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71 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, practical, great as a security light but has minor problems
Only had these for a while but love them. They're not perfect though.

Pros
Easy to setup. Literally 'plug and play' as it were.
Huge range of colours that create some great atmosphere
App alarm means I wake up and they're already on and turn themselves off when I leave the house.
Great for security as you can turn them manually on or off...
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Paul D. Watson

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entry to home automation
Home automation is something that intrigues me and has for a while, these Philips Hue starter kits are a great way to begin delving into it.
The light's themselves (I currently have two blooms) seem heavy and well built, the colour range is astounding and they throw out a serious amount of light. The aesthetics have clearly been thought through as they have a suble...
Published 3 months ago by SamJones


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, practical, great as a security light but has minor problems, 2 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Only had these for a while but love them. They're not perfect though.

Pros
Easy to setup. Literally 'plug and play' as it were.
Huge range of colours that create some great atmosphere
App alarm means I wake up and they're already on and turn themselves off when I leave the house.
Great for security as you can turn them manually on or off when you're out via your phone.

Cons
That price is ridiculous!
You can create thousands of colours but you can't get really deep dark hues like indigo.
The lights themselves have quite short power leads which lead out of the light face side of the unit. Hard to explain but it's not easy to get them to sit flat and not on their cables.
BE WARNED: smartphone app doesn't always indicate if you're logged in or not. So you think you are interacting with your lights when actually you're not. Bit of a bug with the software.

So overall, very happy. Good fun and practical. I don't use my normal lights anymore. Just wish they would iron out a few of the gripes ...especially for that price.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely fun, customisable, hackable and pretty., 11 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is great. What this thing is, is two lamps that can change colour, and you can control them via your phone or tablet through the internet. It comes with a sort of router device, that Philips call a Bridge, that you plug into your ordinary home router. Note that it isn't a wi-fi connection, you do have to physically plug it into your router so be sure that you have a spare ethernet socket.
You then connect to the Bridge over the internet, which in turn controls the lights. This sounds a little daunting if you're not technologically confident, but it's really no harder than plugging a lamp into the wall. Dead easy. You can add more lights to the setup just by buying them and plugging them in.

The potential is amazing. The Philips app is fun to play with, but is a bit clunky and a little bit confusing. You can change the colour of the lights by selecting a photograph, and then choosing the colours from that photograph that the lights will display, and how bright they will be and so on. You can program them to turn on at a certain time of day, or come on as a gentle alarm clock. You can also set them so that they turn off when you leave the house (assuming you take your phone with you) and then turn on again when you get home. You can turn the lights on and off remotely from, well, anywhere, using your phone over the internet.

The real power though is that philips is obviously really pushing to allow people to create custom apps with these lights. The API is freely available so you can create your own apps if you know how to do that, or you can download others from the Play store. I've apps that turn your lights into a lava lamp, gradually changing colours. Or you can find one that uses the microphone in your phone to control the lights to music, turning them into disco lights. The potential is amazing. The also support the 'If This Then That' (IFTTT) system, so you could even do things like make the lights turn a particular colour when you receive an email.

If you have a Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote Control then it plays nicely with that too. You can have the lights automatically dim when you start a movie for example, and then come back up when you turn it off.

As well as all the geeky stuff, the are also very nice lamps. They are a sort of porcelain material but not too obtrusive or big, so are quite easy to hide in little corners to light up areas of a room. The light output is high, and the colour choices really do allow you to wash your rooms with colour. A little bit of experimentation and they can look amazing. The app can control up to 50 lights, so if you were so inclined you could customise your entire house with colour.

Tremendous fun, easy to use, and massive amounts of potential.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual idea and a good one at that!, 23 April 2014
By 
P Campbell (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I requested this item and I wasn't really sure what it did before testing it. There is little in the way of instructions, but in truth you don't really need them. There were two lights/blooms and each had a three pin plug. There is a Wi-Fi small switch console with a plug and an ethernet-type lead that goes from that to your Wi-Fi router. Once all plugged in I then downloaded the Android (or Apple) app 'Philips hue' and I was able to click on a photograph of a scene or one from a picture on my phone and the lights coloured the same hues as the picture. Sunset was strong orange-red, flowers became a pink and blue and my favourite was Taj Mahal which came through as a pale pinky-blue light. You decided what colours you want. You can also programme the lights to suit your needs, they can be for relaxing, reading and to energise. You can set alarms to light up the home, even when you are miles away with your mobile and Wi-Fi. You can set the colours to light up your home when you come home from work. By playing around with the colour palettes you are in control of the colours and moods that you can create.

