Philips Hue 2019 – What We Want to See
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.
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.
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||LIFX||Ikea Tradfri||GE Link Connected LED|
|Max Output||800 lumens||1,055 lumens||980 lumens||800 lumens|
|Check it Out||Check it Out||Check it Out||Check it Out|
Perfect Fit Color GU10 Bulbs – There are two GU10 bulbs, white only bulbs, or color bulbs. The white bulbs are a like for like size with a standard GU10 Bulb, however the color bulbs are slightly longer. The extra length makes it difficult to straight swap them as they tend to be too long for current spotlight fittings. The extra cost and inconvenience to change the spotlight housing for something that will take these bulbs is a hassle and is something that has prevented me from using these.
It would be great for everyone if these color GU10 bulbs where redesigned to the standard size, making them a straight swap. There is certainly a market for them and the biggest issue is that they don’t fit. Make them fit and I would buy them.
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.
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.
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