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Philips - Hue White Ambiance A19 LED Starter Kit - Adjustable White-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 255 reviews

96%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 25 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Get started with lights automation!

    Posted
    xKing
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    It's a great kit if you would like to automate some lights in your house, but not exactly sure yet, so not ready to make a big investment or do any wiring (one note - if you have a dimmer - you will need to take it out). Bulbs are just a standard E26 socket bulbs, A19 shape (pear shape) that would go into almost any light fixture, they are a bit taller than Philips Hue Color bulbs. Maximum light output is 800 lumens which is equivalent to 60W incandescent bulb. Once bulbs are installed and powered on - you can control them using an app on the phone/tablet or web site. Whole kit is compatible with Apple HomeKit as well, so once setup is complete - all bulbs will be present in the Home app and controllable by Siri. Bulbs could be controlled individually or as a group. Philips app is trying to align groups with Rooms in your HomeKit which may not be always practical for bigger spaces (you rarely need to control all lights in the same room at once), so I would recommend breaking groups down, for example Kitchen ceiling lights and Kitchen island vs just a "Kitchen". These are not color changing bulbs, but they can change their white color temperature from 2000K (close to a candle flame) to 6500K (bright daylight). You can easily pre-define color temperatures you like as scenes. Automation consists of pre-defined easy to setup routines such as: Wake up - turns lights on at a specific time Good night - turns lights off at a specific time Custom timer - with predefined sunset/sunrise values or just manually entered time There are a few accessories available as well such as motion sensor which would allow you to turn lights on automatically when someone enters the room and a remote control dimmer switch - if you would like to have a physical controller in your hand or on the wall. Philips Hue ecosystem is easy to integrate into almost any other home automation system too - it would work with Nest, Alexa, Smartthings and almost any other home control system in the world. In short: Pros: - Super easy to install for anyone, no wiring, no electrician, system if fully portable if you need to move. - Apple HomeKit full integration - Same bridge will controll all other Hue devices you might get in the future - color bulbs, LED strips, etc - Motion sensor and remote control accessories are available - Philips Hue ecosystem can be tightly integrated into almost any other home automation system. Cons: - Light output is just 800lm (60W incandescent) may not be enough for all applications or you might need to install more light fixtures. - If power to the bulb is switched off and then on - bulb will not keep it's previous state, but will go into the full brightness mode instead. - Groups of bulbs are tied into HomeKit rooms which is not always practical if you would like sub-groups of lights in the same room (for example: ceiling light, island, etc) - Automation rules are very basic, for example it's not possible to turn light on from sunset to a specific time.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Never Enough Smartbulbs...

    Posted
    NickAtWTF
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    My wife thinks I'm crazy. As a Trekkie, there's nothing better than being able to remotely turn on all the lights in a room either with my voice or my devices (or a motion sensor). There's a bit of a learning curve because you have to coach yourself into not using the switches. My wife hates that she can't use any of the switches anymore, but has generally gotten used to the convenience of being able to light the house wherever she's going before she gets there. "I broke the lights" was a common refrain the first week. As smart bulbs go, Phillips makes the best ones, hands-down, and here's why: - Apple HomeKit integration (that means onboard encryption on the hub for your wifi password and traffic, which is insanely important). - Amazon Echo integration, Google Home integration, Native Apps on all platforms (these lights work with almost everything) - the AMBIANCE lights have a huge variety of colors and white temperatures and are within a few watts of other LEDs (even when you consider they must be "always on" to receive instructions, I have not noticed a difference in our power expenditure). - huge variety of lightbulb styles so you can have matching hardware and color temperatures across your house - regular firmware and app updates - Phillips is keeping on top of security holes and bugs, they release new firmware at least every 2-3 weeks. So let's talk positives and learning curve: - "Echo, turn on the Kitchen Lights" is the command for a room with multiple bulbs. Or "Echo, turn on the Lamp" is the command for JUST ONE LIGHT. You can name both rooms and bulbs individually, then sync to Amazon, Google, and Siri. - you set your switches ON. If you turn them off, you can't turn your lights on and off remotely. - if you turn your switches OFF then ON, your lights are on in the ON mode (and will sometimes lose whatever color setting you had) but can be shut off remotely. - the "White Ambiance" lights have a crazy amount of white "temperatures" (shades of white) ranging from warm/yellowish/orangish white to wake-your-butt-up blue-white. To match existing bulbs if you don't care about colors, buy this version. - Amazon and Google are NOT AMAZING at setting "mood lighting". You can, however, say, "Echo, set the Living Room Lamp to 50% brightness". You can also use either Apple HomeKit or the built-in app to set timers, auto-on, auto-off, and "Scenes" (pre-set combinations of rooms/lights on/off/shades of white/color/etc). - you can dim to exactly whatever brightness you want. - the Apple HomeKit timers let you automate certain things: when you arrive, the lamp can turn on. When sunset hits, certain lights can turn on or off. - you can also integrate with IFTTT so that when your doorbell is rung, your lights flash... if your favorite stock crashes, you get a tweet, the lights can change color or whatever... not super useful, but the fact that you CAN do this is cool and potentially useful if you had the right recipes and needs. So, aside from "wow, that's really cool that I never have to worry about going into a dark room and stubbing my toe with my hands full again" factor, what are some negatives? - you must use your voice (via Amazon, Siri, or Google) and if you have to be quiet and don't wanna whip out the app, you run the risk of accidentally turning on the wrong light or whatever else. Not recommended for parents of young kiddos who wake easily. You have to also remember what you called the lights and memorize that because no voice assistant is smart enough yet to just turn on or off the lights in the room you're in without context. The key word there is "yet" as the ubiquity and price point of these devices almost begs the question: why couldn't the individual Dots/Home Minis be tethered to a "room" with a context-senitive "Echo, Lights On!"-type command?... TBD - the integrations are OK, they work well, but sometimes the hub and/or assistants seem to lose connection to bulbs and they cannot be turned on or off with your assistants but instead have to be turned on/off within the app (which seems to have an override for the Z-wave method the lights use to communicate to the hub). - you will want to outfit your entire freaking house and it's really expensive to do so About that: to outfit your entire house is crazy expensive, and you will want to because once you are able to turn on the lights with your voice, you will want to do it everywhere. The Colors is kitschy and cool, but outside of a party trick or a kid's room, it's hard to justify the (as of the time of this writing) $50-per-bulb pricetag. And if you try to buy in bulk (beyond the like, packages Phillips offers) you'll be routed to a local distributor who'll laugh at you. True story, this actually happened when I suggested a bulk purchase program. Let's also talk about the difference in bulbs, too - the AMBIANCE series is what you want. I'm not kidding, the other A19 (ROUND, NOT AMBIANCE) bulbs are crazy yellow. I mean '70's yellow, yellow, barely white yellow. I had these originally, but returned them for the Ambiance series. So: worth it? Absolutely (especially if you're a Trekkie or Techie and want the light to be on automagically when you get home). If you're making the jump from CFLs to LEDs, consider leaping even further to these smartbulbs.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Pretty amazing lighting

