There has been a rush to enable the “smart home,” everything from appliances, door locks, speakers, thermostats and more. I barely have time to make sure my WiFi access point’s software is up-to-date, let alone update the firmware of my oven. With that in mind, it was with trepidation that I took the plunge and purchased a set of 4 Philips Hue light bulbs. I was sent to Target to buy some orange light strings for Halloween (which I never said I would buy because I think it detracts from the Christmas lights tradition) and first had to stop at Best Buy and stumbled across the Hue system. Impulse overtook me. The next thing I knew, my wallet was $200 lighter and I was screwing the light bulbs into fixtures around the house, installing the Android app and updating light bulb firmware. Update light bulb firmware?

In short, the lights are pretty amazing for a couple of reasons. First and foremost they are a great way to set a mood and augment any sort of holiday.celebration. The bulbs can be controlled individually or by group. In a future post I will address “memory preservation,” but in short I wanted to make sure I have pictures of how our house looks when decorated for the seasons:

Did you go to bed and forget to shut off the lights downstairs? Shut them off with the app from the comfort of your bed!

From a photography perspective, they are standard A19 bulbs that fit into your normal lamp socket, as well as the sockets commonly used with photography umbrella stands. My daughter and I had fun setting up the following picture.

My only criticism is that the bulbs individually are not bright enough when used as a normal light bulb. Yes, you can see fine, but reading a book is difficult unless you are within 1-2 feet from the bulb. As a group, such as use within a chandelier over a table, they give off plenty of light. Fifteen bulbs and roughly $600 later, I am glad I bought them.