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.


This article, "Philips Hue Line Gains Standalone Bluetooth Bulb Option for New Hue Users" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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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.


This article, "Philips Hue Expected to Launch New Filament Light Bulbs and HomeKit Smart Plug This Fall" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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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.


This article, "CES 2019: Philips Hue Gains New Outdoor Lighting Range and Outdoor Motion Sensor" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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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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Review: The Philips Hue Outdoor Lightstrip With HomeKit Integration Lights Up Your Backyard

Earlier this year, Signify (formerly Philips) debuted a new range of outdoor Hue lighting products that are designed to bring the iPhone-controlled multi-colored lights that you're used to using inside to the outside.

There are outdoor spotlights, wall lanterns, pathway lights, outdoor bulbs, and for accent lighting, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Outdoor Lightstrip.


Measuring in at 80 inches, the $89 Outdoor Lightstrip is perfect for balconies, patios, backyards, and anywhere else you'd like to add gorgeous and functional accent lighting that's also weatherproof.

Design


I've been using Hue products for years and I have a standard indoor Hue Lightstrip, and when I got the outdoor version, I assumed it'd be similar. It is, in the sense that it's a long string of LEDs, but the similarities end there.

While the indoor Hue Lightstrip features LEDs that are uncovered, for weatherproofing reasons, the outdoor Hue Lightstrip's LEDs are protected by an opaque silicone cover that diffuses the light and looks fantastic.


I'm a fan of my indoor Hue Lightstrips, but the way the outdoor version diffuses the light is superior, and I wish the indoor models looked like this. Because of the silicone-covered design, the Outdoor Lightstrip doesn't need to be used as background accent lighting, it can be front and center on a pathway, along a railing, on a fence, or in other similar spots.


The Outdoor Lightstrips are available in 80 or 197 inch configurations. Unlike the indoor version, there is no adhesive involved here. Instead, the Outdoor Lightstrip is made from a flexible material that can be manipulated and shaped into the design that you need. It's not going to fully bend, but it can be routed along a soft curve.


Hue's Outdoor Lightstrip is fully weatherproof, so it's going to hold up in rain, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. There are some limitations to be aware of if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, though, because it has an operational range of -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is a heavy duty setup with a large weatherproof power supply and an extra long two-piece cord, all of which is resistant to rain, dust, and other outdoor elements. I was tempted to use the Outdoor Lightstrip indoors because I loved the look of the diffuse light, but there is a lot of cord to deal with and no option to make it shorter.


The Outdoor Lightstrip measures in at .78 inches tall and .43 inches wide, so it's slim enough to go just about anywhere. There is no adhesive involved because it likely wouldn't stick outdoors. Instead, Signify supplies mounting brackets and screws that can be used to attach the Lightstrip to a fence, an overhang, or anywhere else.


I live in an apartment so my ability to permanently attach the Lightstrip to an outdoor area is limited, but I did install it on a set of shelves that I have to hold my plants, where it worked brilliantly. With the individual LEDs covered, the Outdoor Lightstrip looks like one continual light strand.
Continue reading "Review: The Philips Hue Outdoor Lightstrip With HomeKit Integration Lights Up Your Backyard"

Philips Hue iOS App Updated With Siri Shortcuts Support

The Philips Hue app for iOS this week updated with support for Siri Shortcuts, allowing users to add their lights to a Shortcut to turn on scenes like "Movie Time." Siri will also now learn when people are using their favorite scenes and suggest them for quick activation on the iOS lock screen, in Siri search, and on the Siri Apple Watch face (via 9to5Mac).


The Shortcuts app launched to the public within iOS 12 in September, allowing users to create multi-step shortcuts using first and third-party apps that can be activated by Siri voice command. Shortcuts are deeply customizable, and third party apps like the Hue app are able to develop quick actions for Siri that can be incorporated into Shortcuts recipes.

During the original announcement, the company explained how Hue shortcuts are compatible with other shortcuts, so you can have a whole "Dinner Time" setup that not only changes the lights, but also does things like turn on music and text family members that the food is ready.

The launch of Shortcuts for Hue lights comes after the company revealed new light fixtures last August, aimed at providing light for an entertainment area. These include the Hue Play (seen above) and Hue Signe lights. Philips Hue also now sells a range of outdoor lights, including an Outdoor Lightstrip, spotlight, and path light.

For the new Siri Shortcuts integration, Philips Hue version 3.6.0 is available to download now on the iOS App Store.


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Philips Hue Reveals New ‘Signe’ and ‘Play’ Collections to Light Up Your Entertainment Area

Coming off the recent reveal of Philips Hue's latest fixtures, the lighting company today announced two new collections that will be available to purchase in October: "Hue Signe" and "Hue Play." While still providing all of the expected features of Hue lights -- including HomeKit support -- the new products have unique hardware builds and are aimed to enhance entertainment areas.

Starting off, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Signe Collection is a slim fixture with a solid base that comes in a Floor Light (standing at about 59 inches tall) and Table Light (just over 24 inches tall). The Signe is designed to be placed around an entertainment area and facing a wall, with indirect lighting reflection that reaches "up to the ceiling," according to the company.


This means that two Signe lights bordering a television can also provide bias lighting while you watch a movie or play a video game. Because the collection supports Hue White and Color Ambiance, you'll be able to choose from 16 million colors and 50,000 shades of white light to light up your room.

The Signe does not support multi-zone lighting, so you can only emit one color from one lamp at a time, but the company notes that with multiple Signe lights set up in a room you will be able to mix and match colors from multiple sources.


The Signe Table Light will cost $159.99 and the Signe Floor Light will cost $249.99. Both fixtures will be available for pre-order in early September and then launch in early October.

Secondly, Philips Hue has revealed the Hue Play Collection, which is also aimed at family rooms and entertainment areas. The company describes Hue Play as a "light bar" that can be placed on an entertainment center, mounted behind a TV, or simply laid on the floor to add lighting to any space.

Three light bars can be plugged into the power source that comes in the fixture's base kit, which Philips Hue says was an effort to reduce the amount of electrical sockets needed for the lights behind your entertainment center.


In these setups, Hue Play can be placed both vertically and horizontally, providing even more opportunities for bias lighting behind a TV and pathway lighting in a hallway. The Hue Play measures 9 inches in length.

There are two kits that will be available for Hue Play: a Single Base Kit with one fixture for $69.99, and a Double Base Kit with two fixtures for $129.99. Pre-orders for Hue Play will go up in mid-September and then the collection will launch in mid-October.

If you purchase either one of these kits, Philips Hue will also sell a $59.99 Hue Play extension, which is simply another light bar at a slightly reduced price that you can add onto your existing setup by plugging it into the base kit's power source.


Like previous Philips Hue products, Hue Signe and Hue Play can be added into your existing HomeKit ecosystem, allowing you to control the fixtures with Siri, automate them to turn on and off at specific times of the day, and add them into your favorite HomeKit scenes. Philips' recently redesigned iOS app will also provide full control over the light color, scenes, rooms, automation, and more for Signe and Play.

Additionally, today is also the day that a variety of new Philips Hue lights and fixtures launch on the company's website. These include the Adore Vanity Mirror, Adore Ceiling Light, Being Pendant, and Enchant Pendant Light. Anyone looking to expand their outdoor space with smart lighting can also pre-order the Hue Outdoor Lightstrip beginning today, ahead of an early October retail launch.


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