    Posted
    aarondr
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    The Phillips Hue White Ambiance starter kit includes all you need to get started with smart lighting in your home. You get a hub (zig bee compatible), 4 A19 lightbulbs (standard socket), and some basic instructions. Everything is neatly packaged. Setup in theory is simple. The truth of setup is a bit more complicated. The Hub setup involves downloading an application. Once installed you can pair your hub to your phone, and then it should work. I had some initial trouble pairing, and I couldn’t put a finger on the problem. After a few minutes, however, whatever was the problem worked out and I was connected. The bulbs come pre-paired out of the box, so that’s one less step than many other smart products starter kits do. Once the bulbs are plugged in and your light switched on, they will connect. One of the first things you’ll see is a firmware update. Once the bulbs are up to date (they’ll turn off first) you can start creating rooms. Rooms let you group one or more bulbs together. Originally I had been used to naming and setting up devices manually with other products, so there was a bit of a learning curve. You can of course rename the lights, but rooms do a good job and set you up for expansion. They’re also visible to any integration. Speaking of integration, this is where Phillips has a great story. They support not only Alexa, but Google Home and Apple Home Kit. Home kit was an odd experience setting up, as it did a funky dance both on my device and pairing using a code. This was my first experience with Home Kit, so it felt quite a bit more kludgy than Alexa Skills or Google’s device setup. The app itself keeps Home Kit in sync, which seems odd to me, but it’s probably simply the software architecture. Alexa and Google both seamlessly pair using skills after signing into the account you create during setup. You can address rooms, or bulbs directly. In my testing with Alexa, I was surprised the amount of functionality available, including specifying what color temperature setting (cool white, reading, warm etc). Speaking of color temperature - the Hue bulbs in this pack are not fully RGB colors, but rather provide a range of color temperatures from a very warm, near red temperature to a cool white approaching blue light. The range is quite helpful, as it can provide various lighting for various needs and time of days. Being able to switch between the ‘concentration’ recipe and ‘relaxing’ setting can actually make an appreciable difference in your mood. It also has been shown to help you sleep better. Speaking of sleeping - there is a pre-made routine in the app to help you wake up. You can set the lights to gradually fade on for a period of 30 minutes helping you gently wake up. While this seems to work pretty well, I believe I started talking in my sleep to Alexa. I’ve simulated this fade on with other products, but the Hue bulbs do it very well, and have a proper morning color temperature, which is a nice touch. Being able to adjust these setting via voice assistant is pretty amazing as well. Coming back around to the app, it’s actually quite nice. If you want explicit controls, or setup custom scenes, it’s quite easy to work with. You can start with a recipe (pre defined temperature) or customize your settings to your heart's desire. You can then program these scenes to turn on or off at specific times. The ‘routines’ section can take some of the manual work out of the process, guiding you through more common activities, such as waking up, leaving, coming home, etc. Even details like adjusting the brightness are smooth and fun in the app. Truthfully the starter kit brings some great bulbs to the table with the inclusion of a zig bee hub that controls the lights quite well. Unfortunately I didn’t have any other zigbee devices to try out, but the hub definitely supports adding more devices. All in all this is a pretty amazing starter kit.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    AWESOME HOME LIGHTING!

