New Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box Lets You Sync Your Lights to Your Apple TV

Signify today announced a new device for its Philip Hue line of lights, debuting the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, designed to allow Hue users to sync their lights to their home entertainment systems.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to connect between a television set and HDMI devices like the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, video game consoles, and Blu-Ray players with the purpose of syncing lights with TV shows, movies, games, and music.


Signify says the box will work with any HDMI device that you have to take your content "to the next level with surround lighting." You can connect up to four HDMI devices to the Sync Box, and swap between them as needed when watching TV, gaming, and more.

The Sync Box is able to automatically switch between each device depending on which one is in use, so there's no need to worry about fiddling with settings every time you use a different device.


The Sync Box is compatible with all color-capable Philips Hue light bulbs, fixtures, and light bars that are paired to a Hue bridge. Up to 10 color-capable lights can be synced to whatever content is being played.
"People love to escape the pressures of everyday life by getting lost in their entertainment," said Jasper Vervoort, Business Leader, Home Systems & Luminaires, Philips Hue at Signify. "We are proud to present the new Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and give them a simple way to make that possible. Philips Hue users can now easily connect the color-capable lights in their room with their home entertainment systems, taking their movie- and TV-watching, listening and gaming experience to a completely new level."
There is a dedicated Philips Hue Mobile Sync app that works with the Sync Box, allowing users to control and personalize the lighting experience. Brightness, speed, and intensity of the lighting effects can all be tweaked, and there are options to configure the default settings to better suit your needs.


You can get the Philips Hue Play Sync Box for $229.99 starting in October, but it is available for pre-order from the Hue website today.


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Signify Launches New Philips Hue Smart Plug and Smart Button

Signify today announced several new Philips Hue branded products, adding to its available line of Hue bulbs and devic

The Philips Hue Smart Plug, priced at $39.99, is designed to turn lamps that aren't compatible with Hue bulbs into smart lamps able to be controlled via the Philips Hue app and HomeKit.


You can plug any table lamp, floor lamp, or other device into the Smart plug to add it to your Philips Hue setup. The Smart Plug can be switched on or off using the Hue app or HomeKit controls.

A new Philips Hue Smart Button, priced at $19.99, gives you a physical control option for your Philips Hue lights. You can assign a single press to activate whichever lights you want to control, and a press and a hold can brighten or dim the lights.


Paired with the Philips Hue Bridge, the button can be configured to do things like turning your lights to a preset shade of white and a brightness level that suits the time of day.

In the morning, a press of the Smart Button will turn the lights to cool, energizing shades of white, and in the evening, a button press will trigger warmer, dimmer light settings.


The Smart Button features a magnetic backing and an adhesive mini mount so you can put it wherever it's most useful.

Signify is debuting a new Bluetooth version of the Philips Hue Go portable lamp ($79.99), which can be used on its own with the Philips Hue Bluetooth app or added to any standard Philips Hue setup. The new Hue Go option is similar to the existing Hue Go, but with a longer battery life.


There are also new Bluetooth-enabled versions of the GU10 White and Color Ambiance and White Ambiance bulbs that can be used without a hub over Bluetooth, plus they feature higher lumen output, a new design, and richer colors.

The last new product is a Philips Hue White E12 candle bulb, ideal for ceiling fans, chandeliers, and other similar lights. The new E12 candle bulbs work over Bluetooth or with a Hue Bridge.

The Smart Plug and Smart Button will be launching in October, while the new Hue Go is coming in November. The GU10 spotlights and the E12 candle bulbs will be available starting in September. More info on the new products can be found on the Hue website.


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Philips Hue Line Gains New Filament Smart Bulbs

Signify today announced that its Philip Hue line of lights is gaining several new filament bulb options, which will be available in a variety of sizes.

Filament bulbs are bulbs that can be used with or without a lampshade, unlike other Hue bulbs that are designed for use primarily with lampshades. Filament bulbs can be viewed straight on and look attractive even when displayed in a naked lamp.


