Philips Hue GU10 Starter Kit and B22 Colour Review

A Closer Look

The hub is nice and compact, so it should be easy to squirrel it out of sight should you not want it out on show. There are three LED indicators on the top showing general status of power, networking and connectivity, and a large button in the middle while is required for pairing devices.

Around the back, you’ll find the DC power input, as well as the LAN port. Overall, it’s pretty simple and the whole thing just needs plugging in and it’s ready to rock, making it very consumer friendly.

Smart home users will know the burden of finding places for all the hubs you may need to acquire, we’re up to four in our house already, but the Philips Hue Hub is compact and looks stylish, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have it out on show.

On the back, you’ll find a few rubber feet to help it stay in place, but even better, there’s a screw fitting so that you can wall mount it. Fix it to the wall above a plug socket near your router, and it won’t take up space on a unit or shelve, keeping things neat and tidy in the process.

GU10 bulbs are a standard fitting that you often find for halogen bulbs, often fitted flush into the roof, cabinets, or in dedicated spotlight strips. We don’t have any of those in the office, so I’ll be using E14 to GU10 adapters, as there are currently no E14 smart bulbs from any major smart lighting provider, most likely due to size constraints, but something we expect will be resolved in the future.

The three lights feel very well-made, with metal exteriors that are very strong and they feel pretty heavy, giving them a trust quality feel. The connectors are the usual GU10, and feel robust enough to withstand multiple reinstallations with no concerns.

The spotlight section is a good size and should give a 38-degree wide beam of light thanks to the reflectors inside the housing. It looks pretty much like any other GU10 spotlight, but within lies white, red, green and blue LED lighting, as well as the required WiFi hardware to connect to the Hue Hub, so the ergonomics are certainly impressive.

As I said before, I don’t actually have GU10 fittings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t test the bulbs! A quick trip to Amazon for some E14 to GU10 adapters and we’re ready to rock. This is something you could do yourself should you find the lack of E14 bulbs frustrating.

The B22 come in a fairly similar size to most lightbulbs, but while you would normally find the whole bulb to be glass sitting on the metal B22 fitting, the bulb of the body of the Hue bulb is metal, most likely to help with passive cooling of the internal hardware. The top section is a cloudy white plastic dome which curves around to ensure light can spread out over approximately 160-degrees.

The combination of the B22 metal fitting and the metal housing of the Hue bulb make these bulbs incredibly durable. There’s no glass here, just metal and durable plastics. LEDs are many times more durable than a filament bulb too, so are unlikely to break if the bulb takes a bit of a knock. I’m not saying using them for juggling practice anytime soon, but they’re much stronger than bulbs either way.

The shape is certainly different from most bulbs, with a horn shape compared to the typical pear shape, but they do look nice and sleek and will blend into your home with ease.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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