With all the upfront costs of smart bulbs, one starts to wonder if it’s really worth it in the end. I know when I first bought my house 6 months ago, I wondered just exactly how much money I could save.
How can Philips Hue Save You Money? Philips Hue Bulbs will actually save you money in the end. Most smart bulbs are LED which use on average 75% less energy than the conventional incandescent lighting.
Isn’t that amazing?
A single Philips Hue bulb can save you over $70 through its entire projected life span (years and years, more details on this soon), so imagine if you have multiple bulbs. Having 5 bulbs would save you over $300.
How Long Do Philips Hue Bulbs Last?
Philips Hue Bulbs can last up to 15 years or 15,000 hours! They say whichever comes first. I have a feeling they’ll last much longer as companies usually list their threshold lower than their actual shelf life.
Philips also claims that each smart bulb uses roughly 80% less power than an ordinary incandescent bulb! Wow.
They save you money, last longer, and use less energy. Are you starting to see the argument on a good ROI?
How To Maximize Saving Money with Philips Hue Bulbs
You want to save money right? Well, make sure you are using your Philips Hue Bulbs in the most optimized ways.
Get a Philips Hue Dimmer Switch! It is great for adjusting things and setting scenes. It’s also great for dimming the lights if you want to read a book or watch a movie. In result, your lighting can set the perfect scene while saving you more money!
A bonus tip is that the dimmer doesn’t require a Philips Hub to work, so if you don’t want to purchase a hub and are happy with a bulb and switch – this is the perfect solution.
Setting a schedule for when your smart bulbs turn on and off are a great feature to setup too. For example, you can set it to turn off every night at 10 pm. That way, you don’t need to worry about certain rooms or know you are covered if you go out of town.
Use and check your app frequently so you are positive that lights are on/off at your home. Smart bulbs give you the ability to control your lights when you are away from home. Be sure to take advantage of it!
Do Philips Hue Bulbs Use More Electricity?
There is concern that smart bulbs in general can use more energy because technically they are always “on”. They have to be “on” and left on so when you tell your app to turn your bulb on, the switch is already “on”.
Philips Hue Bulbs do not use more electricity compared to a traditional incandescent bulb.
They draw very little energy that it won’t even matter to you. Each bulb always being on would cost less than 2 cents per month. Honestly, don’t worry about it.
Is Philips Hue Bulb Worth It?
Philips Hue Bulbs are absolutely worth it. If you plan on using them for the next 20-30 years, they will pay for themselves. As we said earlier, 1 bulb will save you over $70 through its 15 years/15,000 hours of life. That already covers the cost of 1 premium bulb.
Combine that with the convenience of being able to turn the lights off a while your at work or from the couch – it’s tough to beat.
Additionally, if you are using a traditional light bulb then it’ll save you even more. Philips bulbs are LED so most of the savings come from LEDs consuming far less energy. They even run less hotter than ordinary bulbs.
90% of energy is given off as heat with the old school bulbs, basically throwing money away.
Imagine switching out the most frequently used light bulbs in your home. The savings would quantify even more over time and you would most definitely see the savings on your next energy bill.
Does Philips Hue Smart Bulb Work With Alexa?
Yes, Philips Smart Bulbs work with Alexa. Thankfully, Philips and Amazon Alexa have a solid integration built out and the setup process is easy.
You’ll want to make sure you have your Alexa enabled device (Smartphone) and download the Amazon Alexa App. Open that app and find the menu area where you’ll then select the “Skills”. Here you’ll search and download the “Hue” Skill.
Through the Hue skill, you’ll sync it to your smart bulbs and voila. You can turn your lights on through Alexa using voice!
Does Philips Hue Smart Bulb Work With Google Home or HomeKit?
Yes, Philips Hue Smart Bulbs work with Google Home and HomeKit. One of the great things is how many other different smart devices that Philips works with. It can definitely be a headache to discover your smart devices aren’t compatible.
Now you can tell your Google Assistant or Siri to turn the lights off too.
Buying a big name brand like Philips Hue has its benefits, and this is one of them.
Reasons I wouldn’t Buy The Philips Hue Bulb
Wait, what? So, with Philips Hue being the king of Smart Bulbs, comes the negative sides of it. Unfortunately, Philips Hue Smart Bulbs are not perfect.
Philips Hue Bulbs Are Expensive
A single premium smart bulb may cost roughly $40 on Amazon. The White only bulbs are cheaper ($15ish), but then you don’t get the different color options. You also still need a hub bridge if you don’t have one, and they aren’t cheap.
These bulbs can get pretty expensive. Buying a Kit with 4 bulbs plus a Hub will run you roughly $150+ for the newest generation. Ouch! I mean, who’s going to only buy 1 bulb to make it smart?
If you can settle for only white bulbs, you can save some costs. But is that a sacrifice you’re willing to make?
You Need a Hub Bridge
In order for your Philips bulbs to work correctly, it requires a hub to communicate to your WiFi network. This means you will need to set it up and connect it to your network by physically using an Ethernet cable (internet cable) and plug it into your hub. Don’t forget the power cable to power your hub.
Buying the Philips Hues most recent Hub Bridge separately will run you roughly $40-50. Not exactly cheap.
Taking that in mind, things can get pretty bulky and there are also certain ranges that the bulb needs to be to the hub. There are other alternative smart bulbs that don’t require a hub that still work similar to Philips.
Philips Hue Smart Bulbs have a Maximum Operating Range- 98 feet from the Hub Bridge. Pro Tip: If you still need more range, don’t buy another bridge, just get a Wi-Fi Extender and connect the bridge to that instead.
Why Does The California Version Cost More?
If you go to Amazon you’ll notice Philips Hue Smart Bulbs cost more if you live in California.
Why does the California version of the Philips Hue Smart Bulb cost
This is because California has new label requirements which forced Philips Hue to package them differently. Now there is packaging for everyone else, and a new packaging standard for California residents.
This in result caused the price they sell it to you to increase (if you live in California). It’s only by a small margin of increase, but buying multiple bulbs can certainly add up the costs.
Other Alternatives To Philips Hue Bulbs
My favorite alternative would have to be Sylvania Smart Bulbs. They are roughly $30 each for the premium colored bulbs compared to Philips Hues $40 bulbs. You think about buying 5, 10, or more bulbs, and the costs can really start to pile up. One downside is that Sylvania’s bulbs require a hub.
Yee Light is another great alternative and they don’t require a hub. They cost roughly the same at $30ish on Amazon too. The best part? Did I mention? They don’t require a Hub! (Sorry, I’m a fan of less clutter)
A super cheap option is the Cree Smart Bulbs. The single white bulbs are only $14 on Amazon and are cheaper than most smart bulbs on the market. You won’t find many at $14 or less that are reliable. You will need a hub and again, these are only in the color white.
In the end, I would say to purchase whichever smart bulb depending on your budget. A lot of these bulbs are really really similar. If you are okay with having a hub and diving into the Philips ecosystem – then go for it. They offer a great line of products and I don’t mean to sway you one way or the other. Don’t forget, a big known brand like Philips Hue will usually have higher quality products plus good customer support.
I hate bad customer support. What if something doesn’t work properly or you have a question? Having a responsive support team can be very helpful. Just some things to keep in mind.
I just want to present the best information so you can make the best decision for you!
If you are on a tight budget, then consider the cheaper options like the Cree Smart Bulbs. Thank you for reading and good luck on your smart home journey!