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Philips Hue WiFi lighting set up - what do you have?

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  • 18-05-2016 12:12pm
    #1
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Looking for a dedicated thread to discuss & share ideas of all things Philips Hue, and couldn't find anything so thought I'd start this and hopefully if it gains any traction, could be a useful place to share ideas and advice on all things Hue.

    I started off about 2 1/2 years ago when the OH bought me the starter kit for my birthday. 3 colour bulbs and the bridge. (I'd been eyeing up the system myself anyway, so thankfully she read my mind)

    The novelty of the colour bulbs wears off after a while, but the various ambiance colours that can be achieved with them are quite good for setting various moods (there is a new ambiance bulb being released next week which looks quite good, as it gives the various white light (recipe) temperatures, just not the full colours (blue/red etc..) and it's a lot cheaper than the colour bulbs).

    I've since added quite a bit to my setup so it now consists of 6 colour bulbs, 3 lux bulbs (the original white) and 8 of the newer white bulbs (mixture of B22 & E27) and a Light strip Plus with 2 1m extensions.

    I have every room in the house fitted with hue bulbs now, (all centre lights as well as 2 table lamps in each of the master bedroom, living room & attic (guest room))

    In the kitchen I have the light strip with the 1m extension over my kitchen units, luckily there was a double socket up there which meant no running power cables all over the place (I've also a set of laptop speakers hidden over the units connected to an Apple Airport Express for wireless streaming).
    I've also a light out the front in my porch, and one in the side laneway (though this is connected with a switched halogen, so in effect this is just used as a regular bulb (it was actually one of the Lux lights that I had dropped and broke the glass casing on it, so figured I might as well use it somewhere)).

    I've also got 2 of the dimmer switches (with another 3 arriving tomorrow) which are brilliant, especially for those not so savvy with the app, or just those without a smart device to control the lights (herself, and guests), so one is in the attic for guests to use, and the other is in the living room, 2 more will go in the master bedroom either side of the bed, with the last one probably going in the hallway.

    I've recently upgraded my bridge to the home kit version so I can control lights via Siri, but it's still a bit hit & miss at the moment (I just haven't invested a lot of time yet setting it all up, though it does work).

    I'd love to eventually replace my 10 kitchen down lights (and 6 in the attic) with the hue GU10's, but at €60 a pop, it's just not worth it at the moment. Maybe if they bring out cheaper (white/ambiance) GU10's, I might go for them then.
    I'd also maybe like a few blooms or an Iris, but again, the price is very prohibitive, so most likely won't bother with them.
    My next purchase will be most likely another light strip with a few 1m extensions, possibly placed in the kitchen under the units, but with a 15 month old running around, this might have to wait.


    In terms of apps, I still mainly use the original clunky Hue app, mainly for its alarm/timer function which is excellent. I have most of my lights on timers to come on at various times in the evening (and mornings in winter), and with the up to 1 hour fade on each timer (scene on/lights off), its all very subtle.

    I also like the OnSwitch app, which lets you have some fun with various colour flashing and effects, but again, wouldn't be your everyday usage app though there are some nice standard effects on it that could be used every day.

    1 app I really enjoy using is Huelloween, which as you can guess is for Halloween, which works really well with the colour bulbs, and also plays sound effects (to match the lights) through your phone. In my case I use a bluetooth speaker out my box room window (above my front door), and scare the bejaysus out of the trick or treaters, (all of the parents came in to comment on how fantastic it was).

    I have a few other apps, but don't really bother too much with them, as my main use for the system is having all the various timers set so my home lighting is pretty much fully automated, and while away on holidays, I'd often throw a few random lights on from time to time, but I can even automate this with the random time feature of the timers you set (timers will trigger up to plus/minus 30 minutes from the time you specify).

    So thats it, thats me and Hue! What about you? what does your set up consist of? what apps do you love/hate? why? any tips or tricks?
    Tagged:


«13456760

Comments

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    The 3 additional dimmer switches arrived this morning, bringing my total to 5 now.

