The Philips Bloom Lamp is part of a new line of products dubbed Friends of Hue, which—you guessed it—work with the Philips Hue connected lighting solution. Like the Philips LightStrips, the other member of the Friends of Hue family, it’s not meant to be a standalone light source, but rather a more complimentary accent light. At $79.95, the Bloom ain’t cheap, and you’ll still need the Hue starter pack first. But if you’re already sold on the Hue system, the Bloom offers a fresh way to spruce up your interior lighting and has the same customization options that make the original Hue so great.
While the original Hue bulbs hide away in your existing fixtures, the Bloom demands to be seen. Its modern, free standing design has an upscale look that seems fit for the undoubtedly well-heeled clientele it caters to. Its function falls somewhere between flood light and accent lamp, and its relatively low 120-lumen output reflects its complimentary nature. This is strictly something to add that extra bit of ambiance to your home, rather than act as a primary light source.
To use the Bloom, you’ll first need to buy a Hue starter pack, which costs $199.95. Setup is fairly straightforward—you just have to pair the Bloom with an existing Hue wireless bridge using the free iOS or Android app. To do this, open the Hue app and find the gear icon, then click the option to find new bulbs. If the Bloom is within range of your bridge, it’ll show up in the list of bulbs. You can then assign a more specific name to the Bloom.
A key difference between the Bloom and original Hue bulbs is its color spectrum. The Bloom supports 16 million colors, but it doesn’t have the same ability to replicate the look of traditional light bulbs like the original Hue. Still, the light emanating from the Bloom is diffused through the plastic lens and has a pleasant soft character to it. You can control brightness using the Hue app and even set up lighting schedules just like with the original Hue. For the more industrious, the Bloom, like all other Hue products, supports IFTTT scripts for things like changing colors based on weather conditions or new incoming emails. You can find over 400 IFTTT recipes online or just create your own to match your needs.
Like the base Hue lighting system, the biggest barrier to entry is the price. Hue bulbs are already expensive at $59.95 a pop, and $79.95 seems a bit excessive for an accent light. But when you throw in the endless entertainment factor and the multitude of genuinely useful features through services like IFTTT, the Hue becomes more than just a novelty. For some it’ll be worth every penny, but if you just want to be able to control your lights with a mobile device, the asking price might be a bit much at $279.95 for the requisite starter pack and the Bloom.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc