Smart lights are the cheapest, easiest way to get started with a smart home. Philips Hue, one of the most popular smart light markers, just took the wraps off a whole new lineup of smart lighting for various rooms in your house, along with built-in Spotify integration within the Hue app to make it all sing and light up together.
The new products consist of four gradient-enabled lights and new ceiling lights. There are also white ambiance filament bulbs and two brighter smart bulbs included in the lineup. Here’s the full breakdown:
- Play gradient light tube: This is a synced-up accessory for your TV, whether you’ve got a big screen hanging up on the wall or propped up on a console table. It features similar gradient colour technology as the Hue Play gradient light strip. It’s an alternative for behind-the-screen drop shadow lighting and doesn’t rely on adhesive to achieve the effect. The light tube costs $US180 ($246) for the compact version and $US200 ($274) for the large version and will be available on Jan. 18, 2022.
- Ambiance light strip: The Philips Hue Ambiance light strip is also being upgraded this year with gradient capabilities. This enables the light strip to display a simultaneous number of different colours along its length. It’s different from the Play gradient light strip, which is specifically meant to mount to the back of a TV. A $US70 ($96), 1-metre extension and $US170 ($233), 2-metre base kit will be available on Oct. 1.
- Signe floor and table lamp: Philips Hue has extended the gradient effect to several other form factors, including its Signe floor lamp, which looks like an upright light bar and comes in black and white, and the Signe table light, which is the shorter version. Both smart lights will be available on Oct. 12 and will cost $US300 ($410) and $US200 ($274), respectively.
- Infuse ceiling light: The company’s first ceiling light will launch in January 2022. It boasts both white and coloured lighting directly overhead, and it’s meant for use in places like hallways, bathrooms, and closets. At $US30 ($41) apiece, the ceiling light costs around the same as a standard one you might pick up at the hardware store.
- White ambiance filament bulbs: The updated bulbs are much more versatile this time around. Rather than remain limited to moody yellow lighting, they now include stark white, blue-tinged hues that you can utilise during the daytime, and they come in all sorts of sizes. The A19 version of the bulbs costs $US35 ($48), while the more elongated ST19- and circular G25-sized bulbs cost $US40 ($55) each. There are also white filament candles available for hanging chandeliers and the like, and those cost $US30 ($41) for a single bulb and $US50 ($68) for two. Larger ST23- and G40-sized bulbs will be available in October for $US50 ($68) each.
- Upgraded white and colour bulbs: Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for those still migrating traditional bulbs over to smart ones, Philips has added bigger, brighter choices to its main product line. The white, white ambiance, and white and colour ambiance bulbs are all now available in three brightness variations, including 1100 (75w) lumens, 1600 (100w) lumens, and the previously existing 60w version, which can reach a maximum of 800 lumens. However, the 100w variants won’t ship until Oct. 12.
Sound like a lot? That’s because it is.
Even if you don’t plan on upgrading your smart lights, Philips Hue is adding a Spotify integration to the Hue app that “intertwines light and music” to create an “immersive entertainment experience.” It’s similar to the effect you get through the Hue Sync Lightbox, except instead of the lights paired with visuals, it’s following the beat, genre, and general “mood” of the Spotify track playing in the background. The Hue app can analyse the metadata for each Spotify song in real time.
This feature has started rolling out globally as part of the early access program for Philips Hue app users. It will be released to everyone else beginning in October. The company confirmed that the syncing feature would work for both free and paid Spotify users.
A Little Bit on Matter
Jasper Vervoort, the business leader for Philips Hue at Signify, told the press more information about the company’s plans for Matter, the smart home standard that’s supposed to make it easier for the smart bulbs to pair with other ecosystems. In addition to continued Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, Vervoort mentioned the Philips Hue bridge would be updated to support the Matter standard, as it is “the heart of the Philips Hue system.” Vervoort added that “all Philips Hue products you have bought or will buy today will be compatible with Matter.” The compatibility update is expected sometime in 2022 when the Matter standard is expected to launch officially.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.