Philips Hue with Phil NickinsonSource: Android Central

Best Philips Hue Lights Android Central 2020

There aren't many smart home devices that are as well-known and universally-respected as the extensive collection of smart lighting products made by Philips Hue. Since 2012 the company has been putting out a wide variety of indoor and outdoor smart lights, and it has taken great pains to ensure that they're compatible with all of the major smart home ecosystems. With so many options to chose from for your home, where do you even begin? You can start with the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb. These bulbs can connect to a Bridge for remote control, or you can use Bluetooth for control from the app while you're in the room.

Best Overall: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

Philips Hue A19 Bluetooth Led Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

This bulb, available in a two-pack, is suitable for any room of the home and replaces a standard A19 bulb. However, what makes it great is that if you aren't ready to delve into a full system yet, you can first connect it via Bluetooth for instant control from your smartphone or tablet while you are in the same room. You can add up to 10 bulbs in the same room to control via the Bluetooth app if you like. Once you're ready to upgrade, grab the Hue Bridge and add up to 50 other Hue lights to control them all from your phone, no matter where you are.

The dimmable bulb offers different shades of white, from warm to cool, along with 16 million colors from which to choose to suit every mood, from party time or relaxing with a good book.

Like with all Hue bulbs, you can create timers and routines. You can also control the bulb using your voice via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a 25,000-hour lifespan, the 9.5-watt, 800-lumen bulbs are Energy Star certified and will make a great and simple addition to any home to replace old incandescent bulbs.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth control
  • 16 million+ colors
  • Voice control

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No HomeKit voice control

Best Overall

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb

You don't need a bridge either

Connect via Bluetooth without the need for a Hue Bridge to get familiar with app control before diving right into a full system.

Full Package: White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit

Philips Hue LifestyleSource: Philips Hue

As far as starter kits go, this one is impressive. It comes with four of Philips' popular White and Color Ambiance A19 60W equivalent LED bulbs and a smart hub/bridge, all of which retail for around $50 each. That means with this kit, you're not only jumpstarting your smart home, but you're saving money in the process.

These bulbs fit in most standard sockets and lamps and can be set to over 16 million colors and shades, including various shades of white light. You can program them in the Philips Hue app to create specific scenes and moods, and control them through your voice with Alexa, Siri, or the Google Assistant.

Philips claims these bulbs will last for 25,000 hours of life, which if you left them on all day, every day, would last you over four years. However, since no one does that (hopefully), these really should pay for themselves. The included hub/bridge allows you to connect up to 80 Philips Hue devices, but it does require a wired connection and plug-in to your router, so make sure you have room for and accessibility to both.

Pros:

  • The bundle has a bit of everything
  • Save a lot of money
  • Compatible with all major smart home ecosystems

Cons:

  • There are cheaper smart lighting alternatives
  • Many competitors don't require a hub
  • Hub/bridge requires a wired connection

Full Package

White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit

A better bundle

With four smart bulbs and a hub/bridge, this starter kit is the perfect way to jump into the Philips Hue ecosystem.

Best Value: White Ambiance Bulb

Philips Hue E12 Candle Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

We mentioned above that a Philips Hue Bridge can support up to 80 lights, and while you may not need that many in your home, chances are you have more than four bulbs that need replacing. Thankfully, you can pick up these lower-cost White Ambiance Bulbs a-la-carte or in bundles. If you want smart functionality but don't need all the fancy color combinations and scenes, this is the bulb for you.

These bulbs work great for kitchen lighting, hallways, utility spaces, and bathrooms in particular, and are as simple to install as screwing them in and connecting in the Hue app. Even though they can't change colors, you can choose from over 50,000 shades of white light.

One of our favorite things to do with these bulbs is to program them to wake you up each morning gradually. You can set up this feature in the app to get progressively brighter until your alarm goes off, which is a wonderfully refreshing way to start your day! The Philips Hue Ambiance Bulbs come in other shapes and sizes, and one of our favorites is the Decorative Candle Bulb. These are particularly great for chandeliers or accent lamps.

Pros:

  • The most affordable way into Hue ecosystem
  • 50,000 shades of white light
  • Available individually or in bundles

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option
  • Needs Bridge for Bluetooth
  • No colors

Best Value

White Ambiance Bulb

Quick, cheap, and easy

These industry-leading bulbs are an excellent investment to begin your smart home lighting projects.

