If you are in the market for Smart Home Lights you might have already seen my initial review for Philips Hue lights here. I have used them for almost a year now and compared to the other brands Philips Hue is still the clear winner in terms of function, design and ease of use. They have released some new products and I’ve gotten the chance to review them again. Let’s get to the Philips Hue lights 2019 review!
Philips Hue Play Review
The Philips Hue Play is a new light that is targeting gaming and cinema experience with the ease of one simple light. Philips Hue Play really shines for creating that lighting behind your monitor or behind the TV scenes using Hue Sync technology (lights that color match and sync to what’s on the screen) or additionally adding what is known as “Bias Lighting”. What’s Bias Lighting you ask? When you place ambient light around a TV or Computer screen without shining directly into your lovely viewing eyes, it eases eye strain and improves contrast and colors from scene to scene. Although that might sound like foo foo, it’s not. The Philips Hue Lightstrip can also create this effect, but might be more cumbersome to install, perhaps requiring cutting or sticking onto your wall. These background light effects really do add a lot to your gaming and TV watching experiences. Philips Hue Play is a quick and easy way to get Hue Sync and Bias Lighting setup with no additional hardware required.
The Philips Hue Play are quite versatile with a horizontal and vertical option, as well as stickable mount that will go on your TV or computer monitor. This light comes in both white and black colors to match your decor. They are sold in double packs to place one on either side of your TV screen for the best impact. Of course these lights can be used anywhere as a regular smart light with 16 million colors and all the other smart home features too. These are standalone portable lamps. Most smart home lights come in the form of bulbs which means you still need to find a lamp in order to use them, that might be ok for some areas, but if you want the all in one set up solution the Philips Hue Play might be what you are looking for.
Philips Hue Go Portable Light
This one is really a wow. The Philips Hue Go Portable Light is a completely portable smart light! It has a roughly 3 hour internal rechargeable battery (takes roughly 90 minutes to charge up) that allows you to unplug the light and Go! You can turn this light on via the app, or also via a small button on the bottom of the device.
The Philips Hue Go Portable is a small dome shape that allows for all kinds of neat applications. I had mine as a “candle” on the center of the dining room table for awhile. It also makes for a great night light in the bedroom which you can sync up with a wake and sleep routine easily. Wake up to a gentle sunshine routine and turn the lights to the correct night time colors to start getting ready for sleep. The light is a very minimalistic in design with just the button and a small stand piece to keep it upright. It would work in any decor or environment. The practical applications of a portable smart lamp are endless. Unplug and bring to the table where you are playing some board games to get more light quick and easy. Add to your computer desk and sync up to the Hue sync technology to have portable instant Gaming Hue Sync experience that can return to to being your bedtime night light when finished playing. You could also take a light like this camping, outside on the porch or by the pool.
Some other things worth mentioning about the Philips Hue Go Portable Light. You don’t NEED a Philips Hue bridge system, because it has some of the features in the push button on the bottom of the light. Of course it is totally recommended to get the smart features, but it is not needed. which might make this a first purchase for people in the smart light area. The light is about 40 watts incandescent when turned on, so I’d say this light is more an accent light than your main room light. The only downside I see to this light is there is no way to replace the internal battery if it stops working. Philip’s states that the battery should give you 20,000 hours of use, which is about 2 ½ years. I do imagine the majority of time spent using the device it will remain plugged in though.
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
I already reviewed the Philips Hue Lightstrip here, which gives you a strip of smart light that can create wonderful mood lighting for gaming and tv watching experiences. Philips has recently launched the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus though. There are some key differences between the products so let’s get to it.
The differences between Philips Hue Lightstrip vs Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
Sizing – This is an obvious one. The original lightstrip was 6.5 feet. This one is slightly longer. It also offers the ability to add in extensions of an additional 3.3 ft, which might be needed for custom applications. It also is slightly thicker. Original is about 0.43’ and plus is 0.59”. You can also cut the plus version every 13 inches or so as opposed to the original which was 4 inches. This means if you are looking for a smaller space, the Original might be a better choice for you. The extension add ons to the same strip, mean you can light things like your entire hallway.
Brightness – The plus is up to 1600 Lumen as opposed to the Original which was 120. This is a very noticeable difference in brightness. The new version also has the ability to warm or cool the white light which can be easier on your eyes.
Color – The new lightstrip has bolder and brighter colors, as well as the ability to do true white.
These are some small differences but these tiny improvements have made a great deal of improvement to the Plus in my opinion.
These Philips Hue lights are really a cut above the other products that are on the market. You can plug and play and be working in a few minutes if your bridge is already set up. These lights often blend into the background and “just work”. You tend to forget that they are there, but I always find that when the light sync is not happening with my gaming, I become aware of it quickly.
The biggest “con” to these products is always the price. They come with a larger price tag, but in this smart home space, I can attest that you do get what you pay for. If you want help setting up your lights, syncing with Alexa, Google Home or IFTTT (which all these lights work with), check out my original post. These 3 lights are good improvements to the Philips Hue Smart Home experience and I look forward to seeing what is next available from them.
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