Philips Hue too bright as nightlight - alternative? Hue Go? Osram?



  • So I ordered the Hue starter kit to try out to see if it would make night feeds for my baby easier; I'd anyway been thinking of a couple of years of getting the bulbs once the software was ready to use the bulbs like I use f.lux.

    It turns out they're too bright for use as a nightlight even when fully dimmed and red/orange. Apparently this minimum brightness is set in the hardware.

    Someone has suggested that the Hue Go has more dimming range but it's expensive for what it is so I'm hesitant about ordering it.

    Has anyone else had the same problem? Has anyone tried the Hue Go? Are any other smart light brands (ie Osram) a better alternative?



  • @Feanor A few 25 watt or 15 watt incandescent bulbs on a $10 dimmer switch that plugs into the wall outlet.



  • I assume you know of some that don't put out blue light, since this is the f.lux forum? Do you have a link?



  • @Feanor said:

    I assume you know of some that don't put out blue light, since this is the f.lux forum? Do you have a link?

    I've seen red LED night lights and red LED low-brightness lights. You can probably also find them in orange or even yellow, but red and orange would be the best.



  • I have the Philips hue lights and I have one light in my bedroom that's designated as a nightlight in case I need to get up in the middle of the night. I have it programmed to be as red as it can be and as dimmed as low as it can go and put a cheap lampshade (or red paper lantern) over it. That worked perfectly for me. I'd say it puts off the right amount of light and it's probably a low cost solution.



  • @TwoCables Any links? I've only found one bird-shaped orange night light, now on order.

    @Sleepy Thanks.

    FWIW I've got the Bloom and might send it back. It's brighter than the normal Hue bulbs when fully dimmed! The colours are also very artificial looking and you can see the individual LEDs - it's either a plasticy red or, to mix the colours for orange, the green LED becomes visible. It doesn't quite do the nice soft orange the Hue Colour bulbs do. The only advantage is that it can go on the floor and is easier to cover with a cloth or something.

    I think a Hue Colour bulb in a suitable lamp/lamp shade is best, as Sleepy's suggested. That, or the Go, which on another forum someone took photos of to show that it's much, much dimmer than the Bloom.



  • @Feanor said:

    @TwoCables Any links? I've only found one bird-shaped orange night light, now on order.

    @Sleepy Thanks.

    FWIW I've got the Bloom and might send it back. It's brighter than the normal Hue bulbs when fully dimmed! The colours are also very artificial looking and you can see the individual LEDs - it's either a plasticy red or, to mix the colours for orange, the green LED becomes visible. It doesn't quite do the nice soft orange the Hue Colour bulbs do. The only advantage is that it can go on the floor and is easier to cover with a cloth or something.

    I think a Hue Colour bulb in a suitable lamp/lamp shade is best, as Sleepy's suggested. That, or the Go, which on another forum someone took photos of to show that it's much, much dimmer than the Bloom.

    I don't have any specific recommendations, I only saw some at Menards. When I got home, I did some searching and found some available online but I didn't order any or do any research on whether any of the ones I saw were any good. So, that's as helpful as I can be. :/



  • Hi Feanor,

    I hesitate to take you down the rabbit hole since there are a lot of ways to get lost and confused, but if this helps, this is how I set up my light to be a night light:

    1. I used the “sunset” scene that came with the (1st gen) Philips Hue app. In that scene you can select what color you want the bulb to be by dragging the light bulb icon to the color of choice in the image.

    2. I dragged mine into the upper right corner where the darkest reds were. I did this at night too so I could see what I thought looked the best.

    3. Then I dimmed the bulb to the lowest setting it would go and saved my settings. It was still too bright (these bulbs are 9 watt bulbs that are capable of functional white light at 6500K so they are not meant to be used as night lights), but I have it in a lamp that has a lampshade so that helped diffuse it even more.

    Now any time I click on that scene when I need the night light the light illuminates to that shade of red and to the lowest dim setting. I’m sure there’s a way to program it to be a true night light with the alarms setting in the app so it comes on at a particular time at night and turns off when you want it off, but I’ll leave that to you to experiment with on your own.

    Best.



  • @Sleepy Thanks. I'm using the most recent app and I can't get my head around how to choose a colour from those default scenes (or from a photograph). It just seems to put one bulb onto one of the colours and another bulb onto another of the colours rather randomly; it seems a bit pointless. I've ended up just using the colour palette to choose manually, and I used that to find a nice deep orangey red for the night light mode.

    You're right about the lamp shade. I've found that covering the one I have works well. I'm moving in under a month so when I do I'll get a lampshade that diffuses and attenuates the light even more.

    I've sent the Bloom back. I think the Hue Colour bulbs are both better and more versatile and since they cost the same it makes more sense to have one of those instead.

