Best Philips Hue Light Strip
Philips Hue Gradient LightStrip 65" (Sync with TV, Music and Gaming), Hue Hub & Hue Sync Box Required
Best Philips Hue Light Strip is very nice product. The Hue Sync experience is truly fun. I can’t speak to the HDMI box because I use a PC, but I have a 77-inch LG G1, and I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate the light representation is. I’ve run many light show programs to test where and when the colors change, and it is pretty spot on, accurately changing colors exactly as it does on screen in the exact same spot.
I was worried because it only has 7 light zones (2 on each side and 3 on top) but I’ve almost never noticed it not changing perfectly in sync with what is displayed. The very few times it has been off have been with a grueling spinning color wheel test image or other purposefully demanding content. Even then it is only by a little, and you have to be looking for it, in normal use you will never see it miss even when looking for it. My TV is wall mounted and I didn’t even have to take it off the mount. My only issue is it doesn’t cover the bottom of the screen, and Philips doesn’t offer any solutions to cover that area that are as competent as the strip.
I even purchased the Gradient Ambient Light Strip thinking it would do the job since it is basically the exact same product only without a preinstalled diffuser, but that turned out to be the only disappointing Hue product I have purchased. The Gradient Ambient light strip just doesn’t work well with sync at all. It has 3 zones and depending on how you have it set up (where it is located in your room) it can display the wrong side of the screen or even have one zone that doesn’t even work at all (either just a white light or it’s off). Considering that one strip cost me 200 dollars, I was pretty miffed about this, and their customer support is very lacking. After days of talking to customer support on Facebook of all the hated places (I can’t call as they are closed when I am home, and they literally don’t have an email address) they finally got back to me with a simple “we are aware of the problem”.
The Hue Play Bars work surprisingly well, but it can be a pain to place their location in the app to get them to display colors properly. But this review is about the Gradient Light strip not the company, and that as a stand-alone product works very, very well. So if you can live with no lights on the bottom, fighting to get a workaround solution you can live with considering it will never be as good as the rest of the screen, or it isn’t an issue for you at all, it is a must-buy. As far as brightness goes it is plenty bright in my opinion, usable even in daylight as long as you close the blinds (I have normal wooden slat blinds not blackout blinds by any means) and the light shines across my entire wall and up into the ceiling or to the side and off the side wall. In fact, yow will probably want to turn it down quite a bit, as the light can be so bright it’s distracting from the actual content.
The music sync feature needs work, though. It could benefit from some options as it seems pretty random what part of the music it reacts to, and with multiple lights it’s hard to tell what part of the music any given light is reacting to.Promised Review by Scott