Review: Philips Hue Bluetooth smart lights


Table of Contents

Picture of Erin Lawrence

Erin Lawrence

Philips Hue Bluetooth, lights, reviewI’m a huge fan of smart lighting. I adopted smart bulbs way back before they were popular and haven’t looked back since. The major complaint about smart bulbs has been that in many cases you need a hub to get the connectivity with with your Wi-Fi system.

But now things have changed. Philips Hue, makers of a huge line of smart lighting, have just introduced Bluetooth smart bulbs including chandelier bulbs, halogen replacements, and smart filament or Edison bulbs. I had a chance to play with a few of them in my home for a week or so and I’ll tell you what I learned about them, including what using the Bluetooth bulbs means for your existing Hue Wi-Fi bulbs, how they work, how to control them and if they operate differently than the Wi-Fi Hue Bulbs.

Why choose a Hue Bluetooth bulb over a regular Hue bulb?

Philips Hue Bluetooth, lights, reviewYou might be wondering what the advantages are of choosing a Philips Hue Bluetooth bulb over a traditional Hue bulb. For starters, you’ll save money. These are an ideal gateway to exploring a smart home and smart lighting because you don’t need the Hue Bridge (which costs about $79 or available as part of a regular Philips Hue multi-bulb starter kit).

Getting a Hue Bluetooth light means some savings up front, and that can let you see the advantages of smart lighting and if you want to expand the ecosystem. If you do, you’ll still want the Bridge, as it brings extra functionality. More on that in a moment.
This new collection of Philips Hue smart LED bulbs can be controlled via Bluetooth using your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device, as well as by selected smart home assistants including Google Home and Alexa.

It’s worth pointing out these are designed to have less functionality than regular Hue lights. That’s not a bad thing and it shouldn’t be a criticism. These lights have limited functionality so they can be offered to consumers who aren’t sure if they want to spend on a full starter kit, or outfitting the whole home—yet.

Philips Hue Bluetooth, lights, reviewThere’s a few light options in this new Bluetooth range: There’s the Edison or Filament bulbs, there’s White Ambiance, which lets you have warm or cool white light, there’s halogen replacements, as well as specialty options for a chandelier. There’s also Colour and White Ambiance bulbs that let you create different colour stories and scenes.

Philips Hue Bluetooth, lights, review

Setting up Philips Hue Bluetooth Bulbs: Special app needed

Thankfully there’s no major changes for those of you familiar with setting up Hue bulbs. And for those of you new to the ecosystem, know it’s an easy set up.
If this is your first Hue bulb, you’ll first download the free Philips Hue Bluetooth app and get an account set up, and yes, it’s important to note that if this is your first Hue bulb, you do need a different app from the regular Hue app. It’s clearly labelled in the App store or Google Play.

Next, screw in your light bulb and make sure the power is on. The app will walk you through what to do, and I found I did need to stand directly under the bulbs in order for the app to ‘see’ them via Bluetooth. The connection worked well and I had the bulbs ready to use in the Hue Bluetooth app in minutes.

Set up with regular Hue app

Good news for existing users! If you already have a Hue Bridge or a previous Hue setup, you can set these bulbs up in the regular Philips Hue app and control them in there too. To learn how to do it, please read the rest of this blog on Best Buy Canada’s website, and support the work I do for them.

Leave a Comment

Author's Recommendation

Ring Alarm Pro
Smart Home
Erin Lawrence

Ring Alarm PRO in-home review

We’ve reviewed a lot of Ring products in the past, and this time, we tried to full 8-piece Ring Alarm Pro system and plan. See our review here.

Read More »
A Trusted Source for Technology Reviews

What We Do

We share honest, 100% hands-on reviews, and we’ve been around since 2013. 

No jargon, no specs or speed tests. Our reviews are written for REAL people just like you.

Our only goal is to help you make savvy buying decisions.

How We Review

  • Test in real homes
  • Hands-on testing 6-12 hours over 1-2 weeks
  • We are fair & balanced; sharing pros AND cons
  • We answer the questions you have
  • Giving you the info you need to make your own choice

Expert Reviews of

  • 1,000+ total devices
  • 69+ vacuums & robot vacuums
  • 50+ speakers
  • 30+ health & beauty devices
  • 15+ sound bars
  • 60+ TVs & streaming gadgets
  • 25+ smartphones
  • 55+ headphones/earbuds

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve published content on over 1,200 topics including over a thousand product reviews. We do only hands on testing with 100% of the gadgets. We give you the truth about tech, and any time we are paid to publish content we are 100% transparent and let you know it. Plus we only accept sponsorship for gadgets we’ve tried or believe in—and believe YOU’D find useful too.

With over 80,000 YouTube Subscribers to our video reviews, we are a trusted resource you can often find in YouTube’s Recommended Videos.

Join my newsletter for gadget news and Giveaways!