The Filament bulbs can be used over Bluetooth without a Philips Hue hub using the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, but if you have an existing Hue setup, the bulbs can also be added in the traditional manner and paired with your other Hue lights.

The Hue Filament bulbs are LED bulbs that are available only in a warm white light (2100K, 530 lumens) with an amber coating. The bulbs can be dimmed, but there are no color options.


There are three Hue Filament bulbs that will be available in the United States starting in October. There's a traditional A19 bulb that will be available for $24.99, a ST19 tube that will be available for $27.99, and a G25 globe that will be available for $32.99.

For more on the new Filament bulbs, check out the Hue website.


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Philips Hue Line Gains Standalone Bluetooth Bulb Option for New Hue Users

Signify today announced that it's going to be easier to get started with the Philips Hue line of lights thanks to a new standalone Bluetooth bulb offering.

The new Philips Hue with Bluetooth bulbs allow those who are newcomers to the Hue ecosystem to get started with a single light. Each of the Bluetooth bulbs can be controlled via an app using Bluetooth, with no need for the Philips Hue Bridge that's normally required for Hue lights.


Using the new Philips Hue Bluetooth app, users can turn the lights on and off, dim the lights, set the lights to millions of colors or different shades of light, select pre-set scenes, and enable multiple users to control the lights.

There are three versions of the Bluetooth bulbs: White ($14.99), White Ambiance ($29.99), and White and Color Ambiance ($49.99). They're available in the A19 bulb shape and the BR30 downlight.

Because there's no bridge involved these standalone Bluetooth bulbs are not HomeKit enabled, but for people who purchase them and decide to then expand to a larger Hue ecosystem, the bridge can be added at a later date and the bulbs can be connected like any other existing Hue bulbs.

Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs do work with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Nest smart display even without the Philips Hue Bridge.

The new Philips Hue Bluetooth lights are available from the Philips Hue website and Amazon starting today.


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Philips Hue Expected to Launch New Filament Light Bulbs and HomeKit Smart Plug This Fall

Philips Hue is planning to launch a new collection of accessories this fall, according to a new report today by iCulture. The collection will include filament light bulbs and a brand-new smart plug.

This would be the first time that Philips Hue launches its own smart plug accessory, but it's unclear if you will need a Philips Hue bridge to connect the plug or if it will be a standalone device. Today's report states that you will be able to set schedules and timers on the plug and it will be compatible with HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Alexa.

Image via iCulture

Like other smart plugs, Philips Hue's device will let you plug in a lamp, tea kettle, or other device so that you can control them through voice commands or via your smartphone. The smart plug will launch in Europe for €29.95 and in the United States for $24.95.

As for the light bulbs, Philips Hue is said to be planning to sell a small round, a large round, and an elongated variant of the filament bulbs. These bulbs have a predicted launch date of the second week of September and a price range of €19.95 to €29.95.

The new bulbs are believed to be Bluetooth-enabled, suggesting that you may not need a Philips Hue bridge to operate them. The fall collection will also introduce revamped versions of existing Philips Hue bulbs, including the Philips Hue Go device.


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New ‘Friends of Hue’ Partner Lutron Debuts New Smart Bulb Aurora Dimmer

Lutron, a new "Friends of Hue" partner, today announced the launch of the Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer, a Hue accessory that's designed to be placed over a traditional toggle light switch to prevent it from being turned off and accidentally disabling Hue smart bulbs.

The Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer is a wireless battery-powered dimmer that's meant to be mounted right over a traditional light switch, keeping guests and children from using the switch while also introducing dimming controls for Hue bulbs.


