The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card
and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Every time I walked into my local Best Buy store, I couldn’t help but admire the Hue display at the front of the store… those little rooms, lit up in every color of the rainbow. So cool! I could just imagine how I’d use these in my own home, so I put this on my Christmas wish list, along with a million other things…
Well, my wish was granted! Best Buy sent me the new hue LED White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit and the hue Go so that I could try it out and share my experience with you all, as well as a Netgear router to get it all going.
The new and improved Philips hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit allows you to experience home lighting in a new way by adjusting colors, timers, alerts and more from your smartphone or mobile device. What’s awesome is that you don’t need to rewire anything in your house! The bulbs, accessory lights and bridge work with your existing WiFi to let you create mood-setting color schemes, or enjoy the right light setting for reading, relaxing, and other activities.
Setting up Philips hue
Setup was so easy! Just a few simple steps:
1) I screwed the hue bulbs into my existing light fixtures and turned on the wall light switches.
2) I plugged the hue bridge in and it automatically powered up. I then connected it to my Wi-Fi router using the network cable provided in the kit. Three lights came on showing me I had successfully connected.
3) I downloaded the hue app from the iTunes App Store (also available from Google Play) and followed the instructions.
Controlling Philips hue
Now for the fun part! Becoming familiar with and exploring all the functions of Philips hue. I downloaded the free Philips Hue app to my iPhone to control the lights (also available for Android). I can also control the lights from the website, but my phone is so much more convenient, plus I can use Siri voice commands! I tell Siri to ‘turn lights on,” “turn lights off,” “dim lights 50%,” etc. It’s so cool.
After experimenting with the colors, I’ve created different ‘scenes’ using my favorite photos as palettes. There are preset light recipes like “Relax” and “Concentrate” to set just the right mood.
I’m also taking advantage of third party apps, like IFTTT (If This, Then That). For example, I found a ‘recipe’ on IFTTT that connects hue with the weather channel to turn the hue lights on at sunset and cycle through a rainbow of colors. I set this up once and now it happens every evening around 5:30 or so. So easy to set up and really impressive! I set another recipe to turn the lights on at 7am because I know that’s when my husband goes downstairs to watch the news and have his morning coffee. He loves it! And I set a third recipe to turn the lights blue when it rains. No reason for this one really, other than my daughters think it’s awesome! The blue lights give off an almost black light effect making white and neon items glow.
I’m also looking forward to using these lights to maintain an automatic schedule while we’re out of town – so that it looks like we’re home.
Want to take hue with you? The hue Go is a portable, completely wire free smart light that offers a lot of versatility for my lighting needs. I can take it or put it anywhere, plugging it in or carrying it around with up to 3 hours of rechargeable battery life. It’s not waterproof, but is designed to withstand high humidity.
I like that it is easy to control, with the simple on/off switch on bottom of the light, or via the hue app and the hue bridge. I’ve been using it as my personal reading light at night because I find that the light is more gentle than my bedside lamp, which my husband appreciates. It’s also a good way to create bright lighting in a room that has little existing lighting or no electrical outlets. It’s worked great for providing ambiance on the patio, too, on these beautiful fall evenings when it gets dark so early! I plan to take it with us on an upcoming trip and use it as my daughters’ night light. What’s great is that I can set it to turn on and off at certain times. I can even set it to gradually increase the light intensity in the mornings so that it feels like they’re waking up from sunrise, gently and naturally. I may just have to buy another hue Go so Maya and Maura each have their own! It’s a really unique product!
As you can see, I’ve had a lot of fun discovering new ways to play with light! I plan on expanding my system to enjoy Philips hue even more, as my budget permits. To enable hue to function properly, you really do need a good router, though, especially if you want to use these lights all around your home.
The Netgear® Nighthawk™ AC1900 DST Router and DST Adapter is a brand new router that was exclusively developed by Netgear, an industry leader in the networking world, and Best Buy, to help provide consumers with an easy, all-in-one solution to support their home’s connected devices. Just think about how many devices you have connected to your network right now, more WiFi-dependent products than ever before. In fact, the average US household has seven “connected devices” at any one time – and we have 17 (!!) from our DVRs, to several computers, video game consoles, tablets, smartphones, and now the hue lights, too, which I’m certain all put a strain on our home’s network, especially the router.
This high-performance router was built to support 10+ connected devices. You can prioritize devices for streaming videos or music, and there are included advanced features for lag-free gaming. I’ve noticed that there are “dead zones” in certain parts of my house where I often experience slow (or no) WiFi. This router comes with one DST, or “Dead Spot Terminator,” adapter which eliminates these WiFi dead zones just by placing it in an area where there’s little or no reception. Cool, huh? You can purchase additional adapters for other dead zones around your home.
Included with the purchase of the Netgear Nighthawk is Geek Squad set up and support via phone and web for one full year, allowing customers to call or get help 24/7 whenever they want, versus the need to schedule an appointment. Geek Squad Agents can walk you through how to secure your network, place your DST, and connect all your devices. This is so helpful for those that aren’t particularly tech-savvy and appreciate immediate assistance. When your purchase this router, you’ll receive an email that same day with set up instructions. It’s a really great service!
You can find the Netgear Nighthawk DST router and Philips hue lighting at Best Buy. If you love technology and innovative new products as much as I do, you’ll want to check out Philips hue for sure. It’ll transform the way you use light and would make an amazing gift for that person who has it all.