Phillips Hue Offers New Starter Kits, Light Fixtures

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Smart Home with 5 Comments

Phillips Hue Offers New Starter Kits, Light Fixtures

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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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Phillips Hue Offers New Starter Kits, Light Fixtures”

  1. zorb56

    I wish Philips would release more bulbs and fixtures in the color+white ambiance category. I get it, white is probably more popular with the 'normals' but throw us enthusiasts a bone! I love the color.

  2. Skolvikings

    I wish they supported more bulb types.

  3. Chris Payne

    I just can't justify the pricing for smart-lighting. A ridiculous price for what you get in return. I really don't know why anyone does this TBH.

  4. jwpear

    So what's the warranty/life of these bulbs? Do they claim the same sort of questionable 20,000 hours life? I have a number of Cree LED bulbs around the house that I bought to replace unreliable CFL's and am finding over time that they're really not all that more reliable than the questionable CFL reliability claims or most incandescents. Heck, I have a few incandescent bulbs that have been in my home since it was built--14 years. Can't say the same for a single CFL or LED. They seem to be going at about the 3-5 year mark with less than 4 hours per day use. I bought Cree because they were more expensive and had a high life claim, so believed that also meant higher quality. Not turning out to be true. I can't help but wonder if the Phillips Hue bulbs would see a similar moderate life. They're too expensive not to last a good 10-15 years.

  5. Steffen Phelps

    I'm a big fan too -- and for a peek into what the Hue Entertainment might offer, the Xbox One game "Chariot" has a really cool Philips Hue integration that changes and flashes lights dynamically along with the action on screen.

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