What is Smart Lighting?
Smart lighting incorporates several technologies that will take your experience of lighting to a new level. Or at the very least, well beyond the capabilities of a humble light switch!
LED - all of our Philips Hue smart lights use LED lighting technology. This means they are energy efficient and cost less to operate than other lights. It also means the ability to dim or change colour can be 'built-in' to each light.
Wireless App Control - smart lights are accessible via the internet, Wifi and/or Bluetooth. As these technologies are now nearly ubiquitous, it has made smart lighting available to everyone. Smart lighting is no longer the domain of stage lighting experts sitting behind a large control desk and a tangle of wires.
Note: We also think motion sensor lights and those with a tri colour switch are smart lighting choices. But for the sake of clarity, we are talking here about lights that use the above two core technologies.
Philips Hue Smart Lights
We have chosen to stock the Philips Hue range because it offers several benefits over other smart lighting systems.
Quality, Reliability & Longevity - Philips Hue was first launched in 2012 with the system now up to its 3rd generation. As a pioneer of smart lighting technology, Philips Hue has become the go-to solution in terms of quality and reliability. We think the system is also a much surer bet than lesser-known brands who may not be able to support their products well into the future.
Simplicity - Philips Hue smart lights are easy to set-up and use. They now also all come with Bluetooth included, so you can use them even without a Hue Bridge.
Flexibility - Philips Hue works via a standalone app, or via some wireless switch accessories. It also works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and the Google Assistant. You can control your lights with your voice or link them to other smart accessories.
Philips Huge Range - The Philips Hue range is constantly expanding into new areas. What started as a few simple light bulbs now also includes some light fittings and various additional control options.
As an official distributor for Philips Lighting Australia, we stock a wide range of locally supported Philips Hue products.
Types of Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs
If you are new to Philips Hue, the options can seem a little overwhelming at first. Within the Philips Hue range, you will come across three categorisations: White, White Ambiance, and White & Colour Ambiance.
|Philips Hue Range||Colour Temperature|
|White||2700K (Warm White)|
|White Ambiance||2200K (Very Warm) to 6500K (Cool Daylight)|
|White & Colour Ambiance||Full-Colour Spectrum (16 Million Colours)|
What Will You Do With Philips Hue?
When it first came out, Philips Hue seemed like a bit of a gimmick. You can change the colour of the lights in your living room - so what? There certainly is a novelty aspect to smart lighting, but so many more practical applications are emerging, such as:
- Dim your lights without the use of a conventional dimmer switch (or the expense of an electrician).
- Use the alarm feature to wake up with slowly brightening lights, not a loudly buzzing alarm.
- Turn the lights on automatically using geolocation, just before you arrive home.
- Use voice control to switch off all the light as you leave home. "Hey Siri, turn off all the lights," or similar.
- Use the Hue App to randomly operate a few lights while you're on holiday - to make your home look occupied.
Philips Hue & Smart Lighting FAQ
How much power do Philips Hue lights use when in standby?
Philips Hue smart lights are remarkably energy efficient. In standby mode, they use about 0.2W of power. That's about $0.40 per light per year if you leave them "on" at the light switch 24/7 and therefore discoverable via the Hue App.
What is the maximum number of smart lights I can control with Hue?
Philips recommends you use a maximum of 50 lights and 12 accessories connected to a bridge. If you want to control more lights, we recommend you add a 2nd Bridge. Note: the hard limit is actually 63 Hue bulbs and 62 accessories per bridge, but you are likely to encounter issues if you go beyond the recommendation above.
Is the bridge / hub or smart lighting gateway even necessary?
No - the latest Philips Hue lights that we sell can be controlled directly via your smartphone using Bluetooth. Up to 10 lights can be connected to the Philips Hue Bluetooth app in this way, with no hub or gateway required.
On the other hand, If you want to do any fo the following, you will require a Philips Hue Bridge:
- expand your smart lighting system beyond 10 lights,
- control lights when away from home (or outside of Bluetooth range),
- connect with voice assistants from Apple's Siri (HomeKit), Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa or Microsoft Cortana products.
- use the Hue Tap Switch or Hue Motion Sensor.
Philips Hue Color vs. Colour & Ambiance vs. Ambience - which is it?
Officially, many products in the range are named like this: "Hue White & Color Ambiance." So it seems that Philips has gone American on colour and French on ambience! The range is confusing enough as it is, so at least you can ignore any subtle change to colour and ambience - on that front, it's all the same. Here's a quick re-cap of the three grades of Philips Hue lights:
- White - single warm white colour, fully dimmable via the app or Hue dimmers. We also call these smart bulbs Dimmable White.
- White Ambiance - colour temperature control from very warm white to cool daylight, and dimmable.
- White & Colour Ambiance - complete colour spectrum control and dimmability.
How can I reset my Philips Hue lights if I encounter a problem?
You can try a reset process with the Hue bridge or dimmer switch, depending on your situation:
- Bring the dimmer switch within 10cm of the light and press and hold the I and 0 buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds until the Hue light flashes.
- Factory reset your Hue bridge by removing the ethernet cable and pressing the reset button on the underside for 5 seconds. Note: All lights and scenes will be deleted, ready for a fresh setup.