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This year marks the sixth anniversary of the first products launched by Philips Hue in October 2012, with an original system that came with three Hue bulbs and one bridge and was sold as an Apple Store exclusive. Over time, Philips Hue added HomeKit support after Apple introduced the software framework in 2014, and numerous new bulbs, lamps, lightstrips, and more have come out of Philips Lighting -- now Signify -- over the past six years.

hue-play-review-1.jpg

The latest lamps are a collection of fixtures that highlight your entertainment area, with one taller set (Hue Signe) and one shorter set (Hue Play) offering new and unique ways to attain bias lighting around your television, favorite pieces of art, and more. Signify sent me one pair of Hue Play lights for the purpose of this review, and over the past few weeks I've come to enjoy them as the latest addition to my dozen-bulb Hue setup, although I have yet to find them as indispensable as my other HomeKit devices and lights.

Setup

Like any new Hue bulb added onto an existing ecosystem, initial setup for Hue Play was pretty seamless. Out of the box, Hue Play comes with two light bars that each have a cord to connect with the main AC power adapter (which itself can power up to three Hue Play light bars). If you're going to lay Hue Play flat, you won't have to do anything but plug them in to an outlet and place them on your entertainment center, floor, etc.

hue-play-review-22.jpg

If you want to stand them up, Hue Play comes with two black plastic stands that can be attached to the bottom edge of each light bar using an included Allen wrench and screw. After this quick installation, Hue Play can sit vertically beside your TV. The box also includes two different plastic stands that attach to the center back of each light bar, with an adhesive tape that attaches Hue Play to a smooth surface, namely the back of your TV.

hue-play-review-3.jpg

Once the light bars are installed, you can add them into your HomeKit setup using the Philips Hue iOS app. In the Hue app I searched for and added Hue Play into my apartment's setup, renaming them and assigning them to the correct room. Once in Hue's app new lights sync to Apple's Home app, which is where I primarily interact with my Hue lightbulbs. It was just as easy to set up and add Hue Play into various scenes and automations in Home as it has been for all other Hue bulbs I've purchased.


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Article Link: Review: Philips Hue Play Adds Bright Bias Lighting to Your Entertainment Center
 
Last edited:

H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2010
3,050
3,499
Pittsburgh PA

As a Lightstrip+ and Extension user, may I offer a suggestion?

I have a 43" TV and ran my Lightstrip+ and Extension around the back of my tv in it's entirety. I have enough 'extra' Lightstrip that I believe I could move this setup to a 55". I then used self-adhesive, square wire-tie hold anchors (with wireties, of course) to attach my Lightstrip. While the original adhesive has long given up the ghost, these have not.

Additionally, I have my TV mounted in an Ikea Lappland (reinforced with 2x4's for the actual TV mounting), and my Lightstrip is brighter than the Play setup in your pictures, partially because of how close my TV is to the wall itself as well as it covering 360 degrees of the back of the TV.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2010
3,050
3,499
Pittsburgh PA
Attached is part of my setup; this is the Lightstrip+ with Extension, and two of the 6 Hue bulbs visible in my living room during Ghost Adventures Live last night.

[doublepost=1541087141][/doublepost]
One question: Is there any option for this lighting to automatically sync its colors with the TV, a la Philips Ambilight?

Not exactly. Hue has apps for the Mac and PC, but not for an Apple TV or via any sort of pass-through for your cable box.

There is an app that you run on your phone, however I believe there's delay and well... you have to use your phone.
 

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Plurfectworld

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2018
1
0
One question: Is there any option for this lighting to automatically sync its colors with the TV, a la Philips Ambilight?
I use the app hue matcher for Android phones. Point the camera at it and matches the screen colors in live time. Neat app but have to keep the camera pointed at the TV.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,822
16,748
Central U.S.
I just use this. It's less than $15 and is powered by the USB port on the back of my TV, although I needed two: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A9RN2L2/

You can just cut it to length and it comes with adhesive already applied. Might need a cheap USB power splitter to use two. My port was able to power two, probably because this is LED. You can adjust the color using a little remote attached to it. Fun for doing two color combinations for team colors when hosting sports viewing parties, but also nice to just leave on the neutral setting the rest of the time. Adds a nice pop to the TV display and brightens the room a little more when watching movies without needing a lamp while giving enough light to move around during dark scenes. It also tricks your eyes to make the blacks look deeper on an LCD TV without local dimming.
 

SteveJobs2.0

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
853
1,453
Can each of the two Hue Play lights display a different colour? I missed this part in the post.
 

BrentD

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
288
202
I just use this. It's less than $15 and is powered by the USB port on the back of my TV, although I needed two: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A9RN2L2/

You can just cut it to length and it comes with adhesive already applied. Might need a cheap USB power splitter to use two. My port was able to power two, probably because this is LED. You can adjust the color using a little remote attached to it. Fun for doing two color combinations for team colors when hosting sports viewing parties, but also nice to just leave on the neutral setting the rest of the time. Adds a nice pop to the TV display and brightens the room a little more when watching movies without needing a lamp while giving enough light to move around during dark scenes. It also tricks your eyes to make the blacks look deeper on an LCD TV without local dimming.
I love how they show such clean, 90 degree angles made with the light strips on the corners. Not at all how it's going to look on your TV.
 
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oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,626
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Europe
One question: Is there any option for this lighting to automatically sync its colors with the TV, a la Philips Ambilight?

There is a product called DreamScreen that does this, which I've had my eye on. However, it's pretty expensive for the version that supports 4k.

There is another one called AmbiScreen that uses a camera system, but there are not many reviews available. Also very expensive. Also not a fan of the camera way of doing it.

