Trending February 2024 # Homekit Weekly: Philips Hue Go Is The Perfect Portable Light With Homekit Control # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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Smart home lighting is one of the key use cases for any smart home platform. There’s nothing that makes you feel like you’re living in the age of The Jetsons than having lights automatically come on and off based on motion control and voice assistants. The Philips Hue Go light is a worthy addition to your HomeKit environment if you want a portable light for an outdoor area.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

A Philips Hue setup is one of the best investments you can make when building your smart home. When I first began to invest in HomeKit products a few years ago, a Hue Starter Kit was one of the first things I bought, and I’ve continued to rely on it daily. I’ve found that the Hue lightbulbs are some of the best-looking LED lights on the market, and the company has been quick to add new HomeKit features like Adaptive Lighting when released by Apple. Philips makes some incredible floodlights that are HomeKit compatible, and they’re a key part of my outdoor HomeKit light setup.

Since the summertime is when many people spend extended time outside, I recently picked up the Philips Hue Go light to use on the porch instead of using floodlights to have outdoor lighting. When you’ve got a Hue Hub on your network, Philips products are an easy add-on because they’re easy to onboard into your Hue bridge, which then automatically show up in HomeKit.

Onboarding to HomeKit

Because my Hue bridge is already connected to HomeKit, once I added the serial number of the Philips Hue Go light into the Hue iPhone app, it was immediately available in HomeKit. It had been a while since I had added any Hue products, so I actually forgot how easy this process was. It seemed like they would be an additional step, but there wasn’t – once I launched the Home app, it was at the bottom of my favorites list where I could rename it and assign it to a room.

Philips Hue Go with HomeKit Automations

Once you charge up the Go light, it’ll be ready to be placed outside. After a full charge, it can last up to 18 hours on the cozy candle setting or 10 hours on the ambient light setting. This product is really useful when used with an outdoor motion sensor paired with HomeKit. Let’s say that you charge it up and place it on your covered back porch. You can then use a HomeKit automation to turn it on when motion is detected after sunset. If you have a door sensor in HomeKit, it could be configured to where when the door is opened after sunset, the light turns on. Even without using it with an automation, you’ll have full access to the light with Siri and the Home app to turn it on, off, dim, change colors, etc.

Wrap up on Philips Hue Go

If you’re in the market for HomeKit outdoor lighting that’s easy to install, portable, and can last for many hours, Philips Hue Go will make a great addition to your home for less than $100. In addition, it supports HomeKit Adaptive Lighting, can easily brighten up a dark area, and is highly reliable.

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Homekit Weekly: Automate Outside Lighting Over Homekit With Belkin’s Wemo Outdoor Outlet

One of the very first smart home products I purchased for my home was one of Belkin’s Wemo switches. Back before Apple had developed HomeKit, I was already envisioning a smart home. Up until now, there’s only been a single option for an outdoor HomeKit adapter, but late last year, Belkin released a new outdoor Wemo outlet that’s compatible with HomeKit.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.

There are multiple reasons to use outdoor HomeKit switches. Especially around Christmas, automating your outdoor Christmas lights is an easy reason to add this product type to your HomeKit environment. But it’s still a useful device for anything you want to control the power to on the exterior of your home outside of the holiday season.

I have a pretty interesting outdoor lighting setup that an outdoor HomeKit outlet is the perfect product for. Because of where the builder installed our floodlight, the vast majority of our yard is pitch black at night. It was frustrating for my kids to play at night, but it became more challenging for me when taking the dog out. I wanted to add a floodlight that was HomeKit enabled and wire it up without using an electrician. I knew I wouldn’t fish it to a light switch, so I needed to get more creative with my lighting setup, and an outdoor HomeKit switch is a perfect product for the situation.

I would have preferred to use a native HomeKit floodlight, but our trim is white, so it needed to match, and most models I found didn’t. My solution was I bought a generic floodlight in the right color and planned to wire it to an outdoor HomeKit plug. I mounted the floodlight near my gutter, ran the outdoor electrical cable behind the gutter and under my porch. I have the wire through the deck near the wall, put an outdoor plug on it, and have it plugged into the Wemo outdoor outlet.

