So this one may seem like an odd product to review, I mean why would a tech guy be looking at a regular ordinary household light?
Well to be honest I have been waiting for a product like this for some time, and when I learned about this product I couldn’t go get it fast enough. So first off what is Hue? Well it’s a regular everyday household light bulb, and then some! The bulb is self is multicolored LED, which means it is capable of producing a wide variety of colors. From warm red oranges to very cold blues to basically black-light, it can pretty much cover it all, though it has a tough time with green.
OK so LED color change light bulb, nice but not amazing… did I mention that you can control the color and intensity from your phone. Yup, the bulbs come with a small, basically, router that creates it’s own ad-hock network for the bulbs to live on. The Phillips Hue app lets you control all the bulbs as a group or independently. It also had built in alarm and timer features, and if that wasn’t enough it has IFTTT integration, and geofencing.
I installed these lights in my video room for a couple of reasons: first, my room is not huge and has a ton of tech in it, so it gets HOT! Having light bulbs that basically give off no heat is a HUgE win for me. I think our facilities guy figured that old bulbs combined for about 600 BTU (I would have no way of knowing, but I trust him) The second really cool feature was color, because during the the week when I am in the room I want it to be bright so I can see what I am doing, but during service I need to be as dark as we can get it. I dimmer achieves this, but lets face it it’s not awesome. Having the room at a nice 32K for regular work, a blue 64k white work working on cables and such and then black light for the weekend is really cool.
Add to that the fact that I can (and have) set up alarms on the lights so that 1 minute prior to the per-service countdown the room will turn red. When the countdown should start it will turn to black light blue. If that wasn’t cool enough with the IFTTT integration you can use any IFTTT trigger to give you a response in the bulbs, like lets say a Google calendar event causes the bulbs to flash, the weather changing could be reflected by a color change, or when your hockey team scores your lights could flash. Pretty much any IFTTT recipe could end in change HUE scene or flash lights. The geofencing is cool but not really useful in my application, what it allows you to do is turn the lights on or off based on your phones proximity; you come home the lights come on, you leave they go off, simple yet effective.
If you can’t tell I was really excited about this the light bulbs are great so far, I wont lie at a price point of about $60 a bulb they aren’t cheep, however since they are LED you can amortize that cost overthe course of 15 years, so I feel like it works out in the end. Not to mention when it comes time to replace them it definitely be someone else’s problem.