Philips Hue: Setting Up Starter Kit and The Best Apps

February 8, 2019

Phillips hue

Philips Hue is undoubtedly the leader of the smart lighting pack despite stiff competition from LIFX, Sengled and Ikea.

The first Hue bulb snapped into action at the end of 2012 with the lighting system one of the first smart home products to get serious traction.

Today, we’ll explore the subtle differences between the 3 Philips Hue starter kits and show you just how easy it is to get up and running. We’ll also take a glimpse at the Philips Hue app itself and a selection of 8 great third-party apps. Beyond that, we’ll also show you how to use the starter kit with both Alexa and IFTTT.

What To Think About Before Buying a Philips Hue Starter Kit: Bulb Type and Size

We’re here to make things easier for you and not more confusing, so we’ll stop short of outlining every possible configuration of Philips Hue Starter Kit.

These kits all consist of a mix of smart bulbs with the Philips Bridge… More on that Bridge shortly.

Bulb Type

First thing’s first, you need to think about the type of bulbs that would make most sense in your connected home. You’ve got 3 broad choices with Philips Hue:

• White
• White Ambiance
• White and Color Ambiance


If you’re looking to invest in some smart lighting on a budget, the basic white bulbs make the perfect starting point. With all Starter Kits and Philips Hue bulbs in general, you can always build out and tweak your system over time, so don’t worry about being committed to a more limited bulb. You won’t be.

While you’ll be limited to a single shade of white, you’ll be able to dim these bulbs so you still get some degree of control and the price is extremely competitive.

White Ambiance

Stepping up to the mid-level bulbs, you’ll still be restricted to white but you’ll get a variety of shades at your disposal.

These white ambiance bulbs work well if you want to adjust the light in the room according to the time of day.

White and Color Ambiance

If money is no object, the range-topping white and color ambiance Philips Hue bulbs are by no means cheap but in return you’ll get the smartest of lighting.

The 16 million colors affords you almost infinite choice when it comes to tailoring the atmosphere in your smart home and the priciest Starter Kit gives you a number of these white and color ambiance bulbs to get things going in fine style.

Bulb Size

You might have seen letters and numbers preceding the different types of Philips Hue bulbs and wondered what they referred to.

This code simply expresses the size of the bulb in either millimeters or 1/8 inch depending on where you live and which system of measurement is in place.

The A-19 bulb prevalent in these kits, for example, is a bulb of standard US-size measuring 19/8 inches (2 and 3/8 inches) in diameter. This translates to a bulb with a standard base.

Variations from A-19 come in the form of downlights, LED strips, and smaller candelabra lights.

With your bulb type of size all lined up, it’s time to choose between the 3 most popular Starter Kits on offer:

change the color of your lighting when it rains or arrange for your lights to come on as you return home, create a simple IFTTT recipe and enjoy even smarter control of your Hue Starter Kit.

Final Word

As you can see, setting up your Philips Hue Starter Kit couldn’t be much easier and you’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to control.

We’ll be rounding out the month strongly as usual, so pop back next week for more daily smart home news.

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