    Posted
    btb2k
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    These lights are simply amazing! I’d HIGHLY recommend them to anyone and especially those that see them and think of all the reasons that they may not work (like that it might be difficult to setup or even use) but want the functionality/control over lighting that these offer. Setup/Installation: Right out of the box, setup is VERY EASY! Basically, plug the bulbs in where you want them and plug in the Hue Bridge to your router via an Ethernet port and power. Then simply install the Hue app on your phone/tablet. Run the app, then tap a button on the Hue to pair it to the app, it’ll guide you through setup to setup your first room or rooms and lights. After that and some updates (which only took a couple minutes) they’re recognized and ready to go. It’s THAT easy! I added some additional bulbs which is just as easy, and can be done any time after the initial setup of the starter kit. Basic Use: I have bulbs in lamps downstairs and upstairs and the Bridge sees all of them just fine being located upstairs near a router I have in an office. Controlling the bulbs via the app is simple, and quick – no passwords, pins or sign-in info to worry about once the initial pairing is done on the device. They are responsive and there’s almost no lag at all – very impressed. Other household members can use them as well, just install the App and pair just like you did on the first device and it’s all set! Do keep in mind that others setup this way can control them and doing so at the same time may yield odd behavior or commands getting cancelled as did in my testing. The only thing that I wish Philips offered was a basic on/off switch that controls specific light(s) wirelessly for those in my household that don’t have the app or for visitors, etc. otherwise those that don’t just turn them off with the old school switch and then of course the Bridge can no longer control them. Yes, I’m aware there is a fancy dimmer switch which is great but I think simplicity is key with some lights. Apps: The App and the Bridge by default have the ability to follow “routines” (Home and Away, Wake-up Times, Sleep Times, Other Routines, and timers) which is really all you need for basic use. You can setup a Philips account for Apps on the Hue Bridge like IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Alexa, etc. to enhance the use further so you can enable voice control of your lighting or customize the setup further with other apps like IFTTT. This could “potentially” save a tiny bit of money too, especially if you are the type that accidentally leaves your lights on (and haven’t upgraded them to LED) in the day. You guessed it, you can setup when you’re home and away so they all get shut off or turned on too. The Light!: WOW and WOW – it’s simply amazing to have the ambiance bulbs as you can control the feel of the light so that it’s warm or cool based on what you’re doing or what you want to see – whether it’s trying to relax, read a book, watch TV, go to sleep or more. Waking up to a simulated “sunrise” is a nice and welcome change from an alarm clock (and honestly one of the big reasons I’d recommend these) and going to sleep to a simulated “sunset” is great too! This kit of course doesn’t have the full color bulbs but you can add those without buying the Bridge and gain even more control over your light. All in all, I’d highly recommend these to anyone that’s been curious or on the fence about them. The flexibility and power or automation is great and the ability to modify the color is amazing.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Cool, but several catches

    Posted
    callmeageeth
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    I am obsessed with a smart home and love the idea of controlling lights with your voice. I use Google Home and also have some WeMo light switches. But I wanted the ability to change the color of the bulbs (yes, even white bulbs) with the option of adding color as I see fit. The Philips Hue light bulbs are, in my opinion, the best choice. but there are some things you need to keep in mind. When I first looked into adding voice control to my lights I looked at switches and bulbs. What i discovered was, in order to save yourself some hassle, you really need to have a switch. Otherwise, you could have the switch off and then your voice commands to turn on your smart light bulbs are useless (I do realize Philips sells switches, but I don't have them). And when factoring in price, it seems too expensive (and a tad bit redundant) to buy both smart bulbs and a smart switch. While I love the ability to change the color of my white bulbs, I find myself wishing I had smart switches. My wife turns the switches on and off, she doesn't care about turning lights off on and off with her voice. So she turns off our living room, and I can't turn them on with my voice, which eliminates half of the bulbs usefulness. Nonetheless, I still like having the ability to dim the lights when they're on, honestly, this feature alone makes it extremely useful. Now, to set up. set up is extremely easy, IF YOU HAVE AN EXTRA ETHERNET port in your router and EXTRA PLUG nearby. I have a lot of devices in my entertainment center, which is where my router and modem are. So I didn't have any open ethernet outlets nor power outlets. I had to rearrange things. I thought I could plug the Hue Bridge into any outlet and it would connect to my Wi-Fi, but no. But once it's plugged in (and you download the app) the Hue Bridge is found on the app immediately. Seriously, assuming you have ethernet and power outlet open, set up is as easy as plugging things in and screwing some light bulbs in. Performance is great, the white bulbs are extremely bright. The app, which is crucial (obviously) is both awesome and overwhelming. I struggle with having a lot of customization options and something being too complicated. This app falls somewhere in the middle. I like the ability to change the color of the white bulbs (which is easy to do) but navigating the app to schedule wake up settings or night settings took some time. I ended up changing the presets from relaxing (warm yellow) to energizing, bright bluish white. And that's about it. What I don't like, is that I can't (at least haven't figured out) that I can change the color of the bulbs (other than dimming levels) via voice with Google Home. Maybe you can do it, but I haven't figured it out yet. At the end of the day, I am really happy with the bulbs. They perform well which is what really matters, but there are just some little nuances that you need to know about going in (Ethernet port, wall switch needing to be on, changing white color via app only). I think they are a great addition to my smart home.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent product when you join the ecosystem.

