I have many Hue color bulbs (“white and color ambiance”), but I almost exclusively use them for whites. I mostly use them to create dim-to-warm/circadian lighting type scenes (brighter = high color temp, dimmer = low color temp). I do also have a few “white ambiance” tunable white bulbs. I favor the color bulbs because they can go to lower color temperatures, which I like for very dim scenes.
Most Hue “white ambiance” bulbs are only tunable from 2200K to 6500K. 2200K is pretty good, but I sometimes want lower (redder). I wouldn’t buy a tunable white bulb that only went to, for example, 2700K. Dimming to very lower brightness levels is also important to me (newer Hue bulbs do this very well).
I don’t make use of color temperatures above 4000K, primarily because most Hue bulbs hit maximum brightness at 4000K (internally, they use 2200K and 6500K LEDs… so peak brightness is reached when both sets of white LEDs can be turned on). There are times that I would like higher (bluer) color temperatures, but this is less important to me than the low (redder) color temperatures.
I think if I had to pick a reasonable (technically/economically practical) tuning range for a white bulb, I’d want 1800K to 4000K. It would need to hit max brightness at 4000K though.
I’m generally happy with Hue bulbs (and there don’t seem to be any better alternatives right now), but I have some complaints. My biggest complaint is their relatively poor/inconsistent CRI/TM-30 (and their total lack of any published specifications around CRI - so I have to buy bulbs and measure them myself). The newer ones are better, but still mediocre compared to good fixed color temperature bulbs.
I’d like to see > 90 CRI over the full white tuning range (ideally > 95 CRI when above 2700K), along with good R9 values - and have it actually spelled out in the specs.
Hue bulbs also use PWM dimming instead of a better variable constant current driver. It is pretty high frequency (1-2 kHz, depending on model/generation), so it is unlikely to cause any discomfort - but it can be visible under some conditions (cell phone cameras can pick it up at shorter exposure times). I wouldn’t want to buy a bulb that uses a lower frequency PWM.
I’m also disappointed that Hue has so few offerings for narrow beam angle spot bulbs. They only have a GU10, and recently a PAR38 - it would be nice to also have PAR30 and PAR20 bulbs with a few different beam angle options, or maybe even some canless regressed gimbal fixtures. But this isn’t something that I’d expect a smaller company like Inovelli to address (there is a much bigger market for regular A19 bulbs).
Hue bulbs have completely nailed the user experience. Everything just works very smoothly with them. This seems to be something that other cheaper smart bulb manufactures tend to get wrong - e.g. not being able to do smooth transitions between different color temperatures and brightness levels, or not even being able to transition both color temperature and brightness simultaneously.
It is worth extra money to me to get all of these details right - but I realize that I may be in the minority here (judging by what most smart bulb manufacturers are actually selling).