The pros and cons of having smart lights in your home

Having a house with smart lights can be a great facilitator in everyday life. With the possibility of customizing colors, opening hours, activating them through personal assistants and many other facilities, they transform the environment where we live and spend a large part of our time.

I had to opportunity to test the Philips Hue complete kit recently launched in Brazil with several products: lamps, Play Bar, Dimmer and many other items that can help you make your home more connected.

But, after all, is it worth having smart lights in your home? I was able to test the complete kit for a week to help you answer all these questions.

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Philips Products

Philips Starter Kit A66

Philips’ main kit for starting the smart home is the Starter Kit A27. The HUB is available — responsible for the interconnection and connection between all Philips Hue items — in addition to three E socket lamps10.

These lamps are RGB, allowing you to choose between different colors through the manufacturer’s own app. They can also be activated through personal assistants — Google Assistant and Alexa — bringing greater comfort to our routine. it according to the voltage of the installation place (220 or 1024 v). I mean, the HUB is bivolt, but the lamps are not.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

Philips Go Portable Light

This Philips lamp has the most different proposal among all the ones in the kit. With a rounded and portable shape, it brings the memory of an unconventional lampshade. There are several options for customizing the colors, besides, of course, the possibility of connecting them with other Hue products.

The only part that displeased me was the absence of a remote connection to the HUB . It was necessary for me to find the product serial number to register it manually.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

Philips Play Light Bar

Play Light Bar is a very interesting option, especially if we think about entertainment environments or even for content producers. This bar can be used behind TVs or any other place where the user wants to give a special touch to the lighting.

When installed on the TV, the lights are synchronized with what is being shown on the panel, replicating them. If you prefer, you can choose fixed colors, bringing a unique style to the room. They also sync with Spotify, switching between colors according to the beat of the music.

I must confess that I noticed a slight delay in switching colors when I used this mode. Nothing that was harmful to the experience, especially considering that this function is still beta until the time of publication of this article.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

Philips Lightstrip Plus

Lightstrip Plus tapes are designed for places where the user wants a personalized lighting, and, above all, discreet. They can be used in any environment, and it is necessary to apply them directly to the wall or furniture using the double-sided tape already pre-installed on the product.

As with all the other items in this kit, Lightstrip Plus is RGB and can be customized the way the user wants, besides the possibility of being connected to the HUB for more options.

There is also a one meter extender, if necessary increase the tape. It is very simple to install, just plugging one end to the other to join together as a single tape.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

Philips Motion Senser

This is definitely one of the products I liked the most in the whole kit. I know this may seem like an exaggeration, but Philips Motion Senser has very interesting features and very useful for everyday life in general.

This is not a common motion sensor, like most of the ones we find out there. In addition to detecting movement and turning on the lights in the place, it also allows you to customize the intensity of the light that will be used according to the period of the day.

The user will also be able to choose the time that the lights will be turned on after the sensor is activated, as well as additional settings, such as choosing from which floor height it should be activated, for example. This is so that your pet cannot trigger the sensor and turn on the lights at all times.

Philips Dimmer Switch

The Philips Dimmer Switch is smart and has very functional features for everyday use. What I liked the most about the dimmer and the presence sensor is the possibility of not having to drill through the wall to install the products.

Both have a double-sided adhesive on the back , just place them in the place that pleases you the most. In the dimmer control, the functions of turning the lights on and off (separately) are available, in addition to controlling the luminosity of the color of the lamps.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)
Philips GU Spot

Finally, the last item tested in the Philips Hue kit was the GU lamp10 Spot. It has the same characteristics as the other lamps available in the Starter Kit that we mentioned right at the beginning, with the difference of the socket for installation.

It is intended for “spot” type installation, in that the lighting is specifically directed to some furniture, decorative object or prominent place.

Like her sisters, she also has color customization through the manufacturer’s own app, and can be connected to Philips Hub for more options.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

Is it worth having a house with smart lights?

You may be wondering if it’s worth (or not) investing in products that make our home smarter. And yes, the answer is yes.

With a complete kit like the one I tested, I could have a house 100% connected, in addition to the great use of remote control and activation of all its functions. It’s very nice to be able to choose the opening hours, as well as check through the app itself if everything is working properly.

Installation, in general, was very simple to be performed, just plug the hub into the power outlet and to the internet so that it is recognized in the system. For most items in the kit, you only need to press a button to complete the setup. In the others, it was necessary to find the serial number to perform the installation, something that bothered me a little.

Not that this issue takes away the merit of the kit, but I believe that this part could be standardized across all products, so there’s no confusion at the time of installation.

The only function I couldn’t make it work at all was the integration with personal assistants, specifically the Alexa.

I performed all the procedures requested by the Philips app, as well as those shown on the screen by Alexa, and unfortunately, I was not successful at the end of the procedure. I even created a new account from scratch to try to exclude any possible errors in the process, without success. more interesting functions when purchasing this type of product. The convenience of being able to do everything with voice commands is very convenient. So, this part going wrong was disheartening.

(Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

The attempt with Google Assistant worked, with everything working correctly. It was possible to add the lights and controls without any problems, which leads us to believe that Alexa’s skill for Philips Hue is having problems to use.

Another issue that I disliked was most items are non-bivoltage, especially light bulbs. Although this kit is something designed to be installed for a long period, I think this extra feature wouldn’t hurt. Even more if we remember that there are many brands of smart lamps that have exactly the same functions as the Philips Hue and are always bivolt. It’s something that could certainly be revised.

Finally, the very high price to get the practicalities that the kit delivers can be a “go there” for many people. If we think that the starter kit (three lamps + hub) can be found on the market for approximately R$1.000, turns out not to be very attractive. Most competing lamps cost a maximum of R$ 100 when sold individually .

But we need to recognize that Philips is one of the few brands in Brazil that delivers a complete kit with many products aimed at this type of market, connected and smart homes. It’s an expensive brand, no doubt, but it manages to offer a vast ecosystem, rivaled only by Positivo.

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