I recently purchased a Philips Hue Lightstrip ($80 for the 6′ base, plus $25 for each 3′ extension) for my bedroom, supplementing two existing Hue bulbs. My bedroom has been a bit dark as my new apartment doesn’t have ceiling lights. In this review I’ll aim to answer:
- What’s the mounting experience?
- How much light does a Hue Lightstrip add to a room?
- How does Hue’s functionality compliment the lightstrip?
- Is the Hue Lightstrip worth it, compared to generic lightstrips on Amazon?
The lightstrip arrives wrapped in a plastic sheath, which is intended to be kept on the lightstrip, given that the 3M adhesive has been pre-applied to the backside of the sheath. It’s possible to remove the protective plastic so that the lightstrip is less thick and less wide, but you’d need to re-apply an adhesive directly to the lightstrip, and the electronics might tear upon removal if you remove the plastic. The sheath is nicely protective, but you should note that this makes the lightstrip a bit wider than traditional lightstrips you’d find on Amazon.
Adhering the lightstrip to wall should be no issue; I mounted mine vertically and felt no risk that it’ll peel off. The adhesive isn’t sticky to the point where I’m worried about paint peeling off upon removal (it’s certainly less-sticky than some of the cheap Amazon lightstrips I’ve seen – those certainly do peel paint off).
A word of caution – connect the extension strips to the main strip before you begin mounting, and test all colors throughout the mounting process. My lightstrip remained on a white setting while I mounted it, and to my dismay I had accidentally pulled the extension a bit too loose, and the extended portions couldn’t display a blue light until I took it down and re-mounted.
To Philips’ credit, the extensions are well-built and sit flush with the wall, offering a consistent LED spacing. When you’re done mounting, you’d be hard-pressed to find where the primary lightstrip ends and the extension begins.
Filling a room with light
The Hue lightstrip (6′) + two extensions (3′ each) provide a ton of light, far more than two Philips Hue Color Bulbs in the same room. The lightstrip alone does a great job of filling a decent-sized bedroom, and far exceeded my expectations coming from cheap generic lightstrips. This is a product that can meaningfully brighten a room, and doesn’t solely exist as decorative lighting.
If you’ve used Philips Hue before, you can expect the exact same functionality from your Hue Lightstrip. You can use the Hue app to set routines based on time or geo-location, you can change the light intensity and color / color temperature, and you can connect to Google Assistant / HomeKit / Alexa / Cortana. There’s no additional functionality for the lightstrip (i.e., you can’t set segments of the lightstrip to different colors or intensities, you can’t animate anything across the entire lightstrip).
Is Philips Hue Lightstrip worth it?
If you have an area in your home that lends itself well to a lightstrip and you’re already in the Philips Hue ecosystem, I’d highly recommend the Hue Lightstrip. While I acknowledge that it’s significantly more expensive than cheap generic lightstrips you’ll find online, it offers two distinct advantages:
- Build Quality: Philips has invested in designing a well-built lightstrip – extensions are easy to add and LEDs end up evenly spaced [unlike generic lightstrips], the thick protective sheath ensures that the product can last for years, and the LEDs are extremely bright
- Connectivity: Low-cost lightstrips rely on a flimsy remote that requires line-of-sight for control. Hue’s ability to connect to the internet is far superior, due to the convenience of linking with HomeKit / Google Assistant. By simply asking your HomePod or Google Assistant to “turn the lights on”, “make my light warm white”, or “dim my lights to 56%”, you can control the lighting in an entire room with ease.
If you’re not already invested in the Hue ecosystem, you’ll need to purchase a Hue Bridge in addition to the lightstrip, which drives the cost to a point where you’ll want to carefully consider whether Hue is the best option, or whether a bridge-less WiFi-connected lightstrip might work better for you.