    They really are a great addition to the hue set up, bringing a normal functionality to the setup. I would seriously recommend anyone with a Hue setup to get one and try one out.

    They can be set to turn on/off lights or scenes.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    They can be set to turn on/off lights or scenes.


    Are they all battery powered


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Stoner wrote: »
    Are they all battery powered

    They are, and according to themselves, the battery will last 2/3 years with normal usage! (CR2450 batteries)


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    That's reasonable.
    Have you integrated it into a nest, I see that's possible.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    How do you mean? the Nest Thermostat?

    edit:
    Ah, I see now, nest.meethue using your nest cam to turn on or off your lights!
    I have a nest thermostat, but not any of their cameras/sensors.

    I like the idea of it turning all the lights on if it detects smoke/fire


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Also worth noting that Woodies DIY now stock the single white bulbs (E27 & B22), as well as the dimmer set (E27 white bulb & a dimmer switch). The dimmer set can be used as a stand alone system straight out of the box without the need for the app, and a bridge.

    Argos are also beginning to sell Hue lighting, however Apple still seem to be the cheapest (they just don't sell the dimmer switches, as they'd rather you use hue with your iOS device).
    Argos prices are crazy expensive!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭dmca77


    In my main residence I have 4 b22 bulbs with the hub, I controls these with iconnecthue app.
    In our holiday home I have 3 downstairs with b22 bulbs a lamp in hall, living room and kitchen with b22 bulbs. Down stairs hall and upstairs hall I have gu 10s, back door I have a b22 all controlled with the same app and I have them on timers.

    I have Foscom 720p indoor cameras in which I can double check they are working, they are great as it looks as if someone is always home.

    Can not understand why they don't make white gu10s as they would make a killing!


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    dmca77 wrote: »
    Can not understand why they don't make white gu10s as they would make a killing!

    Big Time!!

    I have 10 spots in my kitchen (as well as 4 on the landing & 6 in the attic), and just cannot justify spending €600+ for new bulbs (to replace 10 fully working dimmable spots I currently have), just for the app functionality.

    again, the multi colour would be a nice novelty, but realistically 99.99999% of the time, I'd just want a warm white, unless of course I start throwing Saturday Night Fever style kitchen parties.

    They've 3 main (colour) types of bulb now, the full colour, the white only, and the new ambiance white coming out soon, they should seriously look at offering the latter 2 in the GU10, and while their at it, maybe even a white/ambiance light strip as well (having said that, I love the light strip in my kitchen (skylight is a good setting in OnSwitch, it really brightens up the kitchen on dull days).

    If completed with 10 GU10's, you could set up some serious scenes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,697 ✭✭✭MaceFace


    I also have a mix of the colour and white with the tap and a couple of dimmers.
    For anyone tech savvy (i.e. comfortable writing code), I highly recommend openhab.
    With the Hue apps, you can turn on the lights at a set time, and off at a set time or between a range, but with openhab, my lights automatically come on 30 mins before sunset. All except one turns off at a random time between midnight and 1 and the other turns off at sunrise. This means I never have to worry about turning them on or off (but I do turn off when going to bed). It automatically adjusts for change in the clock etc.

    I also use an Amazon Echo to control via voice, but rarely use that as don't really have a need.

    Integrating with Nest seems a little pointless to me. I have the Thermostat and Camera, but the API to both is still somewhat restricted, so not sure why I would want to integrate Hue and Nest.

    The Zigbee range is also a pain sometimes. Even though it operates in a mesh network, I still sometimes have problems with bulbs or switches far away from the bridge.

    The strips are way overpriced so I built my own for less than €20 for 5 meters full colour, but that involves coding microelectronics. The interesting aspect of this though is showing the crazy markup the likes of Phillips have. Future is bright though for this type of solution, and apart from the price, Hue certainly is one of the better connected devices in the market.


  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭SeanPammer


    I like the idea of this thread a lot, props to the OP!

