Philips Hue makes it a one-two, wins Best outdoor lighting (sponsored by AEG) at T3 Awards 2019 too

Best indoor smart lights; best outdoor smart lights

T3 Awards 2019: Best Outdoor lighting

Time was that Philips Hue only worked indoors, and if you ventured into your back yard, you were forced to slum it with old-fashioned, non-smart lights, often in the shape of pretend flaming torches. We know, terrible right? But at the T3 Awards 2019 we're celebrating Philips Hue Outdoor – specifically the (take a deep breath, now) Hue Lily Outdoor Colour Ambience Spot Light Set – as our Best outdoor lighting winner, sponsored by AEG.

Lily: our favourite from the numerous Hue Outdoor lighting options

This win could be considered for the Hue Outdoor range as a whole, since there are a lot of excellent choices to be had from it. There's accent lighting, wall lanterns, and more security-focused, but still decorative, floodlights but our current favourite is the Lily spotlight system. 

These low-voltage spots are best bought in a starter pack, which nets you three, matt-black, aluminium spot lights that are perfect for lighting up shrubs, flowers, trees and life-size statues of yourself. 

Easy to setup – if you have an outdoor power outlet, anyway – the trio of spots link together using supplied cabling with waterproof connectors – total coverage is about 25 metres in length. Then you just plunge 'em into the ground or mount them on something more rigid, and fire up your Hue app. 

From there you can choose the colour (or quality of 'white' light) and brightness of each spot, painting your garden with pastel shades, or picking out features in white. The spots output up to 600 lumens and are plenty bright enough to illuminate trees and shrubs up to about four metres in height, once dusk arrives.

Be warned, though: Hue lighting is addictive and once you get into it, you will soon find yourself adding extra Lily spots (they go for £80 each, although look out for Hue deals and, of course, cheap Hue on Amazon Prime Day), additional models from the Hue Outdoor range, and even talking to your lights, courtesy of Alexa, Siri and Google

• Buy for £275 from John Lewis & Partners

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."