5 Ways to Use Philips Hue | AD

Friday, 19 October 2018
Everything we do in our daily lives is getting a little bit ‘smarter’ these days. We have smart phones, smart televisions, smart heating systems and over the last few months, Andy and I have been trying out a smart lighting system – Philips Hue. If I’m totally honest, when I first read about it, I did assume that it would be a cool, quirky extra to have in the house. We’d be able to use an app on our phone to make the room pink, blue, green and it could be our little party trick if we had friends round, or for Oliver to play around with.

In reality, two months later, it’s become an essential part of our daily routine. The lighting in our house is something that I had never really thought about. The lights were either on or off, and that was it. But with Philips Hue, we have so many other options and I want to share with you the 5 ways we’ve been using these lights over the last few months, and how we are looking forward to using it over Winter, too.

How to use Philips Hue Smart Lighting

First of all, let me explain what Philips Hue is all about. To use the system, you just need to buy the starter kit for your light fittings. This comes with everything you need to get started: three bulbs, the Hue Bridge and the remote Dimmer Switch. Then you can add any extension bulbs. We decided to set Hue up in our living room, bedroom and the nursery and used a mix of normal bulbs and spotlights to match what we already had. Putting them in place was as simple as changing a light bulb (as that’s essentially all you’re doing!). 

Next, you download the app and use your Wi-Fi connection to find the bulbs. Before you know it, you have full control of the lights via your phone and you can turn them off on, pink, dimmed, bright, you name it – all through the ease of an app.

It turns out that the benefits are endless, especially for families. It’s not just a one-off party trick!

Here’s a few ways you can use the app as part of your everyday family life. 

1. Atmosphere – The most obvious use and the one that first comes to mind is having the ability to set an atmosphere for any occasion. We use the coloured lights when reading stories to Oliver (he is absolutely fascinated by the colours), or when we’re having a movie night and I’m looking forward to a very atmospheric birthday party for Oliver with all the rainbow lights! You can select pre-set options like ‘Savannah Sunset’ (a warm, sunset glow) and ‘Spring blossom’ (a relaxing, pink hue) and you also have a full colour palette which lets you pick any tone or shade you like.

2. Dimmed lights – This is the one we use the most often. We use dimmed lights for Oliver’s bedtime routine and it’s been a godsend for the darker nights. Rather than going from bright bulbs to pitch darkness, we can set the mood and get him ready for bed in a really calm, dimmed room. It really helps his body recognise that it’s almost time to sleep and I can really notice the difference in how easy it is to get him down at night now that we use this setting.

3. Security – There’s a really practical use for these lights as you can use the app even when you’re away from home. Rather than worrying that your house looks empty and vulnerable while you’re away from home, you can use the app to schedule your lights to come on at night time even when you’re not there. This is a really good security feature if you’re away from home often.

4. Photography:  One of the issues in winter for photographers (or even just Instagram addicts like myself) is lighting. The app is the perfect cure for short Autumn/Winter days! I use the ‘energise’ option (a blueish tone bright light) to neutralise the warmth inside. It makes my all photos look like they’ve been taken in natural light.

5. Routine: Now the mornings are getting darker, it can be even harder to get out of bed. To let your body wake up gradually, you can use the app to gradually light the room in the mornings so that you’re woken gently. This makes your body think it’s being woken up naturally by sunlight and makes the process of waking up a whole lot easier. I’m looking forward to using this feature once the clocks go back in a few weeks, as I’m sure we’ll need it!

how to use philips hue lighting

Overall, we’ve really loved using the Philips Hue system and any friends or family who have seen it have commented on how useful it is. I’d say it’s one of those things that you only realise how much you need it, once you’ve used it! It’s been great for us and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get a bit ‘smarter’ with their home lighting.

I recently posted my ‘daily routine with a toddler’ video on my YouTube channel – click here if you want to see how Hue fits into our everyday family life.

*This post is in collaboration with Philips Hue.
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