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9 Practical Uses for the Philips Hue “Smart” Bulbs

Philips Hue

Have you heard of the Hue light bulbs by Philips? They are “smart” bulbs and are part of Verizon Wireless’ Smart Home collection. I first saw Hue at the Verizon Destination Store at the Mall Of America and was blown away at what Philips Hue bulbs could do; but at almost $200 for a starter kit (3 bulbs and a bridge), I didn’t think they’d be worth it for something that seemed to be more of a party item than a necessity.

A month later, Verizon contacted me to try out the Hue smart lights so that I could learn what they could do for me and my family. Why not?? I could have fun playing with them and I wouldn’t waste $200. Um…yeah…I AM returning the bulbs to my rep but I WILL be asking Hubby if we can buy our own once we get our taxes back. Worth the $200 cost? Every cent!

The setup for the bulbs took less than five minutes connecting to our home internet and downloading the app to my smartphone. I wish I would have taken video of my girls (and my Husband’s) reactions to the bulbs! We were fascinated! The Hue bulbs can make ANY color you want! I will admit though, the novelty of having color changing lights and being able to play with them wore off very quickly. I honestly thought they weren’t worth it for my family. Then I began to dig deeper into what the Philips Hue bulbs can do and I discovered a world of practical uses!

A light for the dogs

Yes, I found Philips Hue helpful for our dogs! We often go out in the evenings and leave the dogs crated in our room with a light on. The light, however, gets turned on when we leave which means it’s on when it’s still light out. I also think the light is brighter than it needs to be. Bring on the Hue bulbs which can be programmed to turn on when the sun goes down and can be set to a soft color that’s not overly bright and gives just the right amount of light for the dogs.

Philips Hue

Teach About Light

I discovered this use by accident. I thought it would be fun to set all three lights to the primary colors and see what happened. Sure enough, as they teach you in school, the overall lighting in the room appeared white as did the white paper I had sitting on the table. However, when my daughter moved our old light bulb onto the paper, it cast a red, blue, and yellow shadow. Our chair also cast a red, blue, and yellow shadow on the wall. My girls had a ton of fun learning that together, red, blue, and yellow light make white light. They changed the tints on the bulbs to see what would happen to the shadows when the light colors changed.

A gentle timer

Do you or your children spend a little too much time in front of electronics? How about using Hue lights to set a timer and remind you to unplug? Even more fun, when the lights are green, it’s ok to be plugged in. If the lights are red, it’s back into the real world.

Don’t yell, use the lights!

Hubby’s office is in the basement. I often have to yell through the entire house in order to tell him dinner’s done or the girls are ready for bed. With the Philips Hue lights I no longer have to yell. I use my cell phone upstairs to turn the light in his office to red to let him know dinner’s ready. I turn the light blue to let him know the girls are ready to say good night.

philips hue 6


Set the lights in your house based on your mood. I found it helpful to set the lights to a more upbeat color when I needed a little motivation to get things done. Hubby and I set the lights to “sunset” mode when we wanted to relax one night and feel like we were in a warmer climate. The lights really did improve my mood overall.

Looking for the other 4 practical uses for the Philips Hue smart bulbs? Visit the Verizon Wireless Midwest Area Blog for the rest of my post. Disclosure: Verizon loaned me the bulbs but I received no compensation for this review.

Before I end, I wanted to fill you in on two fun things we did with the Hue lights…

Dance Party

Connect the Hue bulbs to a third party app and let the music control the lights! Super fun!

Scare Your Babysitter

Turn the lights off and on when you’re not home and scare your babysitter! Ok, ok, I didn’t actually do this one but I was REALLY tempted to do it! I’m sure my girls would have spilled the beans that I was using my phone to control the lights anyway.

There are tons of third party apps that let you do both crazy fun and practical things the Philips Hue lights. Just Google them and find out why they are worth every penny of the cost!

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