Bright Light

Lights that turn on be­fore you step in the door, and change colour at a flick of your smart­phone? RACHEL XIE finds out what th­ese bulbs can do.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Smartshopper New -

WHAT IT IS

The Philips Hue is a screw-on LED light bulb that can be con­trolled wire­lessly via an app. It can also be switched on and off like a reg­u­lar light fix­ture.

THE SET-UP

To get started, I con­nected a Philips Hue Wi-Fi bridge (in­cluded in the starter kit) to my home’s Wi-Fi router. The bridge links my smart­phone and all the Hue bulbs in my house – one bridge can con­nect to 10 smart­phones or tablets, and 50 bulbs.

Next, I down­loaded the Philips Hue app, which au­to­mat­i­cally de­tects and syncs with the Wi-Fi bridge.

HOW IT WORKS

Hue’s main fea­ture is its abil­ity to cast light of any colour to cre­ate a mood. I just had to open the app and se­lect a scene from pre-loaded im­ages, or take a pic­ture with the in-app cam­era, or choose a photo from my al­bum.

In the app, Hue bulbs show up as icons on the se­lected scene and re­flect the colour of that part of the scene. I could group and drag the icons of sev­eral Hue bulbs to change their colours at one go. The app also let me dim or brighten the bulbs, and name the icon for each bulb so I could eas­ily re­mem­ber which one was which.

WHAT I LIKE

1. Hue de­tects when I ar­rive or leave home. I chose to have spe­cific bulbs au­to­mat­i­cally light up when my smart­phone came within the bridge’s Wi-Fi ra­dius. The best part: be­ing able to turn off the lights re­motely. 2. It works with other apps and web ser­vices. At last count, there were five apps on Google Play and 40 on the Ap­ple App Store. My favourite is Hue Disco ($4.55 on Google Play, $3.98 on the Ap­ple App Store), an app that changes the colour of your Hue bulbs ac­cord­ing to the rhythm of your mu­sic. I also signed up on IFTTT (ifttt.com) to sync Hue with my so­cial me­dia ac­counts and web ser­vices – the bulb in my room turns blue when the weather fore­cast sig­nals rain, and green when I re­ceive an e-mail.

Philips Hue Con­nected Bulb – Starter Pack (three bulbs and

a Hue bridge), $319; Hue bulbs, $89 each, from ap­ple.com.sg

Philips Hue Wi-Fi

bridge

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