The outlet (marked as a “light” in the Home app) is connected to a HomeKit automation where it comes on at night for 15 minutes if the backdoor is opened. I can also use my HomePod to say, “Hey Siri, turn on/off the backyard lights.”

Installing Outdoor HomeKit Switch

Installing the switch highlights one of the reasons I love HomeKit. I plugged it up outdoors, opened the Home app, and scanned the HomeKit code. Since it’s an outdoor product, I took a backup picture of the code to store in iCloud. Alternatively, you could use an app like HomePass to keep your HomeKit codes.

Once the outlet is in HomeKit, you’ll be able to control the plug using manual control inside the Home app or configure it to turn on based on automation or sensor data from other types of sensors. One downside to the Belkin Wemo Outdoor Outlet over the Meross Outdoor Outlet is that you can’t control the individual outlets. There is only a single switch to turn on both outlets. Even inside the Wemo app, both outlets are covered by a single switch.

Wrap-up on Wemo Outdoor Outlet and Use Cases

Depending on your HomeKit needs, you either have a clear use case for a HomeKit outdoor switch, or you don’t. Not everyone has outdoor items they want to control via a smart outlet outdoors, where almost everyone does indoors. If you do need to control outdoor lighting or want to kill power to an outdoor TV when you’re not using it, you’ll love having the ability to automate it all using HomeKit with the Wemo Outdoor Outlet.

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Philips Hue Unveils New Homekit Gradient Lightstrip, Reimagined Iris Table Lamp, Partnership With ‘August’

Signify today announced a variety of expansions of its Philips Hue smart lighting category. The HomeKit-compatible smart lighting collection now includes a reimagined Iris table lamp, a new gradient lightstrip, and more.

First off, Philips Hue has reintroduced its Philips Hue Iris table lamp. This was one of the original Philips Hue ambient lighting products, and it’s been given a notable update today:

The updated Philips Hue Iris ($99.99) puts a new spin on an iconic design. Available starting October 19, 2023, the stylish table lamp will be reintroduced, offering richer colors, lower-than-ever dimming, and a significant increase in brightness(up to 570 lumens)when using white light, as well as a fabric-wrapped cord. Place the Iris lamp anywhere in your home; use it to wash the living room walls with colorful light or set it on a bedside table for a gentle nightlight. You can control it instantly via Bluetooth in a single room or pair it with a Hue bridge to unlock the full suite of smart lighting features.

Here’s a look at the Philips Hue Iris in action:

Philips Hue also continues its trend of adding Bluetooth connectivity to its range of smart lighting products. This time around, the Philips Hue E12 candelabra bulbs in White and Color Ambiance ($49.99 for a single pack) and White Ambiance ($24.99 for a single pack) have been updated with Bluetooth. Note that you’ll still need the Philips Hue bridge to use HomeKit control.

Philips Hue is also introducing larger sizes of its popular filament bulb, as well as its smallest ever Hue bulb. More information about these will be available soon on the Philips Hue website.

Perhaps the biggest announcement from Philips Hue today is the new Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip. While Philips Hue already offers a variety of different lightstrip options for indoor and outdoor use, the new gradient lightstrip is slightly different. It’s designed to mount around the back edges of your TV and is available in specific sizes for 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch TVs.

The Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip features 45-degree light projection and a blended gradient of light. This is made possible by the series of individually addressable LEDs, which let you set different colors for different zones on the strip and blend them together. When paired with the Philips Hue Sync Mac app or the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync box, the gradient lightship can also match what is displayed on your TV or computer.

These features come at a cost, though. The pricing details for the Philips Hue gradient lightstrip are available below. It will be available starting October 16, 2023, in the US. Pre-order now.

55-inch (fits TV sizes 55-60 inches): $199.99

65-inch (fits TV sizes 65-70 inches): $219.99

75-inch (fits TV sizes 75-85 inches): $239.99

Finally, Philips Hue is also teaming up with August to provide deeper integration between Yale and August smart locks and Philips Hue lighting products. Signify says that this partnership will begin later this month and allow users to set up automatons to automatically turn on lights when a door is unlocked, to grant light access to guests, and more.

