Plus, you can watch our very own Katie McEntire set up a Hue bulb via Bluetooth in the video below.
Compare Philips Hue to other smart bulbs
Smart home compatibility
|Best overall||$49.97||60W, 75W, 100W||Amazon, Apple, Google, SmartThings||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best budget white bulb||$11.99||60W||Amazon, Zigbee||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best budget color bulb||$14.79||75W||Amazon, Google||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best Wi-Fi bulb||$26.99||60W||Amazon, Apple, Google, SmartThings||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best color||$34.99||60W||Amazon, Apple, Google||View on Amazon||Read Review|
|Best splurge||$259.99||N/A||Amazon, Apple, Google, SmartThings||View on Amazon||Read Review|
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Video: How to Set Up Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs (with Bluetooth)
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If you’re sensitive to a light’s temperature, brightness, and color, you’ll love all the adjustments you can make in the Philips Hue app.
Let’s start with the first decision you’ll make: maximum brightness. Philips Hue bulbs come in 60 W, 75 W, and 100 W equivalents, each of which gets progressively brighter: 800 lumens, 1,100 lumens, and 1,600 lumens, respectively.
Of course, you’ll also need to choose a bulb that matches the output of your light socket—but if the socket can handle up to 75 W and you know you love bright light, choose a 75 W bulb instead of the 60 W option.
Minimum brightness doesn’t matter much since Philips Hue LED bulbs are dimmable. You don’t need to install a dimmer switch—just lower the brightness through the Hue app.
You can also use the app to adjust the bulb’s temperature from warm (yellow-ish) to cool (white-ish).
And don’t forget the color palette. Philips Hue smart bulbs put 16 million colors at your fingertips.
Energy Star certified
Philips Hue bulbs are Energy Star certified, which is actually a rare feat in the world of smart lights. Just over 400 smart light bulbs have earned this certification as of May 2023, including quite a few Philips Hue models.
In practical terms, this means Philips Hue bulbs use up to 90% less energy, last 15 times longer, and produce up to 90% less heat compared to standard bulbs.
In fact, Philips Hue LED smart bulbs have a lifespan of 25,000 life hours, or the equivalent of 22 years of normal use.
Smart home compatibility
Incorporating colorful lights and effects into smart home automations and routines is part of what makes a smart bulb so much fun, and Philips Hue LED Smart Bulb pairs with all major smart hubs to make it happen:
There are also plenty of automation options within the free Philips Hue app, including geofencing triggers that turn the lights on as you (well, your phone) approach the house.
Larger homes require Hue Bridge
Thanks to a new Bluetooth option, you don’t need to buy a Philips Hue Bridge (about $60) to sync your phone app to the light bulb. But you’ll probably want to snag the Bridge anyway since it powers more bulbs (up to 50), unlocks certain features like timers, and works better in larger homes.
If you stick to the Bluetooth connection, you can connect up to 10 Hue bulbs. The main downside is that Bluetooth connections have a maximum range of about 33 feet, which isn’t practical for powering a large or multi-storied home. You won’t be able to turn the porch light on if you’re too far away, for example.
If you want the best of the best, choosing Philips Hue smart light bulbs is a no-brainer. But we get it if you’re cringing at the thought of a $50 light bulb (even though they do last over two decades). If that’s the case, check out our Wyze Bulb Color review to see if that’s a more palatable choice.
Philips Hue smart bulb FAQs
Philips isn’t discontinuing Hue smart bulbs altogether. Only a recently-released line called Lightguide is getting the chop, and even then, it’s just the triangle and globe-shaped bulbs being discontinued. The Verge has the scoop if you’d like to learn more.
Philips Hue bulbs have a lifespan of about 25,000 hours, which equals about 22 years of normal use.
How we reviewed Philips Hue LED Smart Bulbs
Image: Katie McEntire, SafeWise
For our Philips Hue review, we conducted hands-on testing of the 75 W Philips Hue E26 bulb. We also tested competing bulbs from Wyze, Sylvania, and LIFX to compare their vibrancy and ease of use. Learn more about how we rank and review on the SafeWise methodology page.
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