The idea of the smartphone-controlled home is coming to fruition. From smart thermostats to smart appliances to smart lighting, all of which can be turned on and off, raised or lowered, scheduled and more all from our smartphones. In particular we've seen WiFi-enabled LEDs take off lately.
First, there was the INSTEON dimmable LED bulb that could be controlled by a smartphone app at the same cost as a traditional LED bulb, then there was the LIFX bulb which has smashed its Kickstarter goal 13 times over by offering color changing options too, and now Philips has entered the ring with an amazing 16 million color options plus hardware that allows it to integrate into any existing custom lighting systems.
Philips' Hue LED bulbs will be sold exclusively at Apple Stores starting tomorrow. They will be sold in a starter kit that includes three bulbs and a bridge that connects to your router, for $199.
The Verge reports, "Hue light bulbs are fully customizable, and offer up a choice of 16 million colors by combining three LEDs — one green, one red, and one blue — inside each bulb. They're being marketed as energy-efficient alternatives to regular light bulbs, with brightness on par with a traditional 50W bulb with a maximum power draw of just 8.5W. But energy efficiency is just one plus of the Hue system; the main selling-point is the extreme level of customization available. Buyers will be able to fine-tune their lighting through an iOS app or on their computer via Philips' website. An Android version of the companion app will be launching in December."
Once you've installed the bulbs, you can set the color of each one individually or choose from pre-set color schemes for things like reading, energizing or relaxing or create your own templates so that you can instantly set the lighting to your favorite settings. You can also create schedules for turning on and off.
The bridge supports up to 50 bulbs, which will sell for $59 each. That's steep, but a bulb this customizable has never existed before and it saves energy and money to boot.