You can find more details about the Philips Hue and August partnership here.

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Your Lights Can Mimic The Daylight Cycle With This Philips Hue Update

Plus, new features are coming via software updates later this year to the Philips Hue Bridge and Hue app that’ll increase customisation and control over lighting.

Don’t forget that to unlock all the features of the lights, you’ll need a Hue Bridge ($59.99/ £49.99). The bridge will let you sync your lights, control them remotely, set up automations and use voice control.

The light panels won’t be available in the US but the software updates might. We’ve asked for further information but hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing this article.

Philips Hue E14 Luster bulb

The brand’s most compact bulb is now available in both White Ambiance and White and Colour Ambiance. If you have a mini light fitting or teeny tiny lamp you haven’t yet been able to add to your smart home setup, this could be your chance.

The White Ambiance bulb has a wide range of colour temperatures, with 50,000 shades of natural white light, from warm to cool.

For more mood lighting options, the White and colour Ambiance bulb offers millions of colours across the spectrum.

E14 Luster White Ambiance bulb – £29.99 (Philips)

E14 Luster White and Colour Ambiance bulb – £54.99 (Philips)

White and Colour Ambiance Surimu panel

The Surimu is getting an update as well. The Surimu is a coloured panel that sits flush with the ceiling and emits a soft, diffused light more suitable for creating a club vibe than illuminating the table while you’re engrossed in a particularly challenging puzzle.

It’s currently available in a square 60 x 60cm and rectangular 120 x 30cm form (each £294.99 from Philips) but you can now get a half-size square panel, as well as a circular model.

Philips Hue

White and Colour Ambiance Surimu Panel 30 x 30cm – £209.99 (Philips)

White and Colour Ambiance Surimu Panel (round) 39.5cm diameter – £219.99 (Philips)

Philips Hue White Ambiance Aurelle panel

There are additions to the Aurelle range as well. The four current models (see them at Philips) have a white frame but if this doesn’t match your colour interior palette, there’s good news. Or, at least, it’s good news if black will match. The four new Aurelle panels are framed in a “premium black finish”.

Philips Hue

Alas, if you’re hoping to light your home like a John Wick fight scene, the Aurelle is not for you. It’s a White Ambiance light only.

White Ambiance Aurelle with black frame:

60 x 60cm – £219.99 (Philips)

120 x 30cm – £219.99 (Philips)

30 x 30cm – £149.99 (Philips)

39.5cm diameter – £159.99 (Philips)

One of the issues with grouped lights is that it’s hard to dim bulbs of differing brightness to the same level. But Philips Hue is launching a fix. Its brightness balancer will give you more precise control of different lights that you’ve grouped together as your “Entertainment area”.

If you’re listening to music, film watching, or gaming, you can individually adjust the related Hue lights to illuminate an area, or bring down higher-lumen bulbs to a suitably dim level for popcorn munching and movie viewing.  

The update will arrive via the app in Q3 (July – September) but note that this works only for lights you’ve specifically grouped together in the app in the Entertainment area, which usually means light bars, light strips, accents lights and more.

A Hue Bridge update that’s expected at the same time will also hugely increase the flexibility of your motion sensor programming. Currently, the motion sensors have two time slots – daytime and night – so you could set up a bright light to come on when you open your front door in the daytime and a low-level light at night. This could be a bit limiting if you’d like a different level of brightness at, say, 10pm and 3am.

But the number of time slots will be increasing to ten, so you can customise your lighting to the time of day. This raises the interesting possibility of setting a sunny orange glow to accompany your early morning cornflakes or a vivid red 10am light to alert you to your morning meeting.

If you’re interested in this feature, have a look at our review of the Dyson Solarcycle Morph, which has a natural daylight setting and see our round-up of the best light alarms we’ve tested, which will wake you up gently by slowly brightening the light in your bedroom.

