Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- Outdoor light strips can add brightness and personality to any space and setting. The only problem is that there aren’t many smart light strips that also look good themselves.
- The Philips Hue Lightstrip Outdoor (currently $90 on Amazon) is a great option despite the price and inevitable thickness of an outdoor light strip; it’s not awful on the eyes and can make a dark or lackluster outdoor setting look great instantly.
- The drawbacks are justified by its compatibility with the full suite of Philips Hue products and three major smart home systems for a fully integrated set up.
The Philips Hue range of indoor lighting is arguably the best way to get smart lights at a reasonable price; they all work with a range of smart home ecosystems, are easy to install, and easier to use. Now, Philips has expanded its offerings into the outdoor space with its Philips Hue Lightstrip Outdoor.
They’re not cheap but can be worth the long-term investment depending on your smart home set up. Strips start at around $90 for the short 7-foot style and can go up to $159.99 for the longer 16-foot model, which means you’ll want to ensure that they’re the right light strip for you.
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Outdoor is clearly meant for outdoor use. It’s a lot thicker and stronger than the indoor version, which makes sense because it needs to withstand elements like rain and sun as well as other hazards like animals and curious tiny humans. The light strip itself is covered with protective synthetic silicone and even comes with a two-year warranty, so you know Philips is confident in its device.
While the silicone protects the light strip from the elements, it’s not the best-looking covering out there so you’ll want to carefully consider where you place it. The light strip is thick and chunky so it’ll definitely stand out if you put it right on top of grass (unless that’s done on purpose), but I’ve found that it can work very well in spaces like under patio tables or along walkways so it can be easily hidden or integrated. Obviously, it all just comes down to personal preference.
As mentioned before, the light strip comes in two different lengths — 7 feet and 16 feet. Unlike the indoor Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, the outdoor light strip can’t be cut to fit its environment, so you’ll want to make sure that the length will be appropriate wherever you want to put it. That said, the light strip is relatively flexible and can be bent to hug curves and corners, which can be very handy for small spaces.
Read more: I never thought I’d pay $150 for smart light bulbs, but the Philips Hue starter kit is the best upgrade I’ve made in my small apartment
- 7 or 16 feet depending on model
- Works in -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
- Supports 16 million colors
- 0.43 inches wide and 0.78 inches tall
- IP67 rating
Set up process
In the box, you’ll get the light strip, power adapter, U-shaped mounting brackets, and screws. Place the light strip wherever you want, secure with brackets (or not, depending where and how you want to use the light strip), and you’re done. What might take you an additional minute is the app set up, which is still easy even if you aren’t familiar with Philips Hue products.
So instead of connecting directly to Wi-Fi like some smart lights do, Philips Hue lights connect to the Philips Hue Smart Bridge (currently $39.96 on Amazon); your smart home devices like Amazon Alexa then communicate with this central hub instead of directly with the lights.
If you’re setting up the Bridge for the first time along with the light strip, download the free Philips Hue app on iOS or Android, create an account, and follow the on-screen instructions. Then you’ll be able to easily add the light strip and any other Philips Hue products to your set up.
If you’ve already got a Bridge, well, you can just add the light strip and go on with your well-lit life.
What makes it stand out
There are a few things that make the range of Philips Hue lights better than other smart lights. For starters, they’re generally pretty reliable and responsive, which is likely due to the fact that they communicate with the hub instead of directly through Wi-Fi. Philips Hue lights also work well with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit, so if you have a major smart home ecosystem, then the lights should integrate perfectly.
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is also actually one of the few outdoor smart light strips on the market right now, but even if it weren’t, I think it’d still be one of the better options out there because it’s from a reputable brand and is compatible with the rest of the Philips Hue ecosystem.
When it comes to brightness and color support, the Lightstrip Outdoor looks great. It can change to pretty much any color you can imagine and I’ve found that it could get really bright, which is great for the night time.
Read more: The best smart light strips you can buy
Cons to consider
As mentioned, the unit is a little chunky but can still look good if placed carefully and within certain environments. It might limit your options but it’s better than having no light at all.
The other main downside, however, is that even the shorter device is expensive at $90. That wouldn’t be as much of an issue if there were many other options, but there aren’t. If you want a smart outdoor light strip, this is pretty much your best and only option so you may have to save up a little — especially if you want the longer model.
The bottom line
The Philips Hue Lightstrip Outdoor may be a little chunky and expensive, but it’s still one of the best smart light strips for outdoor use and well worth buying — especially if you have other Philips Hue products set up and want the device to integrate with your existing lighting or smart home system. The light strip supports a wide range of colors and can get relatively bright too, so it should help make any outdoor environment look a whole lot easier to walk around.
Pros: Wide range of colors, high level of brightness, works with range of smart home ecosystems, easy to use and install
Cons: Expensive, a little chunky, can’t be cut down to preferences
Buy the Philips Hue Lightstrip Outdoor on Amazon for $89.99-$159.99
Join the conversation about this story »