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Making Getting Up In The Morning Easier

by - Thursday, October 20, 2016

I am what you call a heavy sleeper. I can fall asleep with the lights on, in a moving car, on the sofa, with the TV blaring. You name it, I can sleep through it. The downside to all this is I find it super difficult to wake up. I am so not a morning person. The shorter days of fall are even more troublesome. Who wants to wake up to chilly mornings and dark skies? Not me.

The Philips team reached out recently to let me try the Philips Hue White Ambiance kit. I don't normally review products here but I was intrigued. Could this help me wake up more easily? Home automation is an ever increasing trend so I wanted to find out if these lights, controlled via a switch or by your smart devices, were something that made my home function better too.
The kit comes with two bulbs, a bridge, and a dimmer switch.  One thing that can make you hesitant to try devices like these is the cumbersome setup. That wasn't an issue with the Philips Hue. It had the easiest set up, no hard wiring, no tools required. All I had to do was switch out my lightbulbs for the ones provided, connect the bridge to my router, and install the app. It was that easy! Even the dimmer switch can be wall mounted using the adhesive backing.

The lights are very versatile. The app contains preset scenes, or you can program your own routines and preferences, or you can use the dimmer switch. You can even control the lights while you're away from home which is great if you're away from home but want it to appear that you're not.

I gave the lights a test run by putting the bulbs in the sconces in our bedroom. I wanted to see how they functioned for various situations - reading in bed, waking up slowly, relaxing, and providing a calm winding down at the end of the night.

I created a 'wake up' routine to have the lights come on slowly over 15 minutes in the morning. Now here's one personal finding: while I liked having the light to slowly nudge me awake, Sean did NOT. He is a very light sleeper and he instantly awoke as soon as the lights came on. I guess having compatible light preferences is important if you're using this in a bedroom!

Here's a quick video I made showing some of the settings. I went the super easy route and used Siri's voice recognition capability to activate the preset scenes. It saves me from having to go into the app and advance through the options to find the setting I want.

Overall, I was really impressed with the product and its features. It offered a wide range of light, from a soft warm light to a pure white light. It's also expandable and you can connect up to 50 bulbs to the bridge. I would see it being handy in rooms where you want to be able to change the ambiance, like a living room, dining room, or library. Being able to schedule routines is convenient and you can create different moods without having to think about it.

What do you think... are programmable lights something you'd try in your own home?


Disclosure: I was provided the Philips Hue White Ambiance. However, I was not asked to write a review or received additional compensation. All opinions and words, as always, are my own.

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