You can tap the Aurora Dimmer to turn your Hue lights on and off or turn the knob to brighten or dim the lights.
"Lutron is pleased to join the Philips Hue 'Friends of Hue' program and offer this unique, wall-mounted smart lighting control that enriches the Hue experience," said Matt Swatsky, Vice President, Residential Mid-Market Business at Lutron. "Lutron prides itself on aligning with global, best-in-class companies like Signify to improve and evolve the lighting experience. Together, Lutron and Signify are addressing smart bulb user feedback with an attractive and practical solution that locks toggle switches in place to keep smart bulbs ready, while providing an additional point of control. The Aurora dimmer simplifies the use of Philips Hue smart bulbs and fixtures for everyone in the home."
According to Lutron, it takes just two minutes to install the Lutron Aurora Dimmer over a standard toggle light switch. The base of the dimmer locks the existing toggle switch in the up/on position to prevent it from being accidentally turned off, while the knob snaps right onto the mounting base.

Like the Hue system, the Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer connects to the Hue base using Zigbee, so it can be used to control Hue lights even when the Wi-Fi is out.


The Lutron Aurora Smart Bulb Dimmer, priced at $40, can be pre-ordered from the Hue website starting today and it's set to start shipping out in June. It will also be available from Amazon, Apple, Best Buy and The Home Depot.


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Review: Weatherproof Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor Lets You Automate Your Indoor or Outdoor Lights

The Philips Hue line of lights have been controllable via an indoor motion sensor for some time, but Signify is today introducing an Outdoor Motion Sensor that's designed to control the range of outdoor Hue lights that are now available for purchase.

The Outdoor Motion Sensor works just like the indoor Smart Motion Sensor, automating your lights and other HomeKit products to come on when motion is detected and turn off when there's no motion detected, all on an automatic basis.


As with all Hue products, the Outdoor Motion Sensor is designed to work with a hub, so a Hue hub and Hue lights are required to use the product, even though it can interface with other HomeKit devices.

Design


Design wise, the Outdoor Motion Sensor is small and relatively unobtrusive, though it's clearly a smart device that's noticeable. It features a square-shaped plastic housing with a protruding white circle where daylight and motion sensors are built in.


At the back, Outdoor Motion Sensor features a mounting plate and a variety of mounting options so you can put it wherever it works best. There's an option for a flat wall or mounting it at a corner, which would allow for maximum view of a driveway, lawn, or entryway.


I live in an apartment so I'm not able to do wall mounting, but I'm including this image of the Outdoor Motion Sensor from Amazon to show the different ways that it can be mounted -- flat, on an inward corner, or on an outwards-facing corner. For testing purposes, I have tall shelves outdoors where I keep plants, which is what I used, so it also doesn't necessarily need to be permanently mounted to work well.


You can screw the Outdoor Motion Sensor into the wall outside, and the hardware that you need is included (wall brackets, screws, and screw plugs), making it simple to get up and running. There is a built-in battery inside the Outdoor Motion Sensor that's supposed to last for about two years, so you don't need to worry about charging it. It's using AA batteries, so when the included batteries are exhausted, it won't be a hassle to get a replacement.
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CES 2019: Philips Hue Gains New Outdoor Lighting Range and Outdoor Motion Sensor

Signify today announced that its Philips Hue lighting lineup is gaining new outdoor lighting and sensor options in 2019.

New to the Hue Outdoor line is the Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor, which, like the indoor sensor, is designed to detect motion. The Outdoor Sensor is able to tell when a person is nearby, turning on outdoor Hue lights automatically.


The Hue Outdoor Sensor is wireless and operates on battery power, so it can be placed anywhere that's convenient. It has a 12-meter detection range and an integrated dusk-to-dawn sensor, making sure the lights only come on when it's dark outside.

Priced at $49.95, the Hue Outdoor Sensor will be available in February 2019.

Along with the sensor, Signify is introducing several new Philips Hue wall-mounted outdoor lighting fixtures, including the Philips Hue Welcome Flood Light ($109.99), the Philips Hue Discover Flood Light ($139.99), and the Philips Hue Econic family, priced at $129.99.

Hue Discover and Welcome Lights

The Welcome light is limited to one shade of bright white light, but the Discover light is a white and color ambiance light, which means it can be set to various shades of white or one of 16 million colors.

