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Philips Hue 2019 – What We Want to See

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In the smart home lighting world the Philips Hue system still leads the way, however the competition is stiff and as 2018 head to a close, we look at what we hope and would like to see in 2019 from Hue, what we know, any rumours and what we would love to see.

This year has seen the introduction of Hue Sync, a new updated Hue app as well as a range of new light fittings and of course the Hue outdoor range, so what next?

What would we like to see from Hue?

We love Hue, however there are some things that would make it even better, below we have rounded up what we would like to see and ideas we have to make it better.

Bulbs

Brighter bulbs – One thing that stands out from the competition when comparing to the Hue bulbs is the overall brightness. Many on the market are brighter than the Hue bulbs, now although I don’t have an issue with the overall brightness of the Hue bulbs, brighter is sometimes better. It would be great for the next 4th generation of Hue bulbs to be brighter and perhaps match the competition such as LIFX.

This table below shows the max output from top smart bulbs on the market.

Philips Hue LIFXIkea Tradfri GE Link Connected LED
Philips HueLIFXIkea TradfriGE Link Connected LED
Max Output800 lumens1,055 lumens980 lumens800 lumens
Check it OutCheck it OutCheck it OutCheck it Out

Light strips

The light strips are a great item and work well in the home with many uses, from lighting under cabinets, great for kitchen units, around desk spaces, or behind the TV which is very popular. As great as they are there are a few things that would make them better.

Color spaces – The hue light strips come in 2m lengths, they are also extendable with the 1m extension lengths allowing up to a total 10m length. This is great, but it would be even better if the lengths of stripes could be animated, at the moment they are all one color and that is all, however creating animations using the strips would be a welcome feature allowing colors to change along the strip instead of all one or nothing.

Being able to split the strip into sections would allow for a 2m strip for example to display more that one color broken into zones.

The actual light strip – One thing that could be improved is the actual light strip itself, it could be thinner, it could be more flexible, it could be more robust, it could have better self additive strips on the back for sticking in place. The overall robustness of the strip could be improved, although it is well made at the moment it could be made better by making it smaller while still being strong and flexible.

With the introduction of the new outdoor lightstrip it is certainly a better version of the indoor lightstrip with a waterproof design for outdoor use. The color diffusion is better, the color looks better and your cannot see the LEDs like you can on the indoor version. It would be great to see these improvements brought to the standard indoor lightstrip too.

Buttons & Accessories

Something that makes the Hue system different to other systems on the market is the physical buttons that have too. The dimmer switch is a great little item that works well, the tap though could be given a redesign, using a coin battery would make it more responsive and perhaps making it the buttons more customisable would be better, you can make more changes using third party apps like iConnectHue.

A wall mount for the buttons would also be great, or perhaps an option to mount over existing switches, a long shot for something like this to be related by Philips, however it would be great for some third party companies to manufacture something like this, some people have made there own by 3D printing a switch mount.

Hue announced it has partnered up with other suppliers to offer new Hue compatible wall switches, hopefully these will be released early next year.

Backing Up

The bridge is the brain of the Hue echo system, all the bulbs talk to the bridge and the bridge is what stores all the scenes, settings, button options etc. You can make these changes via the Hue app, or a third party app, but it is all stored and orchestrated through the bridge. One big issue with this is that if you need to reset your bridge, change it or it breaks, then all your settings, bulbs and options are all lost meaning you then need to recreate it all again.

A must have feature is a way to back up your bridge, fingers crossed this feature comes this year!

Hue Entertainment & Hue Sync

The big news this year is Hue Sync, something that we have been crying out for, Philips have released the functionality and their own software which you can install on your Mac or Windows PC syncing your Hue lights to the on screen action. A great feature and something that works really well.

This video below shows Hue Sync in action on an iMac.

However, the downside, the feature is there, however the implementation needs expanding, the feature we really want is the ability to sync your Hue lights with your gaming console such as PS4 or Xbox, while watching a movie on your TV via Netflix or Amazon Prime, at the moment none of this is easily possible unless you use awkward work arounds.

So for 2019 we would love to see Hue Sync expanded so that it works with smart TV’s allowing for us with movie streaming software and gaming consoles. This could be through a smart TV app, or some hardware. Fingers crossed something is in the works and is coming soon.

What would you like to see for Hue this year, or what ideas do you have to make it even better.

Article written by Mike

Founder of Hue Home Lighting, huge Hue fan with Hue bulbs all over my home from kitchen to bedroom and garden.

