Having a hard time justifying the cost of Philips Hue setup

I set up 4 color Hue A19 and a lightstrip in my living room and one of the things that I like to do is to set the mood when I watch movies. I use an iOS app called Hue TV that uses the phone’s camera to detect color changes in the movie and then it sets the color of the lights accordingly. So if the scene is bright and colorful, so are my lights. It adds a very interesting aspect and mood lighting while watching the movie. Yes, sometimes, I’m too lazy to set it up but at the very least I still use the color bulbs by setting it to a fixed cool blue color just for movie watching.

Is there any concerns with mixing and matching the different brands? I was thinking for locations where I don’t need any fancy lighting tricks I could start out using one of the cheaper bulbs and put Hue bulbs where I want things to happen. Then if I have problems with the “cheap” bulbs, I can swap them out to Hue as needed.

On a related note, I was in my local Lowes this afternoon and saw that they had the Lightify lights on sale for about 10% off. I might pick one or two up to play with.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

My use case for the strips would be for under cabinet accent lights, so they would be one for 5 hours a day.

I bought the Hue A 19 starter kit, and though I’m only using white bulbs with it right now, I wanted to have the ability to play around with the colorful bulbs in the future. @$69 for two bulbs plus the bridge, that comes out to $15 each for the bulbs, and $40 for the bridge. That seems like a reasonable investment for the future to have more options with Hue. It is certainly very well done, the professionalism and high quality of the Hue bulbs and software is very nice.

The newer soft white (2700) Hue A19 bulbs are 840 lumens/9 or 9.5 watts, the previous generation is 800 lumens and a bit more watts usage. I’ve been making sure I get the newer generation because they are the same price and I wanted them to be as bright as possible.

One question that I haven’t seen answered about the Hue adjustable white bulbs (where you can adjust the level from warm 2700 K up to cool 5000 K), was whether they get a lot dimmer at the warm settings. The lumens range from I think a peak of 800 at 4000K down to low as 400 at 2700K. It seems like if you choose a warm setting on those adjustable bulbs you will lose a lot of the ability to light up your space. The non-adjustable A19 soft white 2700K lights are 840 lumens as I noted above.

Based on my experience so far, I think I’d recommend getting the Hue Starter Kit, something to have on the side even if you’re not using color immediately or very much.

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I was going to do a full color replacement but realized the cost was not practical so for my kitchen I have 10 recessed led lights. I used one color hue for my light directly above the sink, hue light strip plus extension for the cabinets all around the top and a ge zwave wave dimmer switch for the other 9 lights so 40 bucks instead of 400. My ceiling fan and light are also on ge zwave switches for home automation. Now my living room is where I put the most.i used 3 br30 for my 3 recccessed lights and 2 lamp bulbs in certain locations. These i find very nice and useful in movie mode situations. With harmony I have setup Netflix to dim all bright lights and turn my br30s to a dim red and my kitchen cabinet strips and one sink like a dim blue. This is a great theater mode and wants I trigger back tv all my lights turn back to normal white. So really decide what and where you need or want color and implement them there but if your just looking for automation or even just slight different Temps then I would consider all your options, there’s many.

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Relevant to this discussion…A19 kits available for $55 on Amazon w/Prime shipping.

I’ve got a mix of coloured bulbs, and Lux white ones.
I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve changed a bulbs colour that wasn’t just showing off or messing around. Typically, they’re all white - so I’d say think hard before buying coloured bulbs.

I only got coloured ones as they were super-cheap… I’ve got a V1 bridge, and at the time Currys were updating their stock to the V2 ones. It was too confusing to have both on the shelf at the same time, so they had to get rid of all the stock containing V1 hubs; but because the documentation and box artwork also changed, they also sold off all the individual bulbs too.

I think my Lux starter kit was £29 (three bulbs and a hub), my GU10 starter kit was £49 (three GU10s and another hub). I then bought another Lux starter kit (including another hub!) plus a coloured bulb (that was £19).
I think the moral is if you ever see them cheap - buy them, worry later. The prices are so stable that you’ll never have a problem selling them on if you change your mind, especially if they’re still sealed.
Use one of the Amazon alert tools to notify you of a price drop, have an eBay saved search too. Anything that avoids paying full price.
I sold two of my bare hubs for about £10 each on eBay which helped, so don’t be afraid to “over buy”.

