Philips Hue Starter Kit 2nd Generation (Refurbished)

  • You get a hub and two LED bulbs, everything you need to finally light your home
  • That’s the newer generation hub and bulbs than we sold last time
  • Control with your voice using Alexa, Siri, or screaming at someone to turn on the lights
  • Works with Apple’s Homekit, but isn’t offended if you don’t
  • Set timers, control from your phone, and accomplish general smart-homey things
  • White light only. No hues in this Hue.
  • Model: 455287 (Not to be confused with the Bitcoin block of the same name. This one’s difficulty is significantly less than 440,779,902,286.59)
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Hue Never Know

Names are weird. Not the names themselves, always, but the very act of naming people and things before we have any idea what they will become. When you name your child Mackenzie, how do you know she will grow up to be a doer of Mackenzie-like acts and not those of, say, a Makella or Madison?

And when the good folks at Philips named this smart home system “Hue,” they undoubtedly thought that coloration was to be the major selling point. However, the bulbs’ light on this later-gen Hue Starter Kit is decidedly un-hued.

The system sports plenty of other great, and certainly more useful features, like compatibility with Alexa, Siri, and Homekit, brighter bulbs than previous generations, and easy light scheduling. Yet its quasi-misleading “Hue” name remains, firmly entrenched.

We’re not blaming Philips — far from it. They are only the latest to have suffered this particular effect of the tech world’s obsession with being first to market. How many radios did you ever buy at Radio Shack? How many telegrams did you send through American Telegraph & Telephone?

These names, with time, return to being mere abstract symbols. The word “Facebook” no longer conjures the image of a yearbook. “Twitter” doesn’t call to mind the chirping of passerine birds.

Some cultures got it right — they didn’t name things until they knew what they did. The Lakotas (and many other American Indian tribes) would give one name at birth and then another in adolescence, based on experience. “Sitting Bull” was so named later in life because of his slow, deliberate approach. (He was originally “Jumping Badger.”)

Maybe we should start updating names to reflect current realities. “Johnny Depp” could be “The Bag That Mumbles.” “Dairy Queen” could be “Ice Cream And Hot Dogs, Apparently?” and this Hue smart home system could be “That Which Will Show Up On Meh Again When A New Generation Is Released.”

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