Philips Hue Starter Pack LED Smart Bulbs Review

Retail packaging from

Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Pack Review

So you want to add a little bit of color into your life? The Philips

Retail packaging from
Retail packaging from

Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Pack is just what you need! To say the least, I am very impressed with this product from Philips. I have not ran into to any significant problems with these smart bulbs and they continue to impress me as I discover more and more features.

The starter pack comes with 3 bulbs, either A19 or BR30, whichever you pick, and the bridge itself. Just for clarification if you will be using these bulbs in lamp fixtures, ceiling fans, or any other area where light needs to be dispersed, pick the A19. The BR30 is more for recessed lighting and directs the light down more than around the room.

I picked my starter pack up off of Amazon and chose the frustration free packaging, therefore I didn’t get the fancy color wheel and packaging you may have seen in retail stores.



Frustration Free Packaging from
Frustration Free Packaging from


Setting up these smart bulbs is relatively easy. You’ll need to take the bridge (the white circular piece), plug it into the power adapter to the wall, and then connect the Ethernet cord to your wireless router. Currently there is not a wireless feature for the bridge so you will have to keep it relatively close to your router.

Once you’ve connected it to your wireless router, download the app to your smart device and then open the app. You’ll be given some basic instruction on how to use the app and work the bulbs. From there it’s simply a matter of pressing a button on the bridge when it tells you and you’re all setup!


Benefits of the Philips Hue Starter Pack

I’ve had these bulbs for a few weeks now, and despite the price, I’m glad I bought them. They’re very attractive in the design and performance aspect and add a modern feel to just about any room.

16 million different colors.

Yes, these bulbs cover over 16 million different colors and illuminate them in various intensities. Whether you’re looking for candy apple green or sunshine yellow, every color is there to accommodate your every need. When these bulbs were first released, it appeared they had some problems producing all 16 million colors, but since then it appears Philips has fixed this issue.

Different shades for different times of the day.

Depending on the time of day, I am able to adjust the bulbs to different shades of white, which allows me to have my preferred lighting for whatever I’m doing. For example, if I’m reading I can set it to a whiter light with a lower intensity.

Eyedropper feature

With the eyedropper feature, I am able to take a picture with my phone and then select anywhere in the photo a color to display in the lights. This is great for when I want to match the color of the lights to a certain theme in the room.

Quick to respond

Unlike the GE smart bulbs, these bulbs appear to be much quicker responding to the commands sent through my iPhone. Although the delay in both is very short, I like to have the lights adjust instantly as I hit the button on my phone.

Great for mood setting

These bulbs are fantastic for setting a specific mood in a room. If you want a calm, cool, and relaxed room you can set it to a deep bluish color. If you have just been out on a romantic dinner date and want to set the mood for when you get back, you can change lights to a deep red color. What’s even better is you can schedule the mood lighting to come on as you come back!


Through the app, these lights are programmable. You’re able to turn them on and off when you’re not home and can even set different colors without being within the general vicinity. Like many other bulbs, you can also schedule the bulbs to turn on or off at a specific time in the day. All of this is done through a wireless Internet connection.


Unlike virtually all other brands of smart bulbs out there, the Philips Hue personal starter pack gives you the ability to add on more Philips brand products. This includes The Philips Hue LuxThe Philips Hue Go, The Philips Bloom, The Philips Hue Iris, The Philips Lightstrip, and much more.

All of these additional devices connect right to the Philips Hue bridge that is included in the starter pack.

Third Party apps

There is also a wide selection of third-party apps available for these smart bulbs. Some of them include apps that allow you to program your lights into specific patterns, such as to the beat of the music, and even strobe. A great feature is they are compatible with the IFTTT app. If you’re not familiar with this app, I suggest you check it out on their website.

Light Recipes

In the app, there are a number of “light recipes.” These recipes were created by Philips and other users that have been premade for you to select and use in your Hue lights. What they are is a combination of different colors to create a desired image or pleasing effect from your current light collection.

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Drawbacks of the Philips Hue Starter Pack

While these lights are amazing, there are a couple large drawbacks that might keep people from purchasing these bulbs initially.


Price is a huge factor to consider when purchasing these balls. They’re not cheap, but they will last significantly longer than just about any other regular bulb you can buy. With that being said, you also get all the cool features of having smart bulbs in your home. This kit runs around $200 even, while the individual hue bulbs are about $70-$80. However, even though I spent this money, I’m very pleased with the results and the quality of this product.

Wired bridge

Unfortunately, the included bridge has to be wired to your modem which can be inconvenient for some users depending on where their modem is at. However, once it is set up you really don’t even have to touch it anymore after that.

Life Span

According to the information supplied on the Philips website, these bulbs will only last 15,000 hours. Now this is a large life span especially since this bulbs can change colors, but it is less than the GE Smart Bulbs, about 10,000 hours less. I would hope Philips could develop a longer lasting bulb considering the price, but whether or not this will affect the buying decision depends on the buyer’s preferences.


Technical Details

  • Brightness: 600 Lumens
  • Life: 13.7 years
    • Based on 3 hours per day
  • Light Appearance: 2000 K
  • Energy Used: 9 watts



Overall, I have been very satisfied with the smart bulbs. I’ll definitely be thanking myself when I need to focus, and I turn the bulbs to a bright white light. In addition, it’s nice to know I can adjust these bulbs from just about anywhere in the world considering I have an Internet connection and these bulbs are connected to the network. This gives me peace of mind knowing I’m not going to burn the bulb out earlier than it needs to and I can turn them off wherever I am.

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