Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Good lighting is an absolute necessity in any home. However, as incandescent bulbs have fallen out of favour in recent years due to their high energy consumption and have even been banned in some cases, many people are switching to LEDs.

Nowadays, it is particularly worthwhile to take a look at so-called smart lights. Lamps that can be controlled remotely using a smartphone or smart home device. Pioneers in this technology are the HUE Smart Lights from Philips.

In our Philips LED test 2021 we have taken a closer look at these LEDs for you. We have also researched the most important information and compiled and answered frequently asked questions for you in this guide. This should help you to find the right LED for you.




Summary

  • Philips LED makes it easy to illuminate both the interior and exterior of your home.
  • A smart light system is easy to install and lets you control the light in your home from anywhere.
  • Depending on the use, different forms of Philips LED are best suited.

The Best Philips LED: Our Choices

Buying and Evaluation Criteria of Philips LED

Philips LED lamps are available in a wide variety of designs. The individual product variants can be distinguished according to the following criteria.

In the following paragraphs we explain what is important for the individual criteria.

Luminosity and beam angle

Different lamps shine with different brightness. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to how strong the luminosity of a Philips LED is in each case. Depending on the size of the room, a different luminosity may be needed. For a small room, a lamp of 5 watts may be sufficient, whereas for a large living room, you should probably calculate around 30 watts.

In addition to the actual brightness, the beam angle must also be taken into account. With a steep angle, the light can illuminate a special corner of the room or garden as direct spot lighting. A lamp with a shallow angle can bathe the entire room in atmospheric light.

Durability

LEDs have a relatively long life compared to other light sources. The service life is expressed in so-called L-values. L-80, for example, means that the corresponding lamp should still retain 80% of its original luminosity after 6000 hours.

However, normal consumption is not the greatest danger for LEDs. Many lamps simply go out after a certain time. This is often due to faulty construction. If the LED is made of inferior material, it can break and the internal power supply is interrupted.

Many lamps simply go out after a certain time. This is often due to faulty construction.

To buy a long-lasting LED lamp, it is important to look at the calculated burn time. On the other hand, it is necessary to buy lamps of high quality from established companies such as Philips to avoid technical problems.

Place of use

A good LED like the ones from Philips can be adapted for use in different places. Depending on what you need your light source for, there are different types of lamps to buy.

Depending on the place of use, one of the three variants may be required:

  • Room lamp: For indoor use, a simple room lamp is sufficient. It should be durable and energy efficient.
  • Moisture-proof lamp: Moisture-proof lamps are made in such a way that high humidity does not damage them. They are used in bathrooms, cold storage rooms and car parks.
  • Outdoor lamp: A lamp installed outdoors must be able to withstand changes in the weather. The lamp must be designed to withstand wind and rain. In addition, it must not allow small parts to get inside it.

Dimmability

A modern LED, should be able to be adjusted to different light settings. Most Philips lamps, for example, have this feature. Dimming occurs within the lamp by using semiconductors that allow different amounts of current to flow through the LED.

To get a dimmable light that works, it needs two things. First, the lamp must have a dimming function, meaning it must be able to regulate the flow of current. Secondly, it also requires LEDs that are able to work with different amounts of current and light up without breaking.

Remote control

In the age of smart homes and Alexas, it makes sense to make sure that even when buying a Philips LED, it can be linked to the home's internal system.

Smart lights can be easily controlled remotely via smartphone, tablet or smart home.

Smart lights can be easily controlled remotely via smartphone, tablet or smart home.

This is done either directly via a Bluetooth connection, or via W-LAN directly or via the Internet.

This almost always requires a corresponding app to be installed on the end devices.

Motion and daylight sensor

Especially if an LED is designed for outdoor use, a good light and motion sensor can be an advantage. After all, the lights should come on when it gets dark or when you come near them.

Since an outdoor lamp should only come on in the evening and at night, Philips LEDs have special light sensors that measure how bright it is. A photodiode in the sensor measures the amount of incident light and activates the lamp as soon as it falls below a preset value. When it gets bright again in the morning and the light measurement detects this, the lamp switches off again.

The motion sensor uses infrared to detect when a person is in the vicinity and then switches the lamp on accordingly. Both types of sensors are usually installed together. So when it gets dark, the lamp switches on. Whenever someone walks past the lamp from that moment on, the light switches on.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Philips LED

If you want to buy a Philips LED, there are some questions you should ask yourself. Below we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them for you.

What makes Philips LEDs different from other manufacturers?

