Very stylish light fitting and superb smart features (Hue bridge required which is not included)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2019
Back in 2017, I decided I would try out the Philips Hue system by replacing the six halogen GU10 bulbs in my lounge with Philips Hue LED White and Colour Ambience equivalents. Without going into huge amounts of detail, I was so impressed with the features (dimming, colour changing ability, voice control, independent control of bulbs, remote operation etc) that within a month, I had replaced every bulb in my house with Philips Hue bulbs (a total of 36 bulbs)! Accordingly, it's probably fair to say that I'm a huge fan of Philips Hue.
Over the last year, the range of Philips Hue lights has been expanded significantly and in 2018 alone, there was the release of the Philips Hue Play Light Bars (which I use behind my TV for ambient lighting) and a further range of outdoor lights, including this Fuzo Wall Lantern.
In respect of the light fitting, I think this is actually very modern and stylish and is constructed from black aluminium and a white plastic cover which protects the lighting unit. As far as first impressions go, it feels very robust, both in terms of the weight of the entire lantern but also in the thickness of the plastic cover, which should hopefully last the lifetime of the lantern with ease (rated at 20 years, albeit, if you use it for an average of 12 hours a day i.e. on at sunset and off at sunrise, it is only expected to last for 4.5 years).
This particular Philips Hue lantern is different from many of the other products which I have had the privilege of trying out, in the sense that the "bulb" in this lantern is actually LEDs printed onto a circuit board and thus, is non replaceable. Accordingly, once the lighting unit fails, there is virtually no alternative but to replace the entire lantern. This might seem quite wasteful and indicative of our throwaway society however, it has enabled Philips to manufacture Philips Hue products which are significantly brighter than the alternatives which have replaceable bulbs (1,150 lumens compared to 806 lumens).
The lantern is very easy to fit, requiring only four screws and rawl plugs (not supplied) to fit to the outside wall and then fitting the power cable into the supplied connector block. Anyone who is reasonably confident with DIY should be able to fit within an hour, probably less for an experienced electrician.
That brings me on to the smart features of the lantern. In order to use the smart features, you will also need a
Philips Hue Bridge
, which needs to be purchased separately. Without the bridge, the lantern will simply operate in the same way as any other light i.e. turn on and off with the switch on the wall, which would then defeat the purpose of purchasing this kit!
Once the Philips Hue Bridge has been connected to your internet router, the lantern is very easy to connect into the Philips Hue system - download the Philips Hue app (if you don't already have it) on any iOS or Android phone, search for new Philips Hue bulbs and the system will do the rest. Once it is connected, the smart features are ready to use and from my perspective, the most useful feature is the ability for it to turn on automatically, when you arrive home. This operates by entering your home address into the app and when your phone's GPS detects that you are close to home, you can set the app up so that it turns the light on (either at any time of the day, or between sunset and sunrise).
Other useful features are the ability to dim the bulb using your phone (or Google Home/Alexa), set routines for the light to turn on and off at certain times or set a timer for the light to turn off after a certain period of time.
Whilst many of the Philips Hue products have the ability to light up in up to 16 million different colours, it is important to note that this is not the case with this lantern i.e. the lighting unit comes in warm white only. For me, I don't need it to do anything else as I don't particularly need coloured outdoor lights, as the main benefit is for security however, if coloured bulbs is something which you are looking for, you might be better looking for a standard lantern which can use a Philips Hue White and Colour Ambience bulb.
Overall, I love this kit - both the style of the light fitting and the smart features, so why not give it a try? I appreciate that the Philips Hue system might be very expensive however, in my opinion, the smart features are invaluable and having adopted the Philips Hue system, I wouldn't consider going back to basic bulbs.
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