First Look: Philips Hue Wellner lamp with Apple HomeKit [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 14
Most of the time smartbulbs are sold solo, asking you to use an existing lamp base or buy your own. Philips being a major lighting vendor, they also have some "all-in-one" options, with one of the latest being the HomeKit-compatible Hue Wellner. [Updated with Philips clarification on dimmer switch]

Philips Hue Wellner


"All-in-one" is deservedly in quotes. Though the Wellner comes with a pairable dimmer switch that also ships with some other Hue kits -- it doesn't come with a Hue bridge, which is necessary for the smarthome functions most people are buying the product for.

The lamp itself isn't an integrated light, either. Instead it comes bundled with a standard Hue White Ambiance bulb -- screw it in, turn it on, and configure it with the Hue iOS app, and you might as well be using any other Hue product. You could also swap in another lightbulb, smart or otherwise if you were so inclined.

That being said, Hue is practically the "gold standard" in smarthome lighting, and the White Ambiance strikes a nice medium between basic white bulbs and expensive full-color ones. It delivers color temperatures along the white spectrum, ranging from cool to warm, with a particular emphasis on matching the time of day. In fact the Hue app's gradual, preset "Wake up" and "Go to sleep" routines were created with the White Ambiance in mind.

Philips Hue iPhone app


We'll have more to say about the Wellner's design in our full review, but for now suffice it to say that it's all glass, meant to sit directly on a table or desk like a giant Hershey's Kiss. For that reason you'll want to be careful about where you place it, since knocking it to the floor could be a costly accident.

AppleInsider will discuss the design, and use in a forthcoming full review.

Update: Despite marketing on the company's website, a Philips representative said it isn't including switches with the Wellner.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    zorinlynxzorinlynx Posts: 169member
    For the $99 price they could at least throw in a White and Color Ambiance bulb instead of just White Ambiance, come on! Also the design of this lamp lends itself to the colored bulbs well.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    dpkformdpkform Posts: 3member

    It’s absurd, infuriating, and miseading that Phillips on their colour temperature adjustable white lights continues to display the “works with HomeKit” certification from Apple.


    For years the Hue user community has been  frustrated by the inability of Siri voice commands to controll the flagship feature of this product. That’s right, Siri can not alter the colour temperature of these lights.  


    Siri has no problem changing the colours of multi colour Hue bulbs, but it’s completely impotent when it comes to changing colour temperatures of these “HomeKit compatible” lights.


    Phillips support site continues to recommend creating a scene in the Phillips app, then exporting that scene to HomeKit, and then telling Siri to use that scene.  Two or three years ago when this product first came out that might have been an acceptable short term work around.


    The fact that it is still necessary years later is inexcusable.   Setting a scene requires changing  multiple parameters of a light including its brightness setting.


    So while a colour bulb can be told to change colour and keep other parameters such as its brightness level the same, telling Siri to implement a scene will change the light’s colour temperature and its brightness to a predefined setting.


    Plus an individual scene is required for each and every group of bulbs multiplied by each and every possible desired setting. A ridiculous amount of work for a home full of lights, and impossible to remember so many individual scene names.


    A credible review of adjustable colour temperature lights that claim to be HomeKit compatible should put a great deal of focus on answering the following questions.


    Why does Phillips continue to label this product as HomeKit compatible when its flagship feature, after years of existing is still not controllable through Siri in HomeKit?


    In a technical  sense this product may meet basic HomeKit certification equirements.


    From a consumer point of view is the HomeKit compatible certification credible?


    What about Apple’s role in this? It gives HomeKit certification to a product whose flagship feature is not fully HomeKit compatible.  Does this certification not by definition degrade the credibility of Apple’s HomeKit certification program?


    At the end of the day whether the problem lies with Phillips, Apple, or both, it has been years since the flagship feature of this flagship HomeKit product has been so  dramatically limited.


    Just fix it already!

    repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 6
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,787member
    Dunno man, I’ve been using a dozen Hue lights for years and have never once wanted to change the color temp via siri or on the fly — so I’d hardly call that the flagship feature. What is? Well look at the name: Hue. Changing the color is far more common, tho perhaps changing the brightness is most common. 

    Either way using scenes is the way to go. I have a handful of scenes where all the parameters are dialed in. Thru the course of the day the desired scenes kick in based on the sun and the nearer to bedtime. I rarely have to think about changing them manually, and certainly not color temp. 

    Give me brighter bulbs tho, yes. IMO they need to focus on upping the lumen output. 
    edited May 13
  • Reply 4 of 6
    seanjseanj Posts: 12member
    I believe I read somewhere that while HomeKit can handle colour changes for lights, it can’t handle the colour temperature of the white lights. Either use the Philips Hue for this or creates scenes and get HomeKit to change scenes.
    Presumably this issue will be fixed in a future version of HomeKit give Apple are now using the same idea of different shades of white on iOS depending upon the time of day.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    dpkrohdpkroh Posts: 7member
    This issue would presumablly been fixed years ago. That’s the point. After literally years this fundamental flagship flaw remains.

    Im not looking for workarounds.... believe me I have tried them all.  Needlessly complex and limiting.  Saying to use an app is ridiculous.  We don’t walk around the house clutching our devices all the time.  And I do have many switches configured.  But all those methods are awkward compared to the  elegance and ease of speaking basic phrases, instead of reaching for a device, a switch, or trying to remember dozens of specific scene names.  I have 70 plus hue lights all over my house.
    edited May 15
  • Reply 6 of 6
    dpkrohdpkroh Posts: 7member
    Dunno man, I’ve been using a dozen Hue lights for years and have never once wanted to change the color temp via siri or on the fly — so I’d hardly call that the flagship feature. What is? Well look at the name: Hue. Changing the color is far more common, tho perhaps changing the brightness is most common. 

    Either way using scenes is the way to go. I have a handful of scenes where all the parameters are dialed in. Thru the course of the day the desired scenes kick in based on the sun and the nearer to bedtime. I rarely have to think about changing them manually, and certainly not color temp. 

    Give me brighter bulbs tho, yes. IMO they need to focus on upping the lumen output. 

    The Philips Hue product up for review is a “White Ambience” model. White Ambience lights are not colour lights.  White light only, but their flagship feature is the ability for them to alter their colour temperature from warm yellowish like a sunset to cool bluish daylight.  This feature is why the lights are promoted as helping to manage your sleep and waking time. Im not a fan of the colour lights.i tried the colour Hue but except for some limited use cases, to my wife and I they seemed pointless and unappealing.

    Scenes are unnecessary with white ambience lights.  For example, as evening approaches it’s much simpler to say “Hey Siri change all lights to soft white” than to try an remember the names of different scenes, which will also change brightness whether or not I want them to. We don’t do everything at the same time every day, so scheduled automated changes are generally not desirable.

    Also, I don’t have just a few hue lights.  Nearly EVERY light in our house is a hue light.  That’s 70 plus bulbs between all the different rooms.  Scenes become a chore. Setting up dozens of scenes is almost as ridiculous as trying to memorize the names of dozens of scenes.

    i agree bulbs should have higher maximum brightness, like the IKEA bulbs.

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