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on 2 September 2014
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 January 2015
*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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on 7 October 2014
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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Style Name: Modern|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( 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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on 29 October 2015
Great Product must you must be aware of a few things.
Love the product and the way it works with the apps

Be Aware of the following:
1) You MUST connect this to you internet router for it to work. I discovered this by accident and just thought you plugged them in and used an App but this is not the case. Although this is not usually a problem I purchased these to use at a party and then was going to use them at home. This means I need to take a wireless router (no internet connection required) to the venue. App connects to your wireless network which is cabled to the Hue Bridge and that connects to the lights. - Philips don't seem to mention this on their website. - There website say "To control Philips Hue bloom, you need to have a Philips Hue bridge and install the Philips Hue app on your smart device. This way, you can enjoy the full connected experience. There are two ways to get a Philips Hue bridge. (1) You can get a starter kit that includes light bulbs and a bridge. (2) You can get a separate bridge and build your own Philips Hue system around it."

2) Friends of Hue replaces Living Colour system which is similar except you have a round remote which doesn't need the bridge and can be used separately. Apparently this can be connected to the Friends of Hue bridge by connecting the light to the remote and then to the bridge. There is also an older system I believe with the same name but doesn't have a round remote, this may or may not work although it is a few years old now and may not be on sale via Amazon.

3) If you buy two kits and have two bridges and want to use all the lights on one bridge I think you have to "un-pair" the lights from the second bridge. There is a lot about this on the web.

4) Philips explanation of this system via their website is appalling and I imagine many people have assumed that all the equipment is compatible (much of it maybe). Their naming of products is at the very best confusing.

5) The wires are hard wired into the lamp so threading a small cable through a hole in furniture or a desk is impossible. Unlike a mobile phone where you can unplug the phone these units do not allow this (old ones I believe did). This is a prime example of the stupidity of Philips as your light would be useless if the power pack failed and you may not be able to place the lights where you want them as you can't thread the cable through desk opening etc and place where you want it to be. (which is the whole point of the system). Cable length isn't bad but you may run into problems placing a lamp on top of a high cupboard etc and need to run additional mains extension cables. There was an opportunity here for Philips to have the items separate and sell you a special expensive additional thin wire but that would make the product easier to use and generate more money for them and make a more flexible system :)

One of my Living Colour Lamps still fails to connect to the remote although I am sure the phone support from Philips (which is good) will resolve this.

Overall a great product but you must understand what you are buying as Philips does their level best to confuse you through their pretty but lousy website (which has loads of missing pages). www.myhue.com is a good place for support however.

A Google search (Philips Hue) will take you to a promising Philips Hue website http://www.philips.co.uk/c-m-li/hue-personal-wireless-lighting but it only has broken links. Amazing how a multi national giant can screw things up so well.

It took me a few hours of searching and a call to Philips to try and understand the product family

Overall I love them and would give five stars if not for the issues above.

Update: A few weeks later.

Used them at my wife's birthday party and everyone was impressed. Even used the disco app and they changed as the music played. They aren't a replacement for a DJ's lighting but still good fun.

Got them back home and started installing them around the house. Got the living room wired fine and being controlled by the app. Wife loves them.

Tried to pair two more lights in the bedroom to be controlled by the remote and by the app. That's where things started getting problematic again. Now have the living room lights not working (on all the time), bedroom one works but isn't seen by the app now.

These are a great light when working but trying to configure them when you have a few lights is a NIGHTMARE. I came close to boxing 8 lights back up and sending back to Amazon but having seen how good they are am persevering with them.

So Philips you have a great product spoiled by a crazy implementation. I asked support why do people by the new lights when the old ones have a remote as well so you now get less for you money and you HAVE to use the app. The answer was the new lights aren't as good as the living colour ones. That's progress I guess, glad to know the R&D team are working well then :)

So it looks as though I now have to re-pair my lights again which are now installed around the room (20 mins job) so I'll remove them all, bring them to the bridge to pair again as the lights can't be found anymore. You can pair using a serial number on the lights (you need a magnifying glass to read the serial number) but I haven't got this to work yet.

It seems like I am dedicating my life to getting these working...

Update: 11-11-15 - Purchased a new Hub (The Square one) and transferred all my settings from the old one which was painless. I can now control all my lights via Siri on my iPhone which is great. I am using Living Colours and Friends of Hue (Iris and Bloom) and all work fine. The lights are very much bright enough but be aware you need 2-3 in a decent sizes room to get a great effect. The do transform a room completely and the ability to go from a "warm" setting to a "romantic" or just turning them on or off is superb. It was a painful journey but finally got there and well worth it. I have 5 lights in the living room and three in the bedroom (bedroom ones are controlled using the remotes).

Review Still 4 star but if I was rating the experience individually it would be 1/5 for Philips useless website explaining the system, 5/5 for the lights and 5/5 for the telephone support with Philips (no waiting in a long queue)

Update Dec 15 - The remote action of the lights works sometimes and the auto timer function did work fine until I moved one light into another room (as I was going away and want to use it for a security light) and it just stayed on.

I have also learn't that the Philips Hue uses a Zigbee system which allows other compatible lights to be used. However the latest software version will NOT talk to compatible lights. http://m.slashdot.org/story/304031

The problems I have had and there have been many configuration problems maybe down to a strange environmental issue at my house (although I doubt it).

My advice would be to look for other systems or just buy one light and try it as you can always return it. Regardless of the issues I have had nothing excuses the superbly bad website that Hue have although full credit to a third party in supplying a great website (although it shouldn't be needed)
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on 28 December 2014
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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on 4 January 2015
These lights add atmosphere to any room at the touch of a button (with additional switch) or a swipe of an smartphone. I've got them set up to come on when I'm coming home from work and to flash when I get a notification on my phone. You can programme them to do just about anything that could possibly involve coloured LED lights.
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on 10 January 2015
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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on 2 September 2015
I wanted these to be good. I really wanted them to be good. But, well, they're just a bit average.

The app(s) limit what you can do and once you're over the initial playing about with the hues (to use the Philips terminology), they become a very boring and not aesthetically wonderful thing. They're white, plastic and large. I actually think they're a bit unsightly if not hidden away.

They're also very limited because of the fact the stand/light is rigid. If you could adjust it for angle, it'd be a very different scenario.

I think you need a good number of lights to get anything like the full potential out of them. They're not particularly strong and the music-syncing apps are largely pathetic. The bridge is okay and easy to set up. The timing set-up is good and works perfectly, so that's a plus point. The adaptor is too large though and the lead to the lights too short. Again, it restricts what you can do with them. I'm also not sure what strain they put on the local network. It should be minimal, but I'm not convinced it is due to slow downs we've had at various points since installing them. If you unplug the network cable - everything goes back to being fine again.

In other words, only buy them on a very attractive offer and don't expect them to become the light of your life. Sorry. Couldn't resist that.
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on 14 December 2015
Hue is a great light system and what's even better it's open and allows you to connect other solutions that philips don't make.

There was a slight blip in the service but Philips did the right thing for the customers and made it open again!

Well done Hue!
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