Review: Philips Hue Lily XL – In this review we look at the Philips Hue Lily XL outdoor lamp, a garden spot that works on low voltage. You can control this lamp just like all other Hue lamps with apps or your voice. What do you have to take into account if you want to place such an outdoor lamp? We tell about our experiences!
Signify already has a decent collection of Philips Hue outdoor lamps that are rain resistant, such as those in the Calla, Econic, Fuzo and Impress series. In addition to wall lamps, spotlights and columns, you can also opt for a light hose in your garden. If you want to highlight something, the Lily XL might be a bit more suitable. This outdoor lamp has been in the shops since the beginning of this year and looks robust with its metal housing. We have tested it.
Outdoor lamps: a few things to keep in mind
We previously installed a Philips Hue Econic wall lamp in a roof house. This was done in the usual way, as you normally connect a wall or wall lamp, indoors to the electricity grid. With outdoor lamps you suddenly have to deal with other considerations: the lamp must be water resistant, you need a power supply outside and you have to find a way to hide the cables. With the Lily XL, something else is added: this lamp works on low voltage (24 Volt) instead of the usual 220/230 Volt. Normally you will dig in a ground cable with the high voltage Hue outdoor lamps, but that has the disadvantage that you can accidentally cut the cable while digging in the garden, resulting in a short circuit.
Because the Lily XL works on low voltage, you do not need that ground cable. However, you do need a transformer, which you have to buy separately. You can only connect a limited number of lamps to it. We used the 40 Watt Hue transformer. Because the Lily XL needs 15 Watt, you can connect a maximum of two lamps to it. So it is a bit of a puzzle which lamps can best be combined. The smaller Lily outdoor spots use 8 Watt, while the Lightstrip is at 19 Watt. Fortunately, there is now also a 100 Watt outdoor transformer, to which you can connect more lamps. That does result in quite a chaos of cables, which you can hide less easily than a ground cable. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages.
In the box you will find the lamp with lens hood and mounting material. For example, you can screw the lamp to a wooden deck or fence, or poke it in the ground with a kind of tent peg. The cable itself is 2.5m long enough; you can also buy a longer cable. You can connect a maximum of 35 meters of cable.
Design and appearance of the Lily XL
All Lily spots have a metal housing of black aluminum and a glass plate. With the XL you get a kind of sun visor for directed light. The product feels robust and the design looks neutral. Few people will find the lamp ugly, but it doesn’t have a striking design either. Fine in our opinion. The IP65 rating indicates that they are water resistant, so even if you regularly spray with the garden hose, this should not be a problem for the Lily XL, although there have been cases where condensation made the lamp unusable. The plastic cover actually offers little protection against moisture and is mainly intended to direct the light beam a bit more.
The Lily XL is intended to illuminate somewhat larger plants or trees. Beautiful plants are given an extra accent, but unsightly spots are also much more visible. So think carefully where you install this spot. Optionally, you could start with a standard set of 3 Lily spots and expand this further with the Lily XL to illuminate a nice corner that deserves some extra attention. The XL version of 1050 lumens (comparable to a 75 Watt incandescent lamp) gives a lot more light than the regular Lily spots that have 600 lumens each. The diameter of 11.2 centimeters is twice the size of the regular Lily.
It is not a floodlight, so if you are looking for a lamp that can illuminate the entire entrance, it is better to choose a lamp that spreads the light a bit more. It is also good to know that the brightness of the lamp decreases when you start working with colors. The lamp is only at its brightest in shades of white.
The non-exchangeable lamp has 25,000 burning hours. If you have the lamp on for 3 hours every night, it will last for almost 25 years.
Lily XL in use
You can use the Philips Hue Lily XL as an extension of an existing system, thanks to the included connector. If you want to use the lamp separately, you need the transformer. You can operate via the Hue app or of course with HomeKit and Siri . Anyone who already uses Hue lamps knows how to do it: connect it, have the lamp recognized by the app, configure it if necessary and you’re done. Don’t forget to add the lamp to the right room or zone.
We have had very good experiences with Philips Hue lamps so far. They are a lot more stable and reliable than IKEA lamps (which you can also add to the Hue app). No manufacturer has so much choice of indoor and outdoor lamps and fixtures and there are also many updates. You can set the colors and brightness of each spot individually, as you are used to at Hue. The Lily XL has 16 million colors and a color temperature of 2000 Kelvin (warm) to 6500 Kelvin (cool). With self-created scenes such as ‘Sunset’ or ‘Garden party’ you can ensure that you quickly switch between color settings. You can also activate certain scenes based on sunrise and sunset.
A situation with white light.
The same place with blue light.
The Lily XL is Zigbee based and requires a Hue Bridge to operate remotely (via the Hue app). If you want to use with HomeKit, you always need the Hue Bridge. In order, moreover, at a distance via HomeKit to be able to operate is a woninghub required, for example, an Apple TV or HomePod .
Outdoor sensor from Philips Hue
We combined this lamp with an Outdoor Sensor from Philips Hue, so that the Lily XL switches on automatically when someone comes close. With this lamp, however, a motion sensor makes less sense. Usually you will have such a spot lit all evening. With columns that you place along a garden path, such as the Philips Hue Calla, a motion sensor comes into its own better.
The Philips Hue outdoor sensor responds quickly, as we are used to from the indoor sensor. You have limited options in the Home app, but if you use the Hue app, you have more setting options. Read in our review of the Philips Hue Motion Sensor what you can do with it.
Conclusion Philips Hue Lily XL
The Lily XL outdoor spot is intended to illuminate larger shrubs or trees. However, you do need a transformer to use this low voltage lamp, leaving you with extra costs (and extra cables). The build quality is good, the installation is hassle-free and it worked effortlessly with your other (Hue) lamps and HomeKit . The price is on the high side, but luckily you don’t need that many and you get value for money because it is a good quality product that will last a long time. You will illuminate most of the garden with cheaper outdoor lamps such as the standard Lily, while you only need the Lily XL for an extra light accent. With 1050 lumens, the Lily XL gives a decent amount of light.
Buy Philips Hue Lily XL
You can buy this lamp at various stores that have smart lighting in their range, including MediaMarkt and Fonq . Almost all models are sold out at Coolblue , but you do get a good impression of what you lose for a bundle: one lamp for € 125, two for € 250, three for € 380 and four for € 500. There is therefore not a lot of bundle advantage to score – and it is also questionable whether you need several pieces of the XL version.