Review: Philips Hue Vintage-Style Filament Bulbs Are Perfect for Accent Lighting

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,673
8,630



Signify, the company behind the Philips Hue line of lights, recently introduced new filament bulbs, which are designed to look like vintage filament-style light bulbs.

These bulbs, which come in three sizes, are the first bulbs in the Philips Hue lineup that are meant to be used with or without a lamp shade, making them perfect for decorative-style lamps that are meant to have naked bulbs.


There's a Standard A19 bulb that's in the shape of a traditional lightbulb, an Edison ST19 bulb that's elongated and without the rounder bulb shape, and there's the Globe G25 bulb, the largest of the three, which looks like a larger version of the Standard A19.


Though designed to look like vintage filament bulbs, the Hue Filaments are LED bulbs and not incandescent bulbs so they don't get hot at all when in use. You can touch the naked bulb and not feel a thing besides a bit of warmth.

The filaments inside the Hue Filament bulbs are arranged in an attractive spiral shape, with all of the bulbs in different sizes using the same internal design.


All three of the Filament bulbs from Hue are white light only, which means colors are not supported. The default color is a soft, warm yellow, which is ideal for accent lighting and dimmer indoor lighting. For those familiar with the white lighting spectrum, these are 2100K bulbs.

There's just the one yellow shade with no option to change the white light temperature, but the Filament bulbs can be dimmed or brightened to adjust the lighting that is put off. The bulbs can get surprisingly bright, which allows them to light up a room when you're using a few.


Each of the bulbs measures in at 530 lumens, so these are not as bright as your average 60-watt bulb. For comparison's sake, some of the standard Hue bulbs are upwards of 800 lumens, so don't expect the same maximum brightness levels (though you probably wouldn't want that much brightness from a bulb without a lamp shade).

In a naked lamp that's at eye level, a full brightness Filament bulb is impossible to look at, so I appreciated the ability to dim the bulbs down from their maximum brightness. I'm using one of the bulbs in a little monster lamp that I have and at low light, it works perfectly.


Since these are mostly designed to be used without a lamp shade, the Filament bulbs are probably best used at dimmer light, but in a ceiling lamp or up hung up above, the brighter lights will work well and will put off a decent amount of light.

These bulbs are part of the Philips Hue Bluetooth line, which means you can directly control them using the Philips Hue Bluetooth app even if you don't have a Hue Bridge. If you do have a full Hue setup with a bridge, these bulbs are also compatible, and the bridge, of course, adds HomeKit so you can control the Filament bulbs with Siri.

I didn't extensively test these on a standalone basis with the Bluetooth app because I do have an existing Hue setup, but I did try them out with the Bluetooth app and found the control to work well, though response times are bit slower compared to a bridge connection.


Offering the option to connect to the newest Hue bulbs with Bluetooth is a great move by Philips because now people can experience Hue bulbs and control their lights without committing to an entire setup.

As with all Hue bulbs that are able to connect to the Hue Bridge, the Filament bulbs can be used in HomeKit scenes and automations alongside other HomeKit products, and can be controlled either through the Hue app or Apple's own Home app.

Bottom Line

If you've been waiting for a Hue bulb that's able to work in a lamp without a lamp shade, the Filaments are the bulbs for you.

The vintage look is perfect for a naked lamp, and the soft white light works well without a lamp shade. The spiral design is attractive, HomeKit support is included, and if you don't have a Hue Bridge, you can still control these and use dimming and on/off functionality over Bluetooth.


The bulbs are versatile, look fantastic, put off a good amount of light for a decorative bulb, and are an excellent addition to the Hue family. In the future, I'd love to see colored bulbs in this style or adjustable shades of white, but I'm not familiar with the technical details or what would be required for Signify to ultimately release such a product.

For now, though, these are a great option for those who need a more decorative bulb than the traditional Hue offerings.

How to Buy

The Hue Filament Smart Bulbs can be purchased from the Best Buy at the current time. The A19 model is priced at $24.99, the Edison ST19 is priced at $27.99, and the Globe G25 is priced at $32.99.

