The Hue Go Portable lamp is powerful, bright, and good-looking – but you’ll have to pay a reasonably high price for the privilege. HomeKit integration is also nice, but you’ll have to pick up a Hue Bridge for it to work.
Lovely, bright adjustable colored light output
Built very well
Needs a Hue bridge to work with HomeKit
Weirdly weighted to the top
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A good bedside lamp should be many things – good looking, easy to turn on and off in the dark, sturdy, in case you knock it off your nightstand, and, most importantly, it should be bright.
The Philips Hue Go Portable Lamp is all these things, and perhaps even more with its HomeKit compatibility. It’s also extremely expensive, and while its solid build quality and sumptuous light output is well worth the cost, it’s hard to argue that $160 is not a lot of money for a small lamp.
Hue Go Portable Lamp: Price and Availability
The Go Portable Lamp can be found in its various color options for $160/£140. Those color options consist of Black and White for the main lamp itself, and Dark Grey or Sage Green for the little rubber grip on the light's main shaft. If you’re in the UK, there are some extra color options on those grips – you can choose an orange or a teal one, although the orange is only available on the black model, and the teal with the white. Weird.
You can buy the lamp directly from the Hue website, along with all the Hue products. You can also buy it from Amazon, and a range of other outlets that stock Hue products.
Hue Go Portable Lamp: What I like
It’s lovely and bright, for one. The light emits from a softly frosted panel under the main shade area of the lamp, echoing the classic bedside lamp look. The light it gives out is wonderfully luminous and in vivid color – the most important part, arguably, is absolutely nailed. You can turn it down for some softer mood lighting, or you can turn it up to max and have enough light to easily read without having to strain your eyes. It is, as a lamp, perfect.
Adjusting that light is super easy as well, through both the Hue app and the Apple Home App. In the Hue app, you can also choose some lighting modes and patterns, my favorite being the candle setting which sets the color to a warm orange and then gently flickers like a candle. Very atmospheric. Getting the lamp connected to the Hue app is as easy as turning it on and then following the instructions in the app. Connecting to HomeKit is a little trickier, but we’ll get to that a little later.
One cool thing about the light is that it has an inbuilt battery, so that you can take the lamp with you, and wander around the house like the star of a Victorian horror movie. Arm outstretched, flickering candle out in front of you in some effort to light up the all surrounding gloom as you go to get a quick glass of water and don’t want to be disturbed by the unholy denizens of the night. It also means that you can take it outside, with its 48-hour battery life – you could, if you wanted, take it on a two-day camping trip.
Charging that battery is easy, with a very solid-feeling charging stand. Leave it on that, and it will be powered by the mains, the battery reserved for when you need to go out into the darkness once again; and all you need to do is lift the lamp off the stand, and with a quick switch over, you’re in portable mode. Easy.
The lamp is also very well-built. The plastic used in construction feels thick and weighty, and the lamp feels like it would take a knock – and take a knock it can. For, dear reader, I dropped my Hue Go Portable Lamp, and not only does the lamp still work, but you’d also never know it was ever dropped. Perfect.
Hue Go Portable Lamp: What I don’t like
You might find that the lamp falls more than you might like, however, so its good that it's so sturdy. Not that it falls loads, only that there is more weight on the top of the lamp, and while the stand is plenty stable enough in normal use, you might find that more precarious settings see the lamp topple over. Don’t nudge it too hard, in essence.
Going back as well to hooking the lamp up to HomeKit, and how it's more annoying than it could be – you’ll need a Hue Bridge for it to work. They’re easy enough to get set up, but it's another $60 that you would otherwise not have had to spend. Once you’ve got one, however, you likely won’t need another, but be aware as well that you’ll have to wire it into your internet connection.
That Bridge is annoying because the lamp is already very expensive. $160 is a lot of money, especially for a bedside table lamp. It's a very good one, yes, and the smart home functionality is great, but it is costly.
Hue Go Portable Lamp: Competition
Beyond simple bedside lamps that you can plug and let go without any kind of app or HomeKit setup, there are some super solid options out there to plonk on your nightstand. The recently reviewed on iMore Eve Flare is a great option, and it even costs less. The Hue Iris as well from Hue itself is an excellent option, although a little dimmer and more mood-lighty.
Meross options are good as well, and they all cost a fair amount less than the Go Portable Lamp. They aren’t as well made, however, and neither do they look as cool.
Hue Go Portable Lamp: Should you buy this?
You should buy this if…
- You want something sturdy
- You want a bright nightstand lamp
- You have more Hue lights
You shouldn't buy this if…
- You’re very clumsy
- You don’t want to buy extra accessories for HomeKit
- You don’t want to spend over $100
Hue Go Portable Lamp: Verdict
The Hue Go Portable Lamp is an excellent bedside lamp. The charging stand works super well, it looks great, and the light it pumps out is bright and colorful.
It is annoying that you have to add a Hue Bridge to make it work with HomeKit, and the weird weighting makes it topple over occasionally on some surfaces, but it's still a great lamp that is well worth the high asking price.
Classic looks for the modern age
The Hue Go Smart Lamp looks good, gives off great light, and will slip nicely into your home deco. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s a super solid option for a smart bedside lamp.
As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.