    I also got a reply from Philips after emailing them about a week ago - they seem totally baffled that 1% light output is still too bright! Goes to show how many people don't realise how sensitive the eyes are when fully adjusted to real darkness.



  • Hi, again, Feanor,

    So we’re going to go down the rabbit hole. : ) I retraced my steps last night with the Philips Hue app and this is how I set up my light:

    1. Click on the scene you want to use.
    2. Click on the pen (edit) icon that’s in the upper right corner. That should make ever scene icon pulse with a tiny pen icon in the lower right corner.
    3. Click on the scene you want to use. This should make a menu pop up with 3 choices: delete, rename or edit.
    4. Select rename and rename it. (I renamed mine night light)
    5. After pressing OK it should bring you back to the main screen where all the scene icons are pulsing again.
    6. Click on the scene you renamed.
    7. Click edit this time in the pop up menu.
    8. Click on the tiny arrow that’s in the bottom right corner. That should bring up a list of all the lights that are connected to your hub.
    9. Uncheck every light except for your light that you’ve labeled night light.
    10. Click on the down arrow that’s in the upper right corner below the check mark. Once you do this you should see the scene colors with only one light bulb icon. It will have a number assigned to it that corresponds with the sequential order in which you connected it to your hub.
    11. Drag that numbered light bulb icon anywhere over the colors on that scene to choose which color you want.
    12. At the top of the screen you’ll notice that number with the name of that light bulb. Just below it is a slider to brighten and dim the light. Slide it all the way to the left for the dimmest setting and then click the check mark on the right side to save your settings. That’s it.

    This should work for any scene on either Hue app. There’s a first generation one and a second generation one. I’m still using the first generation one.



  • Hello. I read your comments about your search for a night light and the Philips Hue Go.

    I am looking for a night light also, one that is rechargeable, portable, dimmable and with a choice of light colors. The Hue Go seems like a good choice except that it looks a bit clumsy as far as portability goes, and the single button control seems like simplification to the point of complexity. Can you suggest any alternatives to the Hue Go?

    I've already scoured the options for rechargeable table lamps on Amazon, but they are all unsatisfying. (Most seem like junk with all sorts of unwanted add-ons like bluetooth hands-free call answering, alarm clocks etc. and none have the capability to dim the when in "color mode", except a few that use a cell phone app.)

    If you are still looking for a night light, here is a stationary option you might look at:

    Bulb:
    https://lowbluelights.com/product/d-candelabra-e12-screw-base-amber-6-led-night-light-bulb-120-volt/

    Fixture:
    https://www.pharmapacks.com/products.php?product=GE-White-Shade-Night-Light-1-ea#.WTnOvhMrL2Q

    I ordered a few of these to place around my apartment and use after sunset. They haven't arrived yet, so I don't know how they'll work out. But I also want to get the portable light for use in my bathroom which doesn't have an electrical socket.



  • Well, since this topic has been revived, it's not LED based or color selectable etc, but I think touch based lamps that dim an incandescent bulb, you can get red or orange variants of 25 or 40 watts, and dim them. Also many, if not all of them start on the lower setting, so maybe you can switch it off easily and start over the dimming cycle?

    If you are not a fan of touch lamps, a $10 "plug in lamp dimmer" is most likely what you'll find them named, Lutron makes them that can reduce power to really anything you plug into it, (preferably dimming lights) that plugs directly into a wall socket and has a sliding dimming control that controls the output of the outlet.



  • I have the Low Blue Lights night light (I bought the combination with the light and the fixture), and while I can say that it definitely is a blue-free light (they really know what they are doing here!), I feel it's much too bright to be a night light unless you put it in a location where you never get a direct line of sight to it, and where like half of its light output is blocked. So @nielkfj, it's a very good thing you decided to get a fixture that has a shade on it. You will appreciate that little plastic shade quite a bit.

    Just so it's clear, I'm not using this as a night light and I never intended to (I can try to explain how I'm using it later). I still tested it as a night light though and I was disappointed with how bright it is. I'm referring to the light intensity, the Lumens output. It's way too high. I don't know why they designed it this way, but they did so I guess that means they found this brightness to still be quite "safe". I don't know. It's probably the best that we can find on the market though. I would bet any other lights that claim to be blue-free probably aren't because almost no one wants to do the hard work of doing all the research! These guys do and they did and you can really tell once you turn their night light on.

    Tip: If you smell any sort of a burning type of smell (like an electrical burning smell) after turning this light bulb on in any other fixture (such as that GE fixture), TURN IT OFF IMMEDIATELY. That's not a "new bulb smell", that's the electrical parts in this light literally burning up due to being fed way too much power. I tested this little bulb in a small touch lamp that I have that takes a maximum of a 40W incandescent candelabra bulb, and I could smell a burning smell within a minute. I put the bulb back into LBL's night light fixture and it was fine.