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How do you get the ‘bulbs’ to do the police pattern/colors with your alarm? Is this through SHM, SmartAlarm, or something else? Thanks

Thanks! Guess that solves my debate with which RGBW controller to go with for my strip lighting I am about to install (was debating between Fibaro and FLS-PP).

What little spot LEDs are you using on your deck flooring?

I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Ouch on the price though, I would need a lot of them! I’m toying with the idea of making something similar…

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All agreed. I’ve got a 15 metre tall Windmill I want to illuminate so putting a number of these around the base would be bloody expensive.

As a side note I came across Big Clive whilst searching:

I’ve got a couple of these PCB’s made up that I need to test at night (when I get 5). Either way its never going to look as good as the item listed above!

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Hah! Everyone needs to know about Big Clive! Damn, wish I’d not seen that floodlight :slight_smile:

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I use the colours only for our children, they have colour bulbs in their playroom. Have one behind the tv too but didn’t catch up.

As for cost I can tell that I tried a few systems, including Lightify and still I decided to go with Hue. Every other system I tried had at least tiny annoyances.
Lightify was the worst. The brigde got disconnected from my account a few times and the only way to reconnect was that support reset my account or I created a new account. I had 3 bridges in about 8 months. The bulbs kept resetting to default settings. Few started buzzing, two stopped working completely (I had 18 bulbs). The fade in and out effect didn’t work properly.

So I went with Hue. Bulbs are expensive, but at least are flawless. Too bad there’s no UK size wall switch.

Without dimmer, because beside colour the dimming is also useless most of the cases. I don’t want to dim the bathroom, the toilet, kitchen, hallway, porch, etc.

I removed the switch and just put a Tap on top of the blanking plate.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

@jbtibor I ended up getting a Lightify strip and a single color bulb. I have noticed that when I change colors on the strip, it does not just switch from, say, red to blue. It flashes thru a couple of different colors before landing on the one I selected. Is that what you noticed as well… or is that “normal”?

I did not really get to test much with the colored bulb. One of the kids saw it and claimed it as hers and bought it from me on the spot. lol We have it connected to the Lightify bridge (the other non-color bulbs and the strip are connected directly to ST) so that she can have the Lightify app on her phone. Otherwise we would have to give her access to all of ST app which we did not want to do.

I started down that route until I realized she could only turn the light off and on. The Lightify app has a lot of pre-programed scenes and transitions that work well for her. Having the bridge will also allow me to update other lights in the house.

@Etoimos I don’t remember the colour issue happening with the Lightify bridge, but it does happen with the bulbs connected to SmartThings. Until now I thought it’s because of ST, but maybe it’s the bulb itself. There might be a software update to fix it, but is so painful to link the bulbs to Lightify hub, update, then add it back to ST that I rather leave it as is. We don’t actually use the colours anyway.

Thanks. I guess I could move the strip over to the Lightify bridge and update it to see if that fixes the problem… I could also test the transition there to see if it does it on it’s own bridge. The wife is going to be out of town for a week, so I’ll have plenty of time to mess with it. lol

I think the Philips system is far more economical than other systems. The White bulbs are $15 (or less) while most people charge $40-$60 for each bulb. I bought the bridge new for $45 shipping included. So my 3-bulb starter kit was about $90. Unless you’re not going to have over two bulbs total, Philips seems the way to go.

The other thing about these bulbs is that that actually put out some light. I had some of those more expensive bulbs and the colored ones and they just did not get bright even at 100%. They seemed equivalent to about a 40-watt incandescent while the Philips White bulbs are more like a 100-watt.

Your take on affordability of the Hue system over others is interesting. When I mapped out my house using a all Hue setup vs an all Lightify setup, the Hue system would cost $635 more. That is based off of 16 colored bulbs and 55 white bulbs. Those numbers reflect white tunable bulbs from each company for an apples to apples comparison.