Looking For Affordable Smart Bulbs? Try Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulbs (Review)

A few years ago, you had two options when it came to Philips Hue bulbs. You could buy the standard white bulbs or color. While the standard white option was good, it didn’t offer many features besides adjusting the brightness and remote control. The color bulbs, on the other hand, had the ability to change the entire atmosphere of a room, with millions of colors to choose from, as well as the ability to sync it with such things as music and videos. However, at $50 a bulb, it was a high price to pay. More recently, Philips introduced a bulb that fit between these two options. It’s called White Ambiance, and it allows you to change not only the brightness but also the temperature of white, from warm to cool.

The white ambiance bulbs that we are reviewing here are the GU10 variant. While standard A19 bulbs are designed to light a large amount of space, GU10 bulbs are designed to be more of a spotlight, with a focused amount of light.

(Left) Hue Ambiance GU10 Bulb (Right) Standard GU10 Bulb

Setup is quite easy. You screw in the bulb, power it on, and then connect to it via the Hue app. Once that is setup, you can control the brightness as usual, but also the temperature of the bulbs in the app. Being able to adjust the temperature is a nice balance between one type of white and full color. You can adjust the temperature to a blue to energize you or help you concentrate, or a warmer white for everyday use or for relaxing. While it doesn’t transform a room like the A19 bulbs, it still has a big effect, and can definitely change the atmosphere of the area.

Being part of the Hue ecosystem, these bulbs work with Apple HomeKit. That means you can control the bulbs with Siri or in the Apple Home app. The big problem with the white ambiance bulbs and Apple’s HomeKit is the fact that you cannot control the temperature with Siri or in the Home app, only the brightness. I read up about it, and it appears that this is something that on Apple’s end that they need to add support for, but still, after getting used to controlling the lights from Control Center for so long, it seems like a pain to open up the Hue app to adjust the temperature. There is a bit of a workaround, and it involves adding a scene with the Hue app to HomeKit, in which case, when you activate the scene in the Home app or with Siri the lights, it will change color. Still, you don’t have precise control of the temperature, and it’s something I want to see Apple add support for soon.

Overall, I think the white ambiance bulbs are a perfect blend of price and functionality. While the Color Ambiance bulbs are fun, for $50, it’s a bit pricey. While the White Ambiance bulbs come in at $30, you’ll probably be using the temperature feature often, getting much more use than you would compared to the color bulb.

You can buy the Philips Hue GU10 White Ambiance bulbs for $30 on Amazon. Since it doesn’t have as full of an effect as a standard A19 bulb, it would be nice if it was a bit cheaper, but you can buy it in a pack of 2 for $50, bringing the price down to $25 each, which is much more reasonable.

Overall, if you’re wanting more functionality than the $15 white Hue bulbs, or want a cheaper alternative to the Color Ambiance bulbs, the Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs are a great buy, especially because the Hue ecosystem works with so many platforms. While you might get more bang for your buck with the A19 bulbs, you’re still getting a great product either way.

Do you use Philips Hue? What types of lights to you have? How has your experience been with them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below!

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