  • @Tungsten_smooth

    I haven't been considering incandescent lights, or anything with a "white" light spectrum for that matter, because I figure they contain some blue light even when dimmed. Maybe I'm wrong about this, I don't know. Do you know of a resource of information that explains this - the types of lights to buy to minimize sleep and melatonin disruption?

    So I've been looking for lights that are red or orange - as far away from blue as possible. And since I want something portable with a battery, it almost certainly means LEDs are my only option.

    Since I couldn't find anything cheap on Amazon that will do what I want, I am now leaning towards the Philips Hue Go (unless I discover an alternative) and the Philips hub so that I can adjust the dimming level down to a minimum. Maybe I'll even get a couple more Hue bulbs to install in the kitchen and living room which will automatically dim and shift to red colors at sunset (assuming they can be programmed to do that).

    Basically I'm trying to simulate a natural (i.e. pre-industrialization) lighting environment in my apartment, and am interested in seeing if this improves the quality of my sleep.



  • @TwoCables

    I also got the impression that the Low Blue Lights products are designed with some science in mind. They have a light spectrum curve for the bulb on their web site which shows that it gives out light in a very tight range of wavelengths only and no blue.

    I'm actually not intending to use them in my bedroom I plan to place them around my apartment and turn them on after sunset, and turn off all other lights. So it's actually good news for me that they are a bit brighter. I was worried that they would be too dim.

    I assumed that the bulbs could be used in any candelabra fixture. They don't mention anything on their web site that the bulb must be used only in the fixture that they sell. I guess I'll find out when they arrive. Thanks for the warning.



  • @nielkfj said in Philips Hue too bright as nightlight - alternative? Hue Go? Osram?:

    @TwoCables

    I also got the impression that the Low Blue Lights products are designed with some science in mind. They have a light spectrum curve for the bulb on their web site which shows that it gives out light in a very tight range of wavelengths only and no blue.

    I'm actually not intending to use them in my bedroom I plan to place them around my apartment and turn them on after sunset, and turn off all other lights. So it's actually good news for me that they are a bit brighter. I was worried that they would be too dim.

    I assumed that the bulbs could be used in any candelabra fixture. They don't mention anything on their web site that the bulb must be used only in the fixture that they sell. I guess I'll find out when they arrive. Thanks for the warning.

    These Low Blue Lights night lights only need half a watt, so it might be that my touch lamp is unable to deliver such a low power through its socket. So, it might not be a problem with a fixture that has a max of 4W.

    Anyway, yeah, the Low Blue Lights company seems to be just about the only one who actually pays attention to the science, instead of simply making lights that look like they have little or no blue light.

    Even so, blue light can be harmless if it's dim enough. Consider moon light. For this reason, I recommend getting very good incandescent light bulbs and dimmers to replace your regular switches. My bulb of choice will always be Aero-Tech's rough service bulbs. Check them out! http://lightbulb.aerolights.com/viewitems/aero-tech-bulbs-made-in-the-usa-20-000-hours/-a-series-light-bulbs-rough-service-20-000-hours

    When dimmed, they produce a very nice warm glow. Sure, they're not amber or orange, nor are they designed to produce low amounts of blue light (they happen to naturally have low amounts anyway), but when dimmed down very low, they feel very safe to me. I mean, they don't feel alerting at all. You might even see some customer reviews on Amazon of people complaining they're too orange! LOL I only have 3 x 75W 20,000-hour bulbs, and they're in my bathroom on the dimmer switch, and all I can say is, I'm EXTREMELY glad I did that. I love these light bulbs!!

    So, it's not really all about avoiding blue light at night entirely. You actually don't have to be absolutely perfect with your blue light avoidance. As long as the light is very dim, it should be 100% "safe" because a very dim light produces much less blue light (likely harmless amounts) than a bright one simply because 100% of its light output is reduced - kind of like dimming a monitor super low when you don't have f.lux - it's better than keeping it bright because dimming any light source naturally also reduces the amount of blue light being produced since all of the light is being reduced.

    I think that even with these Low Blue Light night lights, you could probably easily disrupt or prevent melatonin production if you were to get up close to them and just stare at it for a few minutes. I really do. They're bright. I've found that any light is potentially stimulating and "alerting" if it's bright enough, even if it is 100% perfectly red. The only thing I'm going by here is just how light makes me feel.

    To go a little deeper into the brightness of light, I have some 40W equivalent red LEDs made by FEIT that the f.lux team also purchased to analyze them with their expensive spectrum analyzer and found that they are the least alerting red lights they've ever analyzed because they are almost 100% perfectly red with nothing else in the spectrum whatsoever. They should be too because they are Wildlife Lighting certified. Even so, I find a very noticeable difference when I turn the light off to perfectly pitch black darkness. Or, if I wake up in the middle of the night and turn this light on. It's so bright that I personally feel a little stimulated and I don't like it. It makes me think that my melatonin production is probably being disrupted! It's just bright even though the only spectrum it's producing is pure red.