    I have a generation one bridge (newer gen two supports Siri/HomeKit)

    A Hue Iris, clear model (Got this as a starter pack with the bridge)

    Philips Friends of Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Iris Starter Kit (1 x LED Iris Mood Light, 1 Bridge) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IVZZ9JS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nMhvxb2QE8EPT

    A colour hue bulb (bayonet version, original) and also a Hue Aura (in black)

    Philips LivingColors Aura Colour Changing Mood Light (Integrated 1 x 8 W LED Bulb, Remote Control) - Black https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008B4DC84/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_7MhvxbNQW9NA5


    I also have this small lamp in a different room to above, this was my introduction those!

    Philips LivingColors Micro Colour Changing Mood Light White (Integrated 1 x 4.7 Watts LED Bulb, Touch Control) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008B4DCCU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SNhvxbE2HAGCD


    The Aura came with a physical remote, I used an app called Lampstealer to allow me use the Aura with my bridge allowing it work smoothly with the iOS apps/widgets

    http://en.freedownloadmanager.org/Mac-OS/LampStealer-FREE.html (Mac)


    The bulb is much much brighter than the lamps, generally I have the main bulb blue and the others red, it creates a really nice purple hue!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13 Dunjam


    Some good deals in the Amazon Prime sale for anyone looking to start or expand their Philips Hue set up


  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭Caillte


    Yeah,

    I managed to get the hue E27 starter pack for €120 from amazon. RRP is €225!!!

    Great deals were to be had alright especially with the sterling rate. Also if buying from Amazon always buy in GBP as the bank's rate is always more favourable than amazons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭BuzzFish


    Great thread. Lots of handy info above.

    I just took delivery of the starter pack from Amazon Prime Day (3 bayonets and a bridge) and a dimmer switch.
    Bought for a new house as moving soon but I decided to play about with them last night. Choice Homestores have basic clip on bulb holders with plug (about 2m cable) for 5, ideal for setting these bulbs up behind TV or other furniture.

    Very impressed with the kit but I feel this could get expensive!

    One point was that the battery connector in the dimmer was set a bit flat. That meant that when I popped the switch into the magnetic holder the battery seemed to be pulled away from the connector and stopped the switch working. I pulled up the connector/contact a little and issue gone. Just a heads up in case anyone things they got a dodgy dimmer switch.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    BuzzFish wrote: »
    Very impressed with the kit but I feel this could get expensive!

    It certainly can, but once you are fully set up, thats it, no more purchases needed, you can add to it gradually, and as I said before, after some time, the colour bulbs lose their novelty, and the whites (1/3 the price) suffice in most home applications.

    It took me almost 3 years before finally buying a light strip (with 2 extensions) for over my kitchen units, and I love it, the colours from the strip are definitely more pronounced that from the colour bulbs.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,952 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stoner


    The big advantage with that I can see is the control of the light switching and colour. It seems very powerful

    The lightwave system I have is inexpensive relatively, 20 euro for an inline relay to switch lights and 25 for one to switch three circuits from one unit , handy for outside lighting, front back and side of a semi D house. It also switches heating better.

    Yet if the Philips has full nest integration that could cover that.

    The big advantage imo that lightwave have is the UK / Irish socket range built in child locks with a and B control over each side of a twin socket with no bulky unit sitting between the plug top and the socket.

    WRT nest. Lightwave has a primitive link to it now, they read the status of each other .I'm sure it will improve.

    But the AI Google offer is interesting . Addressing master and slave relationships will present issues imo. But I wouldn't want a nest, and a Philips and a lightwave unit in my house all at the same time .

    I've never had to even restart the lightwave hub once. What's the Philips one like for staying online ?


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    In 2/3 years I've never had my system unavailable due to loss of connection to the hub,

    And even if it does lose connection, the bulbs can always revert back to standard on/off via a light switch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭AnarchistKen


    Great thread and exactly what I was looking for so I can pull from your experiences!

    So I'm planning a full house renovation (just traded up from an apartment) and really want to get the Hue system into the living room and kitchen preferably with strip lights first of all.

    I've got a question if someone would oblige me with some answers it would be appreciated.

