Philips Hue Owners Thread

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Just did a quick search and couldn't find a dedicated thread for the Philips Hue lighting system, so thought I'd create one. :)

I bought the starter system from the Apple store, plus three additional bulbs. After picking myself up off the floor with the hole that was left in my bank account, I set off home in anticipation of great lighting things to come.

After unpacking the starter kit, I fitted bulbs to two lamps behind my plasma and then the third in one of the two pendants hanging from the ceiling.

Unboxing the individual bulbs went well, until it came to the last one, which upon opening, I found to be smashed into a thousand pieces. After I muttered a few expletives, I grabbed my car keys and back to the Apple store to get it exchanged. I would advise anyone buying the single individual bulbs to check them for damage before leaving the store. The packaging is fine on the starter kit, but not so good on the single bulbs.

Once back and the replacement bulb fitted, I plugged in the dedicated hub to both my router and the mains. I simple process of pairing the bulbs to the hub involved ensuring all the lights were on, installing the app on my iPad, and with the app running, a single press of the centre button on the hub.

With all lights paired up, I took a look at some of the preset scenes within the dedicated app. At first, only the three bulbs that came with the hub are active and compose part of the scene. The bulbs that are additional to those in the starter pack need to be ticked within the depths of the scenes settings to ensure they are part of it. This was not a one off procedure, but had to be carried out with every preset scene, which is a bit of a pain. Once they are saved however, they are remembered, so after the first setup, it's done.

The effects and ambience the system adds to a rooms mood is superb. I have created my own schemes for use when using the projector, as well as ones for listening to music, and general watching TV.

A great aspect of the system is not only that each individual bulbs "colour" be adjusted (not black or brown!), but so can their brightness. You can almost paint your room with colour and it has brought out my creative side!

If you turn the power off from the light switch, and then turn it back on, it will go to it's native "white", and looks pretty much like any normal power saving light bulb. I intend to leave all light switches on, and turn them off via the app - that way they go into standby, and can all be brought back into life via one swipe with in the app.

There are plenty of videos on You Tube demonstrating the system, so I haven't posted any photos here at the moment. But I think in conclusion that it is a great system, even if it is very expensive at £179 for the starter kit, plus £49 for each additional bulb. The hub can address 50 bulbs, but you can also add additional hubs, and they will all control as one system, as long as you they connected to the same network.

Just to add, all my lamp holders were BC bayonet fitting. A trip to Maplins and I found that they sell the relevant BC to E27 screw thread fitting that the Hue systems bulbs utilise.


It would be great to hear opinions and suggestions from others.

Jerry. :)
 
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benjani

Banned
Great write up Jerry...

I have these and do fit a lot for people, even though anyone could install them.

They are a great idea, but in my opinion a little bit too pricey at the moment although this will not put some people off.
The fun starts once you have them all paired and controlled via the App. Great from a security point of view as you can control your lighting or scenes from any where in the world.

Expensive, but very good!
 

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
Good write up Jerry! Like yourself and Benjani I recently purchased the Philips Hue Starter Set myself from the Apple store and two additional bulbs. I have 1 in my bedroom and 4 in my living room (2 in main centre ceiling light & 2 in wall lights at each end of the wall). Setup was very easy and the only complication I came across was replacing the light fittings for ones with the E27 type screw in sockets. Quick trip to Ikea, a lengthy browse of their lighting section, and about 30 mins to replace all the existing lights with my new Ikea ones. Then just screw in the blubs, plug the Hue hub into the mains and then cat5 cable into my router and all ready to connect. Launch the free to download app on the ipad or iphone and follow the instructions to pair to the hub. Once done, as Jerry mentions, you need to search and add the extra bulbs (can also rename them in the app so they reflect their location etc) edit the preset scenes to include which bulbs you want used with them and you're good to go!

Have to say I'm very impressed and pleased with the results. The colour range is pretty good and I love the fact that you can adjust each individuals bulbs brightness and colour for a scene and save to your preference. I agree with Benjani that the price is a little on the steep side. Also the limitation of only E27 bulbs at the moment is a pain for those like me that will need to replace their light fixtures. But it's a vast improvement over the spot light type fixtures I had before and no need to change wiring or wall switches to add dimmer functionality is a big bonus for me. Has some great built in presets, inc "Relax" & "Concentrate" which are apparently scientifically proven to help and I can believe this.

I also have the Harmony Ultimate remote control which can control the lights too. Though the functionality is limited. But you can link up lights to come on or off with a Watch TV activity startup which can be handy.

Oh and yes they have a nice feature I've yet to experiment with to control them to come on/off at scheduled times, so ideal for being away from home and wanting to try to show the house isn't empty. I believe you can also control manually whilst away from home too if you fancy the random touch. Just don't forget to turn them off! Lastly they have a fade up to wake setting that I intend to use in the winter for a more natural stir from my winter slumbers in the dark months.

So all in all I'm very pleased with the purchase and can thoroughly recommend anyone interested in controllable lighting check them out.
 

andyparksy

Well-known Member
Just in the process of fitting out a new kitchen extension and was going to give these a go - the problem I have is the control aspect being device only....... Have any of you guys any thoughts on how I could use a wall mounted control?

I was thinking of trying to get some wall mounted android tablets (which would be handy in also having a fixed point to control the Sonos system) but I have heard there can be a lot of problems with this and WiFi signals.

