Are These Highly-Rated LED Lights Worth the Money?

Light strips often are used to illuminate countertops, bookshelves, and televisions. The Philips Hue offers bright light and top features, but the connectivity isn’t the best.

Philips Hue Light Strip

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Philips is a major player in the lighting industry worldwide. Offering everything from conventional lamps and tubes to the LED light strips I tested, they stay on top of the latest and greatest lighting features.

Light strips, like the Philips Hue Light Strip, are a relatively recent lighting technology. The strips adhere to surfaces with a sticky adhesive backing. Models like the Philips Hue move well beyond a light strip that turns a few colors or offers different lighting patterns to an additional and functional light source.

The Philips strip connects via Bluetooth to a hub that lets you control several Philips light strips and devices from a single app. I tested the Philips Hue in my kitchen, using them as under-cabinet lighting. This light strip offers impressive illumination (super bright), versatile light colors, and control, but it has its limitations that may or may not make them the best light strip for you.

Philips Hue Light Strip: At a Glance

Philips Hue Light Strip

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Rating: 5.9/10

Pros

  • Bright illumination
  • Excellent scheduling options
  • Uses scenes to pick colors

Cons

  • Poor connectivity
  • Heavy string and weak adhesive
  • No manual control options

Get the Philips Hue Light Strip at:

What Is the Philips Hue Light Strip?

The Philips Hue Light Strip comes as part of a starter kit, which includes a hub, an 80-inch coated light strip, and connection cords for both. The hub can control up to 50 lights and 12 Hue accessories. The app controls everything from turning on the lights to setting schedules and changing the color scheme.

There is no remote control or manual controls on the strip’s electrical cord, not even to turn them on and off. Unfortunately, that’s where the lights have a bit of an issue, but I’ll get to that a bit later.

The Philips light strip can function as general task or accent lighting, depending on the brightness level chosen. Most light strips don’t put out enough light for prepping food or cooking, but these most certainly do. They’re bright enough that I had to turn them down for general use. On one of the dimmer settings, they’d provide plenty of accent lighting.

In the app, there is a long list of color options from basic warm and cool light to lighting schemes based on moods, rooms, or times of the day. Schemes are added to a personal profile so that it’s easy to pick those favorites without having to scroll through all the options.

Philips Hue Light Strip

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

How Easy Was the Philips Hue Light Strip to Install?

Installation is where things went south for this otherwise bright and beautiful light strip. The installation of the actual lights was pretty straightforward. I peeled off the adhesive’s backing and pressed the LED light strip into place.

My kitchen cabinets had seams, which made installation more difficult. It also affected the strip’s adhesive. At each seam, the strip had to cross over into the next cabinet, so the adhesive wasn’t in direct contact with the underside of the cabinet. Later on, this lack of contact affected the adhesive’s sticking power.

However, the physical installation wasn’t the hard part. It was the hub and app connection that proved to be challenging. The hub had to directly connect to my router. Unfortunately, my router is pretty full, so the hub took the one remaining port. After it was connected, it took a long time to get the hub running. I don’t know why, but the app had a hard time connecting to the hub. It took several tries over 2 days before I could get it to work.

After it did connect, the hub had to update. However, the hub had trouble getting connected to the router to do the update even though it was directly connected. I actually gave up the first time and tried again the next day. After uninstalling and reinstalling the app, I finally got the hub to update and the app to work. Finally, I could turn on the lights.

But the next day, the app wouldn’t connect to the hub again. I uninstalled and reinstalled the app again and turned on the lights that morning. To change any controls, like light color or pattern, I had to reinstall the app. Every. Time.

How Easy Was the Philips Hue Light Strip to Use?

The ease of use was based on the Bluetooth connectivity and the app with this LED light strip. As I already mentioned, connectivity was an issue and continued to be an issue throughout the testing process. If I couldn’t get connected to the app, which I couldn’t most of the time, and I couldn’t turn the lights on, off, or adjust the schedule. There’s no manual control directly on the lights, so I was stuck. Sometimes, I just unplugged them because I was tired of messing with the app.

When I could get the app to work, it was pretty cool to use. There is the option to select from the millions of colors (literally) using settings that include times of day, seasons, and locations as inspiration. The lights can also be set based on a preferred color, and then the brightness can be adjusted.

The app makes it easy to set a schedule, like turning on the lights before arriving home from work or when waking up in the morning. I set them to turn on at 7 a.m. and off at 10 p.m. every day, which they did even when I couldn’t get the app to work. Several schedules can be set for different days of the week.

Philips Hue Light Strip

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Is the Philips Hue Light Strip Good for Lighting?

I tested several light strips at the same time as the Philips Hue, and the Philips Hue offered the brightest, strongest lighting of any lights I tested. They were as bright or brighter than my kitchen overhead lights, which made it so much easier to prepare food and cook.

I also appreciated that I could change the light’s “temperature” from a cool blue hue to warm whites if I wanted. However, I wasn’t limited to whites. There were mixes of pinks, greens, and blues that I could dim or brighten when I wanted (if I could get the app working, of course).

This strip definitely works for more than accent lighting. It’s also bright enough for task lighting, which I loved.

How Strong Is the Philips Hue Light Strip Adhesive?

Lighting under my kitchen cabinets posed a bit of a challenge, but it is one area I thought worth testing since my kitchen can’t be the only place where there is a seam at the bottom between each individual unit. The lights had to go over each seam, so they could only attach at certain points rather than in an uninterrupted string.

The adhesive started to lose its grip near the seam points. I wouldn’t count that as too bad except that there was also an area of the cabinets without a seam, and the adhesive needed reattachment there, too. The lights have a thick coating, making them fairly heavy in comparison to other light strips I tested, and that weight pulled at the adhesive. Consequently, I had to press them back into place several times.

Philips Hue Light Strip

Photo: Stacey L. Nash

Is the Philips Hue Light Strip Worth the Money?

The Philips Hue light strip is one of the more expensive options out there. The brightness and scheduling settings were wonderful, bright, and high quality. However, the connectivity issues were a deal-breaker. I couldn’t control the lights without the app, and the app had trouble connecting to the hub. Overall, it just didn’t work.

I had a couple of other issues, too. The light strip, at 80 inches, wasn’t very long. This strip’s lights are more powerful than other strips, so maybe it’s not necessary to have as many lights as other light strips include. However, most of the other light strips I tested came with much longer strings. You can cut the string at designated points without disrupting the lighting of the rest of the lights, so there’s at least some installment flexibility.

In the end, I feel like the price is a lot of money for a short string of lights that’s difficult to control. So in my opinion, I would say that no, they’re not worth the price.

Should You Buy the Philips Hue Light Strip?

The Philips Hue has many redeeming qualities like the quality of the light, brightness, and beautiful color scheme options. It gets bonus points for the automatic schedule settings, and it’s also a great security feature to have lights turned on before arriving home. The Philips light strip offers all of those features.

However, I don’t want to spend my morning walking around turning on lights or my evenings fiddling with an app to turn my lights off. All of those other helpful features don’t mean anything when the app won’t connect to the hub, or—as I also experienced—get the hub updated successfully. It took 2 days just to get everything connected, and I still ended up reinstalling the app every day to get the lights working. That’s too much effort for a string of lights, in my opinion.

The disappointing part is that if the app and hub had worked, I would think these lights were great. They added excellent illumination to my (somewhat) dark kitchen.

I wish I could say that I’d install them again, but not with the current connectivity issues. There are other strip lights out there. They may not be as bright or offer the same rich light quality, but they work when they’re needed.

Where to Buy the Philips Hue Light Strip

Get the Philips Hue Light Strip at: