soft white light that dims to the right warm light level for your space or preference.
Installing the lightbulbs into my light fixtures is the same as any other lightbulb. I put a bulb in my bedside lamp, a floor lamp in our living room, a living room ceiling light, and the light outside our front door. The last step is pairing each bulb to the app to access the smart features. The user-friendly app is pleasing to use. If you plan to link the bulbs to Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you will need the app installed first.
All of the bulbs are controlled via Bluetooth (whether you use voice control or the mobile app). I have an Amazon Alexa device in my living room, so I set those two bulbs with voice control. You have to be within a one-room distance from the lightbulb to control it by voice. I lost connectivity through walls in my home, but it worked for our open-concept living/dining room/kitchen. The other bulbs were controlled using the Philips Hue Bluetooth app.
The lights are energy-efficient LEDs and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and models to suit your space.
Under "Settings," you can choose Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but like any other Bluetooth device, it only pairs with one at a time. It can't stay paired to a phone at the same time. The bulbs can only be paired with one person’s app in the home. You'll also need to name your bulbs; for instance, I called my bulbs "Overhead Light" and "Side Lamp' so that my instructions to Alexa were easy to differentiate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you control with these bulbs?
The Hue Bluetooth app comes with a few presets like "Nightlight," "Dimmed," and "Bright," which can be used to change all of the lights in the room to a certain level of brightness with just a tap. You can also create your own presets or timed lighting or dimming routines if you want something more customized.
How many lights can you control in the house?
You can only control up to 10 lights. To connect up to 50 Philips smart lights in your home, you need to purchase and connect your lights to a Philips Hue Bridge (formerly called Philips Hue Hub). The Bridge connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and gives you seamless control, even when you aren’t at home. With the Bridge, you can do things like set schedules, time your lights with sunset/sunrise, activate vacation mode, and create geofences so that your lights turn off when you leave the house.
Are these lightbulbs worth the price?
These bulbs cost about $13 per bulb, which is standard for an LED bulb. You might feel like it costs more upfront, but the bulb will last for 25,000 hours. Depending on the number of hours per day that you run the light, it can go more than three years without needing a change, and it's incredibly energy efficient. It's a win-win all around.
Philips Hue Smart Bulbs vs. Other Smart Light Bulbs
There are tons of smart light bulbs available online or at your local hardware store, and depending on your needs, they vary in price and functionality. If you have a couple of fixtures you want to control very simply with an app, the Philips Hue bulbs are good, but I would opt for something more basic and cheaper. Alternatively, if you want a ton of functionality and envision controlling all the lights in your home with an app packed with high-tech features like geofencing, I’d choose Philips Hue, hands down.
This is a solid choice and even better if you add a Bridge.
Overall, I loved this smart light bulb set and purchased another set to customize my home lighting fully. The app was easy to use, and the white light was bright and soft, which you don’t always get from LED lights. The voice control was spotty sometimes. I liked the preset "scenes" for different moods and using my nightstand lamp as a bedtime timer. You get more features and more for your money when you purchase a Hue Bridge.
- Product Name Hue White 4-Pack A19 LED Smart Bulb
- Product Brand Philips
- MPN A19
- Price $49.99
- Weight 1.72 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.4 x 4.3 x 2.4 in.
- Color White
- Brightness 800 lumens
- Warranty 3 years