Philip Hue light strips are an easy way to add cool lighting effects to your smart home – it’s all the easier (and cheaper) now that Hue’s light strips come with Bluetooth – you don’t. so don’t necessarily need a Hue Bridge.
The light strips are long, thin strips of 1600 lumen dimmable LED lights (15mm high, 5mm thick) that provide ambience options of color and Hue white. The back has a strip of sticky tabs, making it easy to stick to surfaces where you want to add your lighting.
There are also weatherproof outdoor versions, so you can light up your front or back yard. These are a bit larger, 20mm wide, are made of silicone and attach with clips rather than sticky tabs.
Finally, and a little different from the standard indoor and outdoor light strips, there is also the new Hue Play Sync Gradient light strip which adds a pop of color to your TV viewing.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Philips Hue line of light strips…
To set up a Hue Lightstrip, you’ll first need to shell out $ 89.99 for the Lightstrip Plus Starter Pack, which contains a 2m Lightstrip, along with the power cable and base unit.
Unlike Philips Hue smart bulbs, which simply replace your dumb bulbs in regular sockets, the Lightstrip is a stand-alone device that must be plugged into the mains.
If you want to add a Lightstrip to the exterior, you have two options to choose from: 80 inches and 197 inches. The 80 inch version will set you back $ 89.99 while the 197 inch version will cost you $ 159.99.
However, you only need to do this once – the following 1m long interior light strips can be purchased for $ 29.99 a pop and added to the existing Lightstrip. You can have up to 10m of Lightstrips all connected, and assembling them is as easy as assembling the adapter pins.
If the area you want to cover is not a measurement that matches the preset scale, don’t worry, you can cut the Lightstrip. The back tab even has scissor marks indicating the best places to cut. Currently there are no extensions for Outdoor Lightstrips.
Now the official line is you will need to put away the excess Lightstrip you cut, but if you are comfortable with a soldering iron you can (at your own risk) make it functional.
You control the Lightstrip just like you would a regular Hue bulb. Pair it with your Bridge, assign it a room, and give it a name in the Hue app, and off you go.
You actually control the base, which is attached to the power cable – it’s the bit that packs the radios to talk to the Bridge through Zigbee or your phone through Bluetooth. All the light strips you have connected are treated as a single light in the app (and any extensions you do afterwards after pairing to your Philips Hue bridge).
Just like regular Hue apps, you can control it with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT, and SmartThings – all of the shebang – and it also works, of course, with native Philips Hue controllers, such as the Tap Switch.
Third Party Hue Lightstrip Accessories
The Lightstrip Plus and the 1m extension strip are the only official Hue products in this area. However, some third-party devices work with the Hue Lightstrip to help you further customize your lighting.
Litcessory is the specialist in this area – it offers a multitude of options to extend your Lightstrip, without having to have consistent lighting.
For example, you might want 2m of light behind an armchair, then a 2m space without lighting, then another 2m of lightning behind another armchair. To do this “officially” would require two base stations and two outlets – thus two expenses for the Lightstrip Plus package.
Litcessory supplies cables that clip into the Lightstrip, which contain no lights – they just carry electricity. They have a range of different sizes – and they even have adapters to do this using an Ethernet cable.
However, the suggested maximum length of 10m remains, and this includes both lighting and wiring.
Philips Hue Sync Play gradient light strip
The Gradient is a different matter from what was explained above – but still a really cool way to supercharge your smart home lighting.
Unlike the usual Philips Hue light strips, which all need to be set to the same color, the new gradient model is able to mix shades and colors thanks to a series of individually addressable LEDs.
These LEDs are capable of producing over 16 million colors and offer 45 degree light projection and perfectly blended light gradient.
The idea is the Philips Hue Play gradient light strip sticks to the back of your TV and reproduces the colors you see on the screen.
Ideas for Philips Hue light strips
Need inspiration on where to place your Hue light strips? Fortunately, there are a ton of ambitious photos on Instagram, Pinterest and more – and we’ve rounded up some of the coolest ideas for you …