I have been itching to try out smart lights, so when Maplin offered to send me the Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance GU10 Starter Kit for review I jumped at the chance!
The Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance GU10 Starter Kit consists of 3 GU10 bulbs (other bulb types available – check which you need!), the Philips Hue Bridge and a light switch. Set-up is quick and simple. I think it took 5-10 minutes in total. Just insert the bulbs into the light fittings, connect the Bridge to your internet hub (wire included), put the switch on the wall (or wherever you like – it’s got sticky pads or you can screw it into the wall – no rewiring needed!) download the Philips Hue app (following the brief instructions upon installation) and you’re ready to go.
Philips Hue is a smart lighting system with so many possibilities. I’ve only got the lights in my bedroom at the moment, but you could kit the whole house out in Philips Hue lights and control them all from your phone. Connect Philips Hue to Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Apple Homekit and you can control the lights with just your voice. How cool is that?! Want more lights? Simply fit them and the Bridge and app will pick them up.
The Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance light bulbs allow you to change the colour of the light, so I must admit I did sit and play with all the various colour settings for quite a while! You can control the lighting of the room as a whole or control each bulb independently of the others (which can create some interesting effects). The Philips Hue app has a variety of preset light settings or you can create your own.
As well as changing the colours, the lights are also dimmable (via the app or the supplied light switch). This came in handy last week when I’d got painful eyes and couldn’t tolerate much light. Being able to dim the lights and change the colour to more of a yellow really helped.
So much can be done with these lights. You can set timers (handy if you are away but want it to look like someone is home or if you want to set the lights to gradually wake you). No more needing to get out of bed to turn the lights off, simply turn them off via the app. Forgotten to turn the hall or kitchen lights off but you’re now comfortably tucked up in bed? No problem, turn them off via the app!
Third-party apps can also be downloaded to give even more possibilities for controlling these lights (the Philips Hue app even lists a few). The lights can be synced with music, games and films.
You don’t even need to be at home to control the lights!
The only downside I can find is that the price point for these is quite high. Currently priced at £169.99 for the Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance GU10 Starter Kit, I think this might put a few people off. However, I suspect prices will come down in time as smart technology becomes more common in homes. At the time of writing, a replacement White & Colour Ambiance bulb is £49.99 which is priced somewhat higher than a standard GU10 bulb, but then a standard GU10 bulb can’t do what these ones can! A twin pack of White bulbs can currently be purchased for the same price. These bulbs are slightly longer than standard GU10 bulbs, but I had no problem putting them in my light fittings. These bulbs also last a long time, so they won’t need to be replaced very often.
I really can’t rave enough about these lights. I love them! So much can be done with them… Most lights turn on and off, some can be dimmed, but with Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance the possibilities are endless! You can even add a motion sensor to your kit.
Visit Maplin to find out more about smart bulbs.
Please note: Maplin supplied the Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance in return for an honest review, but this has in no way influenced my opinion.