Philips Hue Lux Review: Smart Lighting For Less

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If you’ve been eyeing the Philips Hue connected lighting series with keen interest but are also unwilling to spend the big bucks the current series demands, now’s your chance to get on board: Philips has kicked off pre-orders for the Hue Lux line of bulbs, including individual units and a starter kit including two bulbs and a base. The Lux trades programmable colors for a cheaper price tag, but most consumers won’t miss the extra features.

The Philips Hue Lux retails for $29.99 per bulb, which is half the price of the standard Philips Hue and Hue Downlights and Spotlights. The Starter Kit retails for $99.99 U.S., which is $100 cheaper than the starter kit for the standard color-changing bulbs, albeit with one fewer bulb included in the kit. The trade-off is that they only offer up a soft white light, which isn’t changeable, but all other Hue features are included, including times, geofencing, scene compatibility with other Hue apps and remote brightness control.

The Lux is a 750 lumen bulb at max brightness, which is roughly equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent lightbulb. The original Hue and the Hue Downlight produce 600 lumens and 630 lumens respectively, so theoretically you’re getting brighter maximum light here, but the softer light might appear less bright than a more pure white you can get out of the adjustable rest of the range.

Overall, the Hue Lux is a good option for those looking to supplement their existing Hue setup with bulbs for their desk and floor lamps, and for other installations where they just need basic lighting without all the fancy extras like color changing in sync with media playback. If you think about the fact that you can kit out a kitchen’s worth of six overhead sockets for $180 instead of $360, that’s going to make a big difference. The Lux bulbs also use 80 percent less power than a traditional incandescent bulb, and should last a lot longer, too, with estimated life span tapped at 22 years, adding to the overall value proposition.

It’s about twice the price of the non-Hue 60W equivalent Philips of the same design, but you get the connectivity in the mix, which really increases its overall versatility. If you’re a Hue system user, or if you’ve been curious about the Philips smart bulb range, this is a great new addition to the lineup. It’s available for pre-order now through Amazon and the Apple Store in the U.S., and begins shipping in the first week of September.