Consumer electronics giant Philips announced on Monday that it has landed a new LED lighting product a coveted spot in Apple's fleet of retail stores. Called Hue, the LED lights are light bulb replacements that feature wireless control from smartphone apps, the ability to shift color, and a US$56-a-pop price tag.
Philips Hue Starter Kit, at Apple Stores on October 30th
Hue represents a major push to get LED lighting into homes. Its chief benefit is that it produces 600 lumens the same light as a 50-watt incandescent light bulb, but it does so using only 8.5 watts of power. It does so with a cost, however, as noted above, though LED lights typically have an immensely long lifespan.
Hue brings more to the table, however, including the feature that most likely helped land it space in Apple Stores next to the Nest thermostat (see our review of Nest for more information), and that is the ability to control it from iOS and Android apps, as you can see in the video below.
That control far exceeds a simple on/off switch, though, as Hue can be shifted across every shade of white (sorry, but that includes very few shades of grey), as well as "a wide variety of color." The company doesn't specify those colors, but the marketing materials demonstrate red, blue, orange, yellow, each with a wide variety of shades.
So, users can control power (on/off), the hue, and the intensity of their light remotely from their iOS or supported Android devices. This is made possible by a bridge that you plug into your home router. Apple will be selling a starter kit for $199 that includes three Hue lights and a bridge. Additional lights can then be purchased for $56 apiece. Users can connect up to 50 individual Hue bulbs to one bridge.
Other features, according to Philips:
- Save your favorite light scenes for each room or time of day and recall them in an instant
- Use any photo on your phone as a color palette to paint your room with light and bring your memories back to life
- Tune white light from warm candlelight to vibrant, cool white light
- Create ambience or complement your decor with the colors of the rainbow
- Control and monitor your lights remotely when not at home for security and peace of mind
- Set timers to help manage your daily routine
- Let light wake you up refreshed or help your loved ones fall asleep
Hue will be available at Apple's retail stores starting on October 30th.
Philips Hue Promo Video