The new Philips Hue Outdoor lights will work like all other Hue lights, allowing for Siri-based voice controls via HomeKit as well as app control options through the Hue app or the Home app.

Hue Econic lights

The lights will also work with scenes and automations, allowing them to be integrated with other HomeKit products and set to come on automatically at designated times if desired. Signify plans to release the lights in February 2019.

More info on the new Hue Outdoor lights can be found on the Meethue website.


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Philips Hue Bulbs Can Now Remain Off Following a Power Outage

Signify updated the Philips Hue iOS app to version 3.11.0 this week, introducing the ability for users to select a customized bulb status after a power outage (via Reddit). Previously for Philips Hue owners, when the power would go out and then come back on, all of their connected Hue bulbs and fixtures would immediately turn back on, even if they were off before the power outage.


Now, thanks to the "Power-on behavior" setting, users can go into each Hue bulb and choose from a default light (warm white, full brightness) or a power loss recovery mode that allows the bulb to return to the last used color and brightness following a loss of power. With this setting, if your bulbs were off while you were sleeping during a power outage, they'll revert to that off state when the power returns, meaning you won't be disturbed during sleep with bright lights coming back on.

On Reddit, confirmed by our own testing, users noted that some Hue bulbs display a "not supported" message under the new power-on behavior setting. This appears to be an issue affecting certain types of Hue bulbs, including Hue White Ambiance lights, but the new update appears to be rolling out in stages, so wider support for the full Philips Hue lineup is expected soon. At this time, there is also no toggle to choose one power-on behavior for all of your Hue lights at once, so you'll have to go into each individual light to pick a setting.

Signify also warns users that the Philips Hue color lamps of early generations might still give a flash of white light before returning to the selected setting, even if it is the new power loss recovery setting. "This is expected behavior," the company explains. Those interested can update to version 3.11.0 of the Philips Hue app today on the iOS App Store [Direct Link]. The Android app has received a similar update as well.


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Review: Philips Hue Play Adds Bright Bias Lighting to Your Entertainment Center

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the first products launched by Philips Hue in October 2012, with an original system that came with three Hue bulbs and one bridge and was sold as an Apple Store exclusive. Over time, Philips Hue added HomeKit support after Apple introduced the software framework in 2014, and numerous new bulbs, lamps, lightstrips, and more have come out of Philips Lighting -- now Signify -- over the past six years.


The latest lamps are a collection of fixtures that highlight your entertainment area, with one taller set (Hue Signe) and one shorter set (Hue Play) offering new and unique ways to attain bias lighting around your television, favorite pieces of art, and more. Signify sent me one pair of Hue Play lights for the purpose of this review, and over the past few weeks I've come to enjoy them as the latest addition to my dozen-bulb Hue setup, although I have yet to find them as indispensable as my other HomeKit devices and lights.

Setup


Like any new Hue bulb added onto an existing ecosystem, initial setup for Hue Play was pretty seamless. Out of the box, Hue Play comes with two light bars that each have a cord to connect with the main AC power adapter (which itself can power up to three Hue Play light bars). If you're going to lay Hue Play flat, you won't have to do anything but plug them in to an outlet and place them on your entertainment center, floor, etc.


If you want to stand them up, Hue Play comes with two black plastic stands that can be attached to the bottom edge of each light bar using an included Allen wrench and screw. After this quick installation, Hue Play can sit vertically beside your TV. The box also includes two different plastic stands that attach to the center back of each light bar, with an adhesive tape that attaches Hue Play to a smooth surface, namely the back of your TV.


Once the light bars are installed, you can add them into your HomeKit setup using the Philips Hue iOS app. In the Hue app I searched for and added Hue Play into my apartment's setup, renaming them and assigning them to the correct room. Once in Hue's app new lights sync to Apple's Home app, which is where I primarily interact with my Hue lightbulbs. It was just as easy to set up and add Hue Play into various scenes and automations in Home as it has been for all other Hue bulbs I've purchased.
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