The Philips Hue range is one of the most well publicised smart lighting solutions to have launched recently.
Philips Hue focuses on lighting. As such it doesn’t have the full automation features for other aspects of your home. It is though one of the simplest lighting solutions to set up and expand, plus it can be integrated with other smart home products.
We’ve already covered the individual bulbs and starter kits. These are what any newcomer will require to get up and running.
The next step is to add a little flair to your Hue network. Being ble to turn light off and on through the smartphone app is one thing. Having whole sections of the home change brightness or colour depending on movement, timing and other factors is the where the real fun begins.
The central Hue Bridge unit is paramount to setting up a network. This will be included in any starter kit. You can also buy one separately and add the individual components you require if there isn’t a starter kit that suits your plan.
Motion Sensors and Switches can then be placed strategically around the home to enact brilliant lighting effects.
You can view all the Philips Hue equipment available from Clove at the link below:
Philips Hue Bridge and Controllers
If you’ve been contemplating Philips Hue equipment, you may also have been wondering how best to control it. As well as the iOS and Android app, there are also some select pieces of hardware available.
The Hue Bridge is the centrepiece of any Hue network. You can also have multiple Bridges to connect smaller groups into one larger network. You can also pick up basic controllers that interact with individual bulbs or groups of them.
When communication happens from your app, controller or other hardware to change a bulb, it must go through the Bridge.
Philips recommend a single Bridge control up to 50 connected Hue bulbs and lamps, plus 12 switches / dimmers. This should be enough for the majority of homes. The limit of 63 connected ‘devices’ is a hard-coded maximum limit.
Range is not a big issue as the Zigbee protocol forwards messages through nodes (bulbs) until the Bridge is reached. So a ‘target’ bulb can be out the Bridge’s natural range, so long as other bulbs create an unbroken link to it.
If you are planning a particularly large network then you can configure additional ‘slave’ Bridges to extend the range. This may be needed as the Bridge’s native range is much wider than an individual bulb.
If you need more than 63 bulbs / controllers for a project, then you will need separate Bridges and manage them separately. This will require planning on which items will be in each network, as a bulb can only be associated with one Bridge.
Each Tap unit consists of 4 buttons. With some tweaking, you can make each button perform a completely separate action.
This can be as simple as turning a light or group of them off or on. You can get more elaborate through, running through a program that changes colours and brightness levels.
A Tap can interact with any bulb(s) on the same network. Wall mountable, the Tap is also small enough to fit in your hand so is perfectly portable around the home.
Each unit is small and discrete and can be wall mounted or left free standing. Powered by AAA batteries, a sensor can run for 2-3 years depending on its activity.
Just like the Tap, a Sensor can interact with any bulb in the network. Again this can be simply switch between states, or start more complex programs depending on the existing states of other equipment.
Wireless Dimmer Switch
4 control buttons allow for on/off or brightness up/down. Similar to the Tap, this can also control or individual bulbs or groups.
As an added bonus, the Dimmer Switch can also be screwed directly on t the wall and replace existing switches.
The portable remote unit is powered by a small watch battery, although those with electrical knowledge can wire this in and completely replace existing manual switches.