02.10.2015Personal Tech

9 Practical Uses For Philips Hue Connected Bulbs

This is a guest post from Jamie, a blogger at Toys In the Dryer. Jamie is a wife and mom to two girls, a French bulldog and a rescued Boxer. During the week she’s a stay-at-home mom in a southern suburb of the Twin Cities metro, and on the weekends she works as a pediatric intensive care nurse. Follow Jamie on Twitter @toysinthedryer. Disclosure: Verizon loaned Jamie the 3 bulb starter kit for her review. Single bulbs are also available.

I first saw the “smart” light bulbs at the Mall of America Verizon Destination Store, as a part of Verizon Wireless' Smart Home collection. I was blown away that the Philips Hue connected lights can make ANY color you want! But I wasn’t sure a “party item” would be worth the cost.

A month later, Verizon contacted me to try out the smart lights so 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 spend $200. Um...yeah...I AM returning the bulbs but I WILL be asking hubby if we can buy our own once we get our taxes back. Worth the $200 cost? Every cent!

My family was fascinated with the bulbs! The setup took less than five minutes connecting to our home Internet and downloading the app to my smartphone. However, the novelty of playing with color changing lights wore off very quickly, so I began to dig deeper into what the Philips Hue connected bulbs can do, and I discovered a world of practical uses!


There was a dramatic difference when I used the Philips Hue Connected Bulbs.

#1 Wake up gently

I am not a morning person. Turning on a glaring light at 5:15 am to go to work doesn't help either. With the Hue bulbs, however, I can set them to gradually come on in the morning to help me wake up more gently. I set them for a sunrise theme to mimic the sun coming up in my room. Since I can also set the intensity, I made them bright enough to give me some light but not bright enough to wake up my husband.

#2 Fall asleep better

Regular lights can often stimulate your brain to stay awake. The Hue bulbs, however, can be set to a relaxing theme to help your brain calm down. They can even be programmed to gradually turn off over time. This was good for my girls who are scared of the dark and need a little bit of light to fall asleep.


One of the fun ways we used Philips Hue Connected Bulbs.

#3 House warnings

Though we don’t own a Nest Protect, I did discover that you can couple the Hue bulbs with it to tell Hue to turn on all the lights if carbon monoxide levels get too high or blink all the lights if smoke is detected. Added protection if you can’t hear the alarms.

#4 Make it look like you’re home

Most people know you should make it appear that you're home when you're out of town. Some people put timers on their lights to turn on and off in the evening. Problem is, those timers are only set to one time and if someone is watching your house, they’ll quickly figure out that the same light turns off and on at the same time every day. The Philips Hue bulbs? They can be controlled from anywhere you have Internet access, even from across the world! Turn your lights on and off any time you want. Since you can connect up to 50 bulbs at a time to a single system, you can turn on different lights in different rooms. This definitely makes it look like someone is home!

Five more practical tips can be found on my blog, Toys in the Dryer.

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