Review: Sylvania Homekit Smart+ Full Color Led Bulb Works Without A Hub

The go-to HomeKit accessory that the majority of people jump to is lightbulbs. Everyone can use them, and they offer a ton of functionality. That is why products like the Philips Hue system took off. The Sylvania Smart+ LED bulb is a great alternative, because it requires no expensive networked hub, and instead talks directly with your devices.

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Sylvania is just starting their HomeKit lineup, so at the moment, they only have a standard A19 bulb with an E26 base, which is a lot of letters and numbers to say it works in standard US bulb sockets (and E27 European sockets as well). You do have the option of a white-only or full color bulb, so there is some variety.


The bulb is fairly bright, at 800 lumens. That is roughly what the Philips Hue line can output, depending on the bulb and particular hue of the bulb. Sylvania says there are 16 million color options, though we were unable to fully count all of those, I tend to take their word for it.

Sylvania does offer their own app for your iPhone or iPad, but it is pretty bare bones. It is essentially just there to perform an update to your bulb, but otherwise will leave the heavy lifting to the native Home app (or your favorite third-party option). I really prefer it this way because many third-party apps are terrible. I like how they relegated that to other apps instead of trying to confuse people of which to use.

The Smart+ bulb connects to your device over Bluetooth. This is contrary to others that communicate over Zigbee and require some sort of bridge to connect to your network. This is hugely beneficial because there is no additional hardware (or expenses) you need to incur to start using it. It also increases the response time because you don’t have to connect to the bridge first.

On the downside, that does mean you can’t control the bulb remotely, unless you have a recent iPad or Apple TV within range. Luckily, that is something many people have these day, so it isn’t much of a big deal. It can also be a downside if you planned to put some of these bulbs in remote parts of your home, and you have nothing in range of the Bluetooth.


As with any HomeKit accessory, you have the full power of HomeKit to automate your lights. All of this automation is easy to set up using Apple’s Home app. iOS 11 brings even more capabilities to your smart home.

Here are a few examples of things you can pull of with your new smart lights.

Turn the lights on when the first person arrives home

Turn off when the last person leaves

Turn on with the sunrise or your alarm in the morning

Turn on when the front door is unlocked, or the back door is open

Turn on and off using motion sensors when someone is in the room

Turn on and off while you are away so it appears someone is home

Tie to other lights in your room so they all go on and off together

The biggest downside, which is fairly irrelevant to HomeKit iOS users, is that the bulb doesn’t work with Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. It is solely accessible via HomeKit and Siri on your iOS device.

Wrapping it up

Lets go ahead and sum up the Sylvania Smart+ bulb into a few pros and cons.


No hub necessary

Color and white options

HomeKit, Siri, and automation support

Bluetooth low energy connection

Remote control via Home hub

Affordable options


No Google Home or Alexa support

Body can get warm after long bouts of use

Needs to be within Bluetooth range of device to be used

Compared to Philips Hue, they offer similar brightness and have as many colors, yet require no hub and are roughly the same price. These are great bulbs if you are looking to add a few to your setup without purchasing a bridge or other extensive lighting system.

Sylvania is set to introduce light strips and power outlets as well to their smart home collection later this year, which should bring it even more in line with their competition. If you’d like to pick them up for yourself, you can find the color bulb for $45, and the white color for $26 over on Amazon.

The Votes Are In: Your Perfect Smartphone Is…

1st place: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (62.2 percent)

2nd place: LG V30 (20.2 percent)

3rd place: Pixel 2 (6.5 percent)

4th place: LG G7 ThinQ (5.7 percent)

5th place: Other (5.5 percent)

The majority of participants want their perfect smartphone to feature the display found on the Galaxy S9 Plus. As a refresher, it’s a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED panel with QHD+ resolution, an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and curved edges. The V30’s display — which was my choice — comes in second with 20.2 percent. It also uses OLED technology and offers QHD+ resolution, but is a little smaller at 6 inches, has a slightly different aspect ratio of 18:9, and doesn’t have curved edges.

1st place: OnePlus 6 (72.4 percent)

2nd place: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (22.4 percent)

3rd place: HUAWEI P20 Pro (3.9 percent)

4th place: Other (1.4 percent)

When it comes to performance, the winner is clear. Like me, most of the survey participants want their perfect smartphone to come with the same Snapdragon 845 chipset and 8GB of RAM the OnePlus 6 packs. The Galaxy S9 Plus comes in second, sporting the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset depending on the region and 6GB of RAM.

