Philips Hue Iris review: This gorgeous accent light supports both Zigbee and Bluetooth

The latest version of the Iris, a smart mood lamp from Signify-owned Philips Hue, cannily improves on the elegant original, upping its brightness, improving its translucent light diffuser and spiffing up the power cable, while adding a Bluetooth radio in the bargain. Capable of working both with or without a hub, the $100 Iris can cast a soothing shaft of color or tunable white light on a nearby wall, while its translucent diffuser glows inside the lamp’s clear shell. A cinch to set up and compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and (if used with a hub) HomeKit, the Iris makes for an easy and inexpensive way to warm up a room.

While the Iris has a list price of $100 (or $99.99 if you want to get technical about it), the recently released lamp is only now finding its way into retail channels, so don’t be surprised if you see inflated prices from third-party resellers.

Design and specifications

While it’s rated for up to 570 lumens, or twice as bright as its predecessor, the Iris isn’t really meant to light a room or illuminate a workspace. Instead (and like its portable cousin, the Philips Hue Go), the Iris is more of a mood light, casting a white or color glow on a nearby wall.

About 7.5 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 8 inches deep, the 1.5-pound Iris feels surprisingly light for its size. The lamp’s translucent diffuser is visible within the Iris’s clear plastic base, allowing the lamp to glow both inside and out.

Available in both black and white finishes, along with a quartet of metallic “special edition” colors (gold, rose, copper, and silver), the Iris’s base has a flat area at the bottom that positions the lamp at roughly a 45-degree angle. Near the base of the Iris is a 6.5-inch, fabric-covered power cable that terminates in a chunky, outlet-blocking 24-watt AC adapter.

philips hue iris rear Ben Patterson/IDG

The translucent diffuser in the Iris’s clear shell can glow even when the lamp’s brightness is set to only 1 percent.

Besides its ability to glow in 16 million colors, the Iris can also cast white light that’s tunable from a very warm 2,000 Kelvin to a hazy-daylight 6,500 Kelvin.


As with other new Philips Hue lights, the Iris is compatible with both Bluetooth and Zigbee, which means you don’t need a Hue BridgeRemove non-product link to use the Iris, although you may want to upgrade to a bridge once you discover the limitations of the Hue Bluetooth setup.

hue iris app Ben Patterson/IDG

The Hue Bluetooth app lets you control the Iris directly from your iPhone or Android phone, while the standard Hue app (pictured) gives you advanced options when used with the Hue Bridge, including the ability to group lights in a room and out-of-home control.

For more details on getting a Hue light such as the Iris up and running, check out my review of the new Hue Lightstrip Plus. The short version is that the Iris comes equipped with both Bluetooth and Zigbee radios, which means you don’t necessarily need a Hue Bridge to start using the Iris. With the Hue Bluetooth app on your iOS device or Android phone, you can turn the Iris on and off, change its brightness and color temperature, switch lighting presets, set timers, and create simple, one-time sleep/wake-up routines, no hub required.