Philips Hue - How are they?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thedeejay, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. thedeejay macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #1
    Hey guys, I'm currently thinking about purchasing the Hue lighting set. They're going to replace my overhead lights in my room which are about 60W. How are they? What are your thoughts. Are they bright enough?

    Thanks.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    I have a set, 3 bulbs, and use them in the bedroom. I like them and have them on timers for certain times of the day including dimming over a 30-minute period. Depending on the "scene" you choose can determine the brightness. I think they could benefit from having the capability of being brighter, but it's not so bad really.
     
  3. jwalker99 macrumors newbie

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    #3
    If you can live without the multi-color spectrum, you might want to consider TCP-Connected for a cheaper "smart" lighting solution. The initial set up is 40% cheaper than HUE, and includes a remote (very handy). Plus, each additional bulb is a third the price of a HUE bulb - which can add up quickly depending on how many lights you want to connect. Except for the colors, TCP offers basically the same features as HUE - control the lights remotely from your phone or ipad, dim, set timers, etc. Available at Home Depot or Amazon.
     
  4. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #4
    How are activities like reading on your eyes? I'm just worried about certain tasks like Reading, or writing (not on computer). How are they for those situations.

    ----------

    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked them up at Home Depot and my local store is out of them. I wasn't feeling like going to the next store that had them available but I'll give them a try. It's $79.99 for a 2-bulb starter set. Not bad!
     
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #5
    Not too bad really, as long as you use one of the brighter scenes, or create one yourself. It's not nearly as bright as a conventional light bulb, but it gets the job done.
     
  6. Pitmaster macrumors member

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    #6
    I have 18 bulbs for various rooms in the house. Perfect for mood lighting for parties, timing for security, and dimming. As some have said, wish they had more lumen capacity.
     
  7. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #7
    That's great to hear. I'm thinking of 3 for overhead light and 1 for night table. How's your experience with table lamps and such?
     
  8. Pitmaster macrumors member

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    #8
    I have 2 for nightstands in my master bedroom so my wife and I can control our own reading lighting and one in my desk lamp which is great for varying projects I'm working on. I also have a dual 27" monitor setup so I have one set up behind each monitor and set it to blue, white or red depending on my mood. If I'm gaming it's one color, if I'm writing it's another color, if I'm editing, it's another color depending on how I'm feeling. I find it really comforting.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #9
    Wooooo, that sure is a beauty. Ordered my Hue today from Apple. Thanks for the picture :D
     
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #10
    I've outfitted my entire house with them. For the most part, I've really enjoyed them. However, I will warn you that the regular Hue bulb's colorspace doesn't include blue or standard green. As an alternative, they do a dark purple and lime green.

    I think this is something they'll correct in the next version.

    If you go all in, the light strips and bloom both do blue and green. And the new iris does practically everything. Also, they just announced a wireless wall switch/remote for Hue that apparently doesn't use batteries.

    They're expensive, but I'd say go for it.
     
  11. Zxxv macrumors 68040

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    #11
    I was looking at these but I would have preferred a more secure direct connection instead of logging into and through philips website.

    a secure connection could have been achieved by iPhone and bridge exchanging a token so only they communicate and can unravel the communication sent. Same way secure sms works (Pair and exchange a token with the devices in person being most secure) The philips way I guess they want access to all our activity so they can sell it.

    shares all your activity with google and other 3rd parties

    http://meethue.com/en-us/privacy-and-cookies/
     
  12. Unami macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    all in all I like them. being able to control them via apps is equally godsend and curse. you need to have your phone/computer/tablet within reach - and it takes time to unlock your phone, start the app, wait for the app to communicate with the hue bridge and then take your settings (this should work faster with iOS 8 ). a lot of times it's faster to just use the lightswitch (but you can't switch on the lamp if you've switched their power off via the light switch). i'm looking forward for the hue tap switch (which unfortunately makes the system even more expensive). on the other hand, you don't need to get up, if you want to change the light, which can be pretty nifty.

    also, the hue app could have been better designed - e.g. it's virtually impossible on a phone to set two lamps to the same color without grouping them together (then you can't set separate brightness). i also wished, the app would offer more functions. third party apps are nice, but often buggy and usually don't offer more functions/better design than the first party app. ITTT support is also nice, but most of the time pretty useless. also, they exhibit that kind of flickering that's unnoticeable by eyes but very prominent in videos (so you won't be able to use them as effect lights).

    still, besides all this criticism, they are good products, bright enough for my needs, and work very well within their limits. just be aware that like every early adopter, you'll probably get a much better & much cheaper product in just a few years (ask me about my chinese €300 mp3-disc-player…). hopefully that product will be compatible with hue.
     
  13. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #13
    I have three bulbs, and the power went out a couple of days ago due to some storms. When the power came back on, one bulb will no longer connect. I haven't fiddled with it too much yet, as it turns on and off with he switch, but there is no wireless control anymore.
     
  14. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #14
    Wow that's weird. What gives? How's the warranty for those things? I'm going into Apple this weekend to pick up the starter pack.
     
