Ambilight for everyone? That's one way or another you could describe the new Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip. The light strip is intended to be mounted behind the TV and can display several colours at the same time to create a real ambilight feeling in combination with Hue Entertainment – no matter which TV you use.
The Play Gradient Lightstrip can be pre-ordered from today and will be delivered in October. I can imagine that you have a lot of questions before you buy – and that's exactly what I want to answer in this article.
What are the requirements for using the Play Gradient Lightstrip?
You will definitely need the Hue Bridge, to which the Play Gradient Lightstrip can be connected like any other Hue lamp. In order to display colour effects, the light strip must be integrated into an entertainment area, which in turn can be controlled by the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box or the Hue Sync App for Mac and Windows.
How is the Play Gradient Lightstrip mounted on the television?
Several brackets are attached to the back of the TV, including in the top corners. The Play Gradient Lightstrip also has a marker so that it can be placed exactly in the middle. You can see exactly how this works in the following video:
How long is the Play Gradient Lightstrip?
The lightstrip is available in three different lengths, suitable for TVs up to 55, 65 and 75 inches. The exact lengths of the Play Gradient Lightstrip are as follows according to the data sheet: 216.5, 254 and 304 cm. The maximum brightness for all three models is 1,100 lumens.
What about TVs that are larger than 75 inches?
If your television is larger than 75 inches, you can simply move the light strip on the back of the television a little further into the centre. In this way, the Play Gradient Lightstrip will reach to the bottom two corners.
Why doesn't the Play Gradient Lightstrip cover the bottom of the TV?
The Play Gradient Lightstrip is mounted on three sides of the television, there are no light effects on the bottom side. Philips Hue has deliberately avoided this, as most TVs do not allow the light effect to reach the bottom of the TV as well as the left, right and top. Because of the fixed division of the segments, it also makes no sense to mount a light strip for a larger TV on a small TV.
How exactly are the individual segments of the light strip divided?
The Play Gradient Lightstrip can light up in seven different colours at the same time. There are three segments on the top side that could be controlled individually, two on the left and two on the right. From a purely technical point of view, the light strip is divided into 12.5 centimetre long sections, which could even be controlled individually. In the end, however, we are probably at a performance issue of the ZigBee system.
Is it possible to let the Play Gradient Lightstrip shine in several colours without the Sync Box?
If sync with Hue Entertainment is not active, the Play Gradient Lightstrip can only light up with one colour, just like the normal Lightstrip Plus. However, Hue founder George Yianni has already announced that a future software update will enable the gradient function outside of the sync box. However, he does not yet name an exact time frame for this update.
How will the Play Gradient Lightstrip be placed in the entertainment area?
In contrast to other Hue lamps, the Play Gradient Lightstrip can only be placed at a fixed position in the entertainment area and cannot be moved – which makes sense.
Can the Play Gradient Lightstrip be placed in an entertainment area with other Hue lamps?
Although it can display seven colours simultaneously, the Play Gradient Lightstrip in Hue Entertainment only counts as one lamp. This means that nine more light sources can be placed in an entertainment area.
Does the Play Gradient Lightstrip take up a lot of space on the bridge?
On the Hue Bridge, which, as we all know, only has room for 50 lamps, the Play Gradient Lightstrip only takes up a single memory space – not seven individual ones.
Can the Play Gradient Lightstrip be connected to the Sync Box power supply?
The Play Gradient Lightstrip has the same cable and plug as the HDMI Sync Box and Play Lightbar, so theoretically they can be used together on one power supply. However, the Lightstrip requires so much power with 20 watts that it needs its own power supply unit.
Can third-party applications also access the functions of the Play Gradient Lightstrip?
The light strip with its seven segments can also be controlled by third-party developers via the Entertainment API – but only if synchronisation is active. Apps like iConnectHue already access this interface for music visualisation.