Philips' HomeKit compatible Hue white ambiance bulbs now for sale

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2016
Philips on Monday announced immediate availability of Hue White Ambiance bulbs and starter kits, an addition to the company's smart light bulb lineup capable of integrating with Apple's HomeKit smart home framework.




As the name implies, Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed for users who want smartphone control over home lighting, but don't need access to a wide spectrum of colors. The white LED light bulbs were announced in March alongside a revamped iOS app with support for lighting "Routines."

Positioned above the Hue White series, a connected replacement for conventional 60W bulbs, White Ambiance bulbs can be adjusted to emit cool daylight (6,500k) to warm white (2,200k) shades using the official Hue app. With a maximum output of 800 lumens at 4,000k, the product also supports dimming, a component controlled by software or the dimmer switch included in Philips' starter kit.

Philips says Hue White Ambiance lights can help users focus or relax depending on color temperature. To automate the process, the company introduced "Routines" in its last software update, allowing users to apply preconfigured lighting macros to their home systems. For example, the "wake up" routine gradually increases bulb brightness, while a "go to sleep" routine mimics the setting sun to prepare a user's body for sleep. The "nightlight" setting reduces blue light output to help with sleep cycles.

Hue White Ambiance is compatible with a number of smart home solutions, including Apple's HomeKit.

Philips Hue White Ambiance goes on sale today. A $129.95 starter kit includes a Hue hub, two bulbs and a dimmer switch, while single bulbs come in at $29.95.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    It's my understanding that the Apple TV can work as a hub. So why does Philips still have/require a hub? Am I missing something?

    I've deliberately avoided the hassle of various apps and hubs to control homekit. I'm very much hoping that the rumor of a native, centralized Home app from Apple is accurate.
    ai46jony0
  • Reply 2 of 10
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 552member
    The Hue Hub is required because the bulbs talk using a wireless standard called Zigbee. It's relatively common in the light industrial world, but only recently starting to hit products most regular people want. The Hue Hub acts as a bridge between a Zigbee network and a regular IP network. That lets IP devices (like iPhone) talk with Zigbee devices (like Hue bulbs).
    patchythepirateai46Colnolamacguypropodjony0
  • Reply 3 of 10
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    zimmie said:
    The Hue Hub is required because the bulbs talk using a wireless standard called Zigbee. It's relatively common in the light industrial world, but only recently starting to hit products most regular people want. The Hue Hub acts as a bridge between a Zigbee network and a regular IP network. That lets IP devices (like iPhone) talk with Zigbee devices (like Hue bulbs).
    That's absolutely right.  My experience with my Hue has been that it makes adding new bulbs and switches significantly easier than what we'll call true "Internet of Things" devices that have TCP/IP stacks on the peripheral itself.  Adding things like a Nest thermostat and camera, and the staggeringly expensive Lifx bulbs to my WiFi network has never gone exactly smoothly.

    Plus, by only needing a Zigbee controller, the Philips bulbs are much cheaper than the likes of Lifx.

    Ultimately I'm really pleased with Hue.
    patchythepirateai46nolamacguypropodjony0
  • Reply 4 of 10
    That's absolutely right.  My experience with my Hue has been that it makes adding new bulbs and switches significantly easier than what we'll call true "Internet of Things" devices that have TCP/IP stacks on the peripheral itself.  Adding things like a Nest thermostat and camera, and the staggeringly expensive Lifx bulbs to my WiFi network has never gone exactly smoothly.

    Plus, by only needing a Zigbee controller, the Philips bulbs are much cheaper than the likes of Lifx.

    Ultimately I'm really pleased with Hue.

    zimmie said:
    The Hue Hub is required because the bulbs talk using a wireless standard called Zigbee. It's relatively common in the light industrial world, but only recently starting to hit products most regular people want. The Hue Hub acts as a bridge between a Zigbee network and a regular IP network. That lets IP devices (like iPhone) talk with Zigbee devices (like Hue bulbs).
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the reply.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    onlyhopeonlyhope Posts: 34member
    That's absolutely right.  My experience with my Hue has been that it makes adding new bulbs and switches significantly easier than what we'll call true "Internet of Things" devices that have TCP/IP stacks on the peripheral itself.  Adding things like a Nest thermostat and camera, and the staggeringly expensive Lifx bulbs to my WiFi network has never gone exactly smoothly.

