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Philips hue app-controlled lightbulbs debut exclusively at Apple stores

post #1 of 42
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Dubbed "the world's smartest LED bulb," the new Philips hue is an iOS application-controlled lightbulb that will be available only in Apple retail stores.
hue
Apple's stores will begin carrying the hue on Tuesday, priced at $199 for a starter pack with three bulbs of 600 lumen and a hue bridge to connect the bulbs to a home network. Each bulb offers all shades of white and a variety of color, and they use 80 percent less power than a traditional light bulb while providing the equivalent of a 500 watt bulb. A huge introduction pack can expand to up to 50 individual bulbs, and each bulb is priced at $59. With an iOS application, hue allows users to remotely control their home lighting, and personalize settings such as timers. Philips also says that its bulbs are upgradeable and future-proof, as more features can be downloaded in the future. The hue app also features what Philips has called "LightRecipes," which are four pre-programmed lighting settings based on the company's research regarding the biological effects that lighting has on the body. The scenarios adjust bulbs to the optimum shade and brightness of white light to help users relax, read, concentrate or energize. Other features of Philips hue, according to the company, are:
  • Save your favorite light scenes for each room or time of day and recall them in an instant
  • Use any photo on your phone as a color palette to paint your room with light and bring your memories back to life
  • Tune white light from warm candlelight to vibrant, cool white light
  • Create ambience or complement your decor with the colors of the rainbow
  • Control and monitor your lights remotely when not at home for security and peace of mind
  • Set timers to help manage your daily routine
  • Let light wake you up refreshed or help your loved ones fall asleep
"Philips hue is a game-changer in lighting ? a completely new way to experience and interact with light," said Jeroen de Waal, head of marketing and strategy at Philips Lighting. "In the way phones, media and entertainment have been revolutionized by digital technology, now we can also personalize light and enjoy limitless applications. "Philips continues to redefine the possibilities of LED technology, and hue pushes the boundaries even more, not only in offering great light quality, but in how lighting can be digitized and integrated with our world to further simplify and enhance our lives." The hue marks yet another home automation device being pushed by Apple in its retail stores. The iPhone maker already carries the Next learning thermostat, which also connects to iPhones via a free application, and aims to reduce users' power bills.
post #2 of 42
$200 starter pack and $60 lightbulbs. OK then.
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post #3 of 42
I'd check your story. A 600 lumen lamp is not as bright as a typical 500w lamp. It's more in the 60w neighborhood.
post #4 of 42
At those prices it had better have a 5 year unlimited manufacturer's warranty. I've purchased LED bulbs that lasted only 2 years before the electronics in the "bulb" went bad, and the LEDs started flickering and very dimly.

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post #5 of 42
They are equivalent to 50-Watt (according to CBC and common sense), not 500-Watt.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

At those prices it had better have a 5 year unlimited manufacturer's warranty. I've purchased LED bulbs that lasted only 2 years before the electronics in the "bulb" went bad, and the LEDs started flickering and very dimly.

At those prices they better install themselves.

Even if they were the same prices as regular lightbulbs I don't see one reason why I'd want to control bulbs individually from my iDevice.

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post #7 of 42
Why the frick is this USA site reporting on Dutch affairs anyhoo these days?

Oh; /s
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post #8 of 42
How many awful typos! I'm embarrassed for this blog right now.
post #9 of 42
It's call the Nest Learning Themostat. Not the Next.
post #10 of 42
It's "nest" not "next" thermostat as well...
post #11 of 42

MUCH rather just have, you know, a centralized control system instead of each individual BULB having controls and costing stupid money.

 

Put a 9.7" screen in the wall where each light switch would regularly have been, control lights, music, televisions, oven, washer/dryer, thermostat. Every dang thing. Mac Mini in the basement handling the processing.

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post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

$200 starter pack and $60 lightbulbs. OK then.

Yep. Seems like a stocking decision made by a California billionaire who is out of touch with real family budgets.

post #13 of 42
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

MUCH rather just have, you know, a centralized control system instead of each individual BULB having controls and costing stupid money.

 

Put a 9.7" screen in the wall where each light switch would regularly have been, control lights, music, televisions, oven, washer/dryer, thermostat. Every dang thing. Mac Mini in the basement handling the processing.

