Philips Hue starter kit review: A good (but pricey) entry into smart lighting – CNN
Philips Hue is considered by many to be the gold standard of smart home lighting. The company’s portfolio of lights ranges from basic bulbs to fancy light strips that work in tandem with your TV to add another dimension to your favorite movies.
With so many different products and options in the Hue portfolio, it can be difficult to decide where to begin. So, for the last few weeks, we’ve been testing the $119 Philips Hue White Ambiance Starter Kit and the $199 White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit. Both include everything you need to get started automating the lights around your home, and can be an entry point into the rest of the Hue ecosystem.
Here’s what we think after a couple of weeks using both bundles.
The Philips Hue starter kits, while pricey, are worth the entry cost for those who want a good place to start upgrading their home lighting.
The who, what and how
Who’s it for: Both Philips Hue starter kits are for anyone looking to get started with a set of smart lights. Both provide a simple entry point into the Philips Hue ecosystem, with four light bulbs and a Hue Bridge to provide better connectivity and more control.
What you need to know: Both of these starter kits include the Hue Bridge and four bulbs, but all Hue Bulbs are not created equal. The four included in the $119 White Ambiance Kit produce varying shades of white light, but don’t support Bluetooth — meaning they need the Hue Bridge to work. The four Bluetooth-enabled bulbs in the $199 white and color ambiance starter kit can be tuned to one of 16 million different colors and can be used without the Bridge as long as you’re in range. Using the included Bridge, however, not only allows you to create groups of lights within your home but lets you control them all from anywhere.
How it compares: Philips Hue is one of the most expensive smart lighting options. For color bulbs, you’ll pay $199 for four of them plus a Hue Bridge. Comparatively, you can get a Lifx Proud Parents Bundle for $89.95 that includes a total of five bulbs, four white and one color changing; no bridge or hub required. If you really want to save cash, Wyze lightbulbs are $14.99 for a two-pack. But it’s Hue’s vast product lineup along with tight integration with smart home platforms and the reliability gained by adding a dedicated Bridge that …….