I tried the Philips Hue entertainment lighting for the first time, and it blew my mind

You have to try it!

philips hue
(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

No matter what you may think, it's undeniable that Philips Hue stands in a league of its own when it comes to smart lighting. A mix of smart features, advanced technology and accessibility make their products a highly valuable addition to any smart home, and I am a huge fan. It really is no surprise that Philips Hue holds top spaces in our best smart light switches and best smart bulbs buying guides. 

The Philips Hue entertainment lighting has been an important part of their smart lighting range for a few years now. It’s a system that links the company's extensive range of bulbs and lights with supported TVs, media players and consoles to match exactly what you're seeing on the screen. Sounds pretty cool, right? You just wait. 

Oh before I tell you more, have a look at some of our Philips Hue lighting reviews:

Philips Hue Go portable table lamp review

Philips Hue Gradient Signe Floor Lamp review

Philips Hue Festavia review

What was included in the set-up?

Philips Hue Play Light Bar

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

For my entertainment system, I picked up 3 of the Play light bars and the Play gradient light tube. I also grabbed the Hue Bridge and HDMI Sync Box. I wanted a set-up that surrounded my TV nicely whilst not being too distracting. I also wanted the lights to compliment each other, without one singular light overpowering the others. 

Play light bar 

The Philips Hue Play light bar is a highly versatile lamp that’s available in black or white, meaning you can choose a colour that compliments your TV. It comes with a stand so you can set the light bar upright or mount it to your TV - you can even just lay it flat. 

I got 3 of the Play light bars, and placed one either side behind my TV and mounted one to the top. This gave a nicely balanced look and it was incredibly easy to secure them. 

If you want 3 Play light bars in total, buy the 2-pack from the Philips Hue website for £119.99 and the extension, which costs an extra £59.99. The 2-pack comes with the power supply meaning you don’t need another one. If you only want 1 Play light bar, buy the Base Kit (1-pack) for £64.99. 

Play gradient light tube

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

Play gradient light tube (compact)

I also grabbed a Play gradient light tube and placed it along the base of my TV at the front. As I have a 50 inch TV, the compact version was the best option. However, there is a large option available for TV’s that are 60 inches or larger. 

Also available in black or white, the Play gradient light tube shines a seamless blend of colourful light across the room. You can also rotate it 340 degrees to get the perfect angle of colourful light without any glare on the TV. 

The compact version is available on the Philips Hue website for £169.99 and the large version is £189.99. 

Philips Hue Bridge

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

Hue Bridge 

In order to unlock the full features for the entertainment system, a Hue Bridge is the best thing to purchase alongside your lights. It isn’t completely necessary for them to work, but you certainly get a lot more from them when you do have one. Read our article Philips Hue Bridge: what does it do and is it necessary? for more information on this. 

You can purchase the Hue Bridge on the Philips Hue website for only £49.99 - there are also many purchasing packages available with the Philips Hue range so make sure you check these out if you're buying the Bridge with a lighting product. 

Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

HDMI Sync Box 

If you don’t plan on purchasing a Hue Bridge, then you definitely need the HDMI Sync Box for your entertainment system to work. The 4 HDMI ports allow you to connect your media devices to your Hue setup, resulting in a fast, seamless display of colourful smart light that responds to and reflects the content you watch or listen to.

It can fit nicely behind your TV as well, blending in so it’s not as noticeable. Find it on the Philips Hue website for £229.99. 

Philips Hue entertainment system: set up, features and performance 

As soon as I started setting up the system with each of the Philips Hue products, I knew it was going to be a quick and easy experience. Once I decided where I wanted each of the lights to go, each product came with a simple guide to setting it up, all starting with the Philips Hue App. 

The Philips Hue App allows you to turn your lights on and off, create automations and timers and sync your lights to your TV and music. It also allows you pick the colour, gradients and mood of your lights, all with the click of a button. You can just use the app to set up your lights via bluetooth, but it still recommends you to get a Bridge and set them up that way. 

The app also led me through the steps of setting the lights up, configuring and syncing them up with one another. You’re able to ‘name’ the room that the lights are in which is great if you plan on expanding smart lighting to other areas of your home. It also asks you to say exactly where your lights are placed around your television so they can work to their best ability. 

Once they’re all set up, you then need to download the Philips Hue Sync App. This will help you connect your media devices (gaming consoles, streaming sticks etc) to the HDMI sync box, which automatically detects which input is actively playing and switches to it. This is what brings your entertainment system together so it’s important to have this too, especially if you don’t have the Bridge. 

philips hue

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

Once you’re ready, you just need to open the Hue Sync App and start the syncing. I began watching a movie and within seconds, it knew exactly what to do. Different colours and shades started enveloping my living room and I was immersed completely. If you’re interested, I began watching Netflix’s latest romantic comedy What’s Love Got to Do with It? I won’t spoil anything but it certainly is a must-see, especially with Emma Thompson’s hilarious quips. However, there are many bollywood dance scenes and beautiful lehengas which were accompanied by incredible shades of red, orange, pink and yellow coming from the back of my TV. When the later sadder scenes came, cool tones of blue and grey were omitted, reflecting the mood entirely. It was a really incredible experience. 

I also tried syncing up the lights to my Spotify account. Once paired, all I needed was to open up the Philips Hue App and tap Start Sync in the Sync tab. I then just started listening to my playlist and the lights instantly began mirroring the beat. I really enjoyed this and can’t wait to try it out when hosting friends. 

If you’re interested in reading more about the HDMI sync box, read our review which goes into more detail about the entertainment experience altogether. 

philips hue

(Image credit: Philips Hue / Signify)

Philips Hue entertainment system: verdict 

It would be incredibly hard not to recommend the Philips Hue entertainment system. After trying it out, I can honestly say that it improved my viewing experience entirely. What’s great is that you can still use the lights to create ambience when not streaming, particularly when synced up to Spotify. It’s a really wonderful system and I can’t wait to keep using it in the future. 

Which Philips Hue products can be used with the entertainment system?

All White and colour ambiance bulbs and fixtures, as well as Hue Sync-compatible products from partner

Interested in more? Check out the 5 mistakes everyone makes with Philips Hue!

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.