The Philips Hue system is one of the few smart home solutions that work as well as you need them to, having been around for quite a few years now. But if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on the requisite wireless hub and colour-changing bulbs, Philips now has a cheaper alternative with its new SceneSwitch LED bulbs that don't require any additional hardware. Installation is as easy as just screwing the bulbs into a light fixture or lamp, and flicking a switch. But that's where the "smarts" come into play. The SceneSwitch bulbs can be toggled through three different colour temperature settings — daylight, soft white light and a warm glow — by simply flicking the light switch on and off.
When the switch isn't touched for six seconds, the bulbs will remember that setting as the new default so the next time you enter a room and turn the lights on, they will have the same colour temperature as before. Smart home devices don't get much easier to use than that. Australian pricing and availability has not yet been revealed, but at just $US9 ($12) per bulb in the US, Philips' SceneSwitch bulbs are also some of the cheapest smart accessories you can find.