Philips Hue has revolutionized the home with smart lights. When the Hue system first arrived at the end of 2012, it came with E27/A19 bulbs. While this size covers quite a lot of light fixtures, it never covered all of them. The GU10 size released later was more or less a niche. Many fixtures in Europe work with the E14 size.

Reasons why these lights came so late to market could be multiple: An LED light produces heat and this must get rid of in order for the light to last a reasonable time, but the lights should produce a reasonable amount of light, so they have to have quite some power and hence produce heat. The light coming from different color LEDs has to be distributed evenly – but diffusors need space and the LEDs must be bright but small enough to still fit in. ZigBee controller and PSU have to fit into the light, too – these were still quite large in the GU10 lights. With LED efficiency rising and likely quite some time put into R&D at Philips, the E14 lights have been brought to market by April 10 in 2017.

The lights

The lights come in a thinner but exactly the same width package as the E27 lights and are both available in color and color temperature variations.

Size comparison

The lights are slightly larger than traditional E14 bulbs – a tradeoff for electronic, PSU, LEDs and diffusor. This should work for most, but may make things complicated for some fixtures. I had one fixture where some of its glass globes had production variances and it was hard to get the lights in there. Additionally, the E14 bulbs themselves had slight production size variation (they have a diameter of around 3.9 centimetres). I ended up picking the smallest bulbs and using a file to scrab off some of their size (I guess this will void my warranty :)). Build quality is otherwise good, and Philips achieved to accomplish a nice extra: They created a glow or halo effect by putting a diffusor into the light and having an additional outside half transparent diffusor. This actually looks quite nice and adds a touch of quality. Though this makes them look longer than the E27 lights, they are much thinner and lighter (about half the weight of the E27).
For those of you with sensitive ears like me: They produce some noise at less saturated (brighter) colors. But you’ll only hear it with your ear right at their side, and a normal fixture should already block almost all of it.

Color and white reproduction

Instantly, both color and color temperature models are available. Both produce 470 Lumens at around 4000 Kelvin (the moonlight symbol in the iConnectHue temperature slider). They get a bit darker when using them at traditional light bulb temperature of 2700 Kelvins. Color temperature lights have a range of 2200 to 6500 Kelvin, the color lights 2000 to 6500 Kelvin – the color LEDs help here to extend their range.
The color lights have the full color range of the new 3rd generation color lights. Their lowest brightness seems to be comparable to the 3rd gen E27/A19 bulbs, which is a bit lower than the previous gen lights, but not as low as Hue Go or Hue Lightstrip+.

Power usage

From my testing, the lights use 4.6 Watts when directly plugged in (which sets them to 2700 Kelvin of a traditional light bulb). At around 4000 Kelvin, they take around 6.3 Watts. The color bulbs need less than 2 Watts for blue and red shades, with a peak of 2.3 Watts for green shades. All in all a bit less than the 6.5 Watts Philips states as maximum usage.
When put into standby, they use 0.2 Watts – which is a bit better than the E27 bulbs, which seem to take 0.3 Watts over all of their generations.

Compatibility

They work well in iConnectHue with both presets and with the animations delivered and also your own animations. All color and lightness transitions are stutter free and smooth. They integrate well into HomeKit – all of these things are expected for lights coming directly from Philips. iConnectHue 2.8 is already compatible with them, but the next release will bring a nice new icon ;).

Conclusion

These are the lights many people have been waiting for – and they deliver! They should fit in most light fixtures and you don’t have to iterate through color and lightness generations – they are the result of several years of development. They cost the same as the larger Hue lights, but also rate the same for their expected life span – 25000 hours, to be exakt, and you get a neat design that you will like if you use the lights without a shade. So they will likely accompany you for years to come.

Shopping links

The Philips Hue E14 lights are currently available across Europe. Note that the light fixtures page will soon show you more E14 fixtures that work well with the Hue colors.

Amazon DE/FR/UK/IT: Philips Hue E14 White Ambiance and Color
Amazon DE/FR/UK/IT: Philips Hue E14 White Ambiance