Signify, the company behind the smart lights of Philips Hue, enters the world of home security and does so by making the most of its smart home ecosystem. There security camera Of Philips Hue Secure, which we tell you about in this review, does not need light signals, because it can make your lights flash like an alarm and sound the siren included in its compact design. And i contact sensors they can warn you of any door and window openings in real time, allowing you to activate the alarm in the same way.
The advantage over the alternatives on the market is clear: seamless integration with the Philips Hue lighting system. Which allows you to use, for example, the security camera as a motion sensor to turn on the light and contact sensors on the door to illuminate your home when you return home, without activating geolocation on your smartphone. But the significant cost of individual elements could be a problem, making the entry price high for those who are not already part of the Hue ecosystem.
In this review we try to make you understand if Philips Hue Secure it may be the right choice for your security (and also to make your smart home more complete).
Our review of the Philips Hue Secure security camera
Philips Hue Secure is not just a camera, but an entire security system. Although it is possible to use the camera independently, the big advantage comes when you integrate the system with the lighting that has made Hue famous throughout the world. For this reason, although we will focus mainly on the camera’s properties, we tested a complete Philips Hue Secure package for this review.
Package that includes, in addition to the camera, also a contact sensor for doors and windows (which proved to be much more effective and convenient than we thought). And then one lampadina Philips Hue e uno Hue Bridge to improve the orchestration of all elements.
Some of the features require the use of Hue Bridge to work best, fully integrating the lights into your security system. But if you are not interested, in the Hue app you can manage the various safety devices independently. So you can also purchase the contact sensors, motion sensors and/or camera without needing Hue lighting. You can also easily manage the sensors with third-party apps (such as Alexa or Google Home), thanks to the integration with Matter – which should soon allow you to manage cameras with ease.
We still recommend using the Hue app, which we found convenient both during installation and use. And we will also tell you about the entire ecosystem, because it is the added value. But first, let’s start with the protagonist of this review: the Philips Hue Secure security camera.
Philips Hue Secure review: a great security camera
There are many professionals who install security systems taking care of every aspect for you. But if you want a Philips Hue Secure camera to feel more secure, thereInstallation and setup are really very simple even if you have never dealt with products of this type.
Easy to install
Inside the package you will find a power adapter with a three meter cable which makes it easier to place it wherever you prefer. The stand measures 7 by 8 centimeters, and has a cable gland to help you keep everything in order. The magnetic hook sticks to the camera with great force, then fits into the holder compartment and ensures that your camera does not fall.
Il Camera body itself has a similar shape to the stand and measures 9.1 centimeters in depth and 7.3 centimeters in diameter. Attaching it to the power cord requires minimal effort, but the grip is solid. He has one IP65 water and dust protection, therefore it is suitable as an outdoor camera.
The “tabletop” installation is really simplebut on the Philips Hue app (present in all smartphone stores) you will find one detailed guide, also with images that explain how to position it. You have ample room to orient the camera: we positioned it on a low piece of furniture, but we managed to frame the entire living room from floor to ceiling, as well as part of the entrance and the kitchen door. With just one camera we covered almost the entire living area, although we also tested the camera outdoors (where the wide angle proved very useful) and in narrower areas of the house. If you think carefully about the collation, you can protect yourself well without the need for wall installations and cable ducts (although it depends from house to house).
Connecting to the app takes little time: the camera flashes for a few seconds, finds the app and requests access to the WiFi network. At this point you must register the product with the QR code that you find in the package: keep it aside and save the security phrase in your password manager to access, in case the system disconnects, change or reset the smartphone and any other eventuality.
Image quality and ease of use
The security camera offers a view of over 140 degrees, with a good video quality at 1080p. Even in low light conditions, we could distinguish each element of our room through the visual feedback you find in the app or in the clips when it detects movement (during testing, fortunately we didn’t really need it during the testing period).
Night vision is also excellent, providing a very good quality black and white feedback, enough to identify any intruders without too much trouble.
Notifications and alarms
The camera recognizes movement in a truly excellent way, so much so that you can also use it without problems as a motion sensor for Hue lights. If you allow the app to send you notifications, when you activate the alarm program you will receive alerts whenever the camera notices activity. This is essential, because unlike other alarm systems, sirens and lights do not start by themselves: you have to activate them yourself.
You can activate the “At home” or “Away from home” security program (the first is advisable for external cameras or for night activation). Without any type of subscription, you can receive notifications when the camera detects motion. Clicking on the notification will open the Hue security center and you can see the history of security events and a live camera feed (end-to-end encrypted). You can decide whether to deactivate the alarm, whether to say that everything is safe or whether to intervene.
In the settings you can decide what type of intervention to implement. You can save emergency contacts and even the police number. Furthermore, you can activate the mermaid included in the Philips Hue Secure camera. Play at 80db, which are enough to dissuade a potential intruder. Although, especially if placed indoors, they will not alarm the neighborhood. We asked the neighbors and no one had noticed the tests we were carrying out.
There is also thebi-directional audio: You can listen to what’s going on and even speak via the included microphone. Something that can scare away any intruders (and play slightly sadistic tricks on pets).
In addition to the sounds, the lights. If you have connected the lights of a Hue bulb connected via Hue Bridge, you can also activate flashing lights. We chose red, because we are sure that the horror atmosphere will dissuade anyone.
Basic and Plus subscriptions
If you activate your subscription Basic (39.99 euros per camera per year) or Plus (99.99 euros per year, up to 10 cameras), you can take advantage of additional services. You can keep the clips for up to 30 (Basic) 60 (Plus) days after an event, you can detect areas of activity (while the “dark” areas are also there for free). Furthermore, you can automatically detect people, animals or packages using artificial intelligence, which will provide better notifications. If for example you have a cat at home, it will not trigger the alarm.
The services can be useful for different users. But we appreciated that You don’t need a subscription for the most essential features (although we would have liked, for example, the ability to save clips on a device connected to the WiFi network). Furthermore, after the trial period there is no automatic renewal and you do not have to insert credit cards to set up the system.
The safety ecosystem: how sensors and lights integrate
If we appreciated the quality and responsiveness of the product, the The real advantage of having a Philips Hue Secure camera lies in its smart home ecosystem. Turning the lights on and off in the event of an alarm can help a lot, doubling the effect of the siren. But you also have the possibility of turning on the light in a room if the system detects movements outside, to dissuade any intruders.
In addition to safety, convenience. As we said, with the app you can adjust your lights to activate when it detects motion. We find it very convenient, for example, during the evening to activate the lights off while watching films and TV series. Or at night to let us see where we are going without blinding us with a powerful light.
The Hue system is the market benchmark for a reason: it works well, smoothly and with enormous customization possibilities, via…