    Posted
    Xephyroth
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    Philips has done a great job with their A19 LED starter kit. While you can get very intricate with all sorts of sensors and such, let’s start with the basics. This kit is very easy to setup. You’ll need to download the app from your smartphone, hook up the Hue bridge via a wired ethernet connection, then install your LED bulbs. From there, running the setup from the app is intuitive and guided. You press the button on the hue bridge, and like magic, the bridge is able to find your Hue lights and sync them with the bridge. You’re ready to go! From the app, you can setup a number of Hue lights as a “room” (e.g. Kitchen, Master Bedroom, Bathroom). In my case, I chose to set up all 4 A19 LED bulbs in my “Theater Room”. You can then change the room’s ambiance via presets (e.g. Relax, Read, Concentrate, Energize and more) or customize it yourself by selecting the hue and brightness. What’s even better is that you can customize individual lights in each room, so you can have a plethora of hues and brightnesses, rather than constraining all of the lights within a room to the same setting. However, I did notice that when you flip a standard non-Hue light switch, your bulbs will not retain any information regarding their original settings. That’s because you’re effectively cutting power to the bulbs, and the Hue Bridge seems to be the master in charge. This leads me to my first criticism: This is an ecosystem. Philips wants you to buy its Hue lights, switches, etc. because it will provide you the best experience with their Hue system. That being said, Philips could have potentially allowed the Hue Bridge to communicate last-known settings with Hue bulbs once they reconnect, but that certainly wouldn’t give the best experience, as there would be a duration of time where the bulb would just use its default brightness and hue while it waits to reconnect. Alternatively, they could have put onboard memory for these bulbs, but that certainly wouldn’t be cost-effective for Philips, as that cost would be passed onto the retail price, making it more cost-prohibitive for the consumer. So let’s talk about Routines. The Hue app allows you to set up routines for your daily habits. This might be turning on lights when you get home or when you’re away, when you wake up or go to sleep, or other custom routines you may have. I, personally, have not used these, but could certainly see these being useful for someone who wants to control their lights autonomously. For me, the more interesting feature is the integration with Google Assistant. Whether it’s my Phone or my Google Home devices, the integration with Google Assistant is excellent. I can say things like, “Turn on theater room lights”, “Dim theater room lights” or “Set theater room lights to 20% brightness” or “Set theater room lights blue” and the lights respond very quickly. For what it’s worth, Philips has good software, but the hardware is rather expensive. Regardless, it is best-in-class, and may certainly be worth it if you’re looking to make your lighting more interesting or just give you more advanced controls.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful

    Posted
    mikeheel
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    The Philips Hue Starter Kit is easy to install and has some neat functionality.  Getting setup is simple.  First, download the Philips Hue app.  Next, install the bulbs in appropriate lamps or light sockets. Then, you connect the hub to your router with an ethernet cable.  I thought there surely must be a way to connect via Wi-Fi, but no; it's cable-only.  Once the hub has powered up, use the app to connect your phone or tablet to the hub. The hub will likely want to update, which can take a long time. You can still use the system, though, right off the bat.  Once you have it up and running, you can name the bulbs. I'd suggest doing this by location. You can also assign them to specific rooms. You can adjust the type of light, from bright white to soft yellow.  There are four presets or you can just set a custom level on the color spectrum.  Using the app, you can turn of individual lights or all lights.  If you have a smart home assistant, like Alexa or Google Home, you can control the lights by voice. This includes dimming them, and turning individual lights or groups of lights on and off.  We use Google Home, and I can report the lights work very well with Home, but I had to rename the lights in the Home app, too.  Regardless, it's still pretty magical to use your voice to dim lights and turn them off and on.  The Hue system works perfectly well.  Just know the bulbs are not the brightest in the world (only 10 watts at 800 lumens), but I have no complaints. Within the Hue app, you can set routines, which allows you to have recurring patterns. You can even set the lights to come on when you get home (basically, your phone's GPS knows when you get home and alerts the system).  There are lots of fun ways to use the smart bulbs once they are up and running.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An innovative idea

