Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 review
What is the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0?
If you're completely new to Phillips Hue Lights they are essentially internet controlled smart lights. The lights can be controlled via a smartphone app and via other smart home systems. The lights come as full RBG lights allowing a full-colour pallet or as white bulbs allowing them to be dimmed and turned off via the Hue app.
The New Philips Hue Hub is the central aspect of the Philips Hue lighting system. It allows the Phillips Hue bulbs and other lights to be controlled via a smartphone or other internet connected device. The new bridge is an updated version of the old hardware with a key additional feature., it's Apple HomeKit enabled. This means that you can talk to Apple's Siri and control your lights just by speaking to Siri.
Setup & Smartphone App
Getting up and running with Philips Hue Bridge is a straightforward procedure. Simply plug the bridge into your home network and then use the Philips Hue app to follow the simple setup process.
If there was one aspect of the Hue system I could change, it would be how you pair new applications to your bridge. Each time you want a new application to control your lights you have to "approve" the request by pressing the middle button on the bridge, and this can mean you are up and down the stairs to pair all the great apps with your lights. This is only an issue as most people will plug the bridge directly into the router which can sometimes be in an awkward place within the home.
The official hue app is OK but there are far superior third party applications available that allow you to do much more with Hue.
The Official Hue App allows you to set schedules for when your lights come on or off, create rooms (lighting groups) and control each light individually. The official app is fine for most use cases but you can get so much more from the system with other apps available in the app stores.
Using Philips Hue in home automation
What makes Philips Hue such a great home automation tool is the Hue ecosystem. Philips now offer a vast range of lights including; Desk Lamps, Lighting strips and portable lights. The variety offered by Philips is what makes it stand out as a system over other lights such as LIFX
Once you have got used to using the Hue app, you will be able to create routines that really help with daily life such as a wake up routine that slowly wakes you up in the morning and can warn you when you need to leave for work. You can use hue to change the feel of each room and its nice to be able to mach the lighting to mach your mood. Philips Hue can also be connected to IFTTT, this opens hue up to a hue range of possibilities everything from changing colour when your favorite sports team scores to alerting you of a new e-mail.
Hue can also be set up to turn on your lights when you get home using your smartphone and Geo-fencing. This is a nice little touch when you get home and your lights automatically turn on to your favorite lighting design.
Hue starter Kit
The Philips hue starter kit is the best way to get started with your Hue lighting system offers great value for money compared to buying the contents individually. Currently the E27 hue starter kit is (£149.99) on Amazon.co.uk and it gives you the bridge and 3 light bulbs Each bulb is available on its own for (£49.99).