Yes, but you can't control the color of the lightbulb from the light switch. That can only be done from within.

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Yep. Seems like a stocking decision made by a California billionaire who is out of touch with real family budgets.

 

What???

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post #16 of 42

Really? Light bulbs in the Apple store? Have they got room for that? Should they have room for that? Whilst the bulbs sound very cool I struggle to see how lighting needs to have its 'game changed'. And at $60 a pop I am not sure the game is worth it. At 50 watts each you are going to need a few, and really, who wants to memorize their favourite ambient lighting settings? Pink with a touch of yellow in the late morning? Just as breakfast is about to end? Mmmmm....  If anything will give Mac users a bad name, this is the one. The New Apple Store - Amazon for the very wealthy and not so bright.

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

MUCH rather just have, you know, a centralized control system instead of each individual BULB having controls and costing stupid money.

 

Put a 9.7" screen in the wall where each light switch would regularly have been, control lights, music, televisions, oven, washer/dryer, thermostat. Every dang thing. Mac Mini in the basement handling the processing.

 

 

while thats a start, still waiting for  'SIRI'  to have voice control of some of these things.  Yes, Star Trek has ruined me.

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post #18 of 42

I'm gonna buy some of these. I was waiting for this kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/lifx-the-light-bulb-reinvented

 

but will take whichever product comes first...

post #19 of 42

At $59/light, it will take 6 years in order to recoup the cost of a regular incandescent (assuming 4 hours of use per day, a $1.25 60W incandescent, and $0.10/kWh), and over 50 years for a $3.95, 14W CFL.  Obviously, greater usage reduces the time.  However, we should also remember that CFLs are not good in situations where the light will be turned on and off a lot throughout the day (such as in bathrooms), as that will reduce their lifespan considerably.  Furthermore, CFLs don't do well on dimmer switches, which most (seemingly all, in California, at least) new houses have installed.  Finally, they have mercury in them, which isn't easy to dispose of safely and is bad for the environment.  LEDs don't have these problems, so that's an extra point in their favor against the CFLs.

 

Honestly, though, at that high price, it's nowhere near worth replacing all the lights in your house with these Hue lights.  Maybe one or two lights that see lots of regular usage, but even then, I would be leery.  In the next couple years, we will see the price for these things go way, way down.

post #20 of 42
Since these have a central control unit I doubt they can turn on when you enter the room. Those on the kickstarter project above can. But these have shipped. Hmm...
post #21 of 42

I'll avoid being a first adopter and let people work out the bugs.  In 6 months these will be much cheaper and work better I'm sure. 

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I'm gonna buy some of these. I was waiting for this kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/lifx-the-light-bulb-reinvented

 

but will take whichever product comes first...

Interesting - but I'd argue that these are not great selling points...

 

 

  • Visualise your music with animated colors
  • Make an impression at your next dinner party 
  • Get creative with colors and effects 
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

At $59/light, it will take 6 years in order to recoup the cost of a regular incandescent (assuming 4 hours of use per day, a $1.25 60W incandescent, and $0.10/kWh), and over 50 years for a $3.95, 14W CFL.  Obviously, greater usage reduces the time.  However, we should also remember that CFLs are not good in situations where the light will be turned on and off a lot throughout the day (such as in bathrooms), as that will reduce their lifespan considerably.  Furthermore, CFLs don't do well on dimmer switches, which most (seemingly all, in California, at least) new houses have installed.  Finally, they have mercury in them, which isn't easy to dispose of safely and is bad for the environment.  LEDs don't have these problems, so that's an extra point in their favor against the CFLs.

 

Honestly, though, at that high price, it's nowhere near worth replacing all the lights in your house with these Hue lights.  Maybe one or two lights that see lots of regular usage, but even then, I would be leery.  In the next couple years, we will see the price for these things go way, way down.

Normal LEDs can be got for 20-30 per bulb, and in lots of places this is subsidized - to make it a little less ridiculous

 

This lighting seems overpriced and unnecessary but in the next 20 years I think it will be commonplace to have this type of functionality.  Warm White is good for soft lighting while Blue White better for reading etc., - Someone has to do it first

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


At those prices they better install themselves.
Even if they were the same prices as regular lightbulbs I don't see one reason why I'd want to control bulbs individually from my iDevice.

