Going to the effort of setting up a smart home just so you can turn your lights on and off from your phone may not seem like the best use of your time and resources, but with the right gear and apps you can put together some routines that really will impress family, friends, and occasional Airbnb guests. Here are five of our favourites.
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I have simple, if expensive, needs. I want to achieve, in 2018, the kind of immersive glow that the Philips Ambilight, a product last updated in 2007, provided the TV obsessive a decade ago. I can drop $US150 ($192) on the Dreamscreen backlight, but I'd much rather use the eight Philips Hue lights already in my basement. If TV and set-top box makers embrace Philips's new Entertainment API, my needs might finally be met.
Video: Philips has new lights in its Hue line-up, cheaper ones that only create white light from cool to warm rather than the reds and greens and blues of the original Hue. White light can be invigorating and calming across its different temperatures -- but calming enough to exorcise a bunch of ghosts? We'll be the judge of that, Philips.
Hidden away in a warehouse theatre in Sydney's Inner West, a stage show with a difference is happening. An improvised re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the actors switching the scene from romantic to sad to action-packed, the mood entirely driven by the colour of the lighting.
And the colour of the lighting is entirely driven by the audience - via Philips Hue.
Before the idea of a 'smart home' came long, people had to actually walk over to a switch to turn lights on and off -- it was barbaric. Now you can illuminate your entire house with just a few taps on a smartphone app, but Philips wants to make life even easier than that with a new motion sensor that automatically turns its Hue lights on and off for you.
More powerful lights, a new app and a new website are the backbone of Philips' Hue 2.0, but it's the Apple HomeKit integration that will probably tempt most of the smart, Wi-Fi-connected multi-colour LED lighting system's new buyers. The new Hue 2.0 Bridge is the heart of the setup, and it sounds like we're finally getting to a point where Hue is a feasible lighting solution for a smart home.
Poking at your smartphone before bed makes it harder to fall asleep because the cool, bluish glow of its screen tricks your body think it's daytime. Warmer tones are the key to drifting off, so Philips is introducing a new white bulb to its Hue line that can be adjusted from cool to warm colour temperatures to help your body wind down at night.
A good, properly configured surround-sound system can put you in the middle of the action of a TV show or movie, minus all the burdens a fictional protagonist must bear. But what if you're chasing that something extra? Syfy, using Philips' Hue lights, is having a crack at that special something, using its new show The Expanse as a guinea pig.
As imperfect as they might still be for the average, everyday, regular user, Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs are still a thing that won't quit. The Philips Hue range is one of the best out there at the moment, with a high quality globe backed by a solid open-source wireless standard and a useful and versatile mobile app. There's more than just a standard globe available, though -- Philips' two Friends Of Hue devices are two add-on variants that don't exactly change the entire philosophy of your Hue devices, but that add a little more versatility in where you might want to place them around your house or office.
Video: Here's a clever ad from Philips for their smart Hue light bulbs. It shows how much the living room has changed since the invention of the light bulb: TVs get flattened, furniture evolves, people's clothes follow trends, etc. but the light bulb stays the same. Well, we know that's not exactly true but it's a cute ad nonetheless.
While the Hue lights from Philips are capable of producing more than 16 million shades of coloured light, flipping between functional white light and playful coloured light can be a bit of a pain. And while the native app's scene selections feature can help to partially alleviate this issue, Philips has just unveiled another option: two bulbs, one fixture.
Got the Syfy Sync app for iPhone/iPad and some Hue bulbs? Faboo! Tune into Syfy next Wednesday to watch Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Sharkening The Second One as never before.
Hue Menu, introduced today, lets you control your psychedelic Philips Hue colour-changing mood lights from your Mac computer. Most Hue owners control their setup via mobile app, but now you can set the colour palette of the room while looking like you're doing work.
You might remember that last year we were dazzled by Philips' Wi-Fi controlled LED bulbs that you can set to any imaginable colour with a smartphone. Warm, cool, whatever lighting you want, using only an app. Rad, man. Now, Philips is introducing two new lighting options into its Hue product line so you can fine-tune your living room's stoner chic ambiance even further.
The luminescent chameleon that is the Philips Hue lighting system is pretty sweet as it is but, starting today, it's going to gain a swath of new functions demanded by its users. Here's what's in store for version 1.1.