Household & Living

Testing Devices and Applications with Philips Hue System

Testing Devices and Applications with Philips Hue System. This article will give you information about using Hue system with devices and application.

Hue is one of a smart home’s oldest, most famous, and most expensive systems. Hue does not require us to modify the electrical system or lay new cables. The bulbs belonging to the system are mounted in ordinary sockets, and independent lamps are connected to electricity. Philips Hue is a solution addressed to affluent customers who do not want to train in solutions for a smart home but are ready for a romance with light control from a smartphone or voice assistant.

Advantages of the system Philips Hue:

  • Extensive application
  • Remote access from the Internet
  • Cooperation with Homekit and Siri
  • Cooperation with Google Home and the Google Assistant
  • Cooperation with Alexa
  • Cooperation with Cortana (probably nobody tested)
  • Cooperation with the Razer Chroma system (I have not tested)
  • Cooperation with Ikea Tradfri lighting elements (I have not tested) – elements of this system are cheap
  • Works in the ZigBee standard, not WiFi (less load on the home WiFi network)
  • Create any widgets
  • Creating rooms, zones, and entertainment zones
  • Automatic sunrise and sunset information
  • Ready, successful scenes (color and intensity settings) of light
  • Cooperation with Adaptive Lighting from Apple
  • The system is open – there are external applications for light control
  • Action on Apple Watch
  • Cooperation with Samsung SmartThings (I have not tested)
  • A huge number of items on sale (including garden items)

System flaws Philips Hue:

  • High price
  • The system can be a bit complicated, but only for a complete layman who has never dealt with a smart home
  • Play HDMI Sync Box with Play Gradient Lightstrip only works with HDMI signal (from external set-top boxes), not with Smart TV applications
  • The necessity to use the Hue Bridge gateway

What kit did I receive for testing?

During the first test arrangements, I was to receive the Play HDMI Sync Box device along with the LED strip that was mounted on the back of the TV. The strip is fully called Play Gradient Lightstrip. In my case, it was a version for 55-inch TVs. My TV is 65 inches, but it was not a big problem because the tape received much support. It turned out, however, that in a huge box, I also received:

  • Play light bar base unit – 3 pieces of oblong “desk” lamps
  • E27 starter kit – 3 “ordinary” bulbs, a gate (Hue bridge), and a dimmer
  • Iris – a large “designer” lamp
  • Two Single bulb E14 bulbs – the so-called candle bulbs that have been installed in the hood (so far, there have been working bulbs warming up to 1 million degrees)

Play HDMI Sync Box with Play Gradient Lightstrip

Play HDMI Sync Box with the Play Gradient Lightstrip to simplify is to add to our TV a popular function known from TV sets Philips, i.e. Ambilight. After assembly, our TV set will illuminate the wall behind it. Together with the additional audio system, it gives an amazing effect. Especially when the cinemas were closed, this kind of home cinema had a lot of fun.

The most interesting feature of the Hue Sync system is that it can also include other lighting points installed in the room. In the film, light can also play the “Play light bar base unit” lamps and “ordinary” bulbs installed on the ceiling, or, for example, in the JW hood of the Hue Sync application, we place all these points on our virtual light stage – that is, we show the application where in reality they are arranged about our TV set. We can also control this set’s brightness and the changes’ dynamics in the application. This is important because the light should not disturb us and dominate during the projection but only increase the fashionable “immersion” of our experiences. The whole system is better for the so-called official screenings of movies, in the evening, with popcorn, etc., and not while watching news programs. Movies in which the scenes (and thus the colors on the screen) change very dynamically will also be a problem – then the system itself will rather disturb us in focusing on the film. Thanks to Hue Sync, we have a very strong substitute for cinema at home – this is especially important for cinema enthusiasts who, for many months, could not visit their film temples. A dedicated application is responsible for controlling Hua Sync – this is a minor drawback and an unnecessary complication because the control should be part of the main application responsible for the entire lighting system.

