At the weekend, I wanted to find out for you how much electricity the new Philips Hue Festavia string light consumes. The result really surprised me, especially with regard to other Hue light sources. But first things first.
With Philips Hue lights, it has always been the case that colours have consumed significantly less energy than, for example, bright and cool white tones. For example, a normal E27 light bulb consumes just 1.4 watts at the violet colour setting, while it is 9.1 watts at the concentration scene. However, if this scene is dimmed by 50 percent, the power consumption drops by more than half to only 3.2 watts.
Surprising power consumption of the Philips Hue string light
With the Festavia, however, it looks quite different. No matter whether you set it to a bright colour or to a scene like reading, relaxing or concentrating, the power consumption is always between 16 and 17 watts. Even if you reduce the brightness to 1 per cent, the measured values do not change.
I noticed the same behaviour with a Twinkly string light, here the consumption was constant at 20 to 21 watts. Only in standby does the power drop significantly, with Twinkly to 2.1 watts, with the Hue Festavia to less than 0.2 watts.
This is the technical explanation
The constant power consumption despite completely different light settings has a technical reason. When operating a smart string light, voltage must be applied to all LEDs at all times, as this is how the individual LEDs communicate with each other.
The string light is a series-parallel combination of LED segments. Even if some LEDs are switched off, the current is passed on to the following segments. The same current always flows, no matter how the individual LEDs are set.
These factors ensure that the power consumption is always almost identical in the end. With other Hue light sources, the control is more centralised so that the power consumption is adjusted to the actual demand.
Philips Hue Festavia Lichterkette