I wanted a reasonably low budget option for my smart lighting system so I opted for the entry level Philips Hue White starter kit. This includes the Hue bridge and two Philips Hue white light bulbs. In addition to the starter kit, I also ordered a lower cost compatible bulb, the Innr coloured bulb and two of the Innr white bulbs. To allow the Philips bulbs to fit into my ceiling light fittings I order a set of bayonet adapters too.
Setting up the Philips Hue White System
The system was pretty easy to set up, I simply plugged in the bridge and connected it to my router. Then fitted one of the Philips Hue white bulbs (make sure you use this type of bulb first) and search for it in the Hue app. Make sure you switch the light on to do this. Once the bulb was recognised I then assigned it to a room (the dining room in my case).
The second bulb I installed was the Innr coloured bulb. This wasn’t as straightforward as the Philips bulb. I had to do a bit of Googling to work out how to get the app to recognise it. With the Innr bulb you have to turn the light on and off and on again to get the app to recognise it. It will flicker once it’s found. We then added another room to the app and assigned this bulb to the room.
The five bulbs were installed in the three bedrooms, the living room, and the dining room. Each room is set up on the app and the corresponding light assigned to the room.
The Amazing Features
Now the fun begins! There are a number of features you can use with the Philips Hue system. Firstly, I’d recommend setting up an account. That way you can link up with your Amazon Echo, plus use some of the awesome features to better automate your lighting system.
Each room’s lighting can be controlled separately from the app or from the Echo. You can also control the entire system in one switch too – perfect for bedtime! The app allows you to create “scenes” or use one of the three pre-made scenes – bright, dimmed, or nightlight. In addition to this, the coloured bulb also allows you to create even more lighting set-ups. I’ve currently got a dimmed peach lighting in my living room. It’s super relaxing for an evening at home, plus it makes the house look very clean and welcoming.
You can also use this smart home lighting system to gently wake you up in the morning. There is a feature to set up a gradual light turn on in the morning at your preferred time. You can make it last as long as you wish. A great feature to help with seasonal affective disorders. I’ve set my bedroom light to wake me up at 5.30 am, then my living room light to come on a 5.45 am, allowing me to wake up properly to a beautifully lit home.
If you’re going on holiday, you can use the Philips Hue white to trick passersby into thinking you’re at home by setting the lights to automatically turn on and off at preset times. You’ll also be able to arrange your lighting to be on for when you get back home – a warm welcome after a relaxing break.
The biggest bonus of this system is being able to control the lighting in the kids’ rooms. They are a nightmare for leaving their lights on. With the Hue app, I can turn their lights off when I go to bed. Plus I get to control the brightness throughout the evening, slowly lulling them into a sleepy mood.
I’d recommend ordering the Philips Hue white starter kit, with some compatable bulbs if you’re looking for a convenient way to light your home. It’s great being able to control the ambience of the room with my phone. You can buy the Philips Hue starter kit from Amazon for £59.99. I’d also recommend the Innr bulbs, which are excellent value.