The Philips Hue Experience

Subjectively, I find the light from the Hue system looks beautiful; it’s also fun watching the different combinations (or scenes) pre-programmed into the app. If not for the $60 per Connected Bulb price, I would seriously consider getting more lights and having them all over my home. ­­I’m not going to try and reproduce pictures and videos showing what Hue looks like in action, as you can experience that on, but it definitely creates a different feel than having standard lights.

There are many pre-programmed scenes that come with the app (and others are available online, including user-created scenes). If you can’t find something you like, however, you can easily edit existing scenes or create new ones. The app gives you the ability to set both the brightness and the color of each bulb and then save that setting, and you can group these settings so that, for example, your living room light settings are separate from your bedroom light settings.

There is no observable latency when controlling the lights while on the home network. The bulbs respond to changes with barely perceptible lag when being controlled from the smartphone. They ramp up/down to the specified brightness level and you can see the gradual change of color or brightness. This makes sense as an abrupt change would make for a very harsh experience.

Once you leave the home network and control the lights over the Internet, the lag/latency increases to around 8-12 seconds. I was able to simulate this by turning off my phone’s WiFi connection and using its data connection, but however you do it the results should be similar. When you’re remotely managing the lighting, there are a few extra steps that account for the delay, as communication has to go through a server that then has to send commands over the Internet to your Hue Bridge. Now you have to use the app to connect to the MeetHue portal (which takes around 8-10 seconds initially). Once connected the bulbs respond to changes to a new scene or to turn on/off in around 5-8 seconds. Depending on the protocol used and the server load, this could account for the majority of the lag, but it’s worth noting that instant responses to remote changes in lighting levels don’t really matter since you’re not physically there to see what’s happening anyway.

Technology Testing and Power Consumption


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  • Egg - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure how I feel about Anandtech and Ashu Joshi taking what is essentially a 5 week old blog post adding inline pictures from doing some edition/revision/expansion work and posting it as an article.

    I don't see Brian Klug posting his reviews on his blog.

    (Note: I am not alleging AnandTech took this without permission. But rather that they're repacking content the author already released.)

    On one hand, both AnandTech and Ashu Joshi are perfectly within their rights to do so. On the other, it's a bit deceptive, and certainly unlike the rest of Anandtech's journalism.

    (Typo: "experience of this lighting system *if* is quite the change from your everyday lights")

    Regarding the content itself, this is incredible niche. I would never use colored lights in my home. I can see them having some business applications, but $60/light is a bit steep.

    Also, for anyone whose interest was piqued by the disclaimer, according to, Ashu works for Cisco. Tangentially related to this article. Nothing to be concerned about, in my opinion.
  • Doken44 - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    I see your point, but I for one, would never have seen the blog, and am interested to see home automation making bigger steps into the mainstream. Reply
  • ilihijan - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - link

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  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    I'm not quite sure who contacted whom, but his initial blog post was far less detailed than what we've posted here. Yes, he had the photos, but there's additional information and the text has been heavily edited (mostly by me). It's definitely a niche product, at least from my perspective, but it's also not something we would have normally covered. Since Ashu had the hardware and the knowledge to write about it, and I'm sure most of our readers haven't ever seen his personal blog, I don't really see it as a problem. Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, March 4, 2013 - link

    I doubt his blog had anywhere near the readership as Anandtech.
    So he detailed the paint job and polished it to bring it in line with Anandtech's standards, then posted the rewrite here where it would reach a much broader audience.

    No legal issue.
    No conflict of interest.
    Plenty of reason to rewrite.
    A subject one wouldn't be surprised to see on a site like Anandtech.
    I find nothing objectionable about this particular situation.
  • 2kfire - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    Haters gonna hate... Reply
  • Samus - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    people act as if Anandtech is the New York fucking Times... Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, March 2, 2013 - link

    Na bro, if they were given a Tesla they would actually test it. Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    I didn't see his blog before this email. I found it on his LinkedIn profile. Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 1, 2013 - link

    Oops, article, not email. Reply

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