In plotting my smart home transformation, I’ve become a big fan of Philips Hue. And today, Philips Lighting made its smart lighting family of its products even better, with new starter kits, light fixtures, and other additions.
I’ve written a bit about my plans—really, just ideas at this point—for smart lighting previously in Paul’s Tech Makeover: First Steps Towards a Smart(er) Home (Premium), Paul’s Tech Makeover: Lighting Basics (Premium), and probably elsewhere. And I wrote about my early experience with Philips Hue in Hands-On with the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit. Plus, you can see some of my smart lighting experiments (like here)—and our other home renovations—on my Instagram account. But the short version is that I really like the Philips Hue equipment. And we’ll be using a lot of it in the new house.
This week at IFA, Philips Lighting made a number of announcements, and not all of them apply to what I’m thinking about for the new house. But here’s a quick rundown.
New starter kits and bundles. Philips Lighting will start shipping new versions of its starter kits and multi-packs this Autumn. For the starter kits, the big change is that they will include more bulbs. For example, the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit that I purchased a month ago included a Philips Hue Bridge and three bulbs, but the new version will include the Bridge and four bulbs. Additionally, Philips will offer a new E14 candle in a 2-bulb multi-pack.
New light fixtures. Philips announced two new white ambiance spot lights, the Philips Hue white ambiance Buckram spots and the Philips Hue white ambiance Buratto. There’s also a new Philips Hue white ambiance Felicity table lamp and a connected bathroom lamp, the Philips Hue white ambiance Struana.
Apple HomeKit compatibility. While you can already control Philips Hue lights via Apple HomeKit, Philips is now opening up its full product line—including the Bridge, the Philips Hue tap, the Philips Hue motion sensor, and the Philips Hue wireless dimmer switch—to Apple’s ecosystem. This means that you can integrate your Philips Hue lighting controls (scenes, timers, whatever) with other home automation systems for window blinds, thermostats, and more.
Philips Hue Entertainment. This major new initiative will help customers create what Philips calls “immersive ‘surround sound’ for the eyes.” Which means that you can the synchronize ambient lighting around your HDTV to match specially broadcast programming on The Voice, Syfy, and Live Nation. In other words, the lighting will match what you see on-screen.
There’s more, but those are the big ones from my perspective.
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