    1. I'm planning 3 floating shelves in an alcove in the living room stacked on top of each other Similar to this arrangement https://www.google.ie/search?q=white+floating+shelves&client=safari&hl=en-ie&prmd=isnv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpqYbc94zOAhXrIcAKHeFZAWQQ_AUIBygB&biw=768&bih=928#imgrc=J5Fh4Q9PTCMEHM%3A

    How do I successfully install the strip lights under the shelves? I'm aware they're stick on, I'm more concerned about the wiring aspect and wasting lengths of strip?


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    In that situation you'd probably want 3 individual strips at 1 metre each, if your shelves were less than 1 metre, you can cutoff the excess (though at the price, this would be hard for me to do!)

    You would have to route the cables inside the wall otherwise they'd be on show, and probably not look great.


  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭AnarchistKen


    Thanks for the prompt response Andy. Would the 3 shelves need to be wired separately or can they be connected together i.e. 3 plugs or 1 plug?

    Was thinking of getting the starter pack, but would i better off buying everything separate? There's a few quid knocked off the starter kit on Amazon


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    I would say they would need to be wired independently, as otherwise you'd have to have 1 strip (with extensions), which wouldn't look great as they'd travel from shelf to shelf on the wall (unless you partially buried it in the wall which I'd say is quite messy).

    The advantage of 3 separate strips on your shelves would mean they could be operated independently and produce different colours for each shelf, as opposed to all the 1 colour.

    I always bought from Apple as they always seemed the cheapest, and delivery is most prompt, (if it works out cheaper on Amazon though, by all means go for it).
    (I recently bought 3 dimmer stitches from Amazon)
    (Woodies is handy now as they sell the white bulbs (bayonet & Edison screw), as well as a bulb + dimmer switch kit)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭AnarchistKen


    Thanks again Andy. I bit the bullet and got the strip light starter kit, an additional 2m strip and 3 edison type bulbs.

    I've additional plans for more bulbs and strips at some stage, but I think I got enough to get me going.

    I'm really excited about hooking it all up and seeing what it looks like.

    Bit disappointing that there isn't a legit Android app that has the same capabilities as the Siri voice control setup but I'm sure I'll get one somewhere!

    Also have some plans for Nest Controls and maybe a Raspberry Pi home audio setup later on this year


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Did you get the colour bulbs along with the strip?

    You've more than enough now to get set up and familiarise yourself with the app & various scenes & timer possibilities.

    Try the strip & extensions over your kitchen units, you won't take them down!


  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭AnarchistKen


    Did you get the colour bulbs along with the strip?

    You've more than enough now to get set up and familiarise yourself with the app & various scenes & timer possibilities.

    Try the strip & extensions over your kitchen units, you won't take them down!

    Got the color bulbs for the craic. Will have to get some funky floor lamps now to house them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,697 ✭✭✭MaceFace


    Thanks again Andy. I bit the bullet and got the strip light starter kit, an additional 2m strip and 3 edison type bulbs.

    I've additional plans for more bulbs and strips at some stage, but I think I got enough to get me going.

    I'm really excited about hooking it all up and seeing what it looks like.

    Bit disappointing that there isn't a legit Android app that has the same capabilities as the Siri voice control setup but I'm sure I'll get one somewhere!

    Also have some plans for Nest Controls and maybe a Raspberry Pi home audio setup later on this year

    Have a look at openhab. While it does have a high learning curve, it offers complete control over your home setup. I have it set up that my lights come on 30 mins before sunset, landing light dims at a certain time and turns off at sunrise. Others turn off at random times around midnight.
    If you have the Nest Thermostat, it will record the complete history so you know what the temperature was for the last "whatever" and be able to have it present it in a chart. What I have also set up is that with the openhab app, I can go in and press a button that turns on the Nest heating for in my case 1 hour. This means that I can use the Nest like a more conventional thermostat such as having the water heated on-demand during the summer without having to worry about turning the heating on the Nest back down.
    Openhab version 2 should be out "soon" which should give better integration with the Nest Cam as all it does at the moment is tell you if it is online.