Article Link: Review: Philips Hue Vintage-Style Filament Bulbs Are Perfect for Accent Lighting
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: gtmac and H3LL5P4WN

brubeast

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2009
21
9
2100k is not nearly as warm as a typical Edison bulb. Unfortunate that they can’t shift color temp.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,545
1,287
I picked one up, it’s okay, but actually it’s a bit too bright and the colour temperature is a tad too high for the application I had in mind, I was really looking forward to replacing an incandescent bulb which looks attractive but gets hot and burns more watts than most of the rest of the house lights.
- - Post merged: - -

I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
I pay a little more so I get better products and the talented people who make them can earn a wage instead of waiting for a charity handout from you.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,545
1,287
aren't they dimmable?
Yes, but unlike an incandescent bulb it doesn’t dim to a warmer colour, so at the level I would like it to be (quite dim), it’s a dirty yellow, rather than a dim orange. It looks nice turned up bright but too bright for what I’d planned to do with it.
 

i hate phones

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2010
829
285
Philly Suburbs, PA
Yes, but unlike an incandescent bulb it doesn’t dim to a warmer colour, so at the level I would like it to be (quite dim), it’s a dirty yellow, rather than a dim orange. It looks nice turned up bright but too bright for what I’d planned to do with it.
Gotcha, I have some LEDs now that have the opposite problem. They look good dimmed, but turned up bright they look too yellow. I guess you can't have it both ways unless they were able to change color temp.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,538
1,452
I love our hue system we got last year (4 bulbs with infinite colors) but only in 2019 do we think $30 light bulbs are reasonable.
 

nickgovier

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2018
86
299
I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
I don't care how much money you have, spending $1,000+ on a freaking iPhone is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" phone and donate the other $900+ to your favourite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
 

Mutepointer

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2018
142
166
I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
Highly agree with you. I also want to know what is more wrong, the price for the bulb or the irrelevant article by the OP?
 

m00f

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2015
23
56
So tacky.. only trend following normies with garbage taste and an underdeveloped sense of personal aesthetics think these are cool or look good. The only thing that’ll look worse to people in 20yrs are stainless steel appliances
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68000
Nov 28, 2013
1,691
1,401
Switzerland
The price of the bulbs doesn't bother me too much, but the main reason I've not yet bought any smart lighting is that I haven't got my head around the fact these things - both the hub and every bulb - are drawing power continually. I mean, in Summer it doesn't get dark here until quite late but these bulbs would have spent all night and all day sitting there listening for a signal to turn on.

I used to think that about devices in standby, and turn everything off at the socket at night, but I've stopped doing that. Mostly :) So I reckon in a year or two I'll decide that the Hue system is also ok and start buying them. I come around slowly to what I perceive as energy-wasting devices.
 

star-affinity

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2007
1,047
398
I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
While I do think you have a point I'm curious who decides what price is reasonable for different products to have? I mean there's should be a fair amount of engineering and design that has gone into those bulbs and they will probably last a long time.

I do give to charity and absolutely think we should take more care of each other on this planet, but I could definitely sacrifice and give away a lot more without suffering too much… So, what is okay for me as a ”middle class” person to buy and how much can it cost? 🤔
 

vipergts2207

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2009
2,070
2,457
Columbus, OH
You must be an American that thinks all 7.5 billion people on the planet live like the US middle-class.
I don't think these light bulbs are meant for the billions of people with living standards below that of the US middle class.

