I first learned about Phillips Hue just over a year ago - The idea of WiFi-connected light bulbs quickly caught my eye.
After seeing it in action from a colleague, I decided to dive in and set it up over Thanksgiving break in my living room.
What I like about it:
- Control the lights from anywhere with a smartphone.
- Set different lighting “recipes” to fit any use case/mood.
- Micro-control each individual light bulb.
- Integration with IFTTT turning the lights into alerts.*
- 3rd party apps (like Hue Disco) listens to music + controls lights.
- Geo-fencing can turn on/off lights based on your (smartphone’s) location.
Room for improvement:
- Use of light switch turns lights on at full brightness.
- Bulbs make a pretty loud buzzing sound when at full brightness.
- The dimmest of settings is still fairly bright light.
- If bulb needs to be replaced, there’s no easy way to unregister it.
- The official app is a bit clunky to use.
If there’s one thing I could change first about the items above, it would be for “the system” to somehow remember the last light setting so that when the light’s are turned on via the wall switch, it maintains state. It’s not yet natural (nor efficient) to walk into a room, grab your smartphone, open the app, and turn on the lights. Besides, any houseguest is going to need to use the wall switch, which means, at the moment, they’d be blasted by very bright white light that makes a buzzing noise (with no way to dim it).
Yesterday I received the following email from a HUE support person who saw this post. He confirmed that the buzzing sound at full brightness is most likely because the lamps are connected to a dimmer switch.