Philips Hue White AmbianceThe new Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs and starter kits may help you to sleep, concentrate, or generally feel better and all it takes is a simple complex light bulb.  If you have ever purchased a package of CFL bulbs and found yourself squinting and blinded or amazed at how ugly the paint suddenly looks after you flick the light switch then you can understand some of the issues these bulbs are designed to address.  It seems simple enough: the electric lightbulb has existed for over 200 years but Philips has still managed to find a way to innovate and make a plain white lightbulb very interesting.  How you ask?

Problems with Blue Light?

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Do you use a screen or multiple screens throughout the evening leading up to bedtime?  There has been a lot of focus on how blue light impacts the production of melatonin and can disrupt your sleep habits.  Many developers are tweaking their software or devices to reduce the amount of blue light you absorb after sunset or before you head to sleep.  If you use Apple devices, you may have night shift enabled in Apple’s latest IOS 9.3 or if you have used the latest Android N beta’s you might have found the night mode buried in the settings.  You can accomplish the same effects in OSX using f.lux to control the colour temperature for your computer.  Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs bring the same soothing or stimulating experience to a whole room.

Philips Hue White Ambiance Light

You are probably already familiar with Philips Hue bulbs or at least some aspect of their lineup of smart LED lighting products.  They are one of the major players and innovators in the home automation lighting space.  If you aren’t excited about controlling your lights from your phone or making the light from your lamp the exact same shade of blue as the sky in your wedding photos you probably think of Hue as a gimmick or toy.  To be fair, you are probably right.  Until now, Philips has focused on the colourful rainbow of lighting options and  mushroom or spaceship-esque shaped fixtures.  The latest offering is a simple white light which may be the most boring and at the same time potentially revolutionary product they have released.

The bulbs are not cheap at $29.99 but they are cheaper than the full colour bulbs that retail for over $50.  They aren’t much more expensive than the $5-10 you would spend for a basic LED bulb that doesn’t offer any of the additional functionality.  The bulbs can be shifted through more than 50,000 shades of white from warm to cold colour temperatures.  The bulbs can also be dimmed with more granularity down to only one percent output.  The lights range from 480 lumen at a very cold 6500K to 800 lumen (similar to the 806 lumens of the more expensive and colourful traditional Hue bulbs) at their warmest 4000K.

There are real savings to be had by switching to low energy LED bulbs.  If you layer on top of that the potential savings and convenience features that an integrated lighting system can provide, then the Philips Hue White Ambiance makes a compelling package.

What do you think?  Is this something you see catching on?  Will you be changing out your lights?  We look forward to hearing hour comments!