If you want to add a splash of color to the outside of your home, the Philips Hue Lily spotlights should be on your list of potential products. These aren’t cheap at $280 for three spots, but they have one benefit over competing options: Each light can display a different color.
I took these for a spin using a review set that Philips loaned me, along with a Hue Bridge since these are Zigbee lights, and I like them, save for one gotcha I’ll mention in a bit. The basic initial set up was easy, although the lights required a firmware update which took more than 30 minutes to install.
Each 8-watt LED unit is mounted on a screw-in spike, which you just plant into the ground. Philips includes a low-voltage power pack to plug into an outside outlet and you string the spotlights to it and to each other.
The connectors are dummy-proof as well: There’s only one way to connect the string and once connected, you screw the connection together to avoid any disconnections. I’d estimate that each spotlight can be up to 15 feet from the prior one. All of the wires, as well as the lamp housings and power packs are meant to be outdoors and are weather resistant. For those who care, they are IP65 rated.
Typical of Philips Hue lighting, you can choose from up to 16 million colors for the spotlights. I’d stick with a shade of white for most use, but can see the benefits of choice around certain holidays. Here’s my version of Christmas with red and green, for example.
Controlling the spotlights via the Philips Hue app is no different than with any other Hue lights and works with both Android and iOS devices. In the app, you can set timers and routines for the Lily spots, or create custom scenes that include both the spotlights and any other Hue lights you might have.
Now to the previously mentioned “gotcha”, which could be specific to my home. For some reason, I couldn’t connect these to my Wink Hub, Google Home, Amazon Alexa. I was able to add them to my iOS Home app and get Siri voice commands working, however.
Again, this might be specific to my home setup but it’s a little concerning after trying to get even one smart home or hub connection working. After about three hours and a few password resets, I gave up. Assuming this isn’t a local or configuration issue on my end, I’d expect this to be addressed in a firmware update.
That challenge aside, I like the Philips Hue Lily spotlights more than I expected. Unlike Stacey, I’m not a decorative light aficionado. If I still had solar panels and was generating my own electricity, I’d be more inclined to have fancy lights. I’d still use a white or off-white color most of the time so as not to annoy my neighbors (or my HOA).
And even if that were the case, I’m not sure I’d drop $280 for spotlights. Stacey has a much cheaper option with her Sylvania LIGHTIFY LED Gardenspot mini RGB: A 9-pack cost her around $60. Adding another single Hue Lily spot alone is $79, which doesn’t include the power pack; each power pack can support up to five spotlights.
However, all of her lights must display the same color, are much smaller, so they’re not really spotlights and the string is just 15-feet in length. For true, higher brightness spotlights, you’ll likely want the Hue option over those, particularly if you plan to have different colors on each bulb.