As a company, Philips is one of the best known and most highly regarded in the entire market. They are known for their high quality electronics. For this reason, it is never a bad idea to trust a brand like Philips when making a purchase.

Philips LEDs specifically stand out for their high quality. They are energy-efficient and long-lasting. Their high profile also makes it very easy to buy new lamps when the parts used do need to be replaced.

Philips LED-1

A lamp with a low blue light content is easy on the eyes. (Image source: Taofeek Obafemi Babatunde / Unsplash)

Philips LEDs are also special because of their Eye Comfort technology. They shine in a colour that is very gentle on the eyes. The bulbs have only a low blue light content and are built to flicker as little as possible, causing very little strain on the eyes.

What types of LEDs does Philips offer?

If you want to buy a Philips LED, it is important to know exactly which one you need. The models are divided into the following categories:

Type Area of use of the lamp
Ceiling lights Mounted on the ceiling to illuminate the entire room
Wall lights Mounted on the wall to create atmospheric light
Floor lamps Can be placed anywhere in the room, create atmospheric light
Outdoor lights Lamps specifically designed for installation outside the home
Damp proof lights For use in damp areas such as bathrooms and cold rooms

Below, we have presented the different models and described what they are used for.

Ceiling luminaires

Ceiling lights are probably the best-known way of lighting a room. The lamp mounted on the ceiling casts its light at a wide angle towards the floor. A large part or the entire room is illuminated.

For general lighting, it is important to ensure that ceiling luminaires have a flat light angle and diffuse light. These characteristics make it easy to envelop an entire room in uniform and cosy light.

Of course, it is also possible to work with spotlights and steep angles. If you intend to do this, however, it may be necessary to distribute additional light sources in the room to illuminate the entire space sufficiently.

Advantages
  • Wide illumination area
  • ideal as primary light source
Disadvantages
  • Very general light
  • light often not enough for work surfaces

Wall luminaires

Unlike ceiling luminaires, whose primary use is to illuminate a room as completely as possible, wall luminaires can be used somewhat more specifically. On the one hand, wall luminaires can be used for general room lighting. In addition, wall luminaires can be used as mood lighting or to support ceiling luminaires.

Because of their position on the wall, wall luminaires can create accents in your living room. The right lighting can make a room seem larger than it actually is. Wall lights can also draw attention to a specific location within a room. Thus, it is possible to establish places such as a sofa as a primary visual target, making it inviting for guests to sit down.

A special type of wall light are so-called LED strips. A long strip on which an LED is attached every few centimetres. These strips can be drawn to different lengths and run along the wall. This creates mood lighting in the entire room.

Advantages
  • Create accents in the room
  • Ideal as mood lighting
Disadvantages
  • Can only illuminate near the wall
  • often not bright enough as a primary light source

Floor lamps

Unlike the previously named light sources, floor lamps are not suitable in most cases for illuminating a room as primary light sources. Instead, floor lamps are ideal as supporting light sources to create mood or fill gaps in the primary lighting.

Unlike ceiling lights and some wall lights, floor lamps are powered by a power cord in a wall socket or by a rechargeable battery. There is no need to lay a power cable. This makes it very easy to replace floor lamps. Simply unplug the lamp and replace it with a new one.

Unlike ceiling lamps and some wall lamps, floor lamps are powered by a power cable in a socket or by means of a rechargeable battery. There is no need to lay a power cable.

Floor lamps are particularly suitable for illuminating places in a room where additional light is needed. For example, a floor lamp as a light source for a reading corner can help to relieve eye strain. Otherwise, the more diffuse ceiling light would have to be used for reading.

Advantages
  • Ideal for accent lighting
  • Illuminates work surface
  • Creates mood
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable as primary light
  • cables can get in the way

Outdoor lights

If you want to install a lamp outside your home, the luminaires must be specially designed for this purpose. Outdoors, there are other requirements that your lamps must meet in order not to break.

Outdoor luminaires are specially designed to withstand high differences in weather conditions.

Outdoor luminaires are specially designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Even rain and snow do not affect this lamp. The outer frame is designed to prevent dust and small particles from getting into the lamp and interfering with the electronics.

Outdoor lamps are usually equipped with light and motion sensors. When dusk falls, the light sensor activates the lamps. The light switches on automatically as soon as someone comes near.

Advantages
  • Sturdy enough to use outdoors
  • light and motion sensor allow automatic switch-on
Disadvantages
  • Animals can trigger sensor

Damp room lights

If a room tends to have high humidity for various reasons, the moisture may damage the electronics in the lamps. In such places, it is worth investing in a moisture-proof luminaire.

