With a number of affordable starter kits to choose from, you can set up a basic network in minutes. There are also a host of extra bulbs and lamps that can be added around the home. Full remote control of the Philips Hue network is possible through the iOS or Android app.
Simple starter kits range in price from £60 to £150. Extra bulbs can be added for a s little as £15 each.
Philips Hue is also compatible with other Smart Home equipment. Hue’s lighting solutions are Apple HomeKit certified and can be integrated with IFTTT commands. There is also support for some 3rd party bulbs within a Hue network.
Some components are in stock now. Others will be arriving throughout December and January. Please check the notes on individual items for stock information.
Zigbee Light Link
The Philips Hue system uses the Zigbee Light Link (ZLL) protocol. This is a short-range, low-power wireless signal. Similar to Z-Wave, a Zigbee network has its constituent nodes communicate through a central hub.
With Phillips Hue equipment, that hub is the Hue Bridge. A single Bridge can support up to 50 individual bulbs and lamps. It can also manage controlling equipment such as motion sensors and remote switches.
Zigbee is an open standard, although it can be used in different applications. As such, Philips Hue equipment may work with some Zigbee units and not others. Interoperability depends on the manufacturer’s implementation and support for individual Zigbee protocols.
Be aware there are also slightly different versions of Zigbee for China, Europe and Aus/USA. If you are interested in Zigbee, make sure all of your equipment either comes from the same vendor or origin.
Philips Hue Kits and Components
The best way to begin using Philips Hue is to pick up a starter kit. These will include the Hue Bridge hub, as well as at least two lights or a lamp. Following this, you can connect further bulbs and lamps to this Bridge.
You could also buy the Hue Bridge separately. This is an option if you’re only interested in the LED LightStrips, as there is no Bridge Starter Kit available at this time.
- Colour Starter Kit – includes 3 colour bulbs & 1 Bridge
- White Ambiance Starter Kit – includes 2 ambiance bulbs, 1 dimmer & 1 Bridge
- White Starter Kit – includes 2 white bulbs & 1 Bridge
- Iris Starter Kit – includes 1 Iris lamp & 1 Bridge
Most bulbs are available as B22 bayonet, E27 screw or GU10 spotlight fixings. Colour / Ambiance models are fully dimmable with a remote switch. Standard White have only discrete dimming through the app.
The smartphone apps can control some directly, rather than going through a Philips Hue Bridge. Connect these through a Bridge network though and you can integrate them with other Hue eqipment.