The Philips Hue Bloom and Iris are two very cool products from the makers of the best smart lighting around. The latest Philips Bloom incorporates 16 million possible color changes, with the help of the Hue smart phone app. Its bigger brother is the Philips Hue Iris which has a larger design and brighter lamp. So which one is better?
Philips Bloom is unique in a line up of “Friends of Hue” products designed to create indirect soft ambient lighting. It is the perfect way to set mood lighting for your favourite furniture, or to show off special features in your home. Being able to set an exact color to match you decor, is one of the magical features of the Philips Hue Bloom.
- Beautifully looking piece of art with white ceramic body
- Works with Amazon echo and Google home
- Part of the Philips Hue Zigbee wireless network
- Works with Google home and Amazon Alexa for voice lighting controlled smart lights.
- Able to control your Bloom house lighting from your smart phone or tablet. Control up to 50 connected smart lights / bulbs on a single Philips hue bridge. One bridge per house is usually enough.
- Create mood scene lighting based on your favourite photo or colors, using your smart phone, PC or tablet
- Enjoy real-time light effects, that are perfectly synced to your moment using an optional motion detector.
- Works with Hue Tap and Dimmer switches
- Control your house lights from a smart phone while you’re away from home. Simulated home presence.
- Fixed angle
- May break if dropped
- No grip base on the bottom of the Hue Bloom
Philips Hue Bloom Review
The Philips friends of hue bloom wireless led table lamp is a stand alone lighting product. It is powered from your mains outlet either from 110v or 240V. The new version of the Hue Bloom has a permanently wired power cable, and been integrated to work with the family of hue smart bridges and bulbs. The previous version was part of the “living colors family” range.
Our Hue Bloom was made out of porcelain but there have been some reports online that some are made out of metal and plastic. You will need either the Hue bridge ver 1 or 2.0 to make this light work with your smart phone. If you don’t currently have any Hue lights in your home, its best to purchase either the Philips bloom hue starter kit which comes with 2 Blooms and a hub. Or you can get the 3rd Generation Philips Hue Starter Kit. This will come with a couple of globes and the new hub or buy the Hub 2.0 bridge separately.
Its been designed to fit your decor with a range of 16 million colors for perfect accent lighting behind your tv, light painting the wall with a variety of colors, or under couch lighting. We found it bright enough that we only needed one lamp behind our TV, to add that special back-light effect.
Philips Hue Bloom features
|Item Weight||14.9 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5 x 5.1 x 4 inches|
|Bloom Item model number||259515|
|Color||Bloom-Single 16 Million Colors|
|Hub Compatibility||Compatible with Hue Hub version 1 & 2.0|
|Material||Metal, Ceramic, Glass, Plastic|
|Voltage||100 – 240V – 50/60 Hz , 18V DC in|
|Type of Bulb||8.0W LED 120 Lumen|
|Bloom Bulb Life||Lifetime: 12,000 hrs|
|Hue Bloom Warranty||2 Years|
Philips Hue Iris Review
The Hue Iris is a large wall light that can output a huge amount of light. Many people buy this if they want to wake up slowly with a whole wall or ceiling, gradually getting brighter over time. Its the perfect alarm clock to wake with light. This can be set to a set time or motion trigger within the Hue App. Its the ultimate in room mood lighting.
There are 2 versions of the Hue Iris. One works with all Hue Products which is called “Friends of Hue” and one that is standalone which is called the “Living color range.” If you have other Philips family friends of hue products then get the Hue Iris as it will sync seamlessly.
“Friends of Hue”
|Works with other Hue lights||Yes||No.|
|Has a Remote||Yes, via the Hue mobile app. On a smart device.||Yes, Included battery-powered remote (cannot control with phone or tablet).|
Check out the Hue Iris in action, from a Wake up light to disco party strobe lamp.
