Philips Hue Go review: Let there be light

£70
Price when reviewed

This little multicoloured LED lamp, which can be powered from its internal rechargeable battery for around three hours, lets you control its colour and brightness from your phone.

It can connect to the same bridge as the other Philips Hue lights (which I already have in my home). You can also build it into Hue “recipes”. For example, I have one called Night, which switches off the lightbulbs in my living room and turns the Go down to a dim warm glow to act as a nightlight for my baby daughter.

The reason I love this so much, though, is that you don’t have to be invested in the Hue ecosystem. The Go can operate completely standalone. You switch between preset scenes – dim, bright, surprisingly realistic flickering flame, and a series of slowly, pleasingly shifting colours for different moods – using the button on the bottom, and you can have it cycle through its entire spectrum of colours with the same button to pick one you like.

There’s a bump on the base that means it can lie flat or be angled to cast its light on a wall, and, like all Hue lights, it can also connect to an Ambilight-enabled TV to replicate the colours on screen further out into the room, which is great fun.

hue-go-facing-left-with-surroundings-purple

In effect, then, this might be the very first thing you buy when turning your home into a smart home – before, indeed, you even necessarily know you’re embarking on such a project – and happily use it standalone for a long time before gradually, organically adding more and more smarts to your house.

My main criticism is that it must be charged by plugging in a cable. That’s not onerous, of course, but it is more fiddly than it could be. We’d rather see a wireless charging base such as on the forthcoming Elgato Avea Flare. It could also be better rated for water-resistance, since it’s a lovely way of adding some gentle lighting for a bath – whether I’m bathing the baby or determinedly trying to relax in the tub myself.

Fancy making your home a little smarter with some affordable gadgetry and smart home technology? Then click here to read about Chris Phin’s experiences with smartening up his flat.

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