Have you heard about Philips Hue lights? Well, I mean, you have if you're been reading Teh Blog for at least a minute. Sadly, this is not an affiliate post, this is a "Megan fucking loves Hue lights because #ALLTHECOLORS!" post. But I mean, if Philips wants to send me some free lights for my trouble, I'd be happy to keep tootin' my horn**.
First and foremost. Hue Lights. Do you want to know what happens when you have 2 incomes and you are childless? Hue lights. ALL THE HUE LIGHTS. (There is actually a Hue hashtag, but I'll save it for later.) Let me give credit where credit is due. Teh Humanitarian introduced me to Hue lights probably around the end of 2015. I had announced that we were building a house and she saw the lights and immediately thought of Teh Megan.
Can I just say how proud I am that people associate me with ALL THE COLORS? Tie-dye, rainbows, watercolor splatter, Lisa Frank. I just love that. Anyways.
I watched the video and I did some research and those bitches were expensive, but I couldn't let them go. I loved them. The colors! The tech! Mood lighting! But lordy they were expensive. $60 for a lightbulb. #aintnobodygottimefordat And then I showed the video to Teh German who was like, "Yeah, that's cool. We don't have a house yet."
Then, finally, we did have House. And we asked for Hue lights as a housewarming gift and Teh Sister bought a set for us (in exchange for me
|Our first set of Hue lights... |
AKA, opening the door to the rabbit hole.
Since Teh Sister's gift only had 3 lights, we had to buy another set. Both sets were refurbished because when your lights cost this much, saving dollas when you can is muy importante.
|So pretttayyy with 2 sets.|
But then Teh German wanted light strips to do the cabinets. I found refurbished Hue light strips on sale and bought a set. Turns out 2 light strips was not long enough for the cabinets. But seriously, this shit is expensive and while House account isn't hurting (since we didn't get to build the screened in porch that was going to cost at least $6,000), equipping the entire house would probably cost something around the cost of the screened in porch, relatively. Ok, maybe not quite, but it would feel like it.
The light strips sat on the counter for a few weeks before Teh German decided to test one on top of the kitchen cabinet one day. It was kinda ghetto looking because the power cord was sticking out of the cabinet door, but we knew it was temporary, so we just dealt with it.
|Single light strip|
Lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely..
Please get me some friends.. to call my oooowwwnnn
(I improvised some.)
Teh German didn't like the way the single light strip looked and after taking some measurements, we figured out how much light strip we'd need to do the tops of all the kitchen cabinets. An expensive amount of light strips is how much. Teh German wasn't willing to bite the bullet (and neither was I after buying the first sets out of pocket), so we didn't buy more light strips at that time.
Thennnn, our new sofa table arrived from Teh Builder. After her spectacular work on the entryway bench, we were pumped to see what she was going to create for our sofa table. We were not disappointed. Seriously though. If you're local, I know just the person for furniture building/upcycling. After putting the sofa table behind the couch, Teh German decided he wanted to put light strips on it. So that's what we did. We took the light strip from the kitchen cabinets since the table is 12 feet long.
Teh German still didn't want to bite the bullet on the light strips for the kitchen because they it was going to be so expensive to do as much as he wanted to do. He had also decided he wanted to put a light strip on the entertainment console in the living room.
The next day at work, I did some research and learned that Philips released Hue light strip extensions, which are 3 feet long for $30 AND there is a 2nd generation of light strips that has been released which allow you to plug in the extensions. I shared this with Teh German and later that evening, he broke down and bought the light strips and extensions from Amazon. The next day, I received an email from Philips asking me to reconfirm my email address for promo emails. I almosssssttttt just deleted it, because I hate promo emails. It makes me want to shop and I don't need to shop. But I clicked confirm and it took me to a coupon code for $20 off the gen 2 light strips. Ya'll. $20 off! That's a big deal. Big enough that I checked to make sure that it was $20 per strip the following day and told Teh German to reorder the light strips from the Hue site and we'd return the ones to Amazon. #dollarsavedisadollarearned When he came home from work that day, he did exactly that. I love when he listens to my crazy.
When the new light strips arrived, Teh German had to do some light strip rearranging, so the light strips came off the sofa table and were put else where since the sofa table needed a gen 2 strip that could accept the extensions.
