Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC Review: Color Syncing for Games, Music, and Movies

Smart lighting is an underrated way to rework any area, but it surely’s particularly suited to gaming PCs. Colorful mild units a temper, and dynamic accent lighting can add an additional layer of immersion for music, motion pictures, and video games. The Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC does precisely that. It attaches to the again of your monitor and works through the Hue app in your cellphone. 

“Gradient” denotes its skill to show totally different colours concurrently, and the lightstrip syncs with content material by means of a desktop app. Philips Hue may be the go-to model you consider if you consider sensible lighting, however its wares come at outrageously excessive costs, and the Play Gradient Lightstrip is not any exception. There are three lightstrips for displays: 24 to 27 inches ($170), 32 to 34 inches ($190), or a bundle for a trio of 24- to 27-inch displays ($280)—the latter two aren’t accessible in choose markets but. You additionally want a Hue Bridge ($50).

Simplified Setup

Photograph: Philips

I’ve lengthy had my eye on the Philips Hue Play system for my huge TV, however that setup additionally requires a Sync Box ($250) you have to run content material by means of (and it doesn’t work with sensible TV apps). Though nonetheless dear, the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC is a much more reasonably priced and simple prospect.

The lightstrip is rubbery and versatile with a curved diffuser. You get plastic guides within the field that stick with the again of your monitor and maintain the strip in place. The directions are clear, and even with my curved widescreen, attaching the strip was fast and straightforward. The solely bushy second got here once I tried to plug the wire in (watch out to not bend the pins).

Hardware in place, I braced myself to sort out the software program, but it surely was even simpler to arrange. I put in the Hue Sync desktop app, and since I have already got a Hue Bridge, a faucet of the button on the entrance was sufficient so as to add the lightstrip. It instantly appeared in my Hue app and additionally in my Google Home app. If you could have an RGB lighting setup in your desktop PC, you might also wish to use Corsair’s iCue software program to sync lighting results together with your PC elements, keyboard, and mouse (the Hue app gives Razer integration, too).

Most people will use the refreshingly easy Hue Sync desktop app. You can select Scenes, as with different Hue lights, that are suited to totally different actions or are simply moody blends of colours. But there are additionally modes for syncing with varied sorts of content material.

Color Coordination

Screenshot: Philips through Simon Hill

Screenshot: Philips through Simon Hill

The actual motive to snag the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC is for mild syncing, and the desktop app has modes for Games, Music, and Video. Within every mode, you may choose Subtle, Moderate, High, or Extreme and faucet a button to start syncing. These choices decide how often the lightstrip tries to match the onscreen motion or the audio you’re taking part in.

You’ll wish to experiment. I discovered the next frequency labored effectively with action-packed motion pictures, first-person shooters, and digital dance music, for instance, however I most well-liked a decrease depth for most content material. The Extreme mode could be a bit jarring for music and distracting for motion pictures, however transitions are usually clean, and the lightstrip does an incredible job of colour matching.

The strip works particularly effectively with video games. It was merely a nice addition to Total War: Warhammer III, but it surely pulled me deeper into Cyberpunk 2077 and actually ramped up the ambiance of horror games like Alien Isolation.

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