Philips Hue Bar Light Review

I’ve reviewed a ton of smart light bulbs, so I’m excited to finally be reviewing a smart lamp, of sorts. The Philips Hue bar light is really unique in both its design and features, coming from what is no doubt the most recognizable lighting brand around. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Philips Hue bar light, helping you decide if it’s the smart lamp for you. Let’s get started!

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Philips Hue Bar Light
Philips Hue Bar Light
Philips Hue Bar Light

This multicolor, dimmable light is the perfect addition to your smart home, with integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and more. 

Design

Philips Hue Bar Light
Philips Hue Bar Light. Photo provided by Hue.

The thing that stands out to me most about the Philips Hue bar light is its shape. It’s not a lamp or a typical light bulb. Rather, it’s a long, narrow cylinder with a beam of light coming from its face. Philips Hue is very insistent that you can use it as a backlight for your TV, but I can see it being used in other places, like as a wakeup light on your nightstand. It’s no doubt that you can get creative with the Philips Hue bar light.

Philips Hue Bar Light Components
Philips Hue Bar Light Components. Photo provided by Hue.

The bulb itself is LED, which is going to last a lot longer than a regular incandescent bulb, as well as use less energy. Now, right off the bat, I should mention that to use the Philips Hue bar light in the first place, you’ll need a Philips Hue Hub. The bar light will connect to your hub via a ZigBee connection and from there, the hub will communicate to your Philips Hue app over Wi-Fi. But the package I bought didn’t come with the hub, so keep that cost in mind as you’re making your buying decision.

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Multicolor Smart Light Bulb

Different moods call for different lighting, which is a good because the Philips Hue bar light is dimmable and multicolor, shining in about six watts of brightness. You can set it to yellow for a rom com, purple for a science fiction movie, or blue for a tearjerker. With 16 million colors available, you’ll never run out of ways to change your lighting up with the Philips Hue bar light.

Features

Voice Control with the Philips Hue Bar Light
Voice Control with the Philips Hue Bar Light. Photo provided by Hue.

One of the best things about the Philips Hue bar light is that it has all of the features I look for in a smart light bulb. Of course, the main thing is that you can control it remotely through the Philips Hue app, but it doesn’t end there. You’ll also be able to set it to schedules if you know you want it to turn on or off automatically at certain times of day.

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Smart Light Bulb Schedules

If you have multiple Philips Hue lights, you can set them into scenes, groups of lights that you’ve customized in terms of color and dimness level. For example, for a scary movie, you might want the same lighting every time. Scenes allow you to access lighting schemes you’ve already created so you can just sit back and relax. Being able to control multiple bulbs at once is never a bad thing either!

Scenes on the Philips Hue Bar Light
Scenes on the Philips Hue Bar Light. Photo provided by Hue.

But that’s not all the ways to control the Philips Hue bar light. If you prefer, you can use it as a wakeup light, having it sync with the sunrise and sunset.

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Sunrise/ Sunset Mode with Smart Light Bulbs

You can also connect it with your phone’s GPS so that the bar light turns off when you leave the house and vice versa, a process called geofencing.

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Smart Light Bulb Geofencing

And finally, if you have Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant, you can simply command the Philips Hue bar light using your voice alone. Alexa, turn the bar light on to my “John Hughes” scene— I’m in an eighties kind of mood!

Now, aside from the three smart home platforms I mentioned, the Philips Hue bar light also syncs with other connected devices from brands like Nest, SmartThings, Xfinity, Logitech, IFTTT, and Razer. This allows you to have your connected devices trigger each other, otherwise known as home automation. For example, I like the keep my Philips Hue bar light on when my Nest Secure system is armed so it seems like I’m home when I’m not. They don’t call it a smart home for nothing!

Want your friends and family to join in on the fun? Just add them to your account through the Philips Hue app. Really, there’s no essential feature that the Philips Hue bar light is missing, so I’m really happy so far.

The Philips Hue App

Philips Hue App
Philips Hue App

If you had asked me a couple months ago, I would’ve scoffed at the Philips Hue app. Fortunately, the company did some serious updates, and its ratings have shot up. The app has a 3.4 from the Google Play store and a 4.4 from the Apple store, which is really great! It’s here where you’ll monitor and control your lights, create scenes, schedules, smart platform integrations, and home automations, set up geofencing, and more. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, the Philips Hue app should work really well for you.

Get Best Offer
Philips Hue Bar Light
Philips Hue Bar Light
Philips Hue Bar Light

This multicolor, dimmable light is the perfect addition to your smart home, with integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and more. 

Recap

I know what you’re thinking: this all sounds awesome, Gabe, but what’s the price? This part is the Philips Hue bar light’s main drawback. At $54.99 for an individual light or $129.99 for a two-pack, it’s definitely on the higher end for smart lights. But with so many awesome features, I think it’s worth it, especially if you already have a Hue hub.

I think the Philips Hue bar light would be good for you if you’d like…

  • Great features: With scenes, schedules, sunrise/ sunset mode, geofencing, plus tons of smart home integrations, the Philips Hue bar light does not disappoint when it comes to features.
  • Unique design: I haven’t seen too many smart lighting fixtures that work so well behind a TV, so it’s a great choice for the cinephile in your life.
  • Highly-rated app: Both iPhone and Android users will enjoy controlling the Philips Hue bar light through the Philips Hue app.

But stay away if you don’t want…

  • High cost: Most smart light bulbs range from $15 to $30, although it could be argued that this is more of a lamp than a light bulb.
  • Requires hub: If you don’t already have the Philips Hue hub, that’s an additional cost you may not want to pay.
  • No Microsoft Cortana: For those already in the Microsoft ecosystem, you won’t be able to control the bar light using voice commands.

That’s all I have! To learn about other options, make sure to check out the best smart light bulbs of 2019

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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