Today the Bowen’s house stepped into the 21st century. All our lights can now be control by voice, mobile, tablet, PC or neither, because they are automated and know when to turn on or off. Limitless possibilities they say!
I invested in a Philips Hue because they have great ratings and reviews and I know a few people who are running them and all I have heard is praise.
Not knowing what to expect I decided to buy the starter kit, which includes 3 white and colour ambiance 10kWh wireless LED light bulbs each capable of 800 lumen. I also got 3 white extension bulbs, because some rooms don’t need colours. They are all B22 or Bayonet style.
Setup was a breeze, I swapped out all my existing energy saving bulbs with the Philips Hue ones, which are also energy saving and then switched on the Hue Bridge, which connects directly to my router. I then loaded the Android Hue software on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge mobile and it detected the bridge in seconds, updated the software and then I was free to setup the rooms and lights.
The default app is dead easy to use and works flawlessly. I setup all my lights and rooms in under 2 minutes and then the fun really began.
I have two coloured lights in the lounge and they can be set to mirror each other or can be set up individually. The app has some default scenes, which are some coloured photos (tropical twilight, Artic Aurora, Spring Blossoms, Savanna Sunset) that can be set, or I can choose one of my own photos from my mobiles photo gallery. It takes the colours from those photos and pushes them into the lights. It is truly limitless (well 16 million possible colours almost feels limitless).
I used the third bulb in our bedroom because I want to make use of the “Wake Up” feature. This is where I can schedule a time, a day or multiple days, how much Fade and specify the rooms or bulbs that are to react or switch on in the morning, so I have set it to fade on 15 minutes post my alarm clock going off, that way it will be lovely and bright when I wake up. (It is a Wellbeing thing).
Likewise there is a feature to Fade Off all lights or selected lights at certain times of the night, there is also a home and away function, which uses geo-fencing. It uses my home location, so when I leave the house it turns the lights off and when I arrive it turns them on and at the same time makes me bone lazy (Ha ha ha), because I don’t even have to turn the light switch on/off.
There is this app called IFTTT (If this then that) which builds recipes (instructions) so I can set triggers and actions that can take place via my lights. E.G. I can create a button on my mobile home screen that when tapped turns on/off my lights, or specific rooms or specific lights.
I also bought an app (Hue Pro), which offers hundreds more features, and the ability to make the lights change on the beat of music or at the sound of the TV and it also has the ability to simulate a lava lamp changing colours, so my lounge can be filled with colour.
I am super impressed.