So tacky.. only trend following normies with garbage taste and an underdeveloped sense of personal aesthetics think these are cool or look good. The only thing that’ll look worse to people in 20yrs are stainless steel appliances
Stainless steel appliances have been in style for decades now, but surely this fad will go away any day now...
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,517
2,230
So tacky.. only trend following normies with garbage taste and an underdeveloped sense of personal aesthetics think these are cool or look good. The only thing that’ll look worse to people in 20yrs are stainless steel appliances
You can keep your black fridge. Your colorful red blender.
what’s wrong with stainless steel for kitchen? It looks classier than color imo. Black looks cheap. White looks horrible. Stainless looks expensive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WBRacing

ignatius345

macrumors 68020
Aug 20, 2015
2,356
3,123
Each of the bulbs measures in at 530 lumens, so these are not as bright as your average 60-watt bulb. For comparison's sake, some of the standard Hue bulbs are upwards of 800 lumens, so don't expect the same maximum brightness levels (though you probably wouldn't want that much brightness from a bulb without a lamp shade).
Even 800 lumens is pretty sad and dim. One of the (many) reasons I balk at all the "smart" bulbs out there is that they're so weak.

I found a dimmable Phillips LED* that clocks in at 1600 and it's a massive difference. The Philips "Warm Glow" bulbs turn to the warmer end of the spectrum as they get dimmer, which is a very nice, eye-friendly effect at night. I have two of them (3200 lumens total at max brightness) installed in a table lamp and it's capable of lighting up a room very nicely when it's cranked up and providing a nice dim accent light when you turn it down. The Lutron dimmers with the little slider are by far the best for this, by the way -- just make sure you get the ones designed for LEDs.

* not finding it on Amazon but I find they're usually in stock at Home Depot
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,612
30,889
I love our hue system we got last year (4 bulbs with infinite colors) but only in 2019 do we think $30 light bulbs are reasonable.
I guess $30 depends on the longevity of these bulbs and how many units someone plans on purchasing. I probably would only use these for like a living room or kitchen setting, but that warm glow they emanate would be relaxing, as I can’t stand lights that are too ‘stark’ that have a sterile white-blinding affect that a lot of modern homes are incorporating today.
- - Post merged: - -

You can keep your black fridge. Your colorful red blender.
what’s wrong with stainless steel for kitchen? It looks classier than color imo. Black looks cheap. White looks horrible. Stainless looks expensive.
Yeah, I agree that stainless is a ‘classy look’, and it really never seems to go out of style in terms of a kitchen set up. The problem I don’t like about stainless steel, it’s a fingerprint magnet and a pain to clean. I have some stainless appliances in my kitchen, it’s just annoying with fingerprints showing. It’s like seeing scratches on a black car, you just can’t ‘unsee’ it. But then again, I’m also very particular, kind of like how these bulbs probably wouldn’t appeal to the ‘average’ consumer, but this is something I definitely would add to my kitchen or living room setting. Philips I find to be a great brand in terms of bulb quality.
 
Last edited:

Blakjack

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2009
1,793
306
Thes
I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
These bulbs can Last up to 15 years. The price is nothing.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2016
109
106
The price of the bulbs doesn't bother me too much, but the main reason I've not yet bought any smart lighting is that I haven't got my head around the fact these things - both the hub and every bulb - are drawing power continually. I mean, in Summer it doesn't get dark here until quite late but these bulbs would have spent all night and all day sitting there listening for a signal to turn on.

I used to think that about devices in standby, and turn everything off at the socket at night, but I've stopped doing that. Mostly :) So I reckon in a year or two I'll decide that the Hue system is also ok and start buying them. I come around slowly to what I perceive as energy-wasting devices.
I’d actually be very curious to know what the standby drain is from these as well.

I’m working on convincing my wife to approve a Hue purchase and this is her #1 concern.
 
  • Like
Reactions: adrianlondon

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,614
6,577
Florida, USA
I don't care how much money you have, spending $25+ on a freaking light bulb is just wrong. Buy a "dumb" led bulb and donate the other $20+ to your favorite charity. Simply obscene, from my point of view.
These bulbs last so long that $25 spread over the lifetime of the bulb becomes practically nothing.

I spent about $300 on Hue bulbs... several years ago. They're still working perfectly and likely will for another ten years or more. The value of I've gotten out of enjoying them is far more than that by now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ErikGrim