Philips Hue lights are great to have in your house, and they can add a lot of convenience to your living space. However, what if you want to use these smart bulbs outdoors in porch lights or flood lights? Will Philips Hue bulbs work properly in an outdoor environment?
It’s important to know that any light bulb and its circuitry that are exposed to rain and other forms of precipitation isn’t safe; those conditions can easily ruin the bulb and the wiring. This is why pretty much all outdoor light fixtures are weather-sealed to some extent and clearly labeled for outdoor use. Philips says that its Hue bulbs are meant for indoor use only, because the weather can impact the bulbs negatively, which makes sense.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these bulbs will stop working the moment you use them outdoors. Furthermore, Philips Hue actually offers a few options aimed at outdoor use.
Indoor Hue Bulbs Should Be Fine, but Use Caution
One reason why Philips doesn’t recommend using its indoor Hue bulbs outdoors is because of the heat during the summer. Philips Hue bulbs already run pretty hot when they’re used in your home, so using them outside where it can easily reach 90 degrees simply makes these bulbs run even hotter, and can shorten the lifespan of the bulb.
Of course, typical LED bulbs are rated to last around 25,000 hours, so even if you left a Hue bulb on for eight hours every day, it would take a little over eight-and-a-half years before the bulb finally died—a little less if they’re run in less-than-ideal conditions. By then, there’ll probably be newer versions of Hue bulbs available that you’d want to upgrade to anyway.
Overall, though, there’s really not much to be worried about. Many users have indoor Hue bulbs mounted in various outdoor fixtures and haven’t run into any problems. I personally have a Hue bulb mounted in my front porch light that turns on at dusk and stays on all night until dawn. Even during big heat waves, the bulb still worked just fine.
Just as long as the bulb is mounted in a moderately sheltered light fixture that protects it from rain, snow, hail, and other elements, then it’s fine to use a Philips Hue bulb outdoors. Just know that the bulb may not last as long as it could if it were used indoors in better conditions.
If You’re Really Worried, Use an Actual Outdoor Hue Light
If you’re not comfortable using an indoor Hue bulb outside, then you might consider using a Hue light fixture that’s actually made to be outdoors, and Philips makes a few different options, with a few more rumored to be available soon.
They do sell a bulb that’s specifically made for outdoor applications, although it’s a flood light and would only be suitable for those types of fixtures.
They also have a bulb aimed at recessed can light fixtures. While it’s not specifically design for outdoor use, it’s at least made to withstand a widee temperature range, from around -4 degrees Fahrenheit to about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Philips also makes a few different outdoor light fixtures, including wall-mounted options like the Inara, Ludere, and Lucca. They also offer path lights of sorts, like the Lily and the Calla, which can be linked together using a single power cable.
And if that’s not enough, it’s rumored that Philips will release some outdoor lights in the near future, thanks to the company leaking their own future products ahead of time.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to go too far out from your house with any kind of Hue bulb, whether it’s an outdoor one or not. If you do, it might not be able to communicate with your hub.
So if you’re planning on putting a Hue bulb into your driveway light by the street or even in a light fixture out by your shed, you’ll want to make sure that it can still reach the Hue Bridge. If not, the bulb will still power on just fine, but you won’t be able to control it remotely from your phone and use it with scenes or schedules.