I think I can't just relay on devices that can go walkabout to control it, and will need a fixed point.......... any thoughts?
 

wysinawyg

Active Member
A proper home automation setup would do it. e.g. if you were running an Indigo server they have a plugin for Hue:

Perceptive Automation - View topic - Hue Lights - Free Philips Hue Plugin

You could then use a z-wave, x-10 or lightwaverf mood switch to give you pre-set scenes from something which actually looked a bit like a light switch and didn't need logins, updates, apps etc. just because you wanted to dim the lights down.

On a budget a raspberry pi can do it with varying levels of hackiness:

Controlling Philips Hue, with Raspberry PI, Python and Physical Switches - Every Hue

Home Automation Domotica Forum Europe, Bwired Forum • View topic - [Project] Controlling HUE from PHP
 

Raging Beard

Active Member
Anyone using this with the logitech Harmony remote?
Yes. You can't do much with the remote, you can control a group or individual bulbs but the only adjustment you can make is brightness and cool/warm. You can then save whatever the current settings are to specific activities.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I also have the Harmony Ultimate remote control which can control the lights too. Though the functionality is limited. But you can link up lights to come on or off with a Watch TV activity startup which can be handy.
Is it possible to change the colours via the harmony?

Aside from that how long are the bulbs supposed to last? They are far from cheap.
 

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
Yes they aren't cheap. Hoping that with popularity the prices might come down a little. Sadly the new LED lightstrips Philips have added are also seriously expensive at £80 a set! Sure they cost about £5 to £10 to make those.

The light control from the harmony is more basic than from a smartphone or tablet. But you can assign lights to an activity and control the dimming from the harmony.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Yes they aren't cheap. Hoping that with popularity the prices might come down a little. Sadly the new LED lightstrips Philips have added are also seriously expensive at £80 a set! Sure they cost about £5 to £10 to make those.

The light control from the harmony is more basic than from a smartphone or tablet. But you can assign lights to an activity and control the dimming from the harmony.
So presumably when switching on, the lights would be standard colour and I'd have to go into the app to choose my preferred colour? Each time you power on and off.

Would be more handy is being able to select the colour and intensity using the remote rather than tablet or phone.
 

MacrosTheBlack

Well-known Member
The harmony control is a little strange. So on my Harmony Ultimate, once linked to the philips hue hub, at the bottom left of the touch screen section you get a little bulb icon. Touch this and you get light control which gives you a menu with a slider for brightness (dim and brighten as you'd expect) and another for cool/warm (which fades the bulbs between a white to a dark yellow tint). Scrolling down the touchscreen you can then choose the selected lights you want to control, save them to the activity you're in, clear them from the activity and then below that you see all your lights listed and have a dimming slider for each one. There's no scene option like in the Hue app for your smart device where you can set each bulbs colour and do timers etc. So for me I just use my phone or tablet for the lights rather than the harmony.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I tend to watch movies with all my lights switched off because they reflect off the TV. You get a rainbow effect. Presumably this sort of reflection would be less pronounced using the various colours in hue? What colour and intensity do other people use for movie watching?

Also does anyone have the matching bloom lamp? Any good?
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
Just bought the philips hue strip lights which is basically a strip of self adhesive LED.

Popped them round my TV and is controlled via whatever app you want much in the same way as the standard Hue lamps. Easily integrated into the existing Philips Hue lamps I have.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Still can't decide if this just an expensive gimmick that I'll be bored with in five minutes. The alarm function for waking in the morning would definitely be of use in the winter months but it needs to offer more than that to justify the expense. Does it enhance movie viewing for example? What colours do people use for that? I mean, is making your room blue or green going to enhance watching coronation street etc...
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
Blue and green would be the wrong colour, I tend to have a light orange on the two hue lamps behind me and a yellow on the lamp above my TV and the led strips behind the TV, the same colour.

I've had my hue for a long time now and would suggest they are far from a gimmick. I rarely use the alarm features or any other features other than changing the colours and turning the lights on and off.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I believe there is no bayonet option. So presumably it is this sort of adaptor to use at another four quid a pop

http://www.maplin.co.uk/b.c.-to-e.s.-adaptor-1333

Where do you pick these up on the high street other than over priced maplins. Might take a trip to the apple store tomorrow if I can ever decide.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Well I plunged and setup was childs play. Can anyone recommend any third party IPAD apps that are worth looking at?
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
Well I plunged and setup was childs play. Can anyone recommend any third party IPAD apps that are worth looking at?
I use Hue Party which changes in time to the music.
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
Still can't decide if this just an expensive gimmick that I'll be bored with in five minutes. The alarm function for waking in the morning would definitely be of use in the winter months but it needs to offer more than that to justify the expense. Does it enhance movie viewing for example? What colours do people use for that? I mean, is making your room blue or green going to enhance watching coronation street etc...
I have these for a while and have 9 now.
I use them in the living room for different light settings depending if I'm watching TV, movie etc nod have them set up on the harmony.
They also come on at set times and the one at the from door automatically comes on at sunset using IFTTT App.
They aren't a gimmick, look great, easy to set up, bright, look natural and you can control them from anywhere.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Yeah I'm sold on the idea. Ordinary lights just seem fairly useless by comparison. Great alarm clock, good to read and rest by, and good for watching films. I haven't ventured much beyond the presets but it's all there if you want to play and get more out of it.
 

Jazz Monkey Jr

Distinguished Member
I have loads of scenes - they come on at tea time when it's getting dark, dim in the evening when watching TV, and also set for when I'm away from home which you double-tap on the alarm and it will turn that alarm on/off
 

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mtenga

Distinguished Member
When I get a free afternoon I'll have a play and get sorted out like you.
 

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