Philips Hue is one of the pioneers of smart lighting and as expected does it very well. The new outdoor range adds more flexibility to the Philip Hue system.
Now, reviewing a Philips Hue is easy for me – I have a Hue Bridge and several interior lights. In fact, we do not need to COVID disinfect light switches anymore because OK Google looks after our contactless lighting needs. And because Hue uses economical LEDs, we can afford to have a few on around the home for effect.
The new Philips Hue Outdoor range includes white and colour (or both) and optionally a Hue Bridge
- Ambient Lightstrip in 2 and 5 metre
- Lilly Spotlight
- Impress Wall Light
- Discover Floodlight
- Fuzo Wall Light
- Impress Pedestal light
- Calla Large Pedestal light
- Fuzo Pedestal Light
- Motion Sensor
- And a range of cable extensions and piggyback plugs
We received an Impress Pedestal Light and an Ambient 5-metre Lightstrip to review.
What is Philips Hue?
We defined that in the original indoor review but here is a quick overview
- The Hue Bridge uses Zigbee Light-Link protocol to control up to 50 Hue lights up to 100 metres away (further with unobstructed line-of-sight). You can use Hue bulbs with a variety of other Zigbee controllers as well. Zigbee is not Wi-Fi but a low powered smart home control protocol.
- The Philips Hue app allows you to allocate lights to zones/rooms and use pre-set or custom themes and set routines (like Sunrise)
- You can link the app to most voice assistants
- Philips Hue uses low voltage LED lamps, so power consumption is negligible
Setting up Philips Hue
Remember that all lights must communicate with the Hue Bridge, and that means they are within 100 metres (or less as building materials can cut the range). It also appears that the hub Lights can act as a mesh able to accept a signal from another light up to 20 metres away (not tested).
In practice, we have found that for a typical cement/block/brick/drywall home that stated distance is ambitious, but there is a trick. Once you establish the link at a closer distance to the Hub, you can then take the light further away. The only time you may need to bring it closer is for firmware updates.
But there is another issue, and that is placement. All lights require 240V power for a plug pack. Naturally, the outdoors ones use IP67 rated 24V/1.67A (40W) packs and 5-metre IP67 extension cables ($18). You can extend the cable to 35 metres in total.
In the Philips, setup guide it shows lights can daisy-chain via a third-party 2-pin Exceedconn-CSA-2DA-T-connector (above right) to a maximum of 40W. As the Impress Pedestal uses 8W, you can add up to four more, but we cannot find any connectors for sale in Australia. You can get them from the U.S. at US$27 plus $40 freight, but that makes it uneconomical. You can also get third-party extension cables and joiners.
So, work out your placement and power needs first. And a warning – each light may have a different IP weather rating.
Philips Hue Impress Outdoor Pedestal
- Website here
- Price: $261 (prices from JB Hi-Fi)
- Warranty: 2-years
- Country of Manufacture: China
- Country of ownership: Signify N.V. is a European company set in 2018 up to design and distribute Philips Lighting
The black, aluminium and glass Impress Outdoor Pedestal is really quite small at 400 (h) x100mm (square) x 1.935kg. So, if you want a higher bollard style, then none in the Philips range will suit.
While it comes with a garden spike, its IP44 rating is more weather-resistant that weatherproof. The first ‘four’ means ingress proof against large ants, and the second means water splashing against the enclosure for 10 minutes from any direction (light rain) will have no harmful effect. So, it is best for patio use. The Lily Outdoor spot is IP67, and we think best for in-garden/path use.
It comes with a 240V AC to 24V/1.67A (40W) IP67 rated transformer with a 15.m power cabled and a 2-metre DC 2-pin female screw-down cable.
The light comes from 2x8W (12V/1.33A/16W) LEDs capable of outputting 1200 lumens in total equal to a 49W incandescent bulb or about 350 nits (which we think is a more appropriate light measurement).
- Pitch black <50
- Dusk to Night 100-200
- Indoor, daylight (daylight ambient) 200-500
- Ambient indoor office lights 400-500
- Indirect sunlight (in the shade) 500+
- Task lighting 700-1000
- Outdoor daylight >1000
That light can produce up to 16million colour shades or 2000-6500° Kelvin (warm to cold white). In practice, there are 11 pre-sets plus any number of new scenes you want to create.
GadgetGuy’s take – The Philips Hue Impress Outdoor Pedestal is a nice addition as a patio light
If you set it to 100% maximum cold white, it can light a large 1.8 m outdoor dining table. If you add colour or warmer shades that reduces accordingly. The light comes out from four sides casting around a metre circumference.