Turning that favorite reading lamp or night-light into a defacto iPhone accessory is about to get cheaper thanks to new bulbs and switches being introduced to the Philips Hue series of smart lighting accessories and apps.
TechCrunch profiled the new setup Philips revealed earlier this morning, and it’s clear that Philips is taking the criticisms leveled at its Philips Hue system to heart.
First the company is looking to get more iPhone users to purchase Philips Hue with cheaper bulbs themselves. Its new Hue Lux LED bulbs can still be controlled wirelessly, however they’ll go on sale for just $39.95 each. Unfortunately, users won’t be able to create different color patterns with Philips Hue Lux LEDs. They’ll still need to purchase the original Philips Hue bulbs at $59.95 for that functionality.
Joining the Philips Hue Lux bulbs is a new Hue Tap wireless switch. It’ll allow users to turn off their Hue bulbs without their smartphone. The entire accessory is wireless and doesn’t even use a battery since it relies on the kinetic energy of a button press to power itself. The Philips Hue Tap Wireless Switch will sell for $59.95 when it debuts in North America and Europe sometime this summer.
Certainly, the idea here is to make Hue a more approachable product. The original line-up of Phillips Hue Bulbs required users to purchase a Hue Bulbs starter pack at $199 each. That starter pack includes three wireless color changing LED bulbs, and a base station that coordinated between each bulb. Users will still need the Hue Bridge that’s included in those start packs. However, once they have the starter pack it’ll be a lot cheaper to expand their Hue system down the road.
Hue Bulbs, regardless of whether you purchase the versions that includes different color LEDs, are important because they bring some very nifty modern convinces to an age-old technology. Because they use LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes to produce light, they’re much more power efficient than traditional bulbs. Users can also configure them with different smartphone apps and Hue-approved accessories. For example, using a Jawbone UP to activate the lighting system automatically.
Philips is also introducing a set of 3D printed Hue table and hanging lamps in Europe. There’s no word on how much they’ll cost but Philips didn’t announce any plans to make them available to users in the United States.
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