Some Common Questions About Philips Hue Smart Bulbs

Did you know that Wireless Philips Hue LED bulbs are simple to use, but can be costly compared to dumb LED bulbs?

Before going out and buying smart Philips Hue bulbs; you might want to have a quick glance through these questions that have come my way over the past couple of weeks:

How do I install the Philips Hue system?
Installation of hue bulbs is pretty straightforward and involves the following steps:

  • Fitting the bulbs into your lamp sockets, making sure the wall switch is in the ON position.
  • Powering up the hue bridge and connecting it to your broadband router.
  • Downloading the mobile app and following instructions.

Here is a quick two-minute video on how I set up our mobile app initially:

Where can I download the app?
For android users; head over to the Google Play store, and iOS users will download from the iTunes store.

Is Hue compatible with dimmers?
No, this is important; Hue smart bulbs flicker when they are used with a dimmer switch.

What is the capacity of a Hue smart bulb system?
There are circa 15 smart bulbs installed in the O’Driscoll household at the time of writing this blog post; our new Philips Hue bridge can support a further 35, giving a grand total of 50 bulbs – a number, which is more than adequate for an average homeowner.

What wireless systems are used by Hue Smart Bulbs?
When at home, WiFi is used to control Hue lights around the house. A standard mobile phone link (preferably a 3G connection) is used to remotely control the recently installed smart bulbs.

Can I still use the light switch on the wall?
It’s a natural instinct for people to hit the switch on the wall to turn the lights on and off. With hue smart bulbs, this simple technique for controlling lights remains in place.

Can I use Hue smart bulbs to wake our family up in the morning?
Yes, the Hue app supports a feature called ‘Alarms & Timers’ that allows you to set bulbs to gradually increase brightness levels.

Setting up an alarm using the Philips Hue Smart Bulb App
Setting up an alarm using the Philips Hue Smart Bulb App

To be honest, I have not set up within the main Philips Hue app, but instead, incorporated the smart bulb fading into a larger ‘morning scene’ that is configured on our centralized home automation hub. Click here to see how I did this.

How many light colors are supported by Philips Hue bulbs?
Hue supports thousands of colors; in reality, you will typically find yourself using different flavors of warm yellow-white and colder white clinical colors. We do use various fun colors ranging from blue, green, red, and so on but our oldest daughter is not a fan of all these ‘weird’ colored bulbs!

The point here is that you have loads of choice when it comes to selecting colors around your home.

Does Hue support geofencing?
Yes, geofencing is a feature of hue that enables automatic control of your lights based on your physical location. So once set up on your phone, Hue will know where you are and will adjust the smart bulbs accordingly.

For instance, Hue can be configured to turn off all smart bulbs once your family leaves home in the morning.

Again, I did not directly configure this feature on the app but instead included as part of the ‘Goodbye’ set of tasks that happen once we leave home each morning.

If you want to learn how Gerard set up his home with a range of Philips Hue white and multi-color look over his shoulder while he is doing it then Click Here.

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ICT professional, author, serial Internet entrepreneur, investor, and of course, a smart home enthusiast!

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4 thoughts on “Some Common Questions About Philips Hue Smart Bulbs

  1. Thanks Gerard. Definitely helps to hear about your experiences before buying. I’m setting up our new family home to be smart and your website and books have been invaluable.

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