• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Philips Hue is a worthy option

    • Written by SJ G from Portland

    I began experimenting with smart home devices after purchasing the Echo Dot from Amazon on Prime Day. I have devices from Philips, TP-Link and iHome.

    The basic Philips starter kit comes with a hub, an Ethernet cable and two small light bulbs. The introductory bulbs are dimmable, but do not have features such as variations of light tones or color. The Philips bulbs work with either HomeKit or Echo,. You must use the bridge. (Having the same bulbs in both platforms can be confusing.)

    The Home app in iOS should recognize Philips smart bulbs and ask for a code from the device or its packaging as soon as you are connected to your home network. You scan the code with the camera on your phone or tablet. Setup takes place within the app. There is also a Hue app for discovery and adjustments. The bulbs have worked successfully with my iPhone 6S and iPad, latest generation. So far, the bulbs have not worked with Apple TV, fourth generation. Siri does not recognize them on my MacBook Air, either.

    What about the alternatives? TP-Link light bulbs and smart plugs are independent of a hub. The Wi-Fi technology is built into the bulb or smart plug. This makes the bulbs bigger and heavier. TP-Link gear works with Echo, but not with HomeKit. The iHome smart plug works with both HomeKit and Echo. It is a wall plug you connect the device to. A smart bulb, for example, is not required for on/off instructions.

    10 of 15 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    So Much Fun

    • Written by Anthony H from Tucson

    Set up is very simple, works beautifully with Siri. Every once in a while they will show a status of no response, but a rest at the actual wall switch resets the bulb. Love love love telling Siri to turn lights on and off. Automations can be set so that when you get home after dark certain lights will automatically turn on. An affordable must have for entry level smart home HomeKit fun. Requires Hue Hub 2.0 FYI

    31 of 33 people found this useful