May 15, 2024

Philips Hue Secure: Everything you need to know about the new Hue security system

Philips has a full suite of security options in the Hue family. But do you need a subscription and what cameras are offered?

Signify, the parent company of the Philips Hue brand, used IFA 2023 to announce the launch of Philips Hue Secure, a new system of products designed to leverage Hue's experience in smart lighting to offer a complete home security system for users.

With cameras, sensors and integration with other Hue devices, Philips Hue is a comprehensive home security system to rival the likes of Arlo or Ring. Here's everything you need to know, how much it costs and what's on offer.

Philips will be offering a number of different camera configurations. All the cameras are 1080p, with Philips saying that focus was on producing a good image day and night, so they don't stretch to the sort of resolution you might get from Arlo, for example.

There will be a wired or a battery version, with black and white colours offered, with a range of different mounts, including a desktop mount, a magnetic wall mount, and a spike mount so you can stick it in the ground. Interestingly, the Hue Secure cameras are also compatible with low voltage systems used for Hue's wired outdoor light, so you'll be able to hook cameras into that system too.

The option for a battery-powered camera of course means that installation is really easy and all cameras are suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

Here's how the prices break down:

Then there is a more advanced option, which is the Philips Hue Secure floodlight camera. This integrates the camera with a huge LED floodlight - and because this is Philips Hue, it will be able to illuminate in any colour. Philips suggests that you might want to use bright red or white flashing as a visual alarm.

No home security system is complete without contact sensors - or door and window sensors and some might call them. This will allow you to put a sensor on a door or window so that you can get an alert when it's opened, or to create more automations.

For example, you could have the sensor turn on the light when a door is opened - and that's not just useful for security, but you could just use that as a daily routine, opening a cupboard door turns on the light for example, without the need for a light switch.

Of course, in a modern smart home you can use sensors from other manufacturers to create these sorts of automations, but all these devices will run through the Hue app.

The Philips Hue app will feature a Security Centre where this new functionality will come together, giving you control over your Hue security system. You'll be able to setup motion alerts that will push notifications to your phone, with the option to taking action, such as triggering an alarm - which can include all the Hue lighting in your house.

You'll also be able to personalise the cameras. As you can with other systems, you'll be able to create blackout zones where video isn't captured, you'll be able to identify activity zones so movement can be ignored in those areas. There will also be AI-detection, such as animal, vehicle, person or package.

Philips says that its AI systems run locally on the cameras, and that anything that's sent for remote viewing and storage is encrypted so remains secure.

Yes, to access the full range of functions that Hue Secure will offer you'll need a Bridge. The exact details haven't been specified, but it looks as though you'll need the Bridge if you want any of the more advanced functions from the cameras and contact sensors.

It's likely that some features can be used standalone, such as basic camera functions, but that's still to be confirmed. Philips will be offering bundles that include the Hue Bridge and cameras to help you get started.

Yes, there is going to be a subscription plan to support the new security offering, and this is generally in line with the likes of Arlo or Ring. This will offer either a single camera subscription, or there will be multiple camera options, with monthly or annual payment options.

The Basic plan will offer 30-day video history online, while the Plus plan will offer 60-day history.

You'll need a subscription to access the AI detection functions too, so you get quite a lot of functionality for your subscription.

Yes, the whole idea is that everything works together. This is designed to be one integrated system where you'll be able to leverage your existing Hue lighting and make it work in cohoots with the new cameras and sensors. That will mean you can have full lighting reactions to actions, you can have colour alerts and alarms. Philips is referring to it as "bright home" security. As everything it run through the same Hue app, it should be really easy to setup and make everything work together.

If you've already got a lot of Hue lighting and have been looking for a security system, the Hue Secure could be the solution for you.

Philips has said that Hue Secure will be available in fall/autumn 2023, with some products joining the system in Q1 2024.

Chris has been the Editor of Pocket-lint since 2012, guiding the coverage across all areas of technology during that time. Chris has experience across all areas that Pocket-lint covers, from cameras to cars, and writes news, features, reviews, and everything else. If Pocket-lint covers it, Chris is an expert in it.Chris has been a technology journalist since 2008 and has covered the rise of Android and reviewed just about every important device along the way. Chris lives the high-tech life, seeking out real-world experiences with all new technologies, aiming to put it to the test to provide greater insight into its application. When not exploring consumer tech, Chris can be found riding his bike - and gathering all the data for later examination.