Philips Hue has been around for a fair amount of time now with its smart lighting products, and they do this pretty well. Last year Signify announced the Philips Hue Smart plug to add its Hue lineup. I have recently received one at HomeKit authority HQ and taken it through my usual testing to bring you this Philips Hue smart plug review.
Please note this is the UK version of the Philips Hue Smart plug, however Signify also make a US and EU version. The only difference is the operating inputs and outputs. Everything else works the same
To be 100% transparent, Signify provided the Philips Hue smart plug for this review. However, this is a media loan and I will return once I complete the review. This will not affect my opinion wherever it is positive or critical of the device. You can read more on our review promise and ethics statement.
Hue Smart plug features
Philips Hue Smart Plug design
The Philips Hue smart plug is a compact cube design with a matte white exterior. On the top is a single button to you can use to turn it off and on. You also use this button to carry out a reset.
On the side of the device is a sticker that states this smart plug will only support 13amps max, which is typical of smart plugs at the moment. The smart plug supports a max power output of 2860W and a supply voltage of 220- 240.
The rear of the plug features the UK standard 3 prong configuration, but EU and US versions will have the relevant prongs. You will also find the markings showing it supports Zigbee to connect the Hue bring and Bluetooth connectivity for standalone use with your smart phone.
Overall, I am impressed with the compact design of the Philips Hue smart plug. It is smaller than most on the market in the UK at the moment. It’s smaller than the Ikea control outlet and the Eve Energy.
Philips Hue Smart plug setup
To set up the plug, it just needs plugging into any power source, and configured from one of two Hue apps, explained below
- People who just want to control locally in the home and don’t have a Philips bridge. Then you can use the Bluetooth version of the app. However, the smart plug will not be exposed to HomeKit.
- If you want to use the smart plug with HomeKit and some other advanced options. Then you need to use it with the Philips Hue bridge, which connects via Zigbee.
For the remaining part of the Philips Hue smart plug review, I will setup and use it with the Philips Hue bridge. I also have an existing Philips Hue setup in my Home and my HomeKit setup is already in place. So this setup process may slightly differ if you are starting from scratch.
So getting started I plugged the device in, opened the Hue app, tapped “add accessory” from the settings menu. The hue app scanned for the device and in less than 10 seconds found the Hue Smart Plug.
You then have options to change the name of the smart plug and also choose an icon that fits with the device you are connecting it with. You can also go into the “room and zone” menu option to assign this device to a room in your Home, in my case my studio.
In terms of HomeKit setup, you have nothing further to-do. The reason being is that the Philips Hue hub is the device that is exposed to HomeKit. So it treats the Philips Hue smart plug as child device. So once everything is in sync between HomeKit and the Hue app, then you are ready to go.
But you can make some minor changes, like changing the icon or changing it to be shown as a fan, light or power point within the Home app, you can do that.
Using the Smart Plug
To use the Hue Smart Plug, you can be toggle it on or off from within in the Hue app. You can also create routines that automate the smart plug. For instance, you could include this as part of a goodnight routine that turns the plug off at night. But if you are using HomeKit, then automations for a product as simple as a smart plug is best setup in the Home app. This is to to avoid conflicts between routines in the Hue app and automations in HomeKit.
Using the Hue smart plug with HomeKit means you can include the smart plug in scenes, automation or triggers. So, for example, I had the Hue plug connected to my key studio light for when I am filming. I then included the smart plug in my studio scene to turn on my this light when activated. I found useful too quickly setup my studio to cut down on the amount of devices I needed to turn on to get started, after all time is money.
You can also use it with automation’s to trigger another HomeKit device. I tested this with a Philips Hue motion sensor and a lamp, and it worked fine.
Although the Hue smart plug works with the Philips Hue bridge for remote access within the Hue app. This does not extend to HomeKit and you do need a HomeKit Hub for remote access via HomeKit.
Finally, you can control the Philips Hue smart plug with Siri. For instance, you can say “Hey Siri, turn on the studio key light” and it will switch it on.
Philips Hue Smart plug review conclusion
The Philips Hue Smart Plug worked well during my review period and if you are an existing Philips Hue user, then this is a brilliant choice at a responsible price. During my testing I have found it to be reliable and takes up less space when plugged into a power source such as a power strip with limited space. While a minor detail, I like that this can be manually controlled without the need to always use the smart route.
However, it lacks energy monitoring found in other smart plugs like the Eve Energy at a similar price. It would have also been nice to see Philips allow the smart plug to connect to HomeKit via Bluetooth without the extra hub.
The bottom line, Signify has done a superb job in adding the Hue smart plug into the Philips Hue range. It’s small and compact and just does what it says on the tin. In fact, I already said this is a media loan and will go getting returned at the end of the review. So I plan to buy one from retail and add this into my filming studio to automate the key light.
Hue smart plug price and availability
So that’s a wrap on the Philips Hue smart plug review, Don’t forget to subscribe for more HomeKit and smart home reviews. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.