Smart home technology is growing up fast. Things that once seemed impossible are now widespread, and the pace of change is remarkable. When we look back in 20 years, Philips should be heralded as the main driving force behind this technology. From the very first iOS-controlled smart bulbs to the latest home automation, the Dutch firm has plenty to be proud of. If you are just getting going with Philips, here is our complete starter guide.

Smart Lighting

Philips recently celebrated its 126th birthday, but this grand old company has some very fresh ideas. The Philips Hue range of smart light bulbs and accessories gives you total control over your home lighting. You can set custom schedules and adjust the lights to fit the mood.

Setting up Hue can be as simple as replacing a single light bulb. The basic Hue bulb comes with a wireless dimmer switch, which sticks to the wall. You can also remove the switch from its dock and control your lights from the couch.

You can add up to 10 bulbs to this setup, and control them all from one switch. It’s a really easy way to dim the lights for Netflix.

Clever Stuff

While simplicity is good, you only get the full smart home experience when you add the Philips Hue Bridge. It acts as the mothership for all your other Hue devices. It keeps the whole house in sync and lets you control your lights from your smartphone. You can even link third-party services to your Hue setup for super-smart automation.

The Bridge hub can handle up to 50 smart lights at one time. You simply connect the device to your home WiFi router and download the Philips Hue app on iOS or Android. How-To Geek made a nice tutorial on the subject, and here is the official video from Philips:

Apple users get the advantage of Homekit integration. This means you can control your Hue lights and all your other smart home devices via Siri. Meanwhile, the Philips Hue app on both platforms offers some great features.

First of all, you can set your own lighting schedules. Hue can gradually wake you up in the morning with fresh white light, or help you relax with a warm glow. Secondly, you can create preset scenes, which set the lighting for dining or watching TV. The system can also sync with your favorite playlist or Netflix stream.

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Using services such as IFTTT, you can make your lights react to whatever the day may bring. Daytime thunderstorm on the way? Watch as the lights turn on. You can even make the lights turn the color of your favorite team at game time. The video below looks at Alexa and Google Home integrations.

The Hue range contains more hardware, as well. The Motion Sensor triggers the lights whenever you enter the room, while the Lightstrip adds stunning ambient lighting.

Smart Home Technology

If you want more than smart lighting, Philips has many other devices to offer. For instance, the Philips izzy Multi-Room Audio System lets you listen to the same track from room to room.

You can simultaneously whip up a delicious meal with the Philips Digital AirFryer, and keep an eye on your kids with the Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor. In fact, you could fill your home with Philips technology.

More to Come

Philips has spent the last five years working on some remarkable smart home devices. You can expect many more great products in the years to come.

Do you use Philips products? Share your experiences in the comments!

Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he’s pretty handy with a camera, and he’s a self-confessed tweetaholic.