In association with EDF Energy
Back in May, I tested out all kinds of cool gadgets as part of Smart Homes Week. One of my absolute favourites was the Philips Hue lighting system.
Ever since I was a teenager and was SUPER COOL, I’ve been a fan of coloured lightbulbs. Back then though, changing the colour in your bedroom meant a trip to B&Q to pick out a different coloured bulb, and then taking it home again to switch with your regular bulb. It wasn’t exactly a slick process. Then of course there was that incident in my early twenties, where I had someone knock on the door in the middle of the night thinking I was running a brothel, but we can skip over that.
Imagine if you could go back to the early 1990s and show teenage me the Philips Hue wireless lightbulbs. For a start I would have no idea how they could even work, because I wouldn’t know what the internet was, but if I could put that to one side and look at the colour changing bulbs in action, my mind would be BLOWN.
How is this possible? From a PHONE??
For Smart Homes Week I set myself up with the basics – The Philips Hue Starter Kit. This is available from the EDF Energy Smart Home Store for £59.99 and contains everything you need to get you started – the hub, which connects to your router and controls everything, and two dimmable, warm white light bulbs.
I am GIVING AWAY this kit further down, so keep reading.
Like all smart home tech, the Philips Hue bulbs are very easy to set up and you control them via an app. With the white bulbs you can change the tone and dim them up and down to create different moods depending on the time of day or what you might be doing. (Ooer.) You can also set up schedules so that the lights will do things like automatically come on in the evening if you’re not there, or come on and off at set times when you’re on holiday.
You can set up rooms containing more than one light to create lighting ‘scenes’ and you can even link up your lights to an app and create thunder and lightening. There’s very little you can’t do with them to be honest.
What’s really great about the Philips Hue system though is that you can add in new bulbs any time you like. Tell the app you’ve got something new and it will find it and install it for you. So if you decided you want to jazz things up with a set of coloured bulbs, they’re super simple to add to your existing system.
We had quite a few bulbs already, but EDF Energy sent us an extra set of coloured bulbs, which means we now have Philips Hue bulbs in our hallway and landing too. I think I’m going to really appreciate these as one of my pet hates is getting into bed, only to realise I’ve left the light on on the landing, or worse, in the hallway downstairs. Nobody wants to get up again when they’ve done the nice ‘get into bed and swoosh your legs about’ thing do they? (Everyone does that don’t they?)
Now if I forget I can just switch them off with my phone or by bossing about Alexa, who sits next to my bed. The Philips Hue bulbs are very easy to control using the Echo Dot – you can turn them on and off in different named rooms, change the colour or scene and dim them up and down. (You can buy the Echo dot from the Smart Home Store too.)
There are accessories too.
If you love the idea of the Philips Hue bulbs but aren’t so keen on getting your phone out or shouting at Alexa every time you want to turn them on and off, then you might like the dimmer switch. The Philips Hue dimmer switch can be easily fixed to your wall with sticky pads, where a light switch would normally sit, but it’s magnetic, so you can take it with you too to change the lighting while you’re sat down. It switches the lights on and off, dims them up and down, and from the app you can set them up to do things like always switch on with the last used setting, or to allow you to click through a series of preset tones.
Win a Philips Hue Lighting Starter Kit
If you like the idea of bringing a bit of smart lighting into your home then you are in luck! (It’s almost like you knew this was coming right?) EDF Energy has very kindly given me a Philips Hue Starter Kit from the Smart Home Store, worth £59.99, which includes a hub and two dimmable white bulbs. It’s everything you need to get you started and who knows, before long you might have a house full of coloured bulbs and dimmer switches just like me!
To enter, just do as many of the entry mechanisms in the widget below as you can. The competition will close at 11.59pm on 17th December and full T&Cs apply.
In the meantime, check out the Smart Home Store for EDF Energy’s full range of smart home products.