Philips Hue starter kits explained: which smart lighting bundle should you go for?

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philips hue bedroom set up
(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

If you've read any of my smart lighting articles before, you'll be aware of my obsession with Philips Hue. Filling your home with Philips Hue products is one of the best ways to bring light and colour into your space, and trust me, you'll never want to go back once you try it. 

The infamous brand already holds top spaces in our best smart light switchesbest outdoor lights and best smart bulbs buying guides, and we've even got a dedicated guide to the best Philips Hue lights. However, if you're considering adding Philips Hue products to your smart home set up, you may be wondering where to start. That's when (yep, you guess it) starter kits come in...

If you're unsure what these are, starter kits consist of a few Hue products that are bundled together for a cheaper price. They're a great option for people who would like to start a Philips Hue smart home, but aren't too sure which products to go for first. 

To lend a helping hand, I've put together a quick guide explaining these starter kits in the hope you'll find the one that works for you. 

What's in a Philips Hue starter kit?

As mentioned, a starter kit is the easiest way to establish your Philips Hue smart lighting setup. Whilst the products within each starter kit will vary, they always include a Philips Hue Bridge and at least one Philips Hue smart bulb or smart light. 

Hue Bridge

Think of the Hue Bridge as the brain of a Philips Hue system. It's a smart hub that stores all your settings and preferences, designed to communicate with your bulbs and smart lights to get the most out of your setup. Whilst you can control some Philips Hue lights without a Bridge, it allows you to unlock a lot more features as opposed to not having one. Make sure you check out our guide to the Hue Bridge and what it does to find out more. 

Smart bulbs / lights

Whilst all Philips Hue starter kits will include at least one bulb or light, it's important to choose the starter kit with the right type of bulbs. For example, if you'll be using your starter kit in the living room with lots of table lamps, make sure you get the right fittings. 

The other thing to note is that Philips Hue smart bulbs and lights are available in different colours. They come in White (soft white light), White Ambience (warm-to-cool white light) and White and Colour Ambience, which features white light and over 16 million colours. 

Whichever option you choose will depends on how you’ll use your smart lights. For example, White Ambience is especially useful in the kitchen, but it's fun to have White and Colour Ambience light in a space where you entertain or host. 

Accessories (optional)

Finally, some starter kits come with smart accessories, such as a Hue dimmer switch or a Hue smart button. If you get a starter kit without one and decide you need it later on, you can always add an accessory to your set-up in the Philips Hue app.

Which Philips Hue starter kit should you buy?

To figure out which Philips Hue starter kit to buy, you'll need to consider a number of factors. To begin, think about what kind of light fixtures you currently have and what room you'd like to use them in.

If you're looking to add a few smart bulbs into your living room, I'd recommend the White and Colour Ambience smart bulbs (3 pack) + dimmer switch starter kit. You'd be able to access millions of shades of white and colour light, as well as wirelessly dim them to create a relaxing environment. Three is also a nice amount, giving you the choice between using one in a lamp or a ceiling light. 

If you want to add a bit of a variety to your bedroom, why not go for the White Ambience smart bulbs (2 pack) + smart button starter kit? It's a great way to make your bedroom feel cosy in the evenings, and you can even create a routine so the bulbs mimic sunlight a few minutes before your alarm goes off. The smart button also means you can control them without having to go on your phone. 

How much do Philips Hue starter kits cost?

Philips Hue starter kits vary with cost, but they all have a large saving as opposed to buying each of the products individually. 

For example, the White and Colour Ambience smart bulbs (3 pack) + dimmer switch starter kit would cost £264.95 if all the components were bought separately. However, the starter kit is priced at £169.99, which is just over half price. 

Check out Philips Hue's range of starter kits to browse even more prices. 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.