The hue is the latest entry into the “smart” LED bulb market. The hue can screw into any existing bulb socket and operates via your home’s WiFi network and a little bridge add-on. Once connected, the hue can be controlled from any iOS or Android device, using the free hue app.
That app allows users to control the hue from inside the house or across the world. There are also options for timers, so the bulb will go on and off automatically.
It sounds almost exactly the same as Insteon’s bulb, but it doesn’t look like it. Instead, the hue adds color into the equation — more than 16 million colors, to be exact. That way, users can customize lighting to match decor or a mood.
Out of the box, hue includes four pre-programmed light settings. Users can personalize scenes and colors or add more bulbs, which communicate via the ZigBee LightLink standard.
“Philips hue is a game changer in lighting,” said Bruno Biasiotta, CEO and president of Philips Lighting North America. “Just as our experiences with phones, televisions and movies have evolved, thanks to hue, we’ll never look at or interact with lighting in the same way again. At Philips, we continue to redefine the art of the possible with LED technology, and hue pushes the boundaries even more, not just in offering great light quality, but in how lighting can be digitized and integrated with our world to further simplify and enhance our lives.”
As part of Philips’ AmbiLight family, the company says it’s already working on integrating hue with other media, such as sound and video. Geo-location services, which allow hue to sense a user’s presence, are also in the works.
For now, each bridge can support up to 50 different hue bulbs. The hue starter kit has three LED bulbs, the bridge, and an MSRP of $199. Extra bulbs are priced at $59 each. If you want to get a peek at what hue can do, check out the video below.