1st place: HUAWEI P20 Pro (44.4 percent)

2nd place: Google Pixel 2 (29.2 percent)

3rd place: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (19.9 percent)

4th place: LG G7 ThinQ (5.3 percent)

5th place: Other (1.2 percent)

The winner in this category is the HUAWEI P20 Pro, which features a triple-camera setup on the back. This was my choice as well, mainly because the cameras can capture really great images in low-light conditions. The Pixel 2 was the second choice with 29.9 percent of votes, despite the fact it features a single camera. However, more cameras don’t always translate to better picture quality. The Pixel 2’s camera is still one of the best ones out there and can even capture single-lens bokeh images thanks to software trickery.

Android skin

1st place: Don’t want a skin, I’ll take stock Android (48.1 percent)

2nd place: OnePlus’ OxygenOS (28 percent)

3rd place: Samsung Experience (18.6 percent)

4th place: HTCSense (2.7 percent)

5th place: Other (2.6 percent)

Almost half of our survey participants don’t want a skin on their perfect smartphone; they would rather go with stock Android. This makes you wonder why companies invest so much money into Android skins if most people don’t like them. Then again, as enthusiasts, Android Authority’s readers, like Android Authority’s writers, are not necessarily representative of the mass market to whom they are appealing.

Read next: OxygenOS — 5 features you need to know about

OxygenOS comes in second with 28 percent of votes. This is my choice as well, as it offers a stock-like experience but adds a few useful features on top. It’s followed by Samsung’s Experience with roughly 18 percent and HTC’s Sense with 2.7 percent. Exactly 2.6 percent of participants prefer a skin from a different manufacturer, with the two most popular being Huawei’s EMUI and Xiaomi’s MIUI.


1st place: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (51.4 percent)

2nd place: HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro (18.6 percent)

3rd place: Google Pixel 2 XL (15.4 percent)

4th place: LG G7 ThinQ (8 percent)

5th place: Other (6.5 percent)

When it comes to design, the majority of our survey participants (51.4 percent) want their perfect smartphone to look like the Galaxy S9 Plus. It features thin bezels, a metal frame, and a minimalistic glass back. My choice was the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro, which comes in second with 18.6 percent of votes. It also sports thin bezels, a metal frame and a glass rear, but comes with a gorgeous reflective stripe at the back that runs horizontally across the cameras and gives the smartphone more character.

The Google Pixel 2 XL took the third spot with its metal and glass body, followed by the LG G7 ThinQ that sports a metal frame, a glass back, and a notch up front. Around six percent of people don’t like how any of these devices look and typed in their own answers, with the OnePlus 6 getting the most mentions.

1st place: IP68 rating (20.2 percent)

2nd place: Headphone jack (18.8 percent)

3rd place: Dual front-facing speakers (18 percent)

4th place: Expandable storage (16 percent)

5th place: In-display fingerprint scanner (13.9 percent)

6th place: Wireless charging (12 percent)

7th place: Other (1.2 percent)

The last survey question called “What other features would you add to your perfect smartphone?” was the only one that allowed more than one answer — which is why the results are so close together. IP68 rating for protection against water and dust is the most popular feature (20.2 percent), followed by the headphone jack with 18.8 percent. Dual front-facing speakers, which are hard to find on many smartphones these days, came in at number three (18 percent).

Here are the Android phones with the best battery life

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Expandable storage got 16 percent of votes, while an in-display fingerprint scanner took the fifth spot with just 13.9 percent. The low interest might be caused by the fact that in-display fingerprint scanners still don’t work quite as fast as those typically found on the back of high-end smartphones.

Wireless charging comes in last with 12 percent, which means a lot of users don’t really want it anymore, echoing the thoughts of OEMs who are increasingly removing it. We also received a number of custom answers regarding the features participants would like to see on their perfect smartphones, with a removable battery and Quad DAC getting the most mentions.

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