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Philips Hue lighting range is far from inexpensive, but the results in the modern smart home are pretty impressive. From the original Hue bulbs to the new light strips and now the Hue Go, there’s a Hue for most lighting needs and the range of accessories and features is enough to turn whole houses into festivals of light.
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Key Features of the Hue Go
- Flexible: Philip’s latest addition to its smart lighting family lets users move their light around the home, creating a perfect tone for any event from a late spot of reading to lighting up a wall for a party. As a smart light it can be programmed to come on for when you arrive home, or to wake you up early.
- Five Light Settings: It comes with five dynamic settings and can cycle through light patterns for a restful theme, or go full disco mode to your choice of tunes.
- Two Year Guarantee: The six-watt LED comes with a two year guarantee, which should give you some piece of mind, considering the $99 RRP for a light (check here).
- Dimensions: The Hue Go measures 12 cm in diameter and 7cm tall, weighing around two pounds.
- Different Positioning Options: The Hue Go bowl can be used facing up or angled via a wide feet to keep it focused on one spot.
- Power Set Up: The power button is on the bottom and it comes with a 2 meter detachable charging lead, so can be used in most rooms from the mains, but really comes into its own when running in battery mode.
- Should be Paired with Hue Bridge: Note that the Hue Go when purchased on its own is limited in its features, it needs to be connected to the Hue Bridge and ecosystem for the full experience. The Bridge comes with the $199 starter kit (available for less here), so really adds to the bill.
Pros of the Hue Go Personal Smart Light
- Easily Moved from Room to Room: The main benefit of the Hue Go is that it can be taken into any room and set the lighting and mood for just about any occasion. From a relaxing bath to romantic meal, from an early morning wake-up call to letting the kids play or adding ambiance to a movie night, it is very flexible, and welcome all round the home or garden.
- Dynamic Tones and Colors: It is not just a static light either, while you can set the color with a smartphone app, it can radiate different hues to music or movies to add a disco or dramatic effect. With a 16 million color range, you can probably find a suitable hue for any scenario, or let it find its own.
- Smart App Control: The app works on most iOS and some Android devices, and now supports Apple HomeKit if you’re building around a single smart ecosystem. It can also help your smart home by coming on when you’re out to act as a deterrent.
- Works with Amazon Echo + Apple HomeKit: A recent updates also added support for Hue lights to Amazon’s Echo home assistant while the HomeKit support means that iOS 9 devices mean you can control the Hue lights using Siri, for the coolest control system. They can also be linked to Nest products for control and integration.
Cons of the Hue Go Personal Smart Light
- Needs the “Bridge” to Function as Advertised: The main issue with Hue Go is that if you buy it on its own, you don’t get all the features. As a Standalone product, you can turn it on or off, run through the seven presets and choose your color. When operated in concert with a Hue Bridge, you can pick the white light color temperature, color, dimming level, set timers for events and, connect to online services
- Relatively Short Battery Life: The Internal Lithium Ion battery only lasts for around three hours and takes one and a half hours to charge, which means its not going to replace standard torches or other sorts of illumination.
- Indoor Use Only: Also, it is not waterproof – so isn’t going to be good around pool parties or super soaker battles.
- Can Break (Versatile, but not Durable): Given its portability, you should be aware that the Hue Go is not indestructible, there are reports of the bowl shattering, so some care is needed when using it in more lively environments or if it is put in an easy to forget place.
Final Recommendation – Is the Hue Go Ready to Go?
The Hue Go, while a pricey addition to a smart home for a single light, can be added to with other Hue bulbs to create room scapes and smart lighting systems. If you want inspiration, Philips’ pro brand smart lights are used to bring ambiance to museums, hotels mosques and many other places where people go to be inspired.
The Hue Go seems a popular choice for relaxation, yoga and other relaxing events. It’s a shame the theme names have such cheesy titles, such as: Cozy Candle, Sunday Coffee, Meditation, Enchanted Forest, and Night Adventure.
As a single device, would be buyers should know that you don’t get the full feature set.
That said, once you start on the road to a Hue-lit house, you will probably end up with dozens of bulbs or strips, so a few Hue Go’s won’t make as much difference. Note, you can connect up to 50 lights to a Hue Bridge.
Like with so many smart home products, you really need to go “all in” to get the full experience. I’d personally recommend this starter pack, if you interested in getting the best experience right away.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!