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I have a lot of Hue bulbs, and smart home products in general. This is my first outdoor Hue product, and I got it to replace an existing front door light.
Installation is as you would expect, far more involved than a regular Hue bulb. I removed my previous outdoor light and motion sensor and set to work installing the Hue replacement. That's when I ran into the first problem. In a bizarre design quirk the base plate lacks any holes through which to attach it to the wall. You have to make your own holes by cutting through the pretty sturdy plastic. To do this I used a power drill (which I didn't already have, necessitating a costly trip to Homebase), then pushed on further into the brickwork. Philips don't provide any screws or plugs, so you'll need to bring your own. This type of cost cutting was unfortunately just the start.
With the baseplate on the wall I wired in the mains and attached the cover. It's fiddly as you would expect, although I'm certainly not an electrician or even particularly adept at DIY. With everything finally set up I switched the mains back on and headed to the Hue app on my iPhone to continue the set-up.
Here's the next piece of cost cutting - this light requires a Philips Hue Bridge if you want to use it as anything more than a regular light. One isn't included as standard. As I already have plenty of Hue products I used my existing bridge to find the light and make a new Room for it. I could then enable this new Room in the Hue app so the Apple Home app could access it.
As this is a smart light this is where the interesting stuff begins, and as you would expect this works like any other Hue product (albeit without the ability to change the colour of the light). Functionality within the official Hue app is incredibly limited so I use a third party Apple Homekit app called (rather confusingly) "Home 3" (not to be confused with Apple's own "Home" app). This allows me to trigger the light to come on automatically when any family member returns home after sunset, then time out after a few minutes.
As I'm using this as a front door light, I also want it to come on when a stranger is at the door, which is something this light cannot do without purchasing an optional motion sensor. Philips make their own outdoor motion sensor (for £45 at the time of writing), but if you run an Apple Homekit smart home then there are third party Homekit compatible outdoor motion sensors which would do the same job (provided you set them up using a Homekit app, not the Hue app).
I've marked this down as I feel the cost cutting here does rather smart. From something as simple as no pre drilled holes in the baseplate, to not including screws, to the lack of a bridge, no built in motion sensor, and inability to change the light colour it's clear that many corners were cut here. The light itself works fine and looks good, and I intent to pair it with an outdoor motion sensor shortly. A solid product then but one with some notable drawbacks.
This is a review of the Philips Hue White LED Fuzo Wall Lantern, Black, and not the other Philips lamps available on this Amazon page.
For anyone not familiar with Philips Hue, the longstanding system links smart lights to the internet using a Hue Hub which needs to be wired to your router. The system allows you, via the iOS and Android app, to control Hue lights from anywhere in the world, including at home. You can set routines - so a light turns on a 6pm and off at 8pm, for example, or that an outside light turns on at dusk and off and dawn. The Hue system can be linked to other smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa - so you can ask Alex to turn lights on and off, set a brightness level, or chose a colour. It will also link to Samsung's SmartThings which will allow, for example, a light to be turned on if there is no motion in the house within 10 minutes.
The Hue range has expanded dramatically from an initial range of screw-fitting full-sized light bulbs and GU10 halogen replacements. Now there are a wide variety of bulbs but also light fittings including the lantern here. All Hue installations are dimmable, and use LED technology. There's a choice of simple white, tuneable white (from a warm light similar to old style incandescent bulbs), and colour bulbs although not all light fittings come with a full choice.
This model is the most basic version about although the bulk of the light is made of black metal. It's a white light that's dimmable and that's it. You can set using the App, or some Smart Home devices. It is compact and not too weighty. You'll need to have a similar existing wall fitting or get an electrician in to install the unit although Philips provide pretty comprehensive instructions.
In use the system linked easily to my existing Hue system and performs as expected. It looks very good. You might have an issue though if you position this outside light a long way away from your WiFi network. You need the Hue hub to link to the lamp for it to work correctly.
Hue is my preferred smart home lighting system. It's been about for a long time and is likely to be around in the future. It is worth noting that you will need to buy a Hue Hub if you don't already have one which costs up to £50. You should also remember that the LED lighting system is not replaceable - you can’t simply replace the bulb. However, the likely lifetime is up to 20 years.
This is a fairly basic Hue installation and I'd be tempted at least to go for a tuneable white light. As it stands, and compared to the large range of Hue outside lights from Philips, I think this version lacks functionality. That, with the need to buy a hub, means that I don't think this is one of the best offerings from Philips.