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

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Smart lighting is an underrated manner to remodel any house, 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, films, and video games. The Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC does precisely that. It attaches to the again of your monitor and works by way of the Hue app in your telephone. 

“Gradient” denotes its skill to show completely different colours concurrently, and the lightstrip syncs with content material by a desktop app. Philips Hue is perhaps the go-to model you consider whenever you consider good lighting, however its wares come at outrageously excessive costs, and the Play Gradient Lightstrip isn’t 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 could run content material by (and it doesn’t work with good TV apps). Though nonetheless expensive, the Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PC is a much more inexpensive and easy prospect.

The lightstrip is rubbery and versatile with a curved diffuser. You get plastic guides within the field that keep on 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 furry second got here after I tried to plug the wire in (watch out to not bend the pins).

Hardware in place, I braced myself to deal with 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 need to use Corsair’s iCue software program to sync lighting results along with your PC elements, keyboard, and mouse (the Hue app gives Razer integration, too).

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

Color Coordination

Screenshot: Philips by way of Simon Hill

Screenshot: Philips by way of Simon Hill

The actual cause 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 might be taking part in.

You’ll need to experiment. I discovered the next frequency labored properly with action-packed films, 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 films, however transitions are typically easy, and the lightstrip does an awesome job of shade matching.

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

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