I just can't bring myself to drop $300 on something like that.
 

earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
Staff member
Mar 6, 2015
392
589
Louisiana
Can each of the two Hue Play lights display a different colour? I missed this part in the post.
Totally forgot to mention that because I ended up grouping both Hue Plays into one accessory in Home, but yep you can make them different colors/brightness levels if you want.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,822
16,748
Central U.S.
I love how they show such clean, 90 degree angles made with the light strips on the corners. Not at all how it's going to look on your TV.
Oh, hah, yeah. Not like that at all. They have to have a really gradual bend. I just ran mine across the top and bottom and kind of bent the slightly at the corners to get some better edge coverage. It's not half bad. This is the only photo I have of it not long after we first moved in a couple years ago. The edge lighting isn't quite as dim IRL as in the photo, but it is less intense if you don't run it all the way around.

IMG_1086.JPG
 

Mike Oxard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
804
456
I fitted a regular Hue bulb behind my TV by attaching a normal light fitting bayonet to the TV cabinet and wiiring it to a plug. Cheap and works great :)
 
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tridley68

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2014
1,227
1,300
Very hard to purchase the sight has out of stock on everything looks like i am going to try Amazon or Best Buy.
[doublepost=1541091757][/doublepost]
I fitted a regular Hue bulb behind my TV by attaching a normal light fitting bayonet to the TV cabinet and wiiring it to a plug. Cheap and works great :)
Great idea i thing i just found a project for the weekend .
 
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H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2010
3,050
3,499
Pittsburgh PA
I just use this. It's less than $15 and is powered by the USB port on the back of my TV, although I needed two: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A9RN2L2/

You can just cut it to length and it comes with adhesive already applied. Might need a cheap USB power splitter to use two. My port was able to power two, probably because this is LED. You can adjust the color using a little remote attached to it. Fun for doing two color combinations for team colors when hosting sports viewing parties, but also nice to just leave on the neutral setting the rest of the time. Adds a nice pop to the TV display and brightens the room a little more when watching movies without needing a lamp while giving enough light to move around during dark scenes. It also tricks your eyes to make the blacks look deeper on an LCD TV without local dimming.

Yeah, but it ain't Hue.

I’ll buy a Phillips Hue system when it can control the lighting to tell me what mood my wife is in so I know what to expect when I walk in the door.

lol that's horrible.
 

SteveJobs2.0

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
853
1,453
Totally forgot to mention that because I ended up grouping both Hue Plays into one accessory in Home, but yep you can make them different colors/brightness levels if you want.

Great, that means that you can use these with the Mac/PC Hue app to create background lighting that is different on the left and right.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
Attached is part of my setup; this is the Lightstrip+ with Extension, and two of the 6 Hue bulbs visible in my living room during Ghost Adventures Live last night.

Is green your standard bias light color? I've been reading articles about what light colors can affect sleep. Green seems to be a neutral color as far as creating issues. Blue seems to be the worst. Then again, there's a fair amount of Blue light coming from the panel, so the bias light probably has little effect.

Oh, hah, yeah. Not like that at all. They have to have a really gradual bend. I just ran mine across the top and bottom and kind of bent the slightly at the corners to get some better edge coverage. It's not half bad. This is the only photo I have of it not long after we first moved in a couple years ago. The edge lighting isn't quite as dim IRL as in the photo, but it is less intense if you don't run it all the way around.

View attachment 800265

Do you always use blue? I've been reading articles that suggest it's not the best color to use at night, though I'm not sure if it matters since the TV panel is putting out a lot of blue light by itself.

I'm actually thinking I should do a warm nightshift-like color calibration on my TV for late night viewing, even if the colors will be less accurate.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,822
16,748
Central U.S.
Do you always use blue? I've been reading articles that suggest it's not the best color to use at night, though I'm not sure if it matters since the TV panel is putting out a lot of blue light by itself.

I'm actually thinking I should do a warm nightshift-like color calibration on my TV for late night viewing, even if the colors will be less accurate.
Well, the problem is the white LED is more daylight balanced, and then you have to combine that with the fact that my walls are like a light slate gray, so already cooler color-wise. I don't care much for the yellow look. I think when I buy a new TV (mine is a 42" LG 1080p from 2010) I'll upgrade to a nicer light strip, and I may need to anyway since I like wall mounts and the new ones are so thin. I might not be able to do this next time, especially if the wallpaper TVs drop in price, lol.
 

luvbug

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2017
565
1,539
Getting closer every day!
Yep, 6 years and the pricing is still absolutely ridiculous. Cut the prices by 2/3's and you'll have something that's worth what you're paying for it. I guess it must be worth a lot of $$ to people to be hip and trendy.
 

kiranmk2

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2008
1,027
699
Useless until Hue get's integrated into TVs (unlikely) or set top boxes. As Hue Sync works by capturing the screen, DRM content can't be AirPlay'd to the TV. Apple seems to like Hue (always mentioned it with HomeKit updates) so surely it will be integrated into TvOS at some point?
 

tridley68

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2014
1,227
1,300
I’ll buy a Phillips Hue system when it can control the lighting to tell me what mood my wife is in so I know what to expect when I walk in the door.
Lol that would be one heck of an incentive to purchase.
 

andsoitgoes

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2010
105
88
I echo what a lot of people have already said. I have hue bulbs through the house and I bought them as Christmas presents for the family. I was so excited to use all the cool ass colours.

We did. For a week. Then once in a while.

Now we use them all the time and the convenience of voice control is great, but they’re either white or warm or chartreuse when I want to annoy my kids with our little inside joke.

But I love my bias Lightstrip. It’s really gorgeous and it’s far nicer a look than my warm white ikea one.

What I came here to say was how fantastic a review this is.

I really mean it. The depth and comparison against the Light Strip is stuff we always want to know and too infrequently see. It’s getting better and this review sits in that pocket.
 
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