Philips unveils multi-color, smartphone-controlled LED lightbulbs

By on October 29, 2012, 2:00 PM

Philips is jumping into the smartphone-controlled LED lighting market with a new system dubbed hue. Initially available through Apple Stores only, hue light bulbs screw into a regular ES fitting and otherwise work like a standard light bulb, but they use a bridge plugged into your router to create a mesh network based on the ZigBee LightLink wireless standard, and allow things like personalized lighting settings and timers.

Inside each bulb are 11 LEDs in three different colors -- green, red, and blue -- that combine to create up to 16 million colors. Users can choose from one of four preloaded “LightRecipes” tailored for specific moods -- relax, read, concentrate, and energize -- or set their own custom templates. You can even use a photo from your iPhone or iPad to pick a color, and with an array of multiple bulbs, assign each a different color.

Using the compatible iOS app users can program specific times when bulbs should switch on, as well as dimming lights, and controlling them individually or in groups either either locally around the home or anywhere with an internet connection. An Android version of the companion app will be launching in December.

The starter box contains three bulbs (600 lumen or 50 watt equivalent) plus the base station and is priced at $199, while individual bulbs are priced at $59. They’re hardly a cheap replacement to standard lightbulbs, but they’re also not as expensive as some professional installations or even the company’s LivingColors lamps.

The Philips hue lighting system will take on the LIFX Kickstarter project, which has already raised more than $1.3 million for their dimmable and multi-color lightbulbs and is expected to ship in March 2013. Greenwave Reality also released a Wi-Fi controlled LED lighting kit last week, which can be controlled (sans color adjusting) via smartphones and tablets, and is available through distribution and utility partners only.




User Comments: 12

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Mortalife Mortalife said:

So they robbed an idea off a Kickstarter project and renamed it. Good job!

Cota Cota said:

The whole idea just feels like crap that we don't really need in any way, any point on why we need them is a mere excuse >.>

lipe123 said:

Yea wow we saw this on kickstarter just a few months back and here comes phillips, maybe they bought the idea from the kickstarter guy?

1 person liked this |
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Jesse Jesse said:

It takes quite a while to develop a product and push it to market. I doubt they "stole" this from Lifx.

2 people like this | danhodge danhodge said:

The whole idea just feels like crap that we don't really need in any way, any point on why we need them is a mere excuse >.>

Okay, since I know 'The colours will look pretty' isn't the best argument (although still legit), I will use my backup - they are more power efficient. And today, that makes all the difference.

Besides, don't lie - the idea of playing with your lighting on your phone is just plain cool.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Yea wow we saw this on kickstarter just a few months back and here comes phillips, maybe they bought the idea from the kickstarter guy?

Phillips has been working on LED lights for a long time. Here's a good article about it. Turns out getting an LED to put the same hue as an incandescent is really really hard, the other colors are probably easier... [link]

I agree this looks kinda pointless, but I can imagine night clubs/bars would go for it.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That's fun, I might actually have a reason to visit the local apple store.

Guest said:

Nice ripping off kickstarter.

dawei1993 said:

I would rather get the system where you clap twice and lights switch on and off... I rly don't see the point of wifi connection on lightbulbs -.-... How lazy can you get seriously.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Before you all said phillips is ripping off kickstarter, dimmable bulb is not a new thing, I have it installed on my home from many years ago, and it can controlled from control panel, remote or even with your pc/laptop.. you might not familiar because this kind of stuff often used in expensive home which is not kind of stuff you can find easily on your local store..

And for LED lightbulb, phillips has been working and developing long before kickstarter project begin.

Guest said:

Don't know who Kickstarter are but Philips have been making (GREAT) LED lighting for a long long long time, so Kickstarte probably stole the idea from Philips quite frankly.

Zoltan Head said:

I would rather get the system where you clap twice and lights switch on and off... I rly don't see the point of wifi connection on lightbulbs -.-... How lazy can you get seriously.

I'm holding out for the one that can read your mind, and adjust the lighting to suit....

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