    Another item to keep an eye out for is Amazon Alexa. This allows for voice control of both Nest and Hue's. Currently only available in the US, but I managed to pick up a couple and they work very well.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 5,384 Mod ✭✭✭✭Optimus Prime


    Hi, Ive been looking at the Philips hue for a while and just pulled the trigger on a starter pack with 3 colour bulbs. Ive a fair few E14 Type lights in the house, anyone recommend an adapter for E27 to E14? I see a few on amazon already but was just wondering if anyone can recommend one.

    Also, is there anything to be concerned about leaving the lights on the whole time? from a fire hazard point of view do you think? A lot of comments on the E14 to E27 Adapters say "melted in the first 10 minutes" which is worrying.


  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭BuzzFish


    Hi, Ive been looking at the Philips hue for a while and just pulled the trigger on a starter pack with 3 colour bulbs. Ive a fair few E14 Type lights in the house, anyone recommend an adapter for E27 to E14? I see a few on amazon already but was just wondering if anyone can recommend one.

    Also, is there anything to be concerned about leaving the lights on the whole time? from a fire hazard point of view do you think? A lot of comments on the E14 to E27 Adapters say "melted in the first 10 minutes" which is worrying.
    I bought some B22 to E27 adapters on ebay and they work fine. These bulbs to not generate much heat so any adapter should be fine in my opinion.
    As for fire etc, then they are powered but turned off they generate no heat at all so should be fine. I've bypassed many of my switches at this stage and now use HUE dimmers (bulbs always live).


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 5,384 Mod ✭✭✭✭Optimus Prime


    Cool, so you have removed light switches and wired them up to always be on. using the dimmer to turn off the bulb only?

    Im still slightly worried that the adapters on amazon might be a fire hazard though? all the ones ive seen on there are coming from china and im not sure I want to risk my house on them! I wouldn't mind paying a few quid more for ones that where at least rated safe in some way.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Hi, Ive been looking at the Philips hue for a while and just pulled the trigger on a starter pack with 3 colour bulbs. Ive a fair few E14 Type lights in the house, anyone recommend an adapter for E27 to E14? I see a few on amazon already but was just wondering if anyone can recommend one.

    Also, is there anything to be concerned about leaving the lights on the whole time? from a fire hazard point of view do you think? A lot of comments on the E14 to E27 Adapters say "melted in the first 10 minutes" which is worrying.


    I bought these back in 2014 and have been using them ever since, without issue, I'd leave them on even when away for 2 weeks holidays, and my house hasn't burnt down yet!

    Welcome to the Hue club!


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Cool, so you have removed light switches and wired them up to always be on. using the dimmer to turn off the bulb only?

    I still kept all my light switches, as if you don't have a phone handy, you can still switch the lights on/off like a regular bulb (it would be a pain in the ass if you entered a room for a few seconds and had to go through the hassle of having a phone with the app open to turn on a light! though I do have a few dimmer switches, I still like the idea of leaving 'traditional' light switches in the rooms, as if I ever sell up and move on, I'll be taking my hue's with me, and wouldn't want to leave a new owner in a situation where they had to buy/install the same set up!

    Im still slightly worried that the adapters on amazon might be a fire hazard though?

    All these adaptors are doing is extending the metal contact's in your light sockets fitting!, so your not really adding any additional danger to the system! and as BuzzFish said, the lights themselves use very little energy, so there would be little to no heat build up!


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  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 5,384 Mod ✭✭✭✭Optimus Prime


    Thanks for the replys guys, you've eased my mind a bit, cant wait to get them now, ive plans to replace all the lights with them In the house and add a few strip lights around the place. I know the adapters are just extending the metal, but the difference is they are on 24\7 now and that's what im worried about.

    Have you seen these motion sensors Philips are releasing? auto switch on lights when there is movement, not out yet but on the way, they look cool.

    http://www2.meethue.com/en-us/motion-sensor

    I nearly bought those exact same adapters ( judging by the photos ) you linked to on ebay for nearly 4.50 each on this irish site

    http://www.ledvista.ie/replacement-retrofit-led-bulbs/light-bulb-convertors/e14-to-e27-socket-convertor

    Thanks for saving me a few quid!


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