    Posted
    Andyj
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    I've had a hard time writing a review for this product because the Philips Hue series of are so much more than just light bulbs that you can turn on and off with an app. This kit includes the 2nd generation Philips Hue bridge and 4 White Ambiance 11W (60W equivalent bulbs). While most off the shelf LED bulbs only work at certain color temperature, say 2200K, which is more of a yellowish glow, or 4000K which is closer to a straight white, or 6000k which starts to become a whitish blue light. These type of lights are "locked in" at the type (or color if you may) of light that they cast. The Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs are capable of producing color temperatures between a range 2200K to 6500K and practically do an amazing job of producing every color temperature within that range. Yes, this kit does allow you to effective remote control your lights, but it has many options on how to do so. So for my review, I will explain how I have used them. I rent, so I can only alter things to a certain degree. With the four bulbs, I have placed them where listed below: My Bedroom ceiling fixture My Dining area fixture Lastly, 2 bulbs in my living room ceiling fan (it has normal bulb sockets) Within the app you can assign individual bulbs into an area. I have mine assigned as listed above to these areas. You can further create groups that include any combination of these rooms or individual bulbs. As you add more White Ambiance bulbs to your setup, this becomes increasingly useful. I might also add that you can adjust the brightness of any of these bulbs at any color temperature from 0-100% brightness. I have found them useful as I have them setup to work with my Google Home. I can, through voice commands, turn the lights on and off, adjust brightness levels, and even switch to some color temperature presets referred to the Hue app as Scenes. This is great if you have already laid down for the night and forgot to turn off the lights in another room, or want to leave one of the lights on, but perhaps at 5% brightness throughout the night. The possibilities are near endless for their use and application and I cannot possibly cover even a fraction of what you can do with them in one review. I am giving them a 5 star review, but keep in mind that that to go all in for something like a single family home, with many places to utilize Philips Hue bulbs, it definitely requires an investment. The starter kit gives you 4 bulbs and the hub to work with, but individual additional bulbs (this also works with the Hue color bulbs) can leave some with sticker shock. Last but not least, the included bridge can support up to a recommended 50 bulbs and an absolute maximum of 63. "Hey Google, turn off all lights" This never gets old :)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Easy setup, great bulbs

    Posted
    Batlacit
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    The Hue bulbs have always been my go-to recommendation for smart lighting. They're easy to install, well built, compatible with just about everything, and rather fun to use. But I'd never tried their ambiance bulbs before, which ditch the color changing features to offer comparatively simple adjustable white lighting. And after using them for a bit, I have to say that they're just as good as you'd expect. The only real setup that's required is the installation of the bridge, which is completely compatible with all Hue bulbs that have ever been released. Apart from that, it's all just screwing in light bulbs (and naming them after, if you need.) Which also made me realize there are a few difference between these and the white & color bulbs that are worth noting. For a start, these are much lighter, presumably because they dispense with the thick glass diffuser you need to even out the color for a much simpler plastic one. This means there are some places where you can install the white bulbs, such as in long necked adjustable lamps, where the color bulbs would be too heavy for the fixtures. These third generation bulbs are also a notable improvement over the ones that came before in regards to brightness. While the earlier ones tended to be about as bright as a 40 watt incandescent bulb, they've managed to boost the brightness up to a full 800 lumens (roughly a 60 watt equivalent.) Another thing I feel I should comment on is the ease of integrating the parts into an existing Hue setup. I had a fairly well fleshed out 1st generation setup which had been starting to have some compatibility issues with the latest Google assistant, and getting the second generation bridge included in this starter kit swapped in was about as painless as it could be. All I had to do was plug both of them in, go into the app and tell it which ones were which, and then wait for all my existing settings and scenes to transfer over. Only downside to this is that I did have to manually add the four white bulbs that came with it back in afterwards, but fortunately it only takes a few seconds for them to sync up again. I'm really not sure what else I can say about these. The Philips hue system is probably the most mature smart bulb product on the market. If you're not sure about or just don't need the ability to change the colors of your lighting but still want to outfit your house with relatively inexpensive smart lighting that won't require rewiring, this is the system for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love Philips Hue Bulbs

    Posted
    Cupra
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    Ever since the Hue Lux bulbs came out, I have used Philips Hue bulbs around my house. Upgrading to the Hue Ambiance bulbs, they are a great addition to the home, and here's why... Prior to using Hue bulbs, I had three way switches in my lamps in my living room for three brightness levels. Every night I would turn them on 'click, click, click' and then every night, I would turn each lamp off 'click, click, click'. With the Hue bulbs, I am able to turn on and off all the lamps at the same time, and control the brightness between apx 7% and 100% brightness. (When you get down real low in the brightness levels, there is no real discernable difference between 1% and 7%). The Hue Ambiance bulbs take the Lux bulbs a stage further, without them being full color bulbs. They are able to switch from a warm, soft white to a vivid, blue/daylight tone. I say tone and not color, because they are not true color bulbs. This is a nice feature to have, as sometimes you just want to have that more soothing soft light, or a more natural daylight look to your bulbs. Setting up the base station and bulbs is very simple. Plug the base station into your router, turn it on and fire it up. Open up the app and follow the instructions. The easiest way to pair the bulbs is to take note of the 6-digit number on the side of the bulb. That is its unique identifier, you can type that into the app and it will set the bulb up really quickly. Otherwise you end up 'scanning' for the bulb and that can sometimes not work as well as you would like it to. I believe that you can link together 50 bulbs at one time in the app. I currently have 10 bulbs, including Lux, Color and Ambiance bulbs. They all work seamlessly and I haven't had any problems at all. I have had to contact Philips customer service in the past and they have been very helpful and responsive. I've been very happy with all my Hue bulbs, and these Hue Ambiance bulbs are a nice addition to my kitchen. All of my Hue bulbs are voice activated, thanks to being able to link my Hue app with Alexa. Makes turning on and off the bulbs extremely simple, without ever having to go into the Hue app. I only need to go in there to adjust the tone of the bulbs, as I haven't set up a scene with Alexa yet to do that. Overall, I would recommend, and DO recommend these bulbs to all of my friends. So much so I think they are fed up with me mentioning them!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Easiest Start to Smart Home Integration

