A clever combination of precision and ambient lighting, the Philips Hue Centris provides a central light for main illumination and up to four spotlights to highlight an area of a room. It integrates fully into the Hue ecosystem, blending perfectly with other lights and giving individual control over each of its own lights. High brightness and excellent colour reproduction make this a winner if you’ve got a dim room, but the light fitting is quite expensive.
- Easy to install
- Flexible light
- InstallationThese lights must be hard-wired into your lighting circuit, replacing an existing light fitting.
- LightsAll Centris lights have one central light strip, but are available with two, three or four GU10 spot lights.
Spotlights are a great way of getting light into a specific area, whether that’s a desk or bookshelf, but their directional light can leave a room feeling dark in places.
The Philips Hue Centris gets around that: it has a fixed ceiling light for lighting the room, plus a choice of spots for detail lighting. It’s simple to fit and easy to control but it can be expensive.
Design and features
- Easy to fit
- Flexible spotlights with replaceable bulbs
- Works with the full Hue system
Rather than one light, the Philips Hue Centris is actually an umbrella term for a range of light fittings, each with a different number of spotlights. All Centris lights have a central, fixed light for filling a room with light, but there’s a choice of how many spotlights they come with: two (£265), three (£375) or four (£420). There’s a big jump in price, as the three-light version has a much larger central light.
Available in black or white, all Philips Hue Centris lights are simple and stylish, and they’re easy to fit, too.
First, your old light fitting has to be removed, and the lighting cables exposed. Next, the Centris’ support bar has to be screwed into place (I recommend hitting a joist if you can, particularly if you’ve got old crumbly ceilings).
With this done, the light can be attached. Philips provides it with a carabiner, which acts as both a safety mechanism to stop the light falling down, and lets it sit at an angle, while the power connector is wired into place.
Philips provides a connector block for your existing wiring. It’s a good decision, as it means that the Centris light can be taken down quite easily without having to physically unwire it: you just have to unclip the power connector. That could make it easier to decorate, for example.
It took me around 20 minutes to take down my old four-spot light fitting, which took four GU10 bulbs, and fit my four-spot Centris model.
With the power on, the Centris can be connected to your Hue system in the normal way. Bluetooth is supported, but it makes more sense to use the Hue Bridge.
The Centris appears as multiple lights: each spot is individually controllable, as is the central light. The spots are just standard Hue GU10 bulbs, and can be replaced; the central light can’t be.
Having individual lights is useful. For example, I could turn off a spot that I wasn’t using, or add the spots to a new Zone, so they could be controlled together.
Of course, the Centris can take part in Hue scenes and work with all of the usual wireless switches. I won’t go into that much here, as my full Philips Hue review covers how the lighting system works.
- Very bright
- Excellent colours
- Much brighter than the spots alone
I found that the Philips Hue GU10 bulbs that I had before were good but quite directional. In my garden office, they’d light up around the room, but directly under the light felt quite bright. With the addition of a central light, the Centris makes my office much brighter. I hadn’t really noticed quite how dark my office was until I replaced the old light fitting with this.
I like using it with Apple HomeKit, using Adaptive Lighting to give me daylight replication through the day, which makes working much easier.
Colour reproduction is brilliant, too, with the bulbs producing the full range of colours in equal strength. Colour matching is spot on, too: with the bulbs and central light all the same colour, they match well.
Should you buy it?
Flexibility: If you want the flexibility of spotlights with the power of a wider downlight, then this is the smart light to buy.
Price: It’s quite expensive, and you may find it easier to complement an existing light fitting with a lamp.
It can get quite expensive, particularly if you buy the four-bulb version, but the Philips Hue Centris is a great choice for a lot of rooms.
Its central light is bright and gives good coverage, while the spots let you highlight specific locations or get light into the corners of a room. This combination is a powerful one, and I really noticed how much brighter my room was than when I had four individual spotlights.
Simple to fit and with excellent colour reproduction, this is a great light fitting, ideally suited to kitchens or working spaces.
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Used as our main smart light for the review period
Tested for at least a week
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All versions have one strip light, plus either two, three or four spotlights.
The spotlights can be changed, as they’re regular Hue GU10 bulbs.