 

I can see doing it in my media room.  Hit your button- dim your lights- dont have to stand up.

Or as a couple security lights.  You go out of town, forgot to turn on lights- pop open your app and turn them on.

 

So I see a function.  A lot of people (not you Sol) are speaking as if these are made to replace all your existing lights- that would be stupid, and I doubt it's their intent (although I'm sure they'd love for you to).

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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

At $59/light, it will take 6 years in order to recoup the cost of a regular incandescent (assuming 4 hours of use per day, a $1.25 60W incandescent, and $0.10/kWh), and over 50 years for a $3.95, 14W CFL.  Obviously, greater usage reduces the time.  However, we should also remember that CFLs are not good in situations where the light will be turned on and off a lot throughout the day (such as in bathrooms), as that will reduce their lifespan considerably.  Furthermore, CFLs don't do well on dimmer switches, which most (seemingly all, in California, at least) new houses have installed.  Finally, they have mercury in them, which isn't easy to dispose of safely and is bad for the environment.  LEDs don't have these problems, so that's an extra point in their favor against the CFLs.

 

Honestly, though, at that high price, it's nowhere near worth replacing all the lights in your house with these Hue lights.  Maybe one or two lights that see lots of regular usage, but even then, I would be leery.  In the next couple years, we will see the price for these things go way, way down.

It's a clever new niche for LED bulbs and personally I can't wait to try it out. Of course you won't change all your lights but three bulbs in the living room doesn't seem excessive. The remote control stuff doesn't add much to the already high price of a quality LED bulb. This is Philips, not some cheap generic light bulb company.

 

Also, in your comparison you don't mention the bother of having to change lightbulbs at the least opportune times. That's worth a few bucks.

post #26 of 42
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post
while thats a start, still waiting for  'SIRI'  to have voice control of some of these things.  Yes, Star Trek has ruined me.

 

Oh, I would love to be able to do that, too! Have the speakers in every room just be a two-way intercom. Have it be always open, listening for certain phonemes. 


Which phonemes, you ask? Well, you can have it be "Siri", as those don't happen very often otherwise, and then have audio feedback as it begins to listen for a command. Or you can rename your house so that it's something else you wouldn't say otherwise.

 

Just be all, "Siri?" *notes* "Turn the oven to 425 and alert me when it's done." *notes*

 

I'm sort of envisioning the two tritones from the computer in the movie version of Hitchhiker's Guide, myself. And then change Siri's voice to be Eddie's. 

 

*notes* "Hey, I'd love to play some classic jazz for you!" *notes*

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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

I can see doing it in my media room.  Hit your button- dim your lights- dont have to stand up.
Or as a couple security lights.  You go out of town, forgot to turn on lights- pop open your app and turn them on.

So I see a function.  A lot of people (not you Sol) are speaking as if these are made to replace all your existing lights- that would be stupid, and I doubt it's their intent (although I'm sure they'd love for you to).

Sure, I can see remote, networked controlled lights in a home for the reasons you mention but I think it's best left to a universal network connection so that the light circuit along with other smart appliances are connected, not lights you can control individually and not lights that are LEDs with varying colors as a selling point.

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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

 

 

while thats a start, still waiting for  'SIRI'  to have voice control of some of these things.  Yes, Star Trek has ruined me.

 

It could recognize the lyrics to In-a-godda-da-vida and start a psychedelic light show!

post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

I can see doing it in my media room.  Hit your button- dim your lights- dont have to stand up.
Or as a couple security lights.  You go out of town, forgot to turn on lights- pop open your app and turn them on.

So I see a function.  A lot of people (not you Sol) are speaking as if these are made to replace all your existing lights- that would be stupid, and I doubt it's their intent (although I'm sure they'd love for you to).

I was thinking along the same lines in a home theatre room, it would be good if they could integrate with AirPlay to react to music or even have a score written for them and integrated into iTunes movies, so that special effects such as lightning or explosions envelope the whole room.

Lighting matched to a movie would be pretty cool.

Although at the moment I have six 1 watt LED downlights installed which cost almost nothing to use.
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post #30 of 42

I bet the bulbs are using the Cirrus Logic LED controller chips.  They allow the bulb to be programmed over the power line.  I believe the original intent was to do this only during the manufacturing process to calibrate the bulb and set it's color temp.  Obviously someone had another idea.