    Posted
    rtbestbuy
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    This is probably as easy a way as any to get started with home automation. The kit includes a hub and four (warm white to blue white) LED lightbulbs. The setup is simple: download the app, connect the hub to an Ethernet port on your router (yes, no wifi, the hub needs a wired connection), and power the hub up. Screw the bulbs into the light sockets you want to use, turn them on, and start up the app. Follow the instructions in the app setup and a couple minutes later you're ready to go. The app will automagically connect to the hub and discover the lightbulbs. If you're old school, you can create an account at my.meethue.com and use a webbrowser for control, which is really handy. The one gotcha is that there really isn't anything identifying each individual lightbulb so you'll need to spend an extra minute or two turning them on and off and naming them appropriately. You can not only turn the lights on, off, and dim, but you can change the color 'temperature' from a yellow-orange (like regular incandescent bulbs) to slightly bluer than normal daylight. Philips has done a really good job integrating with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Haven't tried Homekit, but it's also been reported to work well. IFTTT also works very well, and you can turn on lights based on time of day, sunrise-sunset, and various trigger events, such as doors opening, etc. The hub is necessary because Hue uses Zigbee to communicate with devices. While this requires a separate hub(unlike wifi lightbulbs), it has the major advantages that it doesn't chew up your WiFi bandwidth and your router's DHCP address space. For routers with a limited DHCP address range, this can prevent a major problem. It also eliminates all the WiFi compatibility issues. Philips seems to be actively developing for this platform and updated software is available every few weeks. The hub now plays nicely with not only Hue products, but many other Zigbee/Zwave products. Any security issues discovered seem to get patched very quickly. All in all, this kit is an easy way to get into home lighting automation without having to spend a fortune, and on sale it's not much more than the regular dimmable LED bulbs. This is a highly recommended good first step.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love Philips Hue

    Posted
    Balthazar2k4
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    I have been using Philips Hue for nearly two years. I presently have 6 color bulbs, 8 ambiance bulbs, 1 white bulb, 1 LED strip, 3 dimmer controls, and 1 motion sensor. In my opinion, Philips Hue is the de facto standard in wireless automated lighting. The new ambiance lights are fantastic. I rarely use my color bulbs for anything other than soft white so the new ambiance bulbs are a revelation (and cheaper too). They offer the ability to tune the white light to your need which presents a big plus over the standard white bulb that Philips also offers. I use the bulbs in lamps, recessed lighting, conventional overhead lighting, and even outside for my driveway. Now that Hue supports HomeKit I am able to automate by lights and control them more conveniently on my Apple products. That said, the Philips Hue app supports even more automation and control and works across Android and iOS. I use the motion sensor to control lighting on my stairs at night. I use automation routines to turn on certain lights in the living room and my office in the morning before the family wakes up. I also use automation to turn off certain lights at specific times in the evening. Of course, you can do so much more, but that is what I use for now. The only real trick to using Hue is placing the bridge some place central in your home and still be able to connect it via ethernet to a switch or router. To me that is the biggest downside of the Hue Bridge is the lack of wireless connectivity to your home network. Can be very limiting where you place it and when you have a two story home with a finished basement it can be very tricky to get a solid signal to all your Hue devices. Fortunately, my router sits pretty central on the main floor so I get a solid signal across my house. Be warned though. Once you go down the path of Hue and home automation it becomes a very slippery slope of addiction. It is super fun to see what all you can do around your house and the more you use them the more possibilities you dream up.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great first experience with smart home products

    Posted
    CrysisComplex
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    The Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit is awesome for any home after my extensive review and trying the ambiance white and color decorative candles I have to say this is truly the future of lights. It's so much to this kit I don't even know where to start. First off let's get the elephant out of the room, The A19 kit is easy to setup and install You really should have any difficulties here putting them in places that you want. Philips gives you 4 800lm bubs and the Hue bridge all of which is safely packaged inside. I'm going to talk about one of my favorite features and that's the timers for the device. I love setting up timers for when I come home or wake up early for work. there hasn't been a time where the lights failed. it just feels so good to have on-demand lights in your home. You don't have to be home because the smart controls work with your smartphone so you can be at work turn on the lights before you pull up in the driveway. The device can dim to cool or warm which can set the mood right for your needs. I normally use the warm setting for reading and gives a great ambiance. I won't talk about the color bubs here but just know they are well worth the price adding on and perhaps the very reason I would want this item. If you going to upgrade later you will be happy with the color hue bulbs. It takes the device farther than anything I can imagine. The color gives even better ambiance for the right mood and vibe. it's simply amazing! A19 kit works with a slew of things...Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, Nest, and Samsung's smart things. most likely if you have a current phone or tablet it will work for you. I do know it works flawlessly with google assistant but I don't have any of the others to try. There isn't much to say about the kit other than it's awesome and will give you the right ambiance. its easy to setup and for my first experience with a Hue and This is my first "smart home" product I will admit. I'm very happy with the overall product. If you want to control your home lights this is the easiest way to do it. I recommend this version of the hue lights to everyone especially if you just want to turn on/off lights without moving.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Epic fail for remote control - avoid

