Philips Hue Lux

Philips Hue Lux

Philips Hue’s less wallet-straining sibling, the Hue Lux is the white light only version of Philips smart lighting.

At half the price of the Hue it may be appealing to anyone wanting to dip a toe in the home automation, aka the smart home, waters. But is it a worthwhile economy or, if you can stretch to it, should you fork out the extra for Hue proper?

Our rating: 8/10

Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Verdict:

Having tried and loved the Philips Hue we were interested to see if Philips Hue Lux could offer us a more reasonably priced version of the Hue for anyone who wants the convenience of smart lighting but isn’t quite so bothered about being able to create colour scenes in their homes.

And given it’s significantly cheaper price tag, we are pleased to say, it really does. In fact, the only point that our tester lost a little of his mojo for the Lux was when he discovered that with the Hue Colour version he could match his lighting to his choice of film – in this case: what he liked to call ‘light sabre red and blue’ for The Empire Strikes Back.

We found that the Lux was equally straight-forward to set up and had all the same reliability as Hue – we didn’t lose the connection at all. Again the app is adequate if not spectacular, and covers all the basics.

The big difference is in the range of light you have to choose from. Obviously the colour spectrum is absent in the white light version but unfortunately you also lose the variable white light range and are limited to a single white light that you can increase and decrease the brightness of. That said, the white you get is just right for a regular room lighting – not too ski-slopes bright or too yellowy to be useful.

The other downside is that one Lux bulb delivers slightly fewer lumens than a 60-watt incandescent –  750 lumens versus 800 lumens – which means replacing a bulb will leave your room a little darker even at Lux’s brightest setting. However, as most rooms have more than a single light so you may not even notice this.

Like Philips Hue, Lux doesn’t currently come in bayonet style bulbs which in some houses, The Wifi Pad included, may be problematic although not insurmountable if you get some bayonet to screw-fit adapters.

Pros

A more affordable, but still high quality entry to smart lighting

Seamless set-up and operation

Works smoothly with multiple control devices

Cons

Not available in bayonet style fitting

Can’t set or edit alarms/timers remotely

Limited to one colour of white light

Review score summary:

Ease of set-up 10/10
Effectiveness 6/10
Simplicity of control 6/10
Did it make my life easier? 8/10
Value for money 10/10

Want the full nitty-gritty? Here’s our complete Philips Hue Lux review:

Much like our experience with Philips Hue, the Lux provided us with a seamless set-up. It was an entirely stress free process. Quick, easy and a blessed relief after the teeth gnashing of some of our other tests.

Everything you need to set Philip Hue Lux up was in the box – including plugs and cables of a useable length that other brands had scrimped on, so there was no searching round for an old charger plug in the ubiquitous ‘drawer of gubbins’ – yeah, you know you have one too.

It was equally easy to get logged on to the MyHue portal from our two different phones so timers, scenes and alarms were synced.

A doddle, 10 out of 10.

While we were able to wax lyrical for some time about the Philips Hue light options, things with the Lux are somewhat more limited. You have no choice when it comes to the type of white light you get. That said, the white that you get is a perfectly warm and pleasant one, not too glaring but not too yellowy. And being able to change the brightness of the bulbs goes some way towards fooling your brain into thinking that you are getting different types of white light even though you aren’t.

However, this also means you aren’t effectively tied to using multiple bulbs in a single room to achieve the desired lighting effect so buying just one Lux starter kit (comprising of two bulbs and a bridge) can set you up with two lamps in separate rooms that are remotely controllable as an effective burglar deterrent.

We were extremely impressed with the rock solid connection delivered by Lux – during our tests we didn’t once lose the connection to our lights or the bridge which leaves us confident that we could rest easy on our hols while our home continues to look occupied.

6 out of 10.

The Hue Lux app is simple, effective and covers the fundamentals, but it’s not anything to write home about, but it is compatible with IFTTT (If This Then That) technology that allows you to programme your lights to do something, such as blinking, or flashing brightly to notify you of an event. Your team scoring for example. We were pretty excited about this, except ESPN the IFTTT sports  channel doesn’t cover either of our teams – Leyton Orient and Norwich City if you were wondering – you are only in luck here if you are a fan of any of the Premier League teams (or follow any American sport).

The app enables you to set up multiple timers and alarms, activate Geofencing, and adjust your individual lighting levels, however as with Hue this can only be done within the boundaries of your home wifi network, so don’t forget to set your light programmes up before you head off to the airport.

6 out of 10.

Philips Hue Lux certainly makes life easier, especially if you have been relying on main timers to operate your lights to make your house look occupied before you get home at night or while you are on holiday. Or even because you are sick of arguing about who’s turn it is to get up and switch the lights off.

If you are planning to watch a movie and want dimmer lights, or need to concentrate on something that requires bright light, you can adjust your lighting levels from your seat rather than having to get up and switch on, or off, various lights in the room.

And when compared with leaving lights on 24/7 when you go on away, or for the few hours between dusk and you getting home, it’ll save you money on your electricity bills too.

8 out of 10.

Philips really is one of the best brands on the market when it comes to smart lighting and if you want a high quality product but flinch at the thought of coughing up £180 quid for the Philips Hue, then Philips Hue Lux at half that price for the two bulb set could be the ticket.

Obviously you are sacrificing the colour light range with this product, but for many of you colour lighting would only be an enjoyable gimmick that you quickly stop using in favour of a regular white light setting. If that’s you, then the Philips Lux is great for a reliable smart lighting kit that delivers a white light that looks good in any of the rooms in your home.

10 out of 10.