How Long do Philips Hue Bulbs Last? (White, Ambience, & Color)

By SmartHomeBit Staff •  Updated: 01/05/23 •  6 min read

Smart bulbs have been around for several years now.

With wireless connectivity, you can control them directly from your smartphone.

Philips’ Hue line of light bulbs has long been at the front of the pack.

These aren’t just top-tier LED bulbs.

They’re part of the broader Hue ecosystem, with light strips, lamps, controllers, and fixtures.

At the same time, you pay more than you would for an ordinary LED bulb.

Your typical bulb costs about $5.

By comparison, the cheapest Hue LEDs start at $15 per bulb – and prices go up from there.



Philips Hue Bulbs Lifespan By Bulb Type

Let’s start with the basics.

Here’s a chart you can find on Philips’ website, showing the main information for each of their Hue bulbs:

Bulb type Description Lifespan in hours Lifespan in Years (assumes 6 hours daily use)
Philips Hue White LED (1st Generation) 600 lumens – base model white dimmable lights 15,000 6-7
Philips Hue White Ambience LED (2nd Generation) 800 lumens – 33% brighter with adjustable color temperature 25,000 11-12
Philips Hue White and Color Ambience LED (3rd Generation) 800 lumens – Full RGB color spectrum with brighter, more vibrant light 25,000 11-12


As you can see, your bulb life will depend mostly on which type of bulb you buy.

If you buy the base model 1st Generation bulbs, you can expect 15,000 hours of use.

On their higher-end bulbs, you can expect 25,000 hours.

Of course, these are just ratings.

Depending on your usage pattern, you may be able to squeeze 50,000 hours out of a bulb.

Conversely, an abused bulb may fail prematurely.

As for the “years” rating, this depends almost entirely on how much you use your bulbs.

Elsewhere on their website, Philips claims a lifetime rating of up to 25 years.

In a minute, I’ll talk about how to get


Why Are Hue Bulbs so Popular?

The main reason people buy any LED bulb is that they’re energy efficient.

Compared to old-school incandescent bulbs, they draw significantly less power.

That’s mostly because only around 5% to 10% of the energy that goes into an incandescent bulb turns into light.

The rest radiates as heat.

By contrast, LED bulbs convert 90% or more of their energy into light.

But Philips Hue bulbs aren’t just any LEDs.

They’re smart bulbs, which you can control via Bluetooth.

Using Philips’ app, you can dim them and change the color.

You can take advantage of voice controls, or even set your bulbs on a timer.

In addition, these bulbs use advanced circuitry that’s even more efficient than ordinary LEDs.

how many hours do philips smart light hue bulbs last


What Distinguishes Different Types of Hue Bulbs?


1. Philips Hue White LED (1st Generation)

The Philips Hue White LED (1st Generation) is their most basic model.

It retails for $15 and is controllable via Bluetooth and Zigbee.

In addition to individual bulbs, you can order a starter kit with three bulbs, a Hue Bridge, and a start button.

That’s an easy way to get started if you’re new to the Hue ecosystem.


2. Philips Hue White Ambiance LED (2nd Generation)

The White Ambience LED (2nd Generation) is a step up from the 1st Generation.

In addition to improved durability, these bulbs have an adjustable color temperature that ranges from warm orange-white to cool blue-white.

You can buy them individually for $25, or purchase a starter kit to save money.


3. Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED (3rd Generation)

The White and Color Ambiance LED (3rd Generation) are two products.

At $50 each, they’re a bit pricey, but the light is ultra bright and brilliant.

The White version is essentially an upgrade of the 2nd Generation bulbs.

The Color version provides any color on the RGB spectrum and is better for mood lighting.


How to Maximize Philips Hue Bulb Lifespan

As I said, your bulb’s lifetime rating is just a number.

Depending on how you use your bulb, it may be more or less durable.

Here are some factors that impact your bulb’s lifespan, and how you can maximize it.


1. Consider Bulb Placement

Temperature swings can harm your LED bulbs.

For an indoor light, this isn’t much of a concern.

Presumably, your home is climate-controlled!

On the other hand, your bulb will be subject to changes in temperature if it’s located outside.

There’s no way to avoid this.

But it’s something you should be aware of when you’re installing outdoor lighting.

Unless you need the Hue bulbs’ special features, just use a cheaper bulb for outdoor sockets.


2. Use a Surge Protector

I’m not saying you should wire a surge protector into every circuit in your home.

But if you have an LED lamp, it’s worth using one.

LEDs are sensitive to power surges and can burn out prematurely if overpowered.


3. Make Sure Your Bulbs Get Good Ventilation

Heat is less of an issue with LED bulbs than with incandescent bulbs, but it’s still a concern.

If you install your bulb in a small, enclosed housing, there’s a potential for heat buildup.

This won’t be enough to cause a catastrophic failure, but it can shorten your bulb’s lifespan.

You can avoid this entirely by using your Hue bulbs in Philips Hue fixtures.

They’re designed to work together, so you shouldn’t have any issues.


4. File a Warranty Claim

In rare cases, you may end up with a bulb with a factory defect.

In most cases, these bulbs will burn out after just a few days.

If that happens, don’t panic.

Philips covers their Hue light bulbs with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

File a claim, and you’ll get a free replacement.




How Long do Philips Hue Bulbs Last?

It depends on the bulb.

1st Generation Hue bulbs are rated for 15,000 hours of use.

2nd and 3rd Generation bulbs are rated for 25,000 hours.

That said, usage and environmental factors will affect your bulb life.


What Happens When an LED Bulb Dies?

LED bulbs normally don’t “burn out” like an incandescent bulb.

It can happen due to severe heat, but it’s rare.

More often, LEDs will slowly lose brightness as they near the end of their lifespan.


Final Thoughts

Philips rates their Hue light bulbs for 15,000 to 25,000 hours, depending on which version you buy.

But as you can see, there are ways to maximize that.

Use a surge protector and the right fixture, and there’s no saying how long your bulbs will last.

SmartHomeBit Staff