The rest of the test kit

  • Play light bar base unit – 3 pieces of oblong “desk” lamps
  • E27 starter kit – 3 “ordinary” bulbs, a gate (Hue bridge), and a dimmer
  • Iris – a decorative lamp
  • Two Single bulb E14 bulbs – candle bulbs

The biggest hit right now, Philips, is Play light bar base unit oblong lamps. Especially gamers like them as ideal for making so-called climate while playing. The desk, and more precisely the wall behind the desk, illuminated by such lamps, looks brilliant. Of course, the cheaper solution will be an LED strip, but a set of lights from Philips gives us more freedom and mobility of the entire set. I used two of these lamps to illuminate the wall behind the TV. As mentioned, these lamps supported the Play Gradient Lightstrip and were controlled directly from the Play HDMI Sync Box. E27 and E14 bulbs should replace all traditional light bulbs in our smart home. For me, they were a complement to Xiaomi bulbs. Thanks to the Google and Apple system, such “mixed” systems work perfectly with each other, although Xiaomi bulbs cannot be controlled from the Philips app (not the other way around).

From the set, I liked the Iris lamp a bit too much “fired,” which does not mean that its design probably has many die-hard fans.

We connect new devices using the application and the Hue Bridge gateway, a mandatory set element. The gate also allows us to access our lighting system “from the Internet.” Goal Philips is small and resembles most devices of this type based on the ZigBee protocol.

How do we rate the applications (there are 2 or even more)

The 2 apps we had to download to set up our Philips Hua kit were the Hue and Hue Sync apps. The latter is responsible only for configuring the operation of the Sync Box. Hue Sync is a simple program that has relatively few settings. Its main role is to set the parameters of the brightness of the lighting during the projection, and the intensity of color changes depending on what is displayed on the screen. In the application, we can also make small settings, such as defining names for individual 4 devices that can be connected to the Box. Light sync works in three main modes: video, music, and game.

The Hue app is a real combination to operate the entire Philips lighting system. In addition to connecting devices, the application can also be used to control lighting. However, a much more convenient way to do this is to use the so-called dimmer, simply the remote control, and voice commands – in our case, from Google and Siri assistants. Another way to turn on the light is to control it from the Home (Apple) and Google Home applications.

In the Hue app, we divide our system into rooms and zones. In addition, we have two functions: scenes and routines. Routines are automatic lighting settings depending on the time of day (exact time) or sunrise and sunset. Scenes are probably the most interesting feature of Philips lighting. The manufacturer prepares ready-made lighting scenarios for us. To feel the atmosphere of this service, just read the names of the scenes. This is, for example, a sunset in the savannah, a tropical twilight, or a spring flower. After launching such a scene, it will be easier for us to understand how big a role the intelligent lighting system can play in our apartment. However, we must admit that in everyday use during the test, we rarely used ready-made scenes, and usually, scenarios that we configured ourselves were enabled.

The Philips system also allows you to control the lighting from external “friendly” applications – there are at least a dozen of these apps – their names say a lot: Hue Disco, Hue Fireworks, Hue Christmas, Thunderstorm for Hue, Light DJ, etc. Their full list can be found in the Hue application.


Philips Hue is undoubtedly the most elegant and mature intelligent lighting system. It already has many proven elements that work perfectly together because the same manufacturer produces them. Hue is a closed ecosystem, so it’s easier to install, more stable, and more expensive than other open platforms. System Philps has many advantages that I tried to list above. The main ones are stable operation, no load for the home WiFi network (standard Zigbee), cooperation with Apple Homekit and Google Homeas, and extensive applications. The Sync Box, which we tested, also works great, making our home lighting work in the cinema room. Philips Hue is a lighting system for more affluent people who do not intend to tear their walls, install new contacts, and want to “quickly” reconcile with intelligent lighting controlled by voice, remote control, or smartphone. When we have never seen such a system work, it will be hard to understand how many advantages it has and how much fun it can provide us, especially now when we spend much more time in our homes. Both intelligent speakers and intelligent lighting systems are the easiest and fastest way to modernize your apartment and adapt it to new functions, for example, the role of our office, romantic restaurant, or training room.

Who is the system for Philips Hue:

  • For people starting their adventure with a smart home
  • For the wealthiest
  • For people who do not have a home prepared for smart solutions
  • For home theater fans who have a TV other than the Philips

Who is not the system for Philips Hue:

  • Not for the complete technological layman
  • Not for people who are planning a general renovation and can solve the implementation of a smart home differently

We love: the simplicity of the installation

We do not like: device prices