Philips Hue has been a household name since the Smart Home boom began, with a solid (but expensive) reputation for its products. Now they are stepping into the gaming lighting arena with the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip starter kit. Is this just an expensive monitor lighting solution or is there more to this elaborate bit of kit? Let’s get into it!
Technical Specifications – Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip Starter Kit
Before diving into the ins and outs of this new Philips Hue product, let’s go over the technical specifications so we’re all up to speed:
|Material||Silicone Lightstrip (White and black)|
|Features||– Colour changing (LED)|
– Dimmable with Hue app and switches
– LED integrated
– Universal Plug
– Two-year guarantee
|Colour Temperature||– 2000 to 6500 K|
|Input Voltage||220V – 240V|
|Standby / Standard / Consumption Wattage||0.5W / 15W / 18W|
|Dimensions and Weight||– Height: 1.6 CM|
– Length: 90.5 CM
– Net Weight: 0.203 KG
– Width: 1.7 CM
|Lumen Output at 4000K||800 LM|
|Lifetime||Up to 25,000 hours|
Easy To Install – Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip Starter Kit
Our particular start kit came with a Philips Hue bridge and three connected 24-inch to 27-inch silicone light strips. Different packages are available that include light strips for up to 32-inches and with ut a Hue Bridge if users have one already.
Installing the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrips was fairly straightforward. Users will receive plenty of light strip clips with 3M adhesive to stick on the back of a monitor. For those who have a laptop setup like myself, the clips unstick nicely too, so no need to worry about ruining that stunning laptop lid that no one ever looks at.
The main thing to remember about installing the clips is to make sure the arrows are pointing outwards towards the edge of the monitor. Speaking of edges, for best results make sure to leave at least an inch of space from the edge of the monitor when installing. It just adds to the Philips Hue halo glow.
After the silicone lightstrips have been clipped in, download the Philips Hue app and sync up the included Hue Bridge. The bridge simply needs to plug into a power source and into an ethernet port on the back of the internet router. Just follow the on-screen prompts and the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrips will be beaming in no time.
Easy To Use – Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip Starter Kit
This is where the magic happens. Once users have set up the Play Gradient Lightstrip, the next thing to do is to download the Philips Hue Sync application for Windows.
It’s a simple case of once again syncing up the Hue Bridge by pressing the big button on top to set up and get going. The light strip can be controlled with the Philips Hue android/iOS app, and we’ll get to that, but the Hue Sync program allows the gradient strip to mirror the lighting on-screen.
With our playtest, we synced the three lightstrips to the central monitor which worked a treat. We tried movies, YouTube, Disney + and various games such as DooM Eternal, Halo Infinite, and Skyrim. The reason we tried all of this wasn’t just to test out the light syncing, but the windows sync app itself.
There’s a setting for video, gaming, audio and static lighting scenarios called scenes. We can hand down say that every mode has its merits and it worked great in every scenario. One thing to watch out for would be copyrighted content in streaming apps, which Hue Sync can’t read, but we didn’t encounter this issue on the aforementioned platforms.
There’s a slider to confirm how extreme users would like the lighting to be, so naturally, we wacked this up to 100% and didn’t look back. As seen above, there’s strong lighting in dark conditions, but do unfortunately wash out in lighter conditions like any lighting system. We’d certainly recommend getting a black-out blind or something similar near sources of light.
We have operated the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip on the following devices:
There wasn’t an issue with operating the light strip on any of these formats. We operated the light strip on these platforms via the Phillips Hue and Google Home apps, and adding it to Google Home and operating it alongside other smart home appliances isn’t an issue.
For us, we added it to our office room in Google Home and simply tell Google ‘Office On’ or ‘Set office light to x% brightness’ to change the brightness.
When it comes to just having ambient life when working, scenes are a user’s best friend with plenty of choices for users with various colour hues and patterns. Looking for something animated? Get cosy this winter with candlelight and fireplace effects. These features sound like novelties, but Philips HUe’s delivery and ease of use make them a treat.
We’re not going to lie, Philips Hue hasn’t had a great reputation for a number of years when it comes to compatibility, setup and pricing. Whilst the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip is a premium-priced product, it does what it says on the tin.
Yes, you can buy a cheaper product, but we can guarantee the setup, app and compatibility ease of use won’t compare. The quality of lighting is up there and doesn’t really have much competition in this regard. It’s bold yet bright with plenty of customisation options that can sync to what’s happening on-screen.
The reason we’re pushing hard here vs budget products is that the majority of them don’t deliver on promises. Phillips Hue products aren’t easy on the pocket, but that’s because they work and do the job.
The Hue Bridge setup and update process has been greatly optimised from a couple of years ago, which would see users waiting up to 24 hours for updates to roll in.
Philips Hue has turned a page and delivers ease of use and great products. The Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip costs £249.99/$319.97 from their official store at the time of writing, and it’s worth every penny if users can afford luxury lighting.