    Posted
    SadHueCustomer
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Don't try to use for real remote control - if you need to reinstall the control app on your iPhone while you're half-way around the world because, for instance, your iPhone dies or gets lost ... well, you can't. You have to go back to physically on-site to bring up your new phone. The app, as of this writing (Nov. 4th, 2018) and for the version of the Philips Hue (V3.6.0) that's current at this time, can only be set up on a new phone that's local to and in communication with the local WIFI network where the Hue hub is linked. It doesn't matter that you already have a full-capability user account set up, or that your Hue system has been fully configured and is up and running with that old phone controlling it. Ordinarily for home-automation apps you load the app on your phone, and log in, and you're up and running, from anywhere. Not for the Philips Hue system. I worked with the Philips Hue help-desk on this, and they said that there's no work-around for the requirement to be local to the hub at setup of a new phone with an existing Hue system, and that it's like this by choice to prevent a security exposure. Other vendors see it differently. After my experience with this problem, while I like the capability of the system in all other regards, this "feature" means that I will not be using the Philips Hue system for applications where "remote control" including phone restoration after a disaster needs to actually work. Nothing says "we don't care about the customer experience" more clearly than this kind of issue. Avoid!

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Simple Setup - Works as Expected

    Posted
    Titan5178
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    Setup is dead simple - Inside this kit are four standard sized LED smartbulbs and a bridge. Simply plug in the bridge and connect it to your home network via the included ethernet cable. Put the four lightbulbs into four light sockets and download the Hue app from the App Store or Google Play. The Hue app will automatically find the bridge, update its firmware, then give you the option to assign rooms to the four bulbs. The bulbs come synced to the bridge out of the box. At one point in the setup process it will ask for the Apple Homekit code if you choose to use that. You simply scan the code on the box or bridge itself in order to get that setup. There is also the option to control the lights with Google Home or Amazon Alexa and other including but limited to Logitech Hamony, IFTTT, Nest, and Samsung SmarThings. Once everything is setup you can use the Hue app, Siri, or whaever smart ecosystem in order to control the lights' ambience and brightness. There's really not much else to say other than it works as expected. This is the ambient white kit, which means you can adjust the color from a dim yellow to a slightly blueish bright white with a color temperature that ranges from 2200-6500K. You have complete control over each individual bulb or can choose from preset "scenes" such as Arctic Aurora, Relax, Read, or my favorite Nightlight. You can also group bulbs together so that you can control two or more simultaneously. Overall, these smartbulbs work as expected and are compatible with most smart home and voice assistant systems, therefore making this kit a good choice for your smart lighting needs. The only reason not to get this kit is if you feel you need control over colors other than white. If that is the case Phillips Hue has a kit for that too!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    For the Technophiles

    Posted
    Daddio
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    As a person who appreciates Tech for Tech's sake, I can understand the enthusiasm for substituting walking over to a light switch/dimmer and just flipping or sliding a switch, with opening a phone App to get basically the same result. If Tech is your thing, then these are your lights. When compared to incandescent lamps plugged into a dimmer and timer, here are the Pros and Cons. PROS: - Quick and accurate response - After a Kit like this one with both the "Bridge" controller and 4 bulbs is purchased, you can buy up to a total of 50 bulbs without needing to buy another controller. - At 10 watts power consumtion each, the bullbs are about the eqivelent to old tech 60 watt incandecent bulbs in lumen brightness. - You can program each individual bulb to change both its white color temperature and it brightness on a repeating schedule. - The bulbs will save you money on both your electrical lighting bill and your A/C bill since they run much cooler than incandescent bulbs. -These lights can be controlled by voice commands using Google Home, Amazon Alexa, etc. -You can impress your friends with a demo of your "Connected Home". CONS: -These bulbs are relatively pricy when compared to some brands. However, "Cheap" LED bulbs are notorious for failure and I assume that a name brand like Philips is likely to build more quality and endurance into their products than no-name companies that are competing only on price. - Setting mood lighting with an App is fine, but if someone flips the wall switch off and on again, they will default to full brightness until the App is run again. Not everyone will have access to the App and this could spoil the "mood".

