Smart bulbs ain't cheap, but GE has decided to enter your smart home with a new LED bulb called Link, which promises to make intelligent lighting cheaper. Well, a bit cheaper at least.
It has a point: Philips' latest Hue bulbs cost $US60 a pop, which is quite a lot for a bulb. GE's new offering instead uses a hub-and-spoke model, where a central node costs $US30 and and then extra bulbs, which connect to that one, cost between $US15 and $US25. You can also pick up a starter kit, which includes two 60W-equivalent bulbs and a hub, for $US50.
They're all controlled with Wink, allowing you to adjust brightness and schedule the lights using your phone via that central node. There aren't any flashy extras like you can get with some other bulbs -- hence the lower price. But despite being cheaper, they should still last a while; 23 years if you trust GE.
The bulbs are available for pre-order now through Home Depot, though they don't ship until late 2014. That's a long wait to save a few tens of dollars, but it might be worth it if you're not in a hurry. [GE Reports via Verge]