Side note: I have found a youtube video that shows someone attaching an extension to a gen 1 light strip with an inexpensive connector and a soldering iron, but Teh German's soldering skills are limited and every time he gets that thing out he ends up with a burn. The other, bigger, issue is that the gen 1 colors and the gen 2 colors are different. Gen 2 is brighter and more lumens, which is good because ya know, progress. Except that I'm OCD and Teh German is.. German. Everything has to be the same. The final difference between gen 1 and gen 2 light strips is that the gen 2 power connector can be disconnected from the light strand. This is especially helpful if you say, drill a hole in the top of your cabinet to run the power cord to the power outlet in that cabinet so it doesn't show along the wall.
So gen 2 light strips were put on the kitchen cabinets and on the entertainment console and reapplied to the sofa table. It look ahhhmazingggggggg(uh). Originally, we had a gen 1 light strip on the cabinet by the patio door, but it was replaced with a gen 2 light strip since the colors didn't always match the other gen 2 strips on the other cabinets. We ended up with 2 extra extension strips since Teh German decided to center some strips instead of running them the entire length of the surface and I returned them and got $60 back.
|Lesson 1: We need a taller step ladder. |
Lesson 2: I can always find a way to make shit happen.
Thanks PostSecret and Calvin and Hobbes (which was difficult for me) for coming to our rescue.
Lesson 3: I'm a creeper.
|Living room w/ entertainment console and sofa table lit up.|
We will be adding some accent lights to the corners on either side of the TV. They are on the way.
|Kitchen with Hue lights over cabinets and in the ceiling.|
Teh German decided that he wanted spot lights in the living room on either side of the TV, so he purchased 2 par16 bulbs (spotlights) and 2 floor spotlight stands from Amazon. I think with these lights, the living room is finally complete.
|Living room with:|
2 spotlights and 2 light strips
After ordering the cabinet strips, Teh German wanted to replace the gen 1 strips with gen 2s, so I bought 2 more light strips. The gen 1 strips were replaced with the gen 2 strips. The gen 1 strips were put on the entryway bench and in our headboard. I also decided that the Lux† lights from the BR30 starter kits were good for the bedroom. I had posted them on Ebay, but canceled the listing. I had to order new lamps (not pictured as they haven't arrived yet) since Teh German didn't have a lamp on his night stand, after it broke in a move years ago, but I'm not counting that as part of our Hue set since we need new lamps anyways.
|2 Lux bulbs (1 per lamp), 1 light strip|
That lamp will be replaced, but for now the Lux bulb is working great in it.
Sooo now I'll break down the cost for you since I'm sure that's what you're really wondering about.
I haven't totaled this before now, so it's going to hurt both of us, don't worry. (PS. These are not affiliate links, just the links to the specific items if you're interested.)
2 sets of refurbished BR 30 lights (start kit*) - $184x2= $368 (1 set was a gift)
1 set of refurbished light strips (start kit^) - $162
5 Light Strip Pro strands - $70x5= $350
3 Light Strip extensions - $30x3= $90
2 floor spotlights - $16x2= $34
2 par16 Hue bulbs - $60x2= $120
GRAND TOTAL: $1125.
* included a Bridge to link all the lights, ethernet cable, 3 BR30 color bulbs, and 1 A19 Hue Lux bulb. A single Bridge can connect up to 50 lights.
^ included a Bridge, ethernet cable, and 2 light strips
Truth be told? It's totally worth it. As someone pointed out to me, we don't have kids, we aren't in debt. Yes, its extraneous, but it makes us happy. In fact, the morning after all the cabinet lights were put up, I figured I'd turn on the Hue lights for Teh German for when he came downstairs so he could admire his hard work. But then, in true Megan fashion, I got distracted and maybe a bit selfish and decided to turn on the rainbow fade for myself because it's seriously the best thing ever. Teh German doesn't love this setting. I told him that he should be glad I didn't put it on rave lights where all the lights cycle through different random colors (good for showing off, great for setting off seizures). Our main living space was cycling through the rainbow. Lisa Frank would be proud of me.
We can also set the lights to turn on as alarms. Sadly, the gen 1 light strip isn't great for that since it doesn't fade well, but I'm dealing with it. We can schedule the lights to turn off/on at certain times. We can turn the lights on/off individually or collectively or by room. We can set each light to a different color or use a scene based on a photo.
The biggest positive I have about the Hue lights was when I posted on their Facebook page that we were being left in the dark, they responded within 12 hours and helped me troubleshoot the issue. They actually communicated several times back and forth with me and even followed up. Color me impressed.
|We're crazy over Hue...|
†Lux lights are white light only, but are dimmable and can display lights from a soft to daylight range.
**I actually contacted Hue about sponsoring a post. They weren't willing, but told me they were glad I love their products and would be happy to see a post about their lights. Yeah, you guys suck.