I have been a fan of the Philips Hue wireless bulb system for a while now, including how to extend it using other brands of ZigBee bulbs and home automation hubs. So much so that I even did a presentation at my company’s Ideas Festival about how devices like Hue have enabled my son to break out of his shell and interact with his environment.
Over the summer, the Philips Hue Go portable lamp was added to the Hue lineup. I have to be honest: I didn’t even notice it at first. Which is odd because I love this stuff. A few weeks ago I had some Amazon gift card money burning a hole in my pocket so I was browsing for something interesting to buy when I came across the Hue Go lamp. It seemed totally frivolous so I had to order one!
I have to say, the Hue Go is a lot more fun and useful than I was expecting. It has a battery so it can be unplugged and taken almost anywhere, inside or outside the house. While you need to have the Hue wireless ZigBee hub installed (sold separately: Hue starter pack; Hue Lux starter pack) on your home network for wireless control via mobile app, you can also take the Hue Go outside of your home network and cycle through a set of colors via the button on the bottom of the bowl shaped lamp.
We’ve used it to have a dance party in conjunction with the Hue Disco app. We also use it to create mood lighting in the dining room or set an ambient mood TV room where we don’t have the regular Hue bulbs installed. Its regular parking spot is above my liquor collection, where it creates a warming glow illuminating the bottles.
Battery life is about 2-3 hours, depending on brightness and how active the adjustments are (e.g. if you are running Hue Disco, it may be less than that). That is plenty for what we do, though a longer battery life would always be welcome. Of course you can also leave the Hue Go plugged in and then it will never run out of power.
I see the Go as a nice upgrade from the Hue Bloom light, which was similar but required a plug at all times. The Go is 300 lumens, which is more than twice the Bloom’s 120 lumen output. Both go nicely with the Hue Lightstrip to create ambient lighting to complement your regular light fixtures—which could also have Hue bulbs like the Hue A19 or Hue BR30. The possibilities are endless.
My kids love it, especially my younger son who asks to illuminate a dance party in any room of the house, including the bathroom for his bath. For us—and especially for him—it’s a nice treat that also serves a therapeutic purpose. That can be said of the entire Hue line. They are not just wirelessly controllable light bulbs, they are environmental enhancements.