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

MUCH rather just have, you know, a centralized control system instead of each individual BULB having controls and costing stupid money.

Put a 9.7" screen in the wall where each light switch would regularly have been, control lights, music, televisions, oven, washer/dryer, thermostat. Every dang thing. Mac Mini in the basement handling the processing.

That's what I'm talking about......
post #32 of 42
Quote:
help users ... energize

 

What like the bulb increase the production of adenosine triphosphate or maybe they produce some new kind of photon that allows human beings to photosynthesise?

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder6 View Post

At $59/light, it will take 6 years in order to recoup the cost of a regular incandescent (assuming 4 hours of use per day, a $1.25 60W incandescent, and $0.10/kWh), and over 50 years for a $3.95, 14W CFL.  Obviously, greater usage reduces the time.  However, we should also remember that CFLs are not good in situations where the light will be turned on and off a lot throughout the day (such as in bathrooms), as that will reduce their lifespan considerably.  Furthermore, CFLs don't do well on dimmer switches, which most (seemingly all, in California, at least) new houses have installed.  Finally, they have mercury in them, which isn't easy to dispose of safely and is bad for the environment.  LEDs don't have these problems, so that's an extra point in their favor against the CFLs.

Honestly, though, at that high price, it's nowhere near worth replacing all the lights in your house with these Hue lights.  Maybe one or two lights that see lots of regular usage, but even then, I would be leery.  In the next couple years, we will see the price for these things go way, way down.

The proper comparison isn't vs incandescent lights. Rather, compare it to other LED lights. You can buy a good LED bulb of similar light output for $20 at any hardware store or discount store. Stay away from the really cheap ones - they're mostly junk. But for $20, you can get a good quality one with an expected 10 year life.

Given that fact, the target market here is not replacement of CFLs and certainly not incandescents. Rather, the target is for people who want mood lighting - the ability to change the color of their lighting at will. If that's your objective, this is a pretty good solution - and considerably less expensive than the alternatives.
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post #34 of 42
Don't you mean 50 Watts and not 500? There are no 500 watts LEDs.
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCC View Post

Don't you mean 50 Watts and not 500? There are no 500 watts LEDs.

There are no STANDARD 500 W LEDs. The brightest LED for use on conventional fixtures is the equivalent of a 120 W incandescent:
http://www.besthomeledlighting.com/faqs

However, it is possible to bundle LEDs into custom configurations to get brighter lights. That is, of course, irrelevant for this article. As stated earlier, these bulbs are the equivalent of 50 W incandescents - as you suggested.
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post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

I bet the bulbs are using the Cirrus Logic LED controller chips.  They allow the bulb to be programmed over the power line.  I believe the original intent was to do this only during the manufacturing process to calibrate the bulb and set it's color temp.  Obviously someone had another idea.

 

They use ZigBee wireless mesh network technology developed by Philips.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZigBee


Edited by stike vomit - 10/30/12 at 12:04am
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I'm gonna buy some of these. I was waiting for this kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/lifx-the-light-bulb-reinvented

 

but will take whichever product comes first...

 

They should have got a patent before broadcasting it on Kickstarter...maybe they did.

post #38 of 42

I like the way the LifeX is just a bulb: http://lifx.co

 

No base station required. It looks like the Philips "solution" requires a base station, which is a deal-breaker, for me.

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post #39 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

I bet the bulbs are using the Cirrus Logic LED controller chips.  They allow the bulb to be programmed over the power line.  I believe the original intent was to do this only during the manufacturing process to calibrate the bulb and set it's color temp.  Obviously someone had another idea.

 

It's based on a "dust" wireless networking protocol commonly known as ZigBee. You bet wrong. Pay up.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

 

They use ZigBee wireless mesh network technology developed by Philips.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZigBee


Philips did not develop ZigBee.

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I like the way the LifeX is just a bulb: http://lifx.co

 

No base station required. It looks like the Philips "solution" requires a base station, which is a deal-breaker, for me.

 


If the WiFi/ZigBee bridge is not restricted to these bulbs, then I think this can open up many other applications. This may be the foray to home appliance control via iOS. I do believe, however, that these bulbs can be controlled via Android as well (ZigBee is an open standard). If so, it would be ironic that Apple Stores would sell Android-compatible ware.

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