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Ok but really unnecessary

    Posted
    Nschemmaster
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
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    It is very cool to tell Alexa to turn on and off the lights and to dim them or change the shade of white (or color if you buy that bulb) but in reality it is not necessary to actually own these, just another tech toy. The color range is very nice and being able to dim them is cool. You can control this away from home which is a nice feature. Alexa works reasonably well but at the same time it keeps having trouble with my daughters light, not recognizing her name. The app is easy enough to use but as one reviewer pointed out you have two choices when setting up. First is to group all lights in a room as one, which is what I did ,but then using Alexa you really can only control both at the same time not individually. To do that you have to delve deeper into the app and it is time consuming compared to just Turing it on and off by hand. The other option is to set up each one as a separate room and then issue two commands to Alexa or in the app, control each separately but I didn’t do that. As another user pointed out you don’t know which bulb was set up where at first- if you are setting up multiple bulbs. My recommendation is to do one room at a time or even one bulb at a time. At this point I will probably buy 5 of the cheaper bulbs to control my den level and just torture my family by making their lives more complicated. These bulbs let you automate a bunch of features like connecting them to a harmony remote or putting them on timers but I don’t do anything like that yet and just got them for fun. My wife thinks they are a gimmick and my daughter who is 7 loves playing with them. I also invested in the dimmer remote to make people’s lives easier.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great way to kickstart a smart home

    Posted
    Ruff
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    The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit is a great way to kickstart a smart lighted home for those who are just venturing into the connected smart home arena. Although more expensive to implement than smart switches that control the existing “dumb” bulbs you may already own, the Philips Hue lineup gives you more flexibility and endless options to customize your lighting experience beyond the normal on, off, and dimmed options. And it’s as easy as replacing a bulb to install, no wiring required. Setup with the Hue Bridge was not as seamless as I would have hoped. In fact, I still haven’t gotten the bridge to recognize the bulbs successfully, but also have not attempted to troubleshoot as I use an Echo Plus as my smart hub. I will say that setup through the Alexa app was effortless. Each bulb is marked with a serial number that you enter into the Alexa app, and then ask Alexa to find available connected devices. She did so with ease. Once you have all bulbs synced to the bridge or smart hub, customization is up to you from there. You can group sets of bulbs to be controlled together, or control them individually, both by voice with an Echo or manually in either the Alexa or Philips Hue apps. The quality of light itself is very good. I tend to keep my bulbs on the warmer side of things, as the white “cooler” tones are very bright and feel eery and unnatural. There are very few instances where you will need the cooler option in your home. Overall, I expect to exclusively use Philips Hue light bulbs in my home from here on, as they are super easy to connect and control and seem to have a higher quality to the light they give off than cheaper alternatives.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Lamps With A Problematic Interface

    Posted
    VADarkstar
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    My reaction to this LED lamp kit has been almost completely enthusiastic. But I find the accompanying application has what feels like an intentionally poor design. Instructions for the set boil down to: (1) plug in the lamps, & (2) download the app. I felt like the setup was way too complicated. When setting up the bulbs in locations, there is nothing on the bulbs to indicate the order in which the hub addresses them so after I named the locations in the app, I wound up swapping bulbs to match the locations. The hub, the bulbs, and the application all have internal programming and after my initial setup, all three needed to update - but they didn't update sequentially - so I got notices for updates on day two and day three - and each of the updates took a long time (more than 15 minutes each!). Setting the lamps up for an on/off schedule felt intentionally complicated. And even though now I have everything scheduled the way I want it to be, the application stills feels unintuitive. But I love the lamps themselves. I really like being able to change the color tones of the light - from the warmest of incandescent to the coolest of daylight - so I can match the lights to the colors and moods of my rooms. As you would expect, the lights are very cool to the touch. They power on and off quickly but gradually so that a lamp turning on isn't suddenly blinding in a dark room. And the range of dimming is impressive. Ultimately, for what the lamps can do, I would rate them at 5-stars with no hesitation. But I can't understand how such a major manufacturer could have released such an awkward and problematic interface.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Easy, smart lighting, nice ambiance features

    Posted
    NJRY
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    With four bulbs to customize, the Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit provides enough options and features for any smart lighting beginner to feel like a pro. Setup was simple: replace up to four bulbs with the provided Philips Hue lights; power and connect the hub; download and fire up the app; and that's it - off you go. The hardest part was figuring out which area of the house I wanted to configure, which ended up being my master bedroom. I used the bulbs for the main light, a desk lamp, the nightstand, and one for the closet light. I really like the pre-configured templates provided on the app, but you can customize and save any setting you can come up with. I appreciate the fade-in option for the morning wake up, and I like the "reading" configuration for the evenings. You can also customize which bulbs to turn on and which ones to leave off, if desired. Some other smart lighting brands offer customization but it would feel like jumping through hoops to do simple things like setting up a time frame for adjusting the ambiance. The Philips Hue app makes this process quite simple. And as a nice plus, it connects very easily to Google Assistant for voice commands. Overall, this is a great first step for those interested in testing out smart lighting and want simplicity, value, and some nice configurations for their smart home setup. Full disclosure, I received this product for my unbiased, honest review.

    I would recommend this to a friend