Philips Hue is one of the most recognizable brands of light bulbs today. Established in 2012, they manufacture multicolor LED lamps and light bulbs. Since, they’ve had three generations of models, the last in 2016. When it was first released, the Hue system was exclusive to the Apple Store, praised for its integrations with iOS devices. Now, Philips Hue bulbs are integrated with everything from Amazon Alexa to Google Assistant and everything in between. It’s only been a few years, but Philips Hue light bulbs have really taken off.
I purchased the Philips Hue A19 light bulb in warm white. In this review, I’ll tell you about its design, features, installation, and mobile app. Let’s get started!
Design of the Philips Hue A19
Your Philips Hue A19 connects through the Hue bridge using a Zigbee connection. From there, the bulb will communicate with your app through Wi-Fi. The bulb I purchased is in a warm white, and is dimmable which I love. It shines in 10 watts and has a lamp base of the size E26, a standard of lightbulbs. This bulb is LED, which means it’ll last a while- but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Features of the Philips Hue A19
Philips Hue’s A19 light bulb has pretty much every feature you can imagine. First of all, you can put it in away mode so the bulbs will go on and off to make it seem like you’re home. So not only are the bulbs part of your smart home, they’re also part of your home security system. Of course, you’ll be able to create schedules for your light bulbs to turn on and off automatically at certain times of day, like having the lights come on when you get back from work. For different combinations of lighting, you’ll be able to create scenes. Customize your light for reading, watching a movie, having a party- whatever it is, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to change your lighting. You can even change multiple light bulbs at once through your mobile app.
Now, some of us are up with the sun, and I happen to be one of those people. That’s why I’m so excited that this light bulb can sync with the sunrise and sunset. The bulb uses GPS to place itself, and from there will know when the day has started and ended. If that’s not easy enough for you, you can even sync your phone to the bulb so that lights turn on or off when you’re home or away, a feature called geofencing.
To vocally control the lights themselves, Philips Hue gives you the most smart platform integrations I’ve seen from a light bulb. You can use Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana. They also have partnerships with IFTTT, Logitech, Nest, SmartThings, Xfinity Home, Vivint, Razer, Elk, and RunLessWire, so you’ll be able to sync connected devices with your lights.
Finally, you’ll be able to allow access to multiple users so you’re not the only one with control over your bulb. With all these awesome features, I’m pretty sure other people are going to want in.
What doesn’t the Philips Hue A19 offer, you may be thinking. The answer is energy monitoring. While some light bulbs can show you how much energy they’re using and how much they have left, this bulb cannot. However, this is a relatively small issue as the bulb has a rated life of 20 years and an estimated yearly energy cost of $1.14. You can rest assured that this bulb will last longer and use less energy than your average light bulb.
Installing the Philips Hue A19
To use your Philips Hue A19 smart light bulb, you’ll need a Hue bridge.
The Philips Hue App
The Philips Hue app is where you’ll actually be able to utilize all the bulb’s featured that I mentioned above. From the app, you can control the lights, create schedules and scenes, set up geofencing, and sync it with any other connected devices or smart home platforms. Unfortunately, the app received pretty poor reviews- a 2.6 rating on the Apple store and a rating a little over three stars on the Google Play store.
“Philips Hue has the best smart light hardware features I’ve experienced but the app needs a lot of work…The best features are relegated to the cumbersome “labs” area of the UI which makes them inaccessible to the point of being not worth using. I had to install a SmartThings hub and use its app just to overcome these kinds of deficiencies in the native Hue app,”
wrote a Google user in a three-star review.
Recap of the Philips Hue A19
Let’s recap all the great things and not-so-great things about the Philips Hue A19 light bulb.
Its best features are its:
- Away Mode
- Can change multiple bulbs at once
- Sunrise/ sunset sync
- Smart platform integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana.
- Can sync with products from IFTTT, Logitech, Nest, SmartThings, Xfinity Home, Vivint, Razer, Elk, and RunLessWire
- Allows access to multiple users
While its negatives include:
- No energy monitoring
- Poorly rated app
Interested in getting a security system or camera to go with your Philips Hue A19s? Check out our full review of the Vivint security system, our review of the Logitech Circle 2 camera, or our review of the Nest Cam IQ.
Feel free to leave us any additional comments of questions you may have.