The lampholder of a moisture-proof luminaire is beam-protected. This prevents liquid from entering the lamp, even if it is directly splashed with water. The inside of these lamps consist of long tubes with a bulb that does not generate heat.

Moisture-proof lamps are used in places where high humidity can occur or where there is a direct risk of water exposure. For example, these lamps are found in bathrooms, cold storage rooms and warehouses, but also in changing rooms and car parks.

Advantages
  • Withstands high humidity
  • Large illumination area
Disadvantages
  • Light very diffuse
  • tubes sometimes difficult to dispose of

At what prices are Philips LED lamps sold?

The price of a Philips LED varies greatly depending on exactly what kind of light you want. A simple floor lamp, for example, is cheaper than a complete smart light system.

Type Cost (€)
Ceiling lamp 20 - 150
Floor lamp 40 -150
Outdoor light 60 - 130
LED strips 40 - 70
Smart light 100 - 150

How can Philips LEDs be controlled remotely?

If you choose to buy a Philips LED Smart Light, once installed you will be able to control the light throughout your home from your sofa, bed or anywhere else you have your smartphone in hand.

Philips LED-2

With a smart light, you can control all the lights in your house with your smartphone (Image source: Stephan Bechert / Unsplash)

There are a number of ways you can control your smart light remotely:

  • App: After you have installed your smart light system in your house, you need to connect it to the wifi in your house. Once you have done this, you can control your lights using an app, access to which you purchase when you buy the system. In addition to W-LAN, this is also possible directly via Bluetooth.
  • Smart Home: Once your lighting system is installed, you can link it to your Smart Home system. This allows you to adjust your light from anywhere you have a connection to your Smart Home. You can even control your light with your voice.
  • Dimmer: It is also possible to control the Philips Smart Light as usual with a light switch or dimmer. When you buy a smart light system, you always get a dimmer with it, which you can link to your smart system and hang on the wall.

What are the alternatives to Philips LED lights?

Of course, Philips LEDs are not the only way to light up your home. Below we've listed a few alternatives for you to decide what works best for you.

Incandescent bulbs

The classic lighting option. In recent decades, most interiors in private households were lit by incandescent bulbs. To this day, they are characterised by their low price and high popularity.

The biggest problem of the classic light bulb is its energy inefficiency.

An incandescent bulb contains a wire, usually made of tungsten, which is made to glow by an electric current. The resulting infrared radiation causes a luminescent gas inside the bulb to glow.

The biggest problem with the classic light bulb is that it is extremely energy-inefficient due to the way it works. A large part of the energy used is given off as heat and cannot be used effectively. In addition, the light bulb is comparatively short-lived due to the way it works.

Discharge lamps

Discharge lamps, better known as halogen tubes, have also been in use for some years. They are often used in damp room luminaires or in public buildings such as offices and schools.

Discharge lamps are sold as tubes. Inside the tube is a gas, usually a halogen metal vapour or sodium vapour. Electricity is passed through the vapour so that it begins to ionise.

Problems with discharge lamps are that they often flicker for a while when switched on and take some time to light up. To minimise this, it is worth fitting a ballast to ensure that the correct current is supplied consistently. Another problem with halogen lamps is that they are often difficult and costly to dispose of because they contain small pieces of mercury.

Can I retrofit my Philips LED myself and how do I get power?

If you decide to buy a Philips LED, it is very easy to install it yourself. It does not matter whether it is a lamp, an LED strip or a smart light system.

You must first switch off the power at the fuse box before installing the lamp.

Otherwise you run the risk of getting a shock.

A normal wall or ceiling lamp can be installed just like any other lamp of this type. First, you have to switch off the power for the room in question at the fuse box, otherwise you run the risk of getting a shock. Then you can simply unscrew the old luminaire and put the new one in its place. You just have to be careful to find the connections that belong together.

If you want to install an LED strip in your room, you first have to measure and clean the relevant section. This will ensure that the strip sticks properly. Then you just have to remove the adhesive strips on the strip and attach it to the surface. The Light Strip is powered by a power supply unit.

For a Smart Light system, you can simply buy a so-called starter kit. You then connect the bridge of the system to your W-LAN. You only have to screw the lamps into a normal lamp socket. You then install the corresponding app on your smartphone.

Your smart light system can then be easily and simply expanded with additional lamps. Simply set up or screw in the new lamps, search for new lamps via the app and connect them.

Image source: yelo34/ 123rf.com

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