Why Are Philips Hue Bulbs So Expensive?

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Philips Hue bulbs are expensive because it’s not just the bulb that Philips have to factor into the price, but also things such as marketing, the app, future products, updates etc.. 

Are They Worth The Price?

Philips Hue Light bulbs are a hassle-free home automation solution to your comfort needs. Being able to control your room’s lighting through voice command is no longer a thing of sci-fi movies.

Philips hue light bulbs come with smart control out of the box, as long as you have a smartphone, of course. This wireless technology works with the Philips Hue app that lets you, quite literally, play with your room’s ambiance through your smart bulbs.

Considering all this ease and the excitement bundled with the product, it is surprising that it has not become a household standard.

This is where economics comes into play. We find ourselves asking this golden question, is it worth the price?

Unfortunately, the answer to that simple question is not so simple.

In order to fully understand this, we will delve into what Philips is offering with its hue bulbs, and then discuss if the price point is expensive. And finally answer, why are Philips hue bulbs so expensive?

Remember: The cost of the bulb is not just the bulb itself, but also the marketing, the app, etc..

Philip Hue white, white ambiance, and color ambiance bulb ranging in price from around £15 up to £50+

The Different Types Of Bulbs

Philips is offering three types of bulbs: white, white ambiance, and white and colour ambiance. The first one gives out a basic white light, the second one you can play with white and yellow light, and finally, with the third one you have multi-colour capability. With more lighting features they get a bit more costly than the last one.

Except for the light range, they all have the same smart control capability.

Hue White Bulbs Cost 

Philips hue white is a simple white bulb that lets you dim the warm white light and control it remotely, it will cost you £14.99. But this would require a bridge. In clear words, a bridge enables you to do all the fancy work, it is a WiFi-enabled router-like device.

This bridge would set you back by £49.99. But before you reject this price point you need to understand that the bridge is a single product that you will use for a number of bulbs, it adds extra functionalities to your experience.

Alternatively, a range of Bluetooth enabled bulbs can be used without having to purchase a bridge albeit with reduced functions. More on that later.

If you purchase a simple white bulb and the bridge it will cost you a total of £64.98. But practically, you will be buying a few more than just a single bulb.

So, you need to think of it as buying a system, rather than just a single bulb. A white starter kit that comes with a bridge and two bulbs will cost you £69.99. Twin-packs cost you less per bulb. It is nevertheless important to realize that you are buying a lot more than just hardware.

Philips Hue iOS and Android apps help you control your lights, even when you are not home. You can also check if you forgot to turn the lights off after you leave. And have them light up when you arrive home. Is that not cool?

The timer function helps you imagine new possibilities.

You can switch the light on and off at different times, in different rooms. Your neighbours will not know if you’re really inside. Apart from setting the timer, you can set notifications and alarms. With all these functions you can enjoy what Philips calls the Hue experience.

And on top of all this, in true Tony Stark fashion, you can boss around and control your lights- Philips Hue works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit and Google Home.

With all these features, the price seems to make sense. Philips Hue bulb is not a single lighting product, but a lifestyle solution.

Hue White Ambiance Bulbs Cost

A step above a simple white bulb is a Philips hue white ambiance bulb, currently going at £24.99 per piece on their website. This kind of bulb enables you to add a yellow tint to the light within the range from warm white to cool daylight.

Philips envisions that this bulb would help you to wake up, relax, read, concentrate or get energised. With hue white ambiance hue bulbs the light brightness increases gradually in the morning.

Philips argues that this mimics the effect of sunrise and helps you to wake up naturally. And of course, this too has the smart control with the Philips hue bridge.

With the hue white ambiance bulb, you can recreate most shades of the sun. Think summer bright or winter warm.

This light can be particularly suited when you would rather have some warm yellow light to read or get some work done in the evenings.

Hue White And Colour Ambiance Cost

If you want to add some colour to your experience, then you will need to go for Philips hue white and colour ambiance bulbs. Currently, it is selling for £49.99 per piece.

This too will work with your hue bridge, and you can do all that we mentioned earlier, in a more colourful way. Colour bulbs allow you to choose from 16 million colours. Think bright yellow, and you have it.

Deep pink? You’ve got it. Hue white and colour ambiance bulbs would pair fantastically in your home theatre or with lamps set by the TV screen.

Imagine being able to match the room with the feeling in your heart! Apart from the basic bulbs that you can fit in your existing bulb holders, you can get light strips, table lamps, path lights and other accessories. The price for these depends on their form and intended function.

With new technologies, companies usually rush into the market with products that might not be completely ready for the average customer.

This is, however, not the case with Philips. A true value of the product lies not merely in its hardware or the constituents but also in who is selling it.

Philips has a plethora of products that solve the daily needs of its customers and years of trust, we can believe it when Philips says that the product will work out of the box.  

In addition to this, the price also reflects the research that goes into creating innovative products. The bulbs come with a standard 2-year warranty.

Hue bulbs are environment-friendly LED bulbs that can be wirelessly controlled if you connect them to the Philips Hue bridge for smart control or to the Philips Hue dimmer switch. These features help you get the same ambiance that older folks would remember from the traditional energy-hungry tungsten bulbs.

 If vintage is your cup of tea, you can try the hue filament bulbs. The higher cost here is in a sense a price to pay for being more responsible in the way we consume electricity.

With time setting features and remote control, it is an optimum choice to minimise electricity consumption and to maximise enjoyment. In order to make them smart Philips adds the wireless components, and that adds up to the price.

To Bridge Or Not To Bridge

The Philips Hue Bridge, which retails at around £49.99 when not on sale.

 You can get started without the hue bridge if you buy Bluetooth-enabled bulbs that can function without the bridge. For those looking to get started, Bluetooth enabled bulbs are a great option. However, at a cheaper price, you will make some compromises.

You need to be physically near the bulbs for them to connect to the app.

This isn’t a problem if you are only setting up a single room, say your living room, and you will be within the range when you wish to use play around. Be mindful to check for the Bluetooth icon in the packaging if you want to get started with these.

For timer functions and remote access, you will need to buy the bridge as well. For the first time consumer, this makes it a tab bit pricey.

But this is really a one-time cost, think of it as setting up a new internet connection. Once you have the bridge, you can keep buying more Philips hue bulbs.

The App

The Philips Hue App

The Philips Hue Bluetooth App

Philips hue bulbs are a part of the hue experience. At the centre of this experience is their wonderful app. Philips hue app has tens of different sets to match the mood or the season that you desire.

Philips Hue iOS and Android apps help you control your lights, even when you’re not home. You can also save your preferred setting in the app.

The app is free to download on Google Play or the App Store. But apps cost money to develop and upkeep. The app is another cost that factors in before the company can get to a final market price.

For those that choose to use only the Bluetooth app, there is a different Bluetooth hue app. This is the cost that traditional non-smart bulbs manufacturers would not incur.

All Bluetooth bulbs will work with the bridge, this means you can easily upgrade to the full experience when you get used to automated lights.


Overall, Philips hue bulbs are expensive because they offer a superior experience. The market is not without alternatives, but what Philips promises is a pain-free way to get started with smart bulbs and then an option to keep adding to what you already have. Now that is Smart!

Overall, they may be expensive when compared to other non-smart bulbs, but the value they provide in terms of convenience and reliability is unmatched. You can’t compare apples and oranges.

It might be smart to think of your domestic environment a bit more. It is no secret that light affects our mood, even research suggests such findings. If you have decided to go smart with your lights, it may be worth your money to bank on the promise of quality that Philips makes.

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