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8 Comments

  1. David Jack

    The one thing that would make my Hue experience 100% complete would be the addition of a Smart Plug accessory. Hive are even doing this (Hive Active Plug) and I have had to revert to buying this from Hive as a solution for my problem as Hue don’t have one because they focus solely on bulbs and lighting.

    In short, I want to be able to control an outside floodlight, on or off, simple (could be any appliance with a 3 pin socket). There are many 3rd party wireless solutions out there BUT I want one that forms part of my lighting management and done need a separate badly designed app. Could Philips Hue think about developing something like this that has the ability to switch on an appliance (light or otherwise) through the Hue app. ??

    Reply
    • Dudley

      Hi David, Philips (now Signify) have this product in Europe and Asia via their architectural brand “Modular Lighting Instruments” the item is 13190030 its hidden on page 31 of the Modular Connected tab http://www.supermodular.com/modular-connected/

      Its a Hue controlled 400va at 220v switch with 1-10v control, its will switch and dim a 1-10v driver or just switch on/off up to the rating of 10 drivers 400w.

      It is without doubt the best part of Hue, I have nearly 50 in my home ( and only 2 Hue Bulbs) with 8 Sensors, a couple of dimmers and lots of timers via Hue and iConnectHue app. I used to run the Australian distribution for Modular, over the past year we have completed 20 plus major installations in houses and commercial applications. You need an American version …. Regards

      Reply
  2. Kimberly

    I’m sure a number of people have mentioned this, but I would love to have colored fairy lights (aka Christmas lights, light strings). We use all your other lights at our house, and my husband and I were bemoaning the fact that we can’t customize the lights on our tree and on our house in the same way we can do the lights in our house.

    Reply
  3. Anders Aarsoe

    i Think most people that start down the road of equipping their home with Hue gear will quickly be converted. The products are great, the quality is high so it is major let down that Philips doesn’t take it seriously. The number of units supported on a single hub is far from adequate. Using two hubs is possible but then the system goes from something my wife loves to something my wife hates. I really get the feeling that the development is divided between teams and they either don’t communicate or worse feel that this is a competition.
    Some examples: if I add my Philips Beyond lamps to my television ambilight then things work great until I turn the tv off. When I do that the lamps remain lit in a bright white mode.
    If you have many lamps, bulbs etc then you will quickly realize that searching for them don’t work. You need to look for the specific address typed on the bulb itself. Now it would be great if we could then see the same address in the app – but no. No way to see it or to retrieve it. So add the no way to back up your setup make this a prime example of a development team that should had their manager fired and their bonusses go away until they fixed this.
    There is no way that anyone could ever offer this solution as a viable lighting system that you could use for your business environment – and I find that sad.
    Philips please fix this. If not someone will for sure comes and take your nr1 spot away from you. If you take the entire potential growth there could be not only in lightning but in the entire smart home/IOT arena then you really need to step it up if you want to get that market segment.

    Reply
  4. Zach

    1. Increase the hub limit to AT LEAST 100.

    2. Export/Import data.

    3. View/Export serial numbers.

    4. The ability to group multiple lights as one, so that they always output the same as each other, a grouping more narrow than “rooms”. Perhaps taking up less of the bulb limit in the hub, but also making configuring routines, scenes easier, and possibly making animations and looks from 3rd party apps more effective. When you have a fixture with 2 bulbs, sometimes it would be nice to just have them bonded to each other and always do the same thing, acting as one light.

    5. Have the ability for the bulb to return to its last state when powered on. Currently they go back to a neutral light of somebody switches it off and on from the wall… which can be handy… but about 50% of the time it’s also frustrating. It would be nice to set each bulb to either reset to natural light, or to restore the last setting when powered back on.

    6. Have more product in stock.

    7. Larger par spots for bigger recessed lighting.

    8. Make more use of the “entertainment area”, so when images for scenes, and even animation, are applied to rooms, it’s aware of where the lights are phiscally positioned, and mapped to that.

    Reply
  5. prdlik

    I need mode/scenes/colors changing without switching bulbs on. I am looking for routine, that change color to red at 8PM in all rooms, but doesn´t wake up sleeping children by switching bulb on. And the same, change color to daily light at 7AM in all rooms but without waking people up in rooms where they sleep.

    Reply
  6. Björn Holmgren

    The bridge needs a total makeover. As already mentioned, backups. But also have at least 200 bulbs and devices and sensors. Increase signal strength and range. Implement all features in the hue app.

    Reply

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