Friends of Hue Bloom and Iris -Smart Home TV Accent Lighting
If to want to create some really cool lighting in your home, the Philips Hue bloom and the Iris are the perfect products to do this. Many people like to do LED accent lights behind their TV and this can make watching movies so much more interesting and enjoyable.
The 3 main option for behind TV accent lighting are Hue light strips, the Iris and the Hue Bloom. Each has it pros and cons, but for a totally easy move anywhere product, the Philips Hue Bloom is the best for behind TV lighting. You will only need one Bloom as it does throw out a lot of light. If you would like 2 different colors then you can easily add in a second Bloom light source angle to the side. If you decide to use the Philips Hue light-strips for accent lighting they will be fixed on the back of your TV and give just as much light as the Hue Bloom, I can recommend these as well. At least with the Hue Bloom its able to be moved around your home.
We use our Philips Hue Blooms behind the TV as mentioned earlier as well as in the bathroom to create a nice night-light to help our children transition from their room to the bathroom at night. Coupled with a Philips hue motion detector you can have automatic lighting, but at a predetermined night dimmed color.
The Iris is designed to throw out a lot more light. So its more for whole wall lighting effects. Still, it’s a wonderful cool product for behind the TV accent lighting.
Sync Philips Hue lights with Movies and Music
You can also sync you Hue Bloom and Iris lights, to your favourite music and movies. This is done from some third-party apps and enjoy every beat and scene to the fullest. Any room can now become a state of the art movie theatre or a dance floor, and see the results on how light reacts to your best music.
Syncing Philips Hue Bloom With the Television
There are a few apps needed for amazing Hue Lighting effects. One of the really great startups is the Hue Camera. It creates an ambient color effect using your Philips Hue lights and your phone or tablets built-in camera.
How this works is by an algorithm that continuously analyses each individual pixel on the TV. It looks at saturation, luminance, brightness and many more details, to be able to determine which specific colour to send to each light, to achieve the overall ambience.
You can place you Hue Bloom or Iris in or out of sight, as it will blend seamlessly with your interiors. Because they are a mains outlet product, you can easily move them around your home and place it wherever a power point socket is available. You will be up and running in no time after adding the Bloom and Iris to your current Zigbee network. The Philips Hue app will help you add in your new Bloom table Lamp with ease. Being able to choose from over 16 million colors to match your lamp to the moment will make your night complete.
Being able to turn down the brightness and blend soft colors for a smooth light effect across your room is what the Hue Bloom does best. You can even use your favourite picture from your phone or tablet to generate the perfect color scene for a special occasion. Imagine being able to go back in time and recreate those moments by setting your room color to the same color as the photos and tuning the lights accordingly.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Some of may have been diagnosed with SAD or seasonal affective disorder. It’s usually more prevalent during the winter months. It’s also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression, it’s a mood disorder. The main cure or treatment for this is usually with a strong blue or white light. There a many different types on the market, but one feature that the Hue Bloom and Iris can do is replicate these blue and white lamps.
First work out what color your brain prefers. It may be the White light or the blue or something in between. Set the bloom to turn on in the morning to wake you up with a gradual say blue light. Your brain will sense this change in color and most probably help with the SAD symptoms.
If the blue light doesn’t work and you still feel depressed try a white light or an orange say morning sunrise color light. As the Hue Bloom and Iris can do 16 million colors you wont have to keep going out to buy a new SAD lamp. Both will do the job well but the Hue Iris is brighter and larger so should help with the SAD symptoms, and trick your brain.
A lot of sufferers have had success with using a Sunrise alarm clock. This simulates the sun coming up in the morning and is great for the winter months in area that have less sun. Check out our review on the Philips sunrise wake up alarm clock.
