In the meantime, Philips Hue has been on the market for more than ten years, but there is still no specific product for a place in the home in 2023. There are products for the TV and for the sink. For the PC monitor and for the Christmas tree. But what about the bedside table?
Of course, I would have almost any classic bedside lamp fitted with a Hue bulb, but can that really be the end of the line? Of course, the new Hue Go Portable fits perfectly on the bedside table. But isn’t there a bit more to it?
So far, Philips Hue has only really ventured into the subject a little bit, if at all. The Philips Hue Gradient Signe table lamp is shown standing on a bedside table in some product images.
Fittingly, it is advertised as having a “wake up naturally” feature that can produce a gradient of colour like the sunrise. “Use the Hue Gradient Signe light as your personal alarm clock. Watch the beautiful colours of the morning sun slowly fade into each other across the entire luminaire,” writes the manufacturer.
And how do you turn on the light at night?
With the Gradient Signe table lamp on the bedside table, I only have one problem: how do you turn it on? No one is going to pick up their smartphone at night and open the Hue app or alternatively use a voice command. Of course, you could connect the bedside lamp to a smart Hue switch, such as the Hue Smart Button or the new Hue Tap Dial.
But it would be much more intuitive if you just had to tap the base of the Gradient Signe to switch the light on and off. Or swipe your finger over the long shaft to dim the light in the desired direction.
And if Philips Hue really thought innovatively, they would give a Signe bedside lamp a charging function for smartphones. Or perhaps an integrated LED display for the time?
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To me, a critical feature of a bedside light is that it must be directional. Late evenings/nights I typically want a decently bright light toward whatever I am doing, such as reading, and not a whole lot of light outside of that narrow area. As such the current Signe would make a pretty useless bedside light, but perhaps a bendable version of Signe could be something!
My bedside looks like this:
There’s a nice table lamp on the bedside table on each side. The lamps have hue bulbs in them.
On each bedside sits a hue tap dial. The buttons are programmed like this,
1 dim warm light on 1 lamp
2 reading light on 1 lamp
3 dim light on both lamps
4 bright daylight on both lamps
The zone for these lamps is set to turn both on, with reading light, before bedtime.
At bedtime we can turn house lights off and know the bedroom light is on so we can walk there.
As we get ready for sleep we can tap button 3 for dim light.
If my partner falls asleep, I can long-press button 3 or 4 to turn off the lights, and tap button 1 to keep some light on my side only.
It is the first setup that I tried with hue in the bedroom, and I’ve never wanted to change it. Perfect for us. It is an easy setup, both of us learned it quickly, and it is a lot more flexible than might be possible in a hard-wired or pre-configured bedside lamp — plus we can choose any style of lamp fixture we want, or change lamps if we redecorate, and everything just works.
You had me at “swipe your finger over the long shaft” 😂
You are right that this is a shortfall in the Hue range.
On each bedside table we have an IKEA Fado – a glass ball – with a Hue bulb. Each has a Hue Button with custom programming: short click to turn on/off the whole room (including strips behind the bed and behind a small sideboard), long press to turn on/off the one on your side of the bed. A switch by the door turns on the whole room with a range of scenes.
One gap is that we have to use a phone if we want to change the scene from the bed. And we often use Hue Labs’s fade routine (all lights to zero after 15 mins) and are irritated by its cumbersome control and buggy design.
We decided we didn’t need directional lighting. The Fado throws a lot of light; and much of our bedtime reading is with self-illuminated devices anyway.
They just announced their tableside lamp. It isn’t the greatest look, but you can take it off the stand and it runs off batteries. Seems good functionality wise, but expensive for just a lamp.
Rather than expanding the product range, they need to update the bridge to handle all the lights in a small house first. I shouldn’t need two bridges, only one of which can be handled remotely. They have ignored this problem for years.
As for bedside lamp, I just use a dimmer switch, which lets me turn off half the house (but not the other half because it’s still 1953 or something).
We have a hue iris and hue button each side of the bed…. Works great as a bedside light with different settings depending on time of day.