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It’s already pretty easy to connect everyday lights like basic bulbs or lamps to a smart home setup. Now it’s even easier to implement targeted options like light strips wherever you need additional lighting like behind TV stands or under the stairs.
And when it comes to smart lighting, there’s really no brand better than Philips and its Philips Hue range of lights. I tested out the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus in my own home recently and here’s exactly what I thought of the system.
Read more: The best smart light strips you can buy
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus looks and feels pretty much like any other light strip. Out of the box, the strip is 80 inches long though you can cut it shorter depending on your needs; you can also add 40 inches with a separate extender for $25. Once set up, the light strip is designed to fit seamlessly into any environment and has 16 million color options, so it will suit any color scheme in your home.
- 80 inches long
- Support for 16 million colors
- 1,600 lumens
- Up to 20,000 hours of use
Set up process
Overall, setting up the Lightstrip Plus is easy even if you’ve never used Philips Hue products before. All of the brand’s lights are connected through the Philips Hue hub, so if this is your first Philips Hue product, you’ll need to buy the $40 hub too. Then you’ll need to download the Philips Hue app on iOS or Android and follow the on-screen prompts to create an account and set everything up. Once you plug the hub into your router and connect it to your account, you’ll be able to plug in and start using your Lightstrip Plus.
If you’ve used Philips Hue products before, then all you’ll really have to do is set up a new light in the app, which will automatically detect the light strip.
Read more: The best smart light bulbs you can buy
Philips Hue lighting is well-reviewed for good reason. Overall, its lights are super reliable so they’ll turn on and react to oral prompts when and how you want them. That’s not always the case with smart lighting. Oftentimes, smart lights simply connect through Wi-Fi instead of using their own hub so they can take a few second to react to your control.
Philips Hue lights are also compatible with a huge range of smart home ecosystems including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. I’ve tested Hue lights and the Lightstrip Plus extensively with all three and have seen excellent results with each. It’s safe to say if you’re looking to incorporate a light strip with your current smart home devices, the Lightstrip Plus is a great way to go.
Aesthetically, it also looks great in a variety of settings. After testing it under the stairs and behind the TV stand, I settled on putting it behind my desk in my home office where I can enjoy it daily. It can get pretty bright, so you’ll still be able to see the light emitted by the light strip even in a well-lit environment. The Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch ($20.86 on Amazon) comes in useful here, and it worked completely seamlessly except for a few times when it took a second or two to react.
There’s just one major issue with the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus— it’s expensive at around $90 at Best Buy, or even $80 on Amazon. In fact, because of the price, I would really only recommend the device to those that already have a Philips Hue ecosystem or plan on setting up more Philips Hue devices down the line for a comprehensive system. Alternatively, you could save money by getting a light strip that works within your preferred smart home ecosystem like the Koogeek Smart Light Strip, which works well with Apple’s HomeKit.
The bottom line
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is an excellent smart light strip to buy, especially if you already have a Philips Hue lighting system or plan to get other Hue lights in the future. The Lightstrip Plus is easy to set up and very responsive, which is exactly what you want from smart lighting. Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive so if all you want is a smart light strip that connects to other smart ecosystems, then there are inexpensive alternatives out there for you like the Apple HomeKit-compatible Koogeek Smart Light Strip.
Pros: Responsive, easy to use, very bright, works with a range of ecosystems