Philips Hue's White Ambiance bulbs cut the colors (and the cost)
Philips Hue's White Ambiance bulbs cut the colors (and the cost)
1:57

Philips Hue's White Ambiance bulbs cut the colors (and the cost)

Lighting
[MUSIC] Philips' newest LEDs don't change colors, but they do change color temperatures offering a variety of white light tones ranging from warm candle light glows at one end of the spectrum and cool Blueish white daylight tones on the other. Now along with two of those bulbs and this handy physical dimming switch, the $130 starter kit comes with a second gen Philips hue bridge. That bridge let's you sync the bulbs up with Apple home kit, which means you can control them using Siri voice commands like this. Hey Siri turn off the test bulb. Okay the test bulb is off. My main problem with these lights is that they aren't as bright as you might want. Philips labels it at 800 lumens, which is about what you'd get from an ordinary 60 watt bulb, but if you check the specs online, you'll see that you only get that brightness at the 4000k setting. And that is not the bulb's default setting, when you turn it on, it's about 2700k And at that 2700K setting you only get about 450 lumens, a 40 watt bulb's worth. On top of that, when I try to find that 4000K, 800 lumens setting in the ocean of pixels that the app gives you, the best I could get was about 600 lumens. That's less brightness than you'll get with color tunable competitors like the LIFEX White 800, the C by GE Sleep LED, and the Stack LED Downlight One other quirk that bugs me, Siri doesn't have a vocabulary for that white light spectrum, so if you ask her, set them to soft light or 2700 K, she'll just look at you funny. She has no idea what that means. You have to instead set up a scene in the Hue app that includes color temperature changes and then run that scene. All that said, the white ambient LEDs work as well as other Philips Hue bulbs, which is to say that they're reliable and fairly easy to use. And at $30 a bulb, they're also twice as affordable as Hughes' full-color LEDs, and they enjoy the same wide range of third party compatibility. I just wish that on top of all that, you got a little more brightness for your buck.

Up Next

Coolest alternative smart light fixtures
yt-cool-lights-v02

Up Next

Coolest alternative smart light fixtures

See how easy it is to upgrade your garden lighting to LED
how-to-convert-your-yard-lights-to-led-00-34-09-24-still049-clean

See how easy it is to upgrade your garden lighting to LED

C by GE swings for the smart lighting fences at CES 2019
cbyge2019-thumb

C by GE swings for the smart lighting fences at CES 2019

How to buy bright LED light bulbs that don't suck
fl-100w-led-roundup-10

How to buy bright LED light bulbs that don't suck

Ikea's 'Tradfri' smart lights are very, very basic
flikeatradfrileds0.jpg

Ikea's 'Tradfri' smart lights are very, very basic

Need new LED floodlights? We're here to help
ledfloodlightroundup0.jpg

Need new LED floodlights? We're here to help

You don't need a dimmer to dim the Philips SceneSwitch LED
flphilipshuesceneswitch0.jpg

You don't need a dimmer to dim the Philips SceneSwitch LED

GE's selling 'HD' LED light bulbs
flgehdleds0.jpg

GE's selling 'HD' LED light bulbs

New from Lifx: Night vision light bulbs for the smart home
fllifxplus0.jpg

New from Lifx: Night vision light bulbs for the smart home

Philips Hue's White Ambiance bulbs cut the colors (and the cost)
flphilipshuewhiteambience10.jpg

Philips Hue's White Ambiance bulbs cut the colors (and the cost)

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro