Philips Hue has recently announced their New to Hue Gaming Bundle. It proposes a new level of immersion for your games that is quite ingenious and pretty amazing to see in action. Today we are taking a look at what’s included in this kit, the app and the end result once everything is dialed in and properly setup. It’s something you won’t want to miss.
Smart Lighting for your Game Room
While Philips Hue is certainly no stranger to smart light systems, it is in new territory in terms of adapting and utilizing their tech to truly change how you play your games. There are many options and ways to go here, but luckily they have created a unique SKU that gives you everything needed to get started. The New to Hue Gaming Bundle includes: Hue Play light bars doublepack, two A19 smart LED bulbs and the Hue Bridge.
The two light bars allow a gorgeous transition of ambient light. They can be mounted to the back of your monitor with the included 3mm tape or they can simply stand on your desk with the supplied mounts. We set our light bars up via the mounts and placed them in vertical orientation. The power supply allows up to 3 Hue Plays to be plugged directly in. I think an optional bundle with three light bars to maximize the system’s potential would be really popular. We plan on adding a third light bar and a Hue Go in the near future to our own setup.
Hue Bridge and App
Next up is the Hue Bridge and phone app. First download the app and then simply connect the bridge to your home router. Search for the device on the app and then press the sync button located on the top of the Hue Bridge. Once this finalizes, the paperwork inside the box has the serial numbers for both light bars. Enter these in and in a couple of seconds everything is…fully operational (Star Wars fans, you’re welcome).
Between the Hue app and Bridge, you can control up to a staggering 50 lights, each capable of assigned timers, routines and light scenes. There are 11 pre-loaded scenes available to try out through the app. These include Arctic Aurora, Savanna Sunset, Tropical Twilight and even specific lighting scenes for reading or relaxing. You can control the intensity by sliding the bar up or down on each scene to your liking. The system is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homekit for voice control.
Performance and Setup
The price point of the New to Hue Gaming Bundle is a little on the steep side. However, the experience that is delivered in both light ambiance and the game/movie sync mode is absolutely stunning. Once you get everything in place and dialed in to the scene or custom colors you want, this is when you realize why this tech demands a premium price. We have used quite a few different LED light kits behind TVs and monitors for colored ambiance…there is just no comparison here against Philips Hue’s offerings.
Now onto the best part of this package; syncing the system to match the colors from your TV or monitor for both games and movies. First download the Hue Sync App for Windows 10 or Mac. Once installed, the program will enable lighting scripts that capture what is displayed on screen and then outputs those colors directly to your Philips Hue lighting system.
To fire off this amazing feature, head over to Settings within the Hue app or program and select Entertainment Areas. This creates a staging environment for you to get everything setup correctly. Once you test the placement and intensity of the lights, tap Perfect Match to save that configuration. Now select your Entertainment Area and tap the Games icon below it.
You can play around with the response level here as well that ranges from subtle to intense. Lastly, be sure and try out the Audio for Effect option, as it will introduce light effects for every shot fired and explosion within your games. Things just got real.
“Playing through the rowdy campaign in Gears 5 and seeing the action bleed off the edges of the curved gaming monitor and onto the walls seamlessly is an absolute game changer for game immersion.”
The light bars match up with what’s happening on screen, whether it’s the dimly lit horror infested campaign in Resident Evil 2 or the colorful landscape found in Borderlands 3. Every special effect and light source displayed in-game dances off the screen simultaneously, illuminating both sides of your gaming desk or TV stand. You can also sync this system to the audio and adjust the intensity of transitions. It’s highly responsive and really has to be seen to truly appreciate how much presence this can bring to your games and movies. It’s highly reminiscent to the first time I saw a high end 4K TV on display and only then realized how much detail I was missing out on. I had no clue that synchronized shades of corresponding light could add so much depth to your gaming experience.
The New to Philips Hue Gaming Bundle truly does heighten your gaming experience. It’s an additional layer of immense detail that you never knew you were missing. The ambiance lighting alone and customization at your fingertips through the Hue app can make every room in your house stand out with brilliant shades of color. The real magic happens when you sync this system to your monitor and audio. Your game room simply comes to life with this system. The action and audio seamlessly projects around your screen and gaming area with vivid splashes of corresponding color. This is no doubt one of the coolest pieces of gaming tech in 2019.