I shall no doubt get used to how I can work this so I can benefit from the lights and I could use it in the sitting room and the bedroom. What fun!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot recommend highly enough, 7 Oct. 2014
By 
Media Fox (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Amazing lights and worth the investment. Standing out in the street at night all the other houses look boring and samey. The light radiating from our windows looks exciting and cosy and my goodness it is when you are in the room. So much more relaxing and you can change the mood really quickly. We have three sets of these and have them linked to our Philips tv which has ambilight as well. We found it easy to set up and working off one hub. Only improvement to be made would be the official Philips app for the iPhone to be a bit more flexible and user friendly which third party apps seem to have accomplished, plus they need to get a windows app for those without apple products. But the lights themselves are amazing. They may seem expensive but being LEDs they will be long lasting and use less electricity. Ultimately these lights are brilliant and we love how they have improved the atmosphere of our home for the better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entry to home automation, 10 Jan. 2015
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Home automation is something that intrigues me and has for a while, these Philips Hue starter kits are a great way to begin delving into it.
The light's themselves (I currently have two blooms) seem heavy and well built, the colour range is astounding and they throw out a serious amount of light. The aesthetics have clearly been thought through as they have a suble minimalistic design.
The blooms have three major points for improvement in my eyes;
#1, Being the power cable, it can only come out the front of the unit's stand. This is not a problem to me as both units are nestled behind my TV at 30 degree angles relative to the plane of the TV, this gives good coverage on the wall behind. If the bloom lights were placed on a table or on the floor this could slightly lower the aesthetics as the cable would have to be wrapped back around to leave at the rear. A small notch in the base of the unit is a super easy fix for the manufacturer and in my opinion would make the product much better if standing alone in plain sight.
#2 Is also with the power cable, the plugs are large and cumbersome. I currently have mine plugged into a surge protector with indiviual switches as it also powers my TV, Xbox's and audio mixer. As the plugs are so large they block the adjacent sockets, Luckily the surge protector has enough sockets for this not to be a problem for me.
#3 Is the angle of the units light projection, there is no way to alter this as the base and head of the unit are one solid, ceramic piece. Again, this is no issue for me as they colour the wall for me adequately enough for the desired impact. I would like another for my bedroom to set for a gentle light alarm but I am holding back until Philips address this issue or come up with a way to change the angle of light dispersion.

The bridge is small and well built, with a single large button dead centre. It is small enough to conceal with your router easily and the supplied ethernet cable is long enough (for me, anyways) to easily hide it out of sight. (The blue light's on it can get easily get annoying at night)

The major downside to Hue is the app.
It does the job but it well and truely awful, it is not easy to navigate, there are next to no options in the settings, the geofencing choices are terrible. To rectify this I linked them to my IFFT (If This, Then That) account but to no avail. There is no inbuilt support from Philips on how to trouble shoot any issues with this, even though they state it is a compatible device. Maybe I'm missing something obvious but I'm generally pretty tech savvy. I will try re-linking at a future date and update this review.
I am skeptical about paying for third party apps as none of them appear to be linked to IFFT either (I'm trying to build a smart home around IFFT)
-1 star for terrible app and terrible customer support site, which is full of dead links and re-directions.

Another major downside is the price, I understand this is an innovative product designed for a specialist market but the price is ridiculous, I mean £50 for a single bulb?!
I bought the starter pack for £70 on a lightning deal which I personally think is an absolute steal, but looking at the prices of the additional bulbs it is off putting to purchase any more although I still probably will due to having ideas for awesome lighting in mind.
-1 star for price, to kit out a room the way I would like it is nearing on £500, let alone the whole house.

Aside from the negatives this is one cool piece of kit, it can help set the mood for a plethora of movies, I recently watched Disney's Frozen and set the light's behind the Tv to a cool cyan which added a huge impact to the mood of the film.
With a few small and relatively inexpensive fixes, Philips could be on to a major winner with their Hue and Hue Lux range.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to the home with heaps of functionality, 4 Jan. 2015
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*This system relies on you being able to download the Hue apps to control the lights with. I use an iPhone 5, but check to make sure that you have something that is compatible with the apps.

This system is really good and can totally transform the mood of your house. Plus it's cool and fun.
I'd recommend downloading third party apps called "IFTTT" and "Hue Lights" for free in the itunes store (the official Philips app is not as good, but is also good to have too). With the apps, you can save and tweak your favourite lighting configurations, then recall them at the touch of a button. E.g. I have a "watching movie" setting that is great for colouring the room and darkening it just enough to set the right mood.
I have my two lights set up in the livingroom (one in a corner and one behind the TV) and with a "morning" configuration that I have, I can switch on the lights with my phone before even getting downstairs. This is just one advantage to having the lights in the dark mornings.