Best for the Side Rooms: Philips Hue White & Color BR30 2nd-Gen Wi-Fi Smart LED Floodlight Bulb

Philips Hue Br30 Floodlight Bulb Lifestyle CopySource: Philips Hue

Totally change the atmosphere in a room like a kitchen or bathroom with this powerful floodlight that can provide 650 lumens of brightness in a room through installation in a standard 5-6-inch recessed can. You'll not only get powerful and directed light where you need it the most but can also choose from 16 million colors to create the perfect ambiance for a dinner party or chill night in.

As with other Hue bulbs, it can work with the optional Hue Bridge for remote control via a smartphone or tablet and the app, allowing you to add it to scenes, schedules, timers, and routines, with compatibility with Nest, SmartThings, and Wink home automation systems. With the compatible smart device, like a smart speaker, you can also control it by voice using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. Plus, you can expand your system, controlling dozens of other lights and other accessories via one Hue Bridge.

Pros:

  • Voice control
  • 650 lumens of brightness
  • 16 million+ colors
  • Works with many home automation systems

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • Not Energy Star rated

Best for Side Rooms

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance BR30 2nd-Gen Wi-Fi Smart LED Floodlight Bulb

Put a spotlight in your kitchen

Ideal for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, this floodlight bulb can totally change the atmosphere up anywhere.

Best for the Home Theater: Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light Bar Kit

Philips Hue Smartlight Barkit Lifestyle CopySource: Amazon

So this one isn't technically a "bulb" by definition, but it is a unique lighting product from the lineup that is worth including. Rather than screwing into an existing lamp or light fixture, this is a self-contained bar that you can position on the floor, in or behind a cabinet, or mount to the back of the TV to provide cool and eye-catching accent lighting.

It has all of the same connectivity features as the others, including the ability to work with the optional Hue Bridge for remote control from a smartphone or tablet, voice control (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit), and smart home automation system compatibility to adding to scenes and routines, including with Nest, SmartThings, and Wink.

It mounts easily using the included clips and double-sided tape, and you can connect up to three of them to the same power supply unit for a really immersive experience, making gaming, movie night, or parties unique with up to 16 million colors. Each kit includes two A19 bulbs offering up 530 lumens of light and a power supply. As with the others, the life span is about 25,000 hours.

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • 16 million+ colors
  • Voice control
  • Works with most smart assistants

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No Energy Star rating
  • Could be gimmicky

Best for the Home Theater

Philips Hue Play White & Color Smart Light Bar Kit

Liven up your home theater

Use this bar kit behind your TV, on the floor, in a cabinet, or anywhere else you want to create a uniquely lighted look.

Best Illumination Extender: White and Color Ambiance LightStrip

Philips Sync Lights With Music And MoviesSource: Philips Hue

The Philips Hue light strips are a piece of smart tech that can be found on many a gaming streamer's setups, but they're appropriate for almost any space. You can cut these to just about any length and adhere them to flat, clean surfaces with adhesive tape. Line the underside of your bookshelves or media cabinet, the railings on the back porch, or put on the backside of your computer desk for awesome effect lighting.

Speaking of effect lighting, you can sync these lights with your video game or entertainment systems to create a truly immersive experience. The light strips support the typical 16 million color options that other Hue color products can produce, and they can be configured for any media mood.

Just like all Philips Hue smart lights, the only major downside to these light strips is their premium price. However, even though they're on the steep side, you know you're getting a quality product from Philips.

Pros:

  • Can go practically anywhere
  • Available in multiple lengths
  • Can connect multiple extensions
  • Sync with video game and entertainment systems

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Illumination Extender

White and Color Ambiance LightStrip

Stick it to you

The Philips Hue LightStrips are some of the easiest and most versatile Hue products to set up and use.

Best Portable Piece: Philips Hue Go White and Color Portable LED Lamp

Philips Hue GoSource: Lory Gil / Android Central

Aside from being able to showcase all of the beautiful colors, modes, and scenes that the other great Philips Hue lights can, this little lamp is one of our absolute favorites because it's versatile and portable. The Philips Hue Go (sounds like its name is Hugo!) is a tabletop lamp that you can take just about anywhere. It sits at an angle, and you can program it for millions of lighting scenarios.

The Hue Go is a more premium and portable lamp than the likes of the Amazon Echo Glow. Its size and weight give it more gravitas than other portable multicolored lamps, and it truly feels like it's meant to be a piece of permanent decor in your living space. Its battery life is optimized for up to 18 hours of unplugged usage, though your mileage may vary depending on what you have it programmed to do.

