Philips Hue's new smart lights look like an awesome PC gaming monitor upgrade

Hue's new lights offer SmartThings music sync and include a great lightstrip for the best gaming monitors

Hue Gradient Lightstrip for PC
(Image credit: Signify)

One of my favourite bits of tech is the Hue lightstrip on the back of my mini-LED TV: whether I'm gaming on my PS5 or Xbox Series X or just kicking back with Apple TV+ or Netflix, the way the Hue Sync Box throws light around my room makes everything more immersive whether it's the Mars landscapes of For All Mankind or the lush environments of Horizon: Forbidden West. And now you can get the Hue Gradient Lightstrip for the best gaming monitors, so PC gamers can have all the fun too.

The new PC gaming lightstrip isn't Hue's only new addition. It's also launching really good-looking Lightguide bulbs. And the Hue app now works with Samsung SmartThings to sync your lights with your music, no matter what app it's coming from on your Galaxy phone; until now, the only available music sync was with Spotify, which I don't subscribe to. So I'm hoping this feature will come to HomeKit too.

There's also a new "pretend I'm home" feature that Hue calls Mimic and which gives you lots of options to light different rooms in different ways when you're out.

What's new from Hue?

The new Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip from PC doesn't need the pricey Hue Play Sync box I have behind my TV, and it works with flat or curved monitors. There are three versions to begin with: 24/27 inch and 32/34 inch versions for single monitor setups, and a longer strip designed for three 24/27-inch displays. If you have Corsair kit you can also use CORSAIR ICUE to sync your Hue lights with your gaming accessories, which is pretty nifty.

The new Lightguide bulbs are really impressive, too. They're clear, glossy bulbs with an interior tube where you'd normally have a filament, and that tube is designed for diffuse light in the colours and temperatures you choose. I think they have a really nice Blade Runner neon feel to them, and you can get them in three designs: a giant globe, a smaller ellipse and a triangle. 

Philips Hue Lightguide

(Image credit: Signify)

The Play Gradient Lightstrip will go on sale in the UK on 13 September, with prices starting at £129.99 for the 24/27-inch model; Lightguide bulbs won't appear until later this year, with a starting price of £74.99. The changes to the Hue app are available now, so head for your App Store to get the latest version.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).