Through the app and the "geofencing" feature, the lights can also be programmed to switch on automatically as soon as you approach your home (as long as your phone is on).
There are heaps of other configurations you can set, such us "flash the lights when you get a text message", "turn the lights blue when I arrive at work - (to let my family know I got there safely) or even "flash the lights blue and red when it is the kids' bedtime".

Another thing that is quite important for some people: the lights do not get hot, so for those of us with toddlers in the house, they're relatively safe from that respect.

UPDATE: We have been using the colourloop function on the lights to cycle through all the colours whilst teaching our little girl what each colour is called. She loves this game and is starting to recognise a lot of the colours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars improved my mood!, 28 Dec. 2014
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Great quality product. The experience starts with the packaging which reminds me of the feeling you got with early iPhones... The box starts your expectations - great packaging so the product better be good too.

As it turns out the product feels just as good quality as the box. You have to connect the 'bridge' to your WiFi router via a network cable and plug it in and then just place your lights.

The cables are pretty short considering you may have specific positioning requirements but I managed just fine in my living room.

Download the app, connect it to the app and start playing! On Android the app is pretty straightforward to use once you work it out but there are precious few instructions about. Your best bet is to use the predefined 'scenes' that come with the app initially and then experiment with it all once you've familiarised yourself with everything.

The app works locally on your WiFi but can also be linked to an online account so you can control your lights from anywhere if you wish.

For me the only thing missing on the app was a multicolour (cycled colours) mode but there are 3rd party apps using the Hue API that cover that, so it doesn't lose one star! ;-)

EDIT: The meethue.com website states that the lights can be disco sequenced, set to react to weather reports, etc. All this is currently done via 3rd party apps. On Android I've used hueManic (free with pro option) for sound sensitive disco effects, fireworks simulation, etc. and IFTTT can be used for the weather reports bit. Also, although there is no dedicated PC app, you can create a My Hue account, link it to your bridge and use the web browser to control your lights from the PC.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and bright!, 6 Jan. 2015
By 
Caleb Hale (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Beautiful wall wash lighting! Love the syncing between all your Hue lights from your phone! Really bright!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome addition to my Hue Set up, 31 Dec. 2014
By 
Jack Percival (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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These were my third venture into the world of Philips coloured home lighting range having got them after being impressed with some hue bulbs earlier in the year and the LivingColors range before that. I therefore knew what to expect and wasn't disappointed - these are as good as the other hue sets and a big step forward if you're coming from LivingColors.

Set up for these lamps is easy - connect the individual lights to power sockets, plug the bridge into your router and the power socket then just press the button and follow the steps on the app. I also previously managed after searching online and watching numerous videos to connect my previous LivingColors device and remote, a good addition to the set once the wires are hidden away.

There's one big disadvantage of these versus the bulbs - the wires. By not retrofitting into your existing lights they are always there but small enough to be hidden away in this case or put behind things. The brightness and range of colours are both top notch however and left me very impressed, pleased with the wash they could provide against the walls. While the philips app for controlling has made some odd choices by focusing on scenes, once you get the hang of these they are actually handy and can change the atmosphere successfully too. If that's not your thing a selection of 3rd party apps and app integrations are available so the likelihood is someone will have done what you're after.

Overall, this is a big step forward from the previous versions of the lighting technology and a good addition to my hue set up. While the individual lights with wires are unsightly if placed somewhere visible they do give off a good brightness and wide range of colours. The set up and app are both straightforward to use while 3rd parties give you additional functionality making this a very welcome addition to your connected home.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't think that this is anything other than accent lighting., 2 Jan. 2015
By 
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This review is from: Philips Friends of hue Personal Wireless Lighting Bloom Extension Kit (1 x Bloom LED Mood Light) (Kitchen & Home)
If you're looking for a cheap alternative to buying Hue bulbs outright, then these sort of are, sort of not, and sort of a lot less than the main bulbs. I know they are not advertised as a 'Hue lamp', per se, but they really are accent lighting; plain and simple.

The unit is a lot smaller than you think it's going to be and the unit feels really well made. There is a tiny design issue that is easily rectified -- it needs another cable notch in the base, to enable it to be pointed either way without wrapping the cable around it. At the moment it is just designed to have the cable come out of the base at the front (i.e. the direction of the bulb face.), instead of letting you point it in either direction. But that's me being niggly. The cable could have been longer (at 2 - 2.5m long) but again, it's not a huge deal.

The amount of light is decent, for such a small unit, but the bulb isn't as flexible in colours displayed as the main bulbs. There are certain recipes that this won't work in. Which is a shame but not the end of the world. Pairing and adding it into my system was easy, no issues then or since.

At the current reduced price of 40GBPs, it's worth it if you're looking to add some colour to your room.
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