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‘Tis the season for smart homes with Philips Hue’s Festavia smart string lights

You're a smart one, Mr Philips

Philips Hue Festavia smart Christmas lights around a Christmas tree in a living room

The festive season is just round the corner, after Black Friday, of course. With smart home tech covering just about every gadget we have in our homes, it’s time to move to the stuff we don’t always have on show – Christmas decorations. Diving head first into the Crimbo spirit, Philips is expanding the Hue line-up with its new Festavia string lights.

Philips Hue’s Festavia lights are set to be the showstopper to your Christmas decorations, giving Santa something to put on his own list. The Wi-Fi connected string lights feature 250 mini smart LEDs along a 20-metre cord. Forget crawling behind the tree and getting stabbed with needles, the Festavia lights let you control everything from the app.

At the tap of your smartphone, you can control the basics, such as switching the Festavia lights on or off. You cab also change the colour, dim or brighten them, and set schedules for them to switch on. That’s not all, though. Since each LED is controllable, you can create gradients and patterns with different colours to create your ideal lighting. You’ll be able to use the lights with other Philips Hue products, as well as connect them to Spotify and Samsung’s SmartThings.

Close-up of Philips Hue Festavia lights

Inside the Hue app, you’ll find two new Christmas lighting effects: Sparkle and Scattered. You’ll also be able to use the existing lighting effects from other Philips Hue gear. And of course, you’ll find your usual compatibility with smart home assistantsAlexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Bear in mind, you’ll need a Hue Bridge (for an extra £60) to use Philips Hue lights with Siri (she’s a bit of a grinch).

You’ll be able to order the new Festavia lights directly from Philips Hue after 15 November, whether you’re on the naughty or nice list. They’ll set you back £140, which is slightly more than your bog-standard set of string lights. But as they say, you can’t put a price on Christmas…