  15. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #15
    Hmm... I didn't think about a warranty. I bought mine through Amazon so I will have to check on that today.
     
  16. Shakko macrumors member

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    #16
    I went all in with Hue about a month ago, and got the starter kit with 4 additional spotlight bulbs.. only to return them all. Initially, Hue was very cool and I could control colors, dimming, and even had some recipes set up with IFTTT so when I came home, the lights turned on, etc... but after a while, it just turned out to be a gimmick / party trick. My goal was that I could replace all of my lights in my apartment and use Hue as the primary lighting solution.

    A few things I didn't really like:
    - The API is nice, but not fully baked yet. For example, lets say I set up an alert on IFTTT to change the light near the computer to blue whenever I get an email; it will change to blue, and stay there. There is no way to make it just pulse blue, and go back to whatever else it was at. Another thing with IFTTT integration: if you want the lights to blink when something happens, the lights blink for about 8 times. There is no way to control the number of blinks or the blink duration.

    - The Philips iOS app is terrible. There are others that are much better, but the API hasn't been fully harnessed yet. If you want an app that's going to match your music, there is usually a delay from when you hear the beat in your music to when your lights react. When some apps are set to fade colors to create scenes, they must be running in the background with a big red bar on top of your iPhone.

    - The 600 lumens is not enough for normal white / warm white lighting. I have a had about 3 spotlights installed where I previously had CFL 60W lights, and it's incredible how dim the philips bulbs are compared to the CFLs.

    - After checking out the colors, I realized most of the time, I just want a simple white / warm white color to be constant. The value just wasn't there when I was going to spend 80% of the time running the bulbs at white.

    - It cannot reproduce all of the colors it says it can. Try to reproduce a bright green or any green based colors. It does a great job at blues and reds, but the greens are lacking. I could only get green to show up when it was a very orangeish green and even that would only really work when the room was completely dark. I recently tried out a $25 LED strip from Amazon which had better greens.

    Overall, it was a neat party trick, but once the novelty wore off, it just didn't perform as well as I wanted to be my apartment's primary lighting source.
     
  17. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

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    #17
    They are Great, being able to change the colours and control from your phone is amazing.
     
  18. thedeejay thread starter macrumors 65816

    thedeejay

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    #18
    UPDATE: Thanks for all your responses. It really made me go ahead and buy the bulbs even with the cons it currently has. I think the best part is although you guys all mentioned "wishing it was brighter" because I have 3 bulbs closely attached it's not too bad. Let me show you what I mean.

    It's about 7PM here so it isn't as bright in pictures but in person it sure is beautiful.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

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    #19
    Your requests don't go through Philips' website unless you access Hue over the Internet, which is optional. You can use them in a local-only mode. If your phone is on the same network as your Hue bridge, it will send commands directly to the bridge's IP address. If you have configured the bridge to allow
    you to control your lights via the Internet from your phone (or the website), then requests must necessarily go through Philips' website, though not all features are supported in this case. That said, the bridge does appear to maintain an open socket with Philips so you can do this without configuring port mapping or anything, and it needs to know the internal and external IP address of the bridge to make this work. Beyond that, all the privacy policy says it collects are "button presses," which I assume means for pairing of the bridge to a device (that's how you do it, by the way: each device or app generates a shared "ID" that gets stored on the bridge), though I guess it could also mean presses on Hue Tap.

    Nothing seems to concerning to me in there.

    The Hue Lux is available for pre-order now and should be out by the end of September. It's brighter than regular Hue but does only a warm white. It sounds like this would address many of your concerns, as well as those of others with similar concerns. I'm planning on replacing the bulb in my office-type room with this one. It's also a bit cheaper at $30.
     
  20. Zxxv macrumors 68040

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    #20
    No it collects everything. You push a button on your iPhone and it stores it and sends it to google so they know where you are and at what time etc

    If you don't use the remote operation from out of your home it's limited and not taking advantage of one of its best features. I still say it doesn't need to go through their website. One day maybe we'll have the privacy of direct connection without the snooping but this isn't it.

     
  21. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

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    #21
    You can connect directly--the bridge has an IP address on your local network, and it can respond to RESTful HTTP commands. (You can still get remote connectivity by establishing a VPN connection to your home network, which will actually get you more functionality than using the website or app via the Internet.)

    I see the mention of Google in the policy, but they are not allowed to do anything with the data that Philips isn't, so it's back to Philips' policy, and that policy doesn't cover just Hue but also anything you might do related to Hue, like signing up for marketing promotions. It doesn't collect usage data unless you create an account, which you don't need to if you're so concerned about it that you only want to use them locally or via VPN as I mentioned.
     
  22. Zxxv macrumors 68040

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    #22
    So much hassle.
     
  23. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

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    #23
    Then how, exactly, do you expect to be able to control your lights from "off campus" without going through Philips' website if you don't want to VPN into your network? (Well, there's the third option of publicly exposing the bridge itself, but I wouldn't do that with a device on my network that I really don't have much control over.)

    You can't be surprised about that. :)
     
  24. Zxxv macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Described in my first reply to topic
     

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