With the launch of the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box in 2019 and the Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip the following year, Philips Hue has managed to take the TV experience to a new level. On the PC, however, where a Sync Box is not even necessary, we are still at the technical level of 2018.
Back then, Philips Hue introduced the Hue Play Lightbar at Gamescom. Small mood lights that can be stuck to the back of a monitor with matching holders. Conveniently, three lights can be operated from one socket. As with all other entertainment products, control is via the Hue Bridge, in this case in conjunction with the Hue Sync software.
The Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip launched in 2020, which offers significantly better technology than the Play Lightbar, is still not intended for use on or behind the PC screen. It is only available in three lengths for TVs from 50 to 80 inches.
Mounting the shortest Gradient Lightstrip behind a 47-inch “small” TV still works wonderfully. But the PC monitors on desks are likely to be somewhere between 24 and 34 inches. And even the currently shortest Play Gradient Lightstrip is too long for that, at over 215 centimetres. To give you an idea: my 34-inch widescreen monitor has an edge length of 150 centimetres on the three sides from left to right, while a conventional 27-inch monitor has an edge length of around 130 centimetres.
Since the Play Gradient Lightstrip cannot illuminate the underside of the display – in which case the seven zones no longer correspond to the screen content – the solution from 2018 is currently still the measure of all things: three or perhaps four Play Lightbars behind the monitor. This is a pity, because the Play Gradient Lightstrip can display up to seven colours simultaneously and also offers a much simpler and cleaner installation.