The biggest drawback to this little lamp is its price — if what you want is a portable, color-changing lamp, there are definitely cheaper options available.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Attractive, tabletop design
  • More affordable than many other Hue lamps

Cons:

  • Plastic construction
  • Expensive compared to the competition
  • Still requires Hue Bridge to control via smart assistants

Best Portable Piece

Philips Hue Go White and Color Portable LED Lamp

This Hue Go is boss

The Philips Hue Go is a striking piece to look at, but what's more impressive is the effect it will have on your space, wherever you take it.

Best Outdoor Illuminator: Discover Outdoor White & Color Ambiance Smart Floodlight

Philips Hue Discover Outdoor Floodlight Official RenderSource: Philips Hue

You may not have realized this, but if you own your own home or property, you can take the magic of Philips Hue lights outside. Our favorite Philips Hue outdoor lighting product has to be the Discover Outdoor Floodlight. Not only does it output 2,300 lumens of brightness, but it's capable of changing between 16 million color combinations (as usual).

These lights can be configured to illuminate your property to discourage unwanted visitors or criminal activity, but they are equally useful for holiday decorating or impromptu deck dance parties. They are easy to install anywhere in your home, and they can withstand the elements for years. Philips claims that the Discover Outdoor Smart Floodlight meets the standards set for UL Wet Location qualification, so it should be able to handle wet climates and conditions with ease. It is worth noting, however, that these lights do not carry any official IP certification.

At $140 a pop, these lights are a bit on the expensive side, especially if you plan on mounting multiple floodlights around your property. To save a little money, you can combine a couple of the colorful Discover lights with the Philips white Welcome floodlights, and get the best of both worlds!

Pros:

  • The power of a floodlight
  • UL Wet Location and outdoor rated
  • Makes your outdoor spaces more enjoyable

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side
  • No IP weather rating

Best Outdoor Illuminator

Discover Outdoor White & Color Ambiance Smart Floodlight

Proper property lighting

The Discover Outdoor Ambiance Smart Floodlight covers your yard for safety, but it can also be adapted for fun.

Best for Security: Philips Hue White Ludere Dual Head LED Security Floodlight

Philips Hue Ludere Floodlight 9to5toys LifestyleSource: 9to5Toys.com

This isn't just a single bulb. This floodlight is actually two PAR-38 bulbs offering 2,600 lumens of soft white light nestled in a housing that can be mounted outside, like above your garage or on your porch. It can connect to the optional Hue Bridge to allow remote control, including the setting of timers and schedules, if you wanted to make it turn on automatically at sunset, for example. It can be controlled as part of a Nest, SmartThings, or Wink home automation system, by voice using Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit/HomePod, and Google Assistant, via the mobile app, or by an indoor dimmer switch.

The light has undergone rigorous testing and has a weatherproof chassis to ensure that it can operate outdoors, including in wet environments. Easy to install, you simply mount it on a wall, connect it with the PSU, plug it in, and pair it to the Hub. Keep in mind, however, that it has to be positioned within 30 feet of the Bridge to maintain a signal, or can be up to 60 feet away if there's another outdoor light connected to the same system situated in between this one and the Bridge. Note that metal and other materials can block the signal as well. Like the others, it has a 25,000-hour lifespan.

Pros:

  • Weatherproof design
  • Very bright
  • Voice control
  • Home automation compatible

Cons:

  • Requires Hue Bridge for remote control
  • No motion sensing
  • Has to be 30 feet from Bridge

Best for Security

Philips Hue White Ludere Dual Head LED Security Floodlight

Keep an eye on your home

These floodlights employ weatherproof materials and provide powerful lighting outside your home for security and peace-of-mind.

Bottom line

There really is a Philips Hue bulb to suit every need, room of the home, and purpose, from unique accent lighting to functional outdoor or task lighting. But for the simplest most versatile option that you can use pretty much anywhere in your home, the Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 Bluetooth Smart LED Bulb is a really affordable and good option to consider. You can use it in several places replacing an old, not as energy-efficient incandescent bulb and try out mobile connectivity using Bluetooth to see how you like it. Once you get more familiar, you can opt for the Hue Bridge and set it up for remote access. And then you can consider expanding the system with more lights as the others noted on this list, along with accessories like motion sensors, lamps, light strips, and more.

If you already have a hub/bridge and a few Philips Hue lights in your home, you might want to jazz up your spaces with some of the smart lighting strips or light bars, or perhaps outdoor solutions like the Discover floodlights. However you decide to accessorize your home, you'll be sure to enjoy these smart lights for years to come.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

Christine Persaud Christine Persaud has been writing about consumer tech for almost 18 years, before the smart home even existed, and has been working as a freelancer for the last 6. Today, she lives in a fully automated home with her husband and son, where everything from the lights to the blinds, security, TV, and music can be controlled from a smartphone or voice.

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