New Philips Hue Good Bulbs Do not Want a Hue Bridge—However There is a Catch

There is a new technology of Philips Hue good bulbs coming to market that do not require the Philips Bridge to be managed from a wise gadget. Wow! This can save individuals who do not have already got a Hue mild about $50, proper?

Ah, however there is a catch. If you wish to combine new Hue bulbs with older fashions, with any new Hue outside luminaires, or with any of the extra superior Hue equipment (e.g., movement sensors, or the brand new Lutron Aurora Dimmer), you may want Will purchase a Hue bridge anyway.

Signify goals (Philips spun off its lighting operations as an impartial firm in 2016) to decrease the barrier of entry for customers who need good lighting, based on George Yianni, Head of Know-how at Signify.

“Bluetooth allows you to management the bulbs out of your smartphone, even when you’ve got a [Hue] Bridge, nonetheless,” Yianni informed me at a briefing final week. “Our analysis has proven … an assumption that the Bridge makes [Hue smart lighting] extra difficult. Buyer suggestions We discover it very simple for customers to put in our present merchandise. however [Bluetooth] Will enable clients to begin the good lighting expertise—to allow them to mild up their houses—even with a single bulb.”

Michael Brown / IDG

The brand new technology of Philips Hue bulbs will look identical to the previous ones and produce the identical quantity of sunshine (800 lumens on this case).

As with the earlier technology of Hue bulbs, one of the simplest ways to get began was to buy a starter package with 4 Hue bulbs and a Hue Bridge. However it is going to price anyplace from about $93 on Amazon for a four-bulb White Hue package with Bridge, to $142 for a four-bulb Hue White with a Bridge and Coloration Ambiance package on Amazon.

With the brand new technology of bulbs, you can begin with only one bulb (and add 9 extra) and management them with the brand new Philips Hue Bluetooth app (out there for Android and iOS) or with a Google House or Amazon Echo good speaker. can do. in the identical room because the bulb (within the Amazon Echo lineup, Prima facie Compatibility Presently 3. restricted tothird-Era Echo Dot, 2Ra-Era Echo Present, and 1scheduled tribe and a pair ofRa technology Echo Plus).

Nonetheless, the brand new Hue bulbs themselves are not any cheaper than the earlier technology: Initially solely out there in A19 and BR (bulging-reflector) downlight type elements, dimmable white bulbs price $14.99 every, white-tunable White Ambiance bulbs price $24.99 every, and White and Coloration Ambiance bulbs price $49.99 every. Signify says it is going to launch extra Bluetooth merchandise later this yr and in 2020.

As an alternative of including a second radio to those new Hue merchandise, Philips is utilizing a brand new chip that operates each Bluetooth and Zigbee radios in parallel. This can allow customers to improve to a Hue Bridge down the street, in the event that they determine to broaden their good lighting or combine these bulbs with every other Hue merchandise. “We consider that we’re the primary mass market shopper product to commercialize this expertise,” Yianni mentioned. “For instance, when you’re utilizing Bluetooth to regulate the bulb through the app, you may nonetheless join considered one of our wi-fi bridges to the bulb and management it through Zigbee. .and it occurs in parallel.”

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The brand new Philips Hue good bulbs are powered by a brand new chip that has each Bluetooth and ZigBee radios on board, making the Hue Bridge elective for the primary time.

Since Bluetooth has a way more restricted vary than Zigbee, Signify recommends that you simply be in the identical room because the bulb to regulate it together with your smartphone. And the identical goes for utilizing a wise speaker to regulate it—the 2 gadgets have to be in the identical room. However since this new technology bulb can do each bluetooth And Zigbee, is an improve path that permits you to switch these new bulbs to the Hue Bridge at any later date.

“If you wish to management a number of rooms on the identical time—for instance, [if you want to] management your yard out of your lounge” Yianni mentioned, “then you definitely’ll want Zigbee’s mesh community capabilities to increase the sign.” He defined that the bridge allows different features as properly. “Our extra superior Equipment—our energy-harvesting switches, for instance, the brand new Lutron Aurora change that simply launched, and our movement sensors—all require the extra refined guidelines engine within the Bridge. Similar for all our leisure content material. Bridge can be wanted for out-of-home management, as you want a everlasting cloud connection.”

The brand new technology of Philips Hue bulbs is now out there within the US in A19 and BR30 type elements. Over time, all new Philips Hue merchandise constructed with this new chip will obtain Bluetooth connectivity whereas sustaining the Zigbee.

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