Magic Hue Review | The Cheap Philips Hue Alternative?

Intro

Philips Hue lights are really cool smart lights, but they are very expensive. Well, the Magic Hue lights seem to fix that problem. But are they any good?

What Is Magic Hue?

Before we start talking about what Magic Hue has to offer we need to know what it is. Well, Magic Hue is a new Asian app that controls lights. These lights can then be controlled via the app or your personal assistant. Magic Hue officially only supports Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Unofficially though, you can control the lights via Siri on your iPhone.

You will find a lot of different lights that are controlled by Magic Hue on sites like Amazon. There is no Magic Hue site or shop so everything is done via 3rd party sites. This also means that its product line, if there is one, is not clear.

Magic Hue App

It is comparable to all of the smart home products that are compatible with Amazon Alexa. There are a lot of products but there is not a clear product line. This has both benefits and downsides. This means there are a lot of products that customers can choose from. But, that also means that customers can get more confused as there is no product lineup.

Lastly, it seems that Magic Hue itself doesn’t make the products themselves. Instead, we think that they let other companies integrate the Magic Hue app into their lights. This is why you will see very similar products that all support Magic Hue. As we said, Magic Hue is an app and not really a company that makes smart lights.

What Products Do They Offer?

As we talked about before Magic Hue doesn’t offer any products themselves. So, we have decided to list the 3 main products that are compatible with the app.

Light Bulbs

Smart Light Bulb

The first major product that supports the app is light bulbs. These light bulbs are basically any old no-name brand that sells its products on amazon.

Most light bulbs you will find are RGB with pretty vibrant colors. You will also find some light bulbs that change how warm or cool the light is but these are harder to find. The reason for this is that RGB light bulbs can also change how cool or warm the light is. Since there are so many manufacturers you will be able to choose from a lot of light bulbs.

We think that you will be able to find any fitting you need. These light bulbs are pretty inexpensive for what they offer. Most of them range from 10$-30$.

LED Strips

LED Strip

Next up we have LED strips. These are very similar to the light strips most people have behind their desk. Some of these are even identical, but some of them are already compatible with the Magic Hue App. The strip will need to come with a special WiFi controller that is compatible with the app. This is where you will have to look at the reviews closely, to determine if the strip comes with a generic WiFi controller or one that is compatible with the Magic Hue app.

These LED strips, like the light bulbs, are available in a temperature controlling variant and in an RGB variant. The lengths vary from 1m all the way to 5m, with everything in between.

If you need an exact length, then you can cut off a part off the LED strip. The part you cut off can only be used again if you solder the correct wires to it. But as these LED strips are pretty cheap we recommend you to throw the piece ou cut off away. Re-soldering wires to it is a big hassle and we think it is not worth the time.

WiFi LED Strip Controllers

WiFi LED Controller

Lastly, we have the WiFi LED Strip Controllers that we talked about previously. If the LED strip you have does not already have a WiFi LED Strip Controllers you can buy one for about 12$. You then simply replace your generic controller with the WiFi controller and you’re done.

The controller, for those who don’t know what it looks like, is usually a white box with 2 wires leading out of it and one input for power. Once you have installed the WiFi controller you won’t need the remote control or generic controller anymore. But we suggest you keep them just in case you ever want to use them again.

There are multiple WiFi LED Strip Controllers on Amazon and all of them are very similar. We recommend you buy the one with the best reviews or the one that says Amazon’s Choice above it.

Reliability

Well, until now we haven’t found any drawback except for there not being a Magic Hue site or product line. The first thing that comes to mind when buying cheap electronics from Asia is how reliable they are.

Usually, the rule of thumb is to go for the company that has the best reputation. Well, in this case, that is kind of difficult as you probably don’t know any of the companies.

Magic Hue Reviews

Generally speaking, most of the products you buy are in good condition and work well. And even if they don’t amazon has, in our opinion, the best return policy. It is a 30-day no questions asked full refund policy.

This means if the product doesn’t work or you have decided you don’t like it you can send it back for a replacement or full refund. As long as you keep the box basically nothing can go wrong.

If we are talking about the long run, it really depends on a product to product basis on how long they will last. Your best bet is to look at customer reviews and see if most people have had a good experience with the longevity of the lights. Even if the light decides to give up after 2 years, you’ve only spent around 15$ for a smart RGB light bulb.

Pros

After having covered most of the things you need to know about Magic Hue, lets’ summarise all of the pros it has.

First of all the products are very cheap when compared to Philips Hue and LIFX. You can easily get multiple Light bulbs for the price of one Philips Hue bulb. This means that smart lights are accessible to more people. We really like this as this means people that can’t afford very expensive smart home devices, can still enjoy the benefits they offer.

Magic Hue Products

As all of the products that are compatible with the Magic App are made by different companies, there is a lot of choice for us consumers. When multiple companies make the same kind of product it creates competition. This is very good for the consumer as there are multiple versions of the same product.

Cons

Lastly, we are going to talk about the cons. The first downside is that there is no reliable company behind the products. To be more exact there is not one company behind the Magic Hue compatible products which can make things very confusing. This means the quality of all the products is different.

Some people like to have 1 product line which makes expanding what you currently have easier. This is not the case in the with Magic Hue products. You will need to do the research and hope that all of your lights are equally vibrant, bright, etc.

Conclusion

We really like the idea of the Magic Hue app as it enables more people to experience smart home tech. While there are some downsides, most people will have a good experience with the lights and the app.

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