Signify is expanding Philips Hue’s smart home reach beyond its current scope of high-quality, convenience-focused mood lighting, with a suite of new home security products. Buy all the new bits of kit in the Philips Hue Secure range and you’ll have what is effectively a light-based home security system.
The new line – which will work seamlessly with existing Philips Hue lights – includes a wired and wireless camera, a floodlight camera, a door/window contact sensor, plus camera mounts (including stake mounts for the garden) and cables.
If an unwelcome visitor enters your home or garden and triggers a camera or contact sensor on an entry point, you’ll get a video clip of the event delivered to the app and the option to call the authorities or a contact from the app’s Security Centre. Crucially, you can set off a sound and light alarm. All your Hue lights will flash together as a warning to any family members, and as a deterrent to intruders.
The idea of all lights within a home flashing in sync as soon as an intruder opens the front door is genius. It’s a grand, filmic image although it may be slightly less impressive if it happens during the day and you don’t have a house crammed with Philips Hue lights.)
For most people, however, the price of the setup will be prohibitive, with the contact sensor priced at £59.99/ €69.99, the wired camera costing £174.99/ €199.99, the battery camera £219.99/ €249.99 and the floodlight camera priced at a whopping £299.99/ €349.99, which makes them more expensive than rival models from even other premium brands.
For reference, the notably expensive Google Nest cam with floodlight (wired) is priced at £269.99 in the UK.
And that’s before you even factor in the subscription you’ll need to use all the features. A basic plan with a 30-day video history costs £3.99/€3.99 per month or £34.99/ €39.99 per year for a single camera. The Plus plan with a 60-day history costs £8.99/ €9.99 per month or £84.99/ €99.99 for multiple cameras.
The feature sets seem comprehensive: the cameras can be used indoor or outdoors and have 1080p video feed with night vision and feature two-way talk, so if the person who triggers a garden camera alert when you’re away from home turns out to be the postman, you can have a chat and request that your package is left somewhere safe.
You can also set up blackout zones in the app to block out filming from given areas like a neighbour’s garden; assign activity zones, where you can filter out unwanted notifications; and choose to filter out motion from pets and cars.
But again, features including filtering out animals and traffic are subscription-only.
The floodlight has another great security feature. When you trigger an alarm from the app, it floods the surrounding area with light – but in the colour of your choosing.
Privacy is also a selling point, with all cameras featuring end-to-end encryption by default, even for event recognition. This means that your videos can’t be seen by anyone else, even by Philips.
As a day-to-day feature, the contact sensors and cameras can respond to motion by switching on the lights when you come home or enter a room. You’ll also need a Philips Hue Bridge (£49.99/ €59.99) to unlock all the features of the system.