T3 Awards 2020: Philips Hue is this year's smart lighting winner

Philips Hue's expanded range and improved connectivity wins it our Best Smart Lighting award

T3 Awards 2020: Best smart lighting
(Image credit: Philips Hue)

Smart lighting is a lot of people's entry point into the world of smart home tech, and Philips Hue has become almost totally synonymous with it. And that's for good reason – in the past, it was way ahead on ease of use and simple connectivity. But what wins our Best Smart Lighting gong at the T3 Awards 2020 is how it continues to develop its range, keeping it as the lighting platform to buy into thanks to both technical improvements and the broadness of its range, offering every kind of fixture you could hope for.

In the last year, Philips Hue has added Bluetooth to its bulbs as standard for the first time, which means you no longer need the Hue Bridge to get started – you can jump in with a couple of bulbs inexpensively (controlled directly from the app). You can then add the Bridge later if you choose, which gives you more smart control: being able to group lights to control together, and adding voice assistant support (plus integration with other smart home tech).

Then there's the Philips Hue Play range, which includes an HDMI Sync box that connects to your TV and enables special uplighting Hue Play lights (and your other Hue bulbs) to spread the colours of what you're watching around your living room, adding to the ambiance.

• Read our full Philips Hue Play review

Philips Hue has also expanded its design range this year with new retro-style filament bulbs and many more outdoor lighting options, so there's something suitable for any architectural style or lighting aim.

• See the best Philips Hue Outdoor lighting

Those extra offerings and features come on top of the reasons Philips Hue was already a leader in the field: superb automation and control options, major openness and compatibility with others smart platforms so that you can do clever things with the bulbs, and great reliability.

We also love that you can get into Philips Hue at different prices – you can go with less expensive bulbs that let you adjust the white balance and brightness, or go with bulbs that let you choose from 16 million colours, to create whatever moody effect you want.

When you add everything together, Philips Hue always had to be our T3 Awards 2020 winner for Best Smart Light – the combination of breadth in the range, flexibility and quality is simply unmatched.

• Check out more of our T3 Awards 2020 winners!

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.