Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip wants to give your TV a color boost

Signify announces a plethora of new connected smart lights at IFA 2020

Philips Hue Play lightstrip goes live
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Signify - the parent company of smart light market leader Philips Hue - always goes big for IFA, and this year is no exception.

Amongst an avalanche of new smart light bulbs and lamps announced at the Berlin tech expo (yes, it is actually still happening), the standout new device is the Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip, which adds Ambilight features to your TV.

Unlike the usual Philips Hue lightstrips, which all have to be set to the same color, the new gradient model is capable of mixing up the shades and colors thanks to a series of individually addressable LEDs.

Those LEDs are capable of producing more than 16 million colors and offer 45-degree light projection and a perfectly blended gradient of light.

The idea is the Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip sticks on the back of your TV and replicates the colors that you're seeing on screen.

Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip on back on TV

It's a setup that Philips has had built into TVs for years, with its Ambilight sets, and one that has been made possible in the past few month with non-Ambilight TVs, from any brand, courtesy of the awesome Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.

You'll still need the $229 Sync Box to fire up the Play gradient lightstrip, which itself costs between $200 and $240 depending on what size TV you've got; 55 to 85-inch TVs are all catered for.

So, yes, it's a pricey setup but it's by far the simplest way of making the most of the Sync Box which, previously, relied on an array of lights around your TV, as per the demo from our Sync Box review.

You can actually make use of the Hue Play gradient lightstrip without the Sync Box if you're planning on using it with your PC monitor - Signify has a Philips Hue Sync app that uses your computer for the ambilight processing power.

New Philips Hue lighting

Aside from the headline hogging new lightstrip, Signify also used IFA 2020 to take the covers of an army of new smart lighting options.

The Hue Iris lamp has been updated for 2020, with improved 570 lumens of brightness, super low dimming, Bluetooth and some swanky new metallic finishes; gold, rosé, silver, and copper.

Hue iris lamp gold

There are also a pair of new Bluetooth Hue bulbs with the E12 candelabra (White and Color Ambiance) being added to the range.

European Hue users are also being offered new Hue Filament bulbs; the White Filament G125 and the White Filament ST27 larger Edison-shaped bulb.

Also landing is the new Philips Hue Ensis pendant light in black and the Hue White Luster E14 bulb.

Pricing and release dates

Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip

  • 55-inch (fits TV sizes 55 to 60 inches) – $199.99
  • 65-inch (fits TV sizes 65 to 70 inches) – $219.99
  • 75-inch (fits TV sizes 75 to 85 inches) – $239.99

Philips Hue Iris - 19 October - from $99.99

Philips Hue E12/E14 candelabra bulbs - on sale now - from $29.99

Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Ensis pendant light in black - 20 October - $TBC

Philips Hue White luster E14 bulb - 29 September - from $TBC

Philips Hue Filament White G125 & ST72 - 29 September - from $TBC

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