    Plus, by only needing a Zigbee controller, the Philips bulbs are much cheaper than the likes of Lifx.

    Ultimately I'm really pleased with Hue.
    I guess it just goes to show you that there is more than one approach to most things. I just added two Lifx White 800's to my media room lamps and it cost $60. No Hub required and it took less than 60sec to install the Lifx App on my iPad and another five minutes to add the Bulbs to my Harmony Entertainment Hub and Remote. If anything is "staggeringly expensive" it's the Philips Hue System.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,222member
    I was recently looking at these Phillips Hue bulbs, especially now that they are HomeKit compatible, since I have an Apple TV 4 that can serve as a hub... Does anyone here use them with the ATV 4, and how do you find their operation? Not interested in the colour ones, just straight white models...
  • Reply 7 of 10
    ColCol Posts: 1member
    Regarding the Apple TV as a hub, it's current function is to provide access to your HomeKit devices when you are not at home. When  at home your iPhone/iPad can control HomeKit devices directly but not when away. This is where the Apple TV comes in as a go between over the Internet which allows your iPhone/iPad to control your HomeKit devices from anywhere in the world.
    magman1979propod
  • Reply 8 of 10
    K_bK_b Posts: 1member
    I use Hue with ATV4. It works fine.

    You must use the philips app to setup Hue, initially.
    Afterwards, use any HomeKit app to control the lights, create triggers, etc. I use the Elgato Eve app, as i have some of their HomeKit devices as well.
    Integration is great and i can tell Siri to turn on lights when i'm away from home.
    I was recently looking at these Phillips Hue bulbs, especially now that they are HomeKit compatible, since I have an Apple TV 4 that can serve as a hub... Does anyone here use them with the ATV 4, and how do you find their operation? Not interested in the colour ones, just straight white models...

  • Reply 9 of 10
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    onlyhope said:
    That's absolutely right.  My experience with my Hue has been that it makes adding new bulbs and switches significantly easier than what we'll call true "Internet of Things" devices that have TCP/IP stacks on the peripheral itself.  Adding things like a Nest thermostat and camera, and the staggeringly expensive Lifx bulbs to my WiFi network has never gone exactly smoothly.

    Plus, by only needing a Zigbee controller, the Philips bulbs are much cheaper than the likes of Lifx.

    Ultimately I'm really pleased with Hue.
    I guess it just goes to show you that there is more than one approach to most things. I just added two Lifx White 800's to my media room lamps and it cost $60. No Hub required and it took less than 60sec to install the Lifx App on my iPad and another five minutes to add the Bulbs to my Harmony Entertainment Hub and Remote. If anything is "staggeringly expensive" it's the Philips Hue System.

    -------------------------

    Not sure why quote isn't working, but it possible things have improved significantly since I tried LiFx.  When I tried it, the bulbs were $100 each, multi-color only and accompanied by an app that was an absolute joke.

    I'm sure they will have improved by now.

    Maybe a lesson for companies releasing products before they were finished.......
  • Reply 10 of 10
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 552member

    zimmie said:
    The Hue Hub is required because the bulbs talk using a wireless standard called Zigbee. It's relatively common in the light industrial world, but only recently starting to hit products most regular people want. The Hue Hub acts as a bridge between a Zigbee network and a regular IP network. That lets IP devices (like iPhone) talk with Zigbee devices (like Hue bulbs).
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the reply.
    By the way, there are a few other home automation "standards":

    • ZigBee (wireless; turns out I mis-styled it before)
    • Z-Wave (another wireless standard)
    • X10 (mostly runs wired over power lines, but has a wireless mode)
    • Insteon (runs over power lines and wirelessly)
    • Regular IP networking (wired or wireless)
    • Thread (wireless; new standard from Google)

    Most devices on any one of these don't interoperate directly with devices on any of the others. There are bridges between just about all of them and regular IP. The bridges are devices like the Hue Hub. Unfortunately, very few bridges support more than one protocol, so if you have ZigBee and Z-Wave devices, you probably need two bridges.

    The most wonderful thing about standards is there are so many to choose from!  :s
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