Philips Hue bulbs are a popular intelligent lighting system that allows users to control lighting and adjust color and brightness from an app. While Hue bulbs are commonly used indoors, a common question is whether they can also be used in outdoor settings.
Here is an overview of using Philips Hue bulbs outside.
Is the Outside use Mentioned in the Specifications of the Philips Hue bulbs?
The first step in determining if a Philips Hue bulb can be used outside is to check the bulb specifications. Most Hue bulbs are rated for indoor use only. However, Philips offers some bulbs specifically designed and rated for outdoor use.
Look at your bulb’s packaging or product description to see if it is an indoor or outdoor model. The outdoor bulbs will state they are outdoor-rated and suited for wet locations. Using indoor bulbs outside could damage them or lead to safety issues.
5 Tips To use Outdoor-Rated Hue bulbs
If using outdoor-rated Hue bulbs, the next consideration is selecting appropriate outdoor fixtures—any electrical fixture used outside needs to be outdoor-rated and suitable for wet conditions. Choose a fixture labeled for outdoor or wet location use.
The fixture should also be rated for the wattage of the Hue bulb. Check the bulb wattage against the fixture rating to ensure compatibility. Using a bulb with too high of a wattage can overheat the fixture.
Follow all installation guidelines to mount the outdoor fixture and securely make appropriate weatherproof connections. This will help prevent moisture damage.
1. Positioning Bulbs Under Cover
Even when using outdoor bulbs, it’s best to position the bulbs under some cover to protect them from direct exposure to rain, snow, and sprinklers. Placing the bulbs under the cover of a porch, awning, or eave helps shield them from excessive moisture.
You can also install bulbs under sheltered fixtures like covered security lights. Ensure the fixtures allow adequate airflow around the bulbs to prevent overheating. Proper positioning under protective covers extends the lifespan of outdoor bulbs.
2. Using Smart Features Outdoors
One of the appeals of Philips Hue bulbs is using the smart features like an app and voice control. The good news is outdoor Hue bulbs can still connect to the Hue bridge and app when positioned outside.
The Hue bridge must be located indoors, within range of the outdoor bulbs. In most homes, a standard wireless range is sufficient to connect outdoor bulbs to an indoor bridge. The bulbs can then be added to rooms and lighting groups in the app.
You can even connect outdoor Hue lights to smart home systems for voice control, automation based on schedules or sensors, syncing to music or videos, and integration with other smart devices. Just ensure all bridge, app, and WiFi connections are setup properly.
3. Avoiding Temperature Extremes
While designed for outdoor use, Philips Hue outdoor bulbs still have optimal temperature ranges. Most models recommend avoiding extremely cold and hot conditions.
Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures or direct heating from hot sunlight can impact performance and shorten lifespan. Position bulbs away from locations like attic vents and radiant heat surfaces.
The lights also shouldn’t be used in enclosed fixtures without ventilation, as excessive heat buildup can occur. It’s best to install them in open, airy fixtures. Proper positioning helps give outdoor Hue lights the longest working life.
4. Using Dimmable Bulbs Properly
Philips Hue bulbs are designed to be dimmable. However, you have to use dimmable bulbs with a compatible dimmer switch. Using a standard on/off switch can damage dimmable bulbs.
Choose an outdoor-rated dimmer switch explicitly marked as compatible with LED smart bulbs for outdoor installations. Inform any other users about proper dimmer switch usage to avoid issues.
Setting brightness levels in the app is also an option. Just be aware that misusing a standard switch can override app settings anytime.
5. Following Electrical Safety Codes
As with any electrical project, properly installing Philips Hue outdoor bulbs requires following electrical and safety codes. Be sure to avoid overloading circuits with excessive lighting loads.
Outdoor circuits are also more prone to electrical shorts and should have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. Proper weatherproofing is a must. A licensed electrician can ensure all codes are met.
Safety should always be the top priority when working with outdoor electrical and lighting systems. Abiding by electrical standards helps prevent hazards.
By selecting outdoor-rated bulbs, installing them in appropriate outdoor fixtures under protective covers, and following proper usage and codes, Philips Hue bulbs can be incorporated into outdoor spaces.
When properly utilized, Outdoor Hue bulbs can provide many years of bright, colorful, and dynamic illumination. Just consider some key factors, and you can enjoy smart lighting conveniences outside.