For a while now, I’ve been using the fancy Hue system from Phillips. These are pricey LED light bulbs which you can control remotely from your smartphone. Not only can you do standard things like turning lights on and off, but you can also change the color temperature on the fly (going from a nice, warm incandescent light to something suggestive of a 1980s office park), change all the lights in your house to your favorite shade of hot pink, etc. To really cap things off, the Hue bulbs are insanely energy efficient (drawing only 5 watts, according to my measurements), long lasting (up to 20 years), and color-accurate (they score in the nineties for Color Rendering Index, which is much better than most other LED lights).
So what’s the catch? Well, as I mentioned, they’re pricey. A single Hue bulb will run you about $60 on Amazon. Replacing a home with 25 fixtures would cost a cool 1.5 grand.
You can imagine, then, that I was excited to discover that Phillips has launched a new line of Hue bulbs called Hue Lux. Here’s what they look like:
They’re priced much lower, at around $30 per bulb. What’s the difference, you ask? I created this short and poorly focused video to enlighten you:
Based on my initial experience with Hue Lux, they definitely look like an interesting option for people who want basic lighting control at a more competitive price. They’re also a great option for people who are using the full bore Hue bulbs already, but don’t feel like spending $60 on a bulb for a oft-neglected hallway or spare room fixture.
Installation, like with the other Hue products, is a breeze:
The one irritation with the Lux bulbs is that I can’t seem to get them to play nicely with other Hue bulbs in Phillips’ “Light Recipes.” This makes it hard to control both Lux and normal Hue bulbs with a single command in the app. But through continued experimentation and complaining on social media channels, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.