Are you on the smart lighting bandwagon yet? If not, now's the chance, and Philips Hue is one of the pioneers in this space, offering super bright LED lights in various form factors, that are all controlled by a central hub that connects to your WiFi.
If that sounds confusing, don't worry! We'll show you how to set everything up, as well as how it all works below. Plus we look at 5 of the best Philips Hue colour smart lights you can buy online in Australia, for every use case.
What is Philips Hue Smart Lights?
These are smart LED lights that offer various use case features. Some are designed to replace your normal E27 or B22 bulbs in your living room, others are used outside or as LED strip lights for wrapping around the stairs or balcony.
The lights are controllable by smartphone, smart home hubs or other devices such as iPads, laptops and computers. A common mistake people make is they think they can't use the on/off switch or the dimmer on the wall -you can!
But to change the colours (subject to having the coloured bulbs) you do need a smart device, or you need to buy the Philips Smart Switch and attach it to the wall.
The smart lights work the same way as your existing bulbs, but are much less likely to break being LED. Plus there's a range of different options available for every use case.
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How do smart lights work?
The lights have built in batteries that charge when plugged in and this also charges the WiFi adapters that allow them to communicate with a Philips Hue Bridge, which connects to your wireless router by Ethernet cable. Some smart lights such as those provided by Kogan connect directly to your wireless router.
This is problematic, because you've got more and more devices using your wireless routers connection, slowing down other devices, as well as causing channel issues.
Philips Hue deliberately put their own bridge in, which allows you to connect as many lights as you like, without compromising the quality of your wireless network.
Without the bridge you cannot use Philips Hue, which is why most starter kits come with this. If you buy any of the other lights that come without a bridge, you'll not be able to use them properly until you get a bridge.
The bridge does using your wireless network allowing you to connect smartphones and smart home hubs such as Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Nest (Home Assistant) to connect to your lights, allowing you to control from their devices too.
This in turn allows you to control your lights from anywhere in the world, setup daily sequences such as turning the lights on at 6pm daily, as well as turning lights on or off before bed or before you get home.
1. Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Smart Bulb Starter Kit E27/B22
This Philips pack comes with 3 light bulbs and a Hue Bridge which work in conjunction with Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Alexa. There is a brightness of 806 lumens and shades ranging from 2200k to 6500k, giving the option to illuminate a full white colour or a softer tone.
These lights work best at a temperature of a cool -10°C to temperatures as high as 45°C. There is a voltage of 240 volts in addition to a wattage of 10 watts. These products fit on a standard E27 base and have a lifespan of 25,000 hours.
Positioning these light bulbs require the same amount of work as a regular light bulb. No additional tools are need and a connection needs to be set up to the Hue Bridge. Voice control can be installed to control the dimness.
Another way is through the Philips Hue app where timers can be set and 16 million color options are available to choose from. One could also sync music or other entertainment with the Philips Hue app to create a party or soothing atmosphere.
Philips Hue is also compatible with smart home products from Razer, Nest and Logitech. This set comes with a 24-month warranty.
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2. Philips Hue White and Colour Floodlight
This smart floodlight from Philips is an ideal addition to the exterior of smart homes. This product can be used as a simple outdoor light or for entertainment purposes to curate any desired mood.
Through a Hue Bridge, which does not come included with this model, connection can be made to Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant and many other home automation systems.
Different colors and effects can be customized through the Phillips Hue app, available on both iOS and Android. Through integration with any home automation system, voice control can also be set up, as well as schedules.
This smart lighting device has a protection rating of IP44, making it weather-proof and resistant to general water impacts. The two bulbs inside this floodlight are at 15 watts and the whole product works at a voltage from 220-240 volts.
Metal such as aluminum was used in the construction to ensure resistance to extreme weather conditions. Light colors from 2000k to 6500k can be expected, giving the option to have a powder white glow or something warmer.
The lifespan is listed at 25,000 hours. A 24-month manufacturer’s warranty comes with a purchase of this product.
3. Philips Hue LightStrip Plus
This smart lightstrip from Philips Hue is compatible with systems such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant through connection to a Hue Bridge which does not come with this product.
This lightstrip is 2 meters long and has a brightness of 1600 lumens. This model is recommended for indoor use to decorate living rooms or private rooms. Additionally, this lightstrip can also be placed under kitchen cabinets or bed frames.
On the strip are marks which enables cutting smaller pieces of the light to place in areas of interest. This product is inclusive of tape to stick the lightstrip on surfaces firmly. There is also a 40-inch extension cable.
There is a wattage of 20.5 watts in addition to a voltage of 240 volts. Connection this light to the Phillips Hue app enables colour change from 16 million choices from 2200K to 6500K. Voice integration can also be installed as well as timers.
Other Phillips Hue products such as the motion senor or dimmer switch can be bought separately and be paired with this lightstrip. However, brightness levels can also be controlled via the app. Around 20,000 hours of use can be expected. A warranty of 2 years comes included.
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4. Philips Hue Play LED Bar Light
This set comes with 2 LED bars and a power pack, which can be programmed to use with smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Google HomeKit. A Hue Bridge needs to be bought and set up beforehand in order to proceed with connections.
Installing these products involve using the clips and adhesive tape that comes alongside this Philips set. These LED lights can be positioned vertically, horizontally or on the sides. Furthermore, 3 light bars can be plugged into the same power supply, saving space for other products.
These smart devices best work indoor areas such as the living room. They are often placed behind TV screens or computer monitor to create ambience.
Through the Phillips Hue app, colours from warm white to cool daylight can be selected. Voice control is also available. There is also a dimmable feature. A brightness of 530 lumens and a life of around 25,000 hours can be expected.
The wattage is placed at 6.6 watts and they function well on regular power supplies. The light bars come in a classic black finish which fits in well with modern style homes. There is a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty included.
5. Philips Hue White and Colour Wall Lantern
This wall lantern from Philips Hue is a smart light device ideal for outdoor use. As this product is designed to accommodate exterior settings, there is an IP44 rating which makes it weather-resistant and waterproof.
This wall lantern is recommended for use in regions with high levels of rain. Metal and glass were used in the construction of this lantern device in order to make it sturdy and durable. This light shines at a brightness of 1200 lumens.
This smart product can serve as a normal source of light on patio stras. However, with connection to a Hue Bridge and the Phillip Hues app, color effects can be customized.
Dimness levels can also be adjusted to various contexts such as an outdoor party or an intimate dinner. A Hue Bridge does not come included with this product.
This smart light is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and various other smart home systems. There is a wattage of 8 watts and a voltage of 220-240 volts. 2 bulbs with a wattage of 8 watts can be fitted in.
A lifecycle of 25,000 hours can be expected. There is a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty that comes with a purchase of this smart light.
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Are Philips Hue Smart Lights Bright?
Many people have done tests to determine who offers the brightest smart lights. Philips Hue is one of the more expensive brands on the market, and you'll be pleased to know they offer some of the brightest lights.
Tests and comparisons have been done with brands such as Kogan, TP-Link, HaoDeng, and other various unbranded Chinese models, and Philips always comes out on top in terms of quality and brightness. The one company that did outperform Hue was LIFX, but finding this model in Australia is pretty difficult.
This does come at a cost though, plus you need to use the Philips Bridge, which for larger houses can be problematic, but if you can afford to pay a little bit extra, it's definitely the best coloured smart lights option (in our opinion.)
Last Updated: December 3, 2021 by Rhys