The Philips Hue Festavia smart Christmas lights receive high praise

Cupertino, December 5, 2023

Philips Hue Festavia Smart Christmas Lights

Philips Hue Festavia

Philips Hue launched a new version of its smart Christmas lights, the Festavia string lights, earlier this fall. Smart home owners have been waiting for festive lighting that you can control with your voice. Having used them over the past few months, we can say with certainty that Philips Hue has delivered exactly the solution – if you're willing to spend enough frankincense, myrrh and gold.

Philips Hue's strategy to provide the halls with festive lighting has been in the making for years. The company first launched the Festavia series in 2022, but it sold out months before December. Consider it a test drive, if you will. But now, for 2023, the company is back with an actual rollout.

Right when Philips Hue unveiled its new Festavia smart Christmas lights, I had to score a set. I chose to pick up a set of 20-foot lamps, including 250 color-changing bulbs, and quickly hung them around my apartment. Not to spoil too much of the rest of this story, but I immediately fell in love with it. So much so that I went out and bought a second set now that there's a Christmas tree in the middle of my living room. So now that I've used them for two different use cases, I have a lot of thoughts, so share the whole experience. And it is indeed a costly affair.

There's no denying that Philips Hue smart Christmas lights are on the more premium side, making one of the more expensive smart home brands even more so. The set I bought regularly sells for $220, which means I dropped almost $450 on Christmas lights. Do I regret it? That's a little more complicated than just answering yes or no, so humor me.

I've waited years for the opportunity to buy a string of Christmas lights, plug them in, and then bark commands at Siri to not only turn them on or off, but also have my digital helper change the colors. I've tried every trick in the book so far to convert your standard pair of bulbs to the smart side, and now that it's all said and done, I'm so glad I have a pair I don't have to worry about to make . And before I get too far ahead, the new Festavia lights are available in two different lengths with different lighting zones for each. Like I said, I brought home the 20 meter string, but there is also the 40 meter option with 500 LED lights. They are all weatherproof for outdoor use and, depending on the length, come with five or ten lighting zones.

Straight out of the box, these are just like any other Philips Hue release. The lights are connected to their weatherproof power supply and can then be linked to your existing Philips Hue bridge. Mine took just a minute or so to set up, with it being much more time consuming to actually string them around the Christmas tree. And now that I've used them for a while, I'm really sold. I love the smart home controls, with the multi-colored features really being the only aspect that sells this one for me. Having five different lighting zones to customize the lights to look the way I want is exactly the reason I wanted to splurge on a more premium lighting option this year, and Philips Hue delivers. HomeKit support may not be the best for this feature, but I'm reminded of how good the Hue app is. By far the biggest problem with the Philips Hue Christmas lights is that I wish they were just a little bit smarter. The main culprit of this is that I don't think there are enough animated lighting effects available in the app. I really wish Philips Hue would take the time to launch a new effect for this - something multi-colored and Christmassy would have gone a long way.

The ones included now are very solid, but they just lack the festiveness I would have liked to see – especially at $220 each. I appreciate that Philips Hue launched a few new lighting effects just a few months ago, so there are many more ways to take advantage of the five different lighting zones with animated scenes. But if there's one thing the company could do, it would offer the ability to create your own animated effects, like countless other companies let you do. Homekit.Blog' Take So back to the question: are the Philips Hue Festavia lights worth it? That's what I would say.

I've had both parts set up for about a week now and maybe it's the Christmas spirit in me that's hijacking the keyboard, but the novelty of all these smart features is certainly not lost on me. I also had the first pair installed for about two months, and so the answer was pretty much set in the second time I went to buy a second piece of these smart Christmas lights. But I don't think everyone should buy this. Only more hardcore smart homeowners like me will love this like I do. People who will enjoy all the customization and lighting effects will find that this is the solution many of us have been waiting for. And at the time of writing this, you can get 15% off both Festavia lights, so you can bring a fun party to your home for less. If you're on the fence, it's a good idea to grab a smart plug and upgrade your existing Christmas lights. The Philips Hue Smart Plug is an easy recommendation because we are talking about the ecosystem. But if you just want a standalone option, the Meross Matter Smart Plug works with virtually any smart home system, voice assistant, and smart home for just $16. Subscribe to the Homekit.Blog YouTube channel for the latest videos, reviews, and more!

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