Skip to main content

How long do Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs last?

Philips Hue white light bulb on a Hue lightstrip
Philips Hue white light bulb on a Hue lightstrip (Image credit: iMore)

How long do Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs last?

Best answer: Philips advertises most of its current lineup of Hue smart LED bulbs, including the White and Color Ambiance bulbs, as lasting around 25,000 hours.Amazon: Philps Hue White and Color Ambiance Smart Bulb (opens in new tab) ($49)

A Philips Hue bulb should last around 25,000 hours, but what does that mean?

Like most LED bulbs, products from the Philips Hue line should last you quite awhile. Where a lot of incandescent light bulbs last between 1,000 and 3,000 hours, Philips rates its bulbs at around 25,000. This means that if you were to keep your bulbs lit for 24 hours per day until they died, it would take just shy of three years for them to do so.

But most people aren't lighting their homes 24/7, so your Philips bulbs should need replacing much less often. Let's say, for instance, that you have a standard Hue White and color ambiance bulb, a fairly standard bulb, and each of your Hue bulbs is only on for a few hours per weekday, and more on weekends. This means that within a year, those lights will probably be on anywhere between 1,000 and 1,600 hours per year (assuming it's on for about three hours per weekday and eight hours per weekend day for 52 weeks a year). At the high end of that type of usage, you should have about 15 and a half years before you have to replace those bulbs.

But again, I'm willing to bet that three hours per day doesn't reflect the usage of most people. Let's say for the sake of argument that at least one Hue bulb in your home is lit for eight hours a day, seven days a week. That bulb, and any bulbs like it, would be lit for around 3,000 hours per year, and would ultimately last a little over eight years. If you bump the time that bulb is on per day to 12 hours, it should be just shy of six years.

So, on a practical level, you should expect anywhere between six and 15 years out of each bulb, depending on how you use them and just based on bulb usage alone.

If you have older bulbs

First-generation Hue bulbs were rated for 15,000 hours (or 15 years, whichever came first). Using the same criteria for the bulbs above, you should get anywhere between three and a half to 13 years out of your first generation bulbs depending on use and outside factors.

Outside factors

None of that takes into account other factors, such as your environment, that could play into your bulb's lifespan. If it's too hot or too cold where you live, that could have an adverse effect on the bulb, as could high humidity. An electrical surge could short out a bulb, or you could break one. You might also get a faulty bulb that stops working after only a year or two.

Another factor in your bulb's lifespan may be whether or not you use it in an enclosed fixture. While LED bulbs don't produce as much heat as incandescents, they still produce some, and that may impact the overall life of your bulb. Philips doesn't say anything about this officially, but it's something to keep in mind when using these bulbs.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.