Following the addition of some new bedroom furniture, we had need to add a little brightness to what could otherwise have been a rather dull space. Thankfully, the right lighting helps, and the right smart lighting helps even more. We've added a Philips Hue 'Bloom' to our Smart Home setup to improve things, and here I take a look at what it is, and what it does.
So, over the last weekend we reorganised our master bedroom. The room itself is a fairly large space, but it's not so easy to figure out what to do with a 'basic box' shaped room. Sure we've got the obligatory bed, beside cabinets etc, but then, where to put the wardrobes? We've got an on-suite so they would rather get in the way if they were placed against the back wall.
So, we decided to break the room up a bit, by having the wardrobes in the middle of the room, and then put a 'box style' shelving setup on the other side of them (to avoid having to stare at the rather unsighltly rear of the wardrobes from our bed).
However this does rather create a slightly 'dark passageway' leading to the on-suite bathroom, and we needed a way to brighten this up a bit. Enter Philips Hue Bloom.
The Hue Bloom lamp is an all-in-one integrated lamp unit, that's design to act as a highlight lamp. The general idea is to position it up against a wall or a corner area, perhaps hiding the unit itself out of sight. That way, it creates a 'glow' against the wall. The unit itself is fairly low power, only providing 120 lumens. So, it's not going to light up your whole room, but then, that's not the intention.
The Bloom is one of a whole array of integrated lamp units that Hue how provide. Some of these are free-standing units, others are actual light fittings for your ceiling or wall. The Bloom fits in the the category of being a colour light, and is able to provide colour lighting whereever you might need it (in it's capacity as a 'highlighter').
By installing one on top of one of our wardrobes, we're able to throw a little extra brightness into that side of the room. By installing a motion sensor, we're now also able to have the light come on automatically rather than having to wander around in darkness if we need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Plus, as Hue knows that you might like different brightness levels for night time vs day time, we've been able to set the Bloom to only come on at 1% brightness for overnight bathroom visits. 1% for a unit like this is very low light level. Enough to see where you're going, but not enough that it becomes dazzling.
The unit itself is nice and compact, and fits in the palm of your hand. It feels solid and well built. No additional components are required - it's an all in one unit. You don't need a separate bulb - the LEDs are built-in.
You add it to your Hue setup just as you would any other light (Settings > Light Setup > Add Light). When we did this, it was discovered automatically, and then it was just a case of adding it to the 'room' (Master Bedroom in our case).
We've also made use of a Philips Hue Labs Formula called 'No Motion, No Fuss'. This formula is super useful for a couple of reasons. First, it allows us to define precisely which lights should be included when activated by a motion sensor. This is super useful, because we don't want the activation of the Bloom light to also impact on other Hue lights in the bedroom - whatever state they're in (on, off etc), we want them to stay that way if someone walks past the motion sensor, which is pointing toward the en-suite door.
Second, the formula allows you to have the light revert back to it's previous state after a timeout. This is useful because the normal motion-sensor behaviour requires you to specify a scene to activate at the end of a timeout. For us that would be problematic because it would be impossible to predict our preference at any given time. Sometimes we might want the light to turn off, other times we might want it to stay on. This formula solves that issue.
All-in-all we're pretty happy with this unit. It adds just the right amount of light to a corner of the room that would otherwise be dark, and stops us bumping into things if we get up in the night .. but without dazzling us fully awake! Recommended.