Philips Hue Hub 2.0 Maximum Bulbs
You can connect up to 50 bulbs or lamps to your Philips hue bridge. This should be enough for most users. Simply begin with any of the available starter kits for easy setup, and start adding in any combination, Philips hue bulbs, Philips Friends of hue Bloom, Iris or Light-strips. There are also a huge range of accessories like the click and tap. With a tap of your finger, you can now control any connected lighting in your home. Remember that each accessory will also take up one of those 50 free allocated spaces on the Hub. If you need an extra Hue bridge or just need to upgrade your old version 1 hub you can check out our installation instructions here.
Philips hue is based on the ZigBee communication protocol. This is a low power, safe, and reliable technology to control your lights. Each lamp will communicate with is neighbour lamp if the base station Hub is out of range. This will extend the reach of each Bulb.
Philips Hue are constantly upgrading the firmware on each lamp and accessory to make improvements and add new features to the system. These get rolled out overtime and will be displayed to you as updates to both software, and firmware within the Philips Hue App. All updates are done wireless and automatically directly to your friends of hue product.
Bring Disney stories to life with Philips Hue Bloom
Disney StoryLight is a Hue Bloom wrapped in mickey mouse ears, it a cool concept that brings your favourite Disney stories to life. Story Light interacts with the Disney Storytime app. Flip a page on the Disney e-book using either your tablet or smart phone, and your Philips Hue lights will change color, to match the mood and drama on the page.
Included with the Disney Story Time app are 3 fun stories:
- Toy Story Starry Night
- Tangled: Rapunzel’s Story and
- Monsters, Inc: Always time for a laugh.
You are able to purchase extra e-books within the app, up to at the time of writing 40 stories.
You don’t need to buy the more expensive Disney branded Hue Bloom, to get all the features of the Storytime app. All you need are any Philips Hue starter kit with the Hub and some lamps. If you buy the standard Hue Philips Hue Bloom you will get the exact effect as with the Disney version.
Can You Use the Philips Hue Bloom Without the Hub?
Short answer yes!. But there are some issues. For one it will just stay white and you will have to turn it on and off at the wall switch. Better to just buy a normal incandescent light bulb its cheaper. The other thing is you wont have any control over dimming.
You can if you want use the Hue Dimmer Switch if you have less than 10 bulbs. You’ll just miss out on a few features.
Now, if you want to blanket your entire house in Hue bulbs and you may need more than ten bulbs to do it. You can always get more Hue Dimmer Switches and assign them to specific rooms. We use a few along with the Hue Taps to get easy control of all our lights. Using less than ten bulbs per switch, all without needing a Hue Bridge hub.
Pairing Philips Hue Bloom to a Dimmer Switch
The Dimming Kit comes with a switch and bulb already paired and ready to go. If you need to add more hue lights to the dimmer switch, you will have to do the following procedure.
- Turn on the Hue lamp,
- Place the Hue Dimmer Switch very close next to the bulb,
- Press and hold the ON button on the Dimmer switch until the small LED light in the top-left corner of the Hue Dimmer switch turns green.
- The Hue Bloom will blink momentarily to confirm the pairing.
- You will have to do this for each Hue lamp you want to add-on.
For the reasons mentioned above, its best to get a Philips Hue Hub. They are cheap on eBay as lots of people often buy a Hue Starter kit, keep the lamps and sell the Hub. Make sure you buy the 2.0 Hub as it’s the newest. Once the Hub is installed you can still use the dimmer switch for your selected Lamps but it will open up a whole new world of lighting possibilities. Check out our full review here.
Philips Hue Bloom vs Iris
Both the Hue Bloom and the Iris are similar products but serve slightly different markets. Where the Bloom is nice and small the Iris is quite large and as such will output so much more light. If you need to paint a whole wall with light, go with the Iris. If all you need is some subtle TV back lighting you wont be disappointed with the Hue Bloom.
So which is better out of the Philips Hue Bloom vs Iris? My choice is the Hue Bloom, it is small enough to hide and has a great light output. It’s also quite a lot cheaper than the Iris which means you can buy a few. I’m super happy with how our house lighting is coming along, we still have a few more devices to add in to make our house a fun living color home.