Why Do People Love the Philips Hue Light Bulb? The Vibes, Mate

I’m an old-fashioned guy. I prefer to read hard copies of books, I still buy Blu-rays, and I think that JFK and 9/11 were… uh… well, that part isn't important here. I also like to indulge in ancient domestic activities like washing dishes with a real sponge and manipulating the thermostat and lighting by moving switches and buttons with my hand. Up until recently, I’d never participated in any of the smart home madness that’s overtaken everybody’s houses and apartments in the past few years. To be quite honest, whenever I see an advertisement on TV about somebody answering the door with an app or turning down the air conditioner from their iPad, it kind of freaks me out. Candidly, I find it insane when I get a beer with my friend and watch him spy on his wife and kids through his iPhone because his house is hella wired with cameras and alarms. IDK, man, it’s fucking weird. I’m no Luddite—in fact, I’m using a computer right now!—but I think that whole wave just kind of missed me. 

Recently, my girlfriend decided to get herself a new lamp for her nightstand—one of those big sphere ones from IK*A. It’s a handsome lamp, and I like how minimal it is. When looking for a light bulb for it, though, she asked if I’d be down for a colored bulb in our bedroom. I said sure, thinking she’d come home with one of those red lights that people screw in when they’re horny in the movies (or in Amsterdam). To my surprise, however, I came into the bedroom one night and found that everything was bathed in a relaxing purple glow. I asked why she’d decided to go with a purple light, and she informed me that it was a Philips Hue, and that not only could it change colors, but it could be controlled from her phone. I found out shortly after that I was the only remaining person on the planet who had not heard of this light bulb. 

At first, I was slightly resistant to it. Not to the light itself, but to the idea of it. The light in my own lamp needed to be replaced soon after, so she used a Hue and showed me how to link it to my phone. Then, two major life events happened. First, I was reclining in bed one day using my life-changing Casper adjustable base and became sleepy. The only problem with that bed is that when I’m fully using the reclining capabilities—“zero gravity,” they call it—it’s not physically possible to reach my lamp. Wanting to take a nap immediately, as a reclining 30-something man listening to Keith Jarrett is wont to do, I remembered that I could turn the light off from my phone. Joy overtook me as I slid my finger across the screen and became enveloped in darkness.

The second event, decidedly more personal, was when my girlfriend and I were having an intimate moment and she reached for her phone. Before my ego could kick in, I realized she was opening the Philips Hue app; the light slowly became a dim, sultry red. What ensued is frankly none of your goddamn business, and I’ll ask you to stay out of my personal affairs. But between those two moments, I truly wondered whether I could become [takes a deep breath] a little bit of a smart home person.

Philips makes the Hue lightbulb in a number of variations. The ones we have are the “color ambience” version, which come in three levels of brightness (aka lumens, if you’re a scientist); you can also get plain white ones. All of them connect to the Philips app, which lets you save settings in case you have a specific setting you enjoy for films, or if you’ve realized your partner becomes especially horny when the room is a specific shade of pink. Or, if you think your dining room table lighting, like, makes food photos so beautiful in a particular constellation of brightness, you can make it happen the second that frozen pizza exits the oven. It also connects with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, in case you have that whole thing set up—my friend does, and I still find it weird when he just tells [gestures hand to everything] his whole apartment to turn a light down, and it simply happens. What’s next, a phone OS that you can date

If you thought this article would end with me creating some sort of smart home apartment utopia where my phone rules everything around me, you’re going to be disappointed. Yeah, my phone controls some of my light bulbs, and yes, I highly recommend it. If you use the Philips Hue, maybe you’ll have like 5% more sex and it’ll be in different colors; or, it might help you take better naps. You may come to master and corral the vibes of your apartment so that the press of one button can give your living room into a three-Michelin-star dining room lighting. The truth is that the way we light our homes is actually very important, and having more control over that is a good thing, at least if you care about the moods you’re setting. 

Beyond the Hue, however, I’ll stick with the old school gear of my forefathers, like my Ooni indoor electric pizza oven; my temperature-regulated, steam technology-using toaster; and my alarm clock that sounds like the ocean and reads me bedtime stories. Not a cell phone in sight, just me living in the moment. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me [slowly moves finger towards iPhone screen], I have a nap to take. 

Try the Philips Hue light bulb on Amazon.

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