Is Philips Hue worth it? I'm a smart lighting expert and this is my opinion

Hue smart lights aren't the cheapest smart bulbs but they're my favourite ones to buy

Philips Hue home entertainment setup
(Image credit: Signify)

Is Philips Hue worth it? Yes. It's not the cheapest smart lighting solution, but as someone who's been reviewing the best smart bulbs for many years now, I think it's the best smart lighting system you can buy.

And I've repeatedly put my money where my mouth is, too: within a few metres of my desk I have multiple Hue white & color ambience bulbs, a couple of Hue white bulbs, a Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and a Hue Gradient Lightstrip.

These weren't presents from Philips' PRs; I bought them with my own money because I think they're brilliant products.

Here are the three reasons I think Philips Hue are the best smart lighting products to buys.

1. The range of Hue products is massive

From little candle bulbs to outdoor lights that'll wash entire walls with colour, the Hue smart lighting range is by far the widest. If you've bought one of the best TVs but wish it had ambilight to make the screen seem even bigger, you can stick a Hue Play and Hue Gradient lightstrip to do just that; I did that to my ageing Samsung TV a few months back and I'm delighted every time I fire up the PS5. If you want lights to deliver subtle washes of colour, spotlights to read with or smart bulbs in every conceivable fitting, there's a Hue for you.

2. The app is brilliant

My smart home kit is on an Apple HomeKit setup, and Apple's Home app is a constant reminder of how much better the Hue app is. It's incredibly easy to use and to create great light "recipes"; the automation features are excellent, with good use of geofencing and scheduling; it integrates with your personal digital assistants and (depending on what you have installed) music services such as Spotify, and it's a great way to keep the kids amused when the Fortnite servers are down. And it's very fast to respond too.

3. It's cheaper than redecorating

I rent my home, and that means I'm very limited in what I can do to personalise it: if I were to paint one of the walls copper red or shocking pink, my landlord would want to have a stern word. But with Hue I can completely transform any room, any time, as often as I want. Bisexual lighting for the front room? A horror themed hallway for Halloween? Subtle ambience for a little atmosphere? All available with a single click or command. And unlike real redecorating, there's no risk that I'll make a complete arse of it. It's the kind of thing you don't really appreciate until you have it, and now I do I'm not going back: Hue is one of my very favorite bits of tech and my whole world would be a lot less colourful without it.

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)).