    Anyway, I feel that this is getting confusing because now I don't really know what I'm saying. I guess I'm saying you don't have to be quite so careful to avoid blue light, especially if the light you're being exposed to isn't too bright.



  • So, first off, apologies for not replying to those kind enough to help me out a year or so ago. I was extremely busy with a baby (which is why I wanted a night light) and preparing to move country.

    To update you all a year later on my experiences, I think that in most situations Hue bulbs would work perfectly well for a night light. The reason I wanted something particularly dim was just for feeding my baby in the middle of the night. At 2am, with shutters closed, our night vision becomes surprisingly acute and what looks like a dim light at any other time is too bright. All I wanted was enough light to see little more than a silhouette of the bottle, 90ml of premix formula, pour the formula into the bottle and see enough of my baby to put the bottle in her mouth.

    The Hue bulb, even on its lowest reddest setting, was disturbing my wife and baby and waking me up more than necessary. I found a solution by positioning the lamp in a way that gave me enough light without spreading it around the room but I'd have preferred a bulb that went even dimmer.

    In all honesty, I don't think that any of the other products suggested here would do even as good a job as Hue. They certainly don't look like they'd go any dimmer. That said, they're worth exploring especially if you don't want to shell out for a Hue system.



  • @TwoCables

    I'm giving your suggestion some serious consideration.

    I have also read or heard somewhere that the light intensity (brightness), not just the color can cause melatonin disruption. Really I want to achieve both low intensity and minimal blue light, so I was looking at an LED where I can change the color to red and dim to low levels.

    However, after a bit of googling it appears that incandescent bulbs essentially do exactly this. It appears they are already naturally shifted to the red spectrum at full power. Then when they are dimmed I believe they shift even further to red. I don't know this for sure, but just with the naked eye you can see that the light becomes more orange colored when they are dimmed down low. So probably the light spectrum is shifting to red. So this seems to show that there is very little blue light remaining in the spectrum. I'm going to post this as a question in another thread on this forum to see if I can get more info on this.

    Thinking about it, using dimmer switches and incandescent bulbs would be a much simpler solution from a usability standpoint - no need to mess around with my phone to use the lights. Installation would also be relatively straight forward. I would just need to install dimmer switches on one light in my kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. And the dimming performance should be as good or better than an LED, and the cost will be about the same. So this could be the way to go.

    About your problem with the Low Blue Lights bulbs. It might be that they are not compatible with your touch lamps. Their web site says they are not compatible with dimmers, so if your touch lamp has three step dimming this might be the problem.



  • @Feanor

    Thanks for the feedback. From my own research it does seem like the Hue Go is the most flexible portable light on the market from a dimmability and color selection standpoint. Although to achieve the low range dimmability the hub must also be purchased (as far as I know). Also, there is also no other competing product from the major manufacturers (GE, Sylvania, Feit etc.). The only portable lamps that are somewhat similar are cheap Asian brands that don't have the same range of flexibility.

    However, I'm now leaning towards using my existing light fixtures and ditching the portable lamp solution. I'm looking at either using incandescent lights and simply installing good quality dimmer switches that can reach a low range, or a smart light system where I can select the light color and also dim to low levels. Not sure which one I'll go with yet.



  • @nielkfj You'd probably love the fluxometer website (just add '.com' to the end of that). Go to the lights section in the top left menu, and find "halogen dim" and look into candle etc.



  • @Tungsten_smooth

    Thanks for the suggestion. When I compare the "Halogen" and "Halogen Very Dim" curves it does show that the "Halogen Very Dim" spectrum is shifted to red, and blue light is a smaller fraction than on the "Halogen" curve. And I believe halogen bulbs are basically the same as incandescent.



  • @nielkfj They are very similar light sources, but most "A-shape" halogens are made to produce a brighter white, and be slightly more power efficient as well. I use a few, but I switch light sources a bit, so lights get rotated a lot. At this rate, all my lights will last about 200 years.



  • If you don't want to sink a lot of cash into a low-brightness color changing LED light, there are several <$10 Amazon. An example is ASIN B01BLXSVFA which I've had about a year or so. The only thing I don't like about it is that it switches to color changing mode whenever the power goes out or you unplug/plug.

    It's a 3W bulb, perfect for a night stand probably on the order of a 20w bulb. I leave it set on the orange color.



  • A 3W LED light should be about as bright as a 40W incandescent light bulb. The illusion of the brightness can vary depending on the color. Blue will seem the brightest and red will seem the dimmest. Of course, the wattage efficiency of the LED light comes into play as well. Less efficiency results in less light output.


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