GE debuts HomeKit-enabled C by GE smart lights, wall switches, wall plug

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 8
GE built on its smart home offerings at CES 2019, announcing a range of new C by GE products including HomeKit-enabled smart wall switches, white and full color LED bulbs, and a smart wall plug.

C by GE
C by GE Smart Switch


Announced earlier this month as "Made-for-Google" devices, the expansions to C by GE's quickly growing product line are also confirmed to support Apple's HomeKit platform through a $40 hub dubbed C-Reach.

With the Smart Switch, an in-wall light switch replacement, users are able to control and dim incandescent, halogen, CFL or LED bulbs on a connected circuit. The switches provide multi-way connections without a travel wire, simplifying installation and set-up. Unique to GE's lineup is a bypass feature -- restricted to Google Home and Alexa users -- that enables control of C by GE bulbs even when the switch is off.

The Smart Switch family is offered in a range of models, including a simple on/off unit for $35, a version with built-in dimmer for $50 and a top-end model with motion ambient light sensing for $75.

C by GE is also bringing a family of bulbs to market. Similar to other manufacturers, like Philips' Hue lineup, GE will sell a 60-watt equivalent A19 bulb, a BR30 for recessed cans and a light strip. A white connected bulb will run $13, while a tunable white version is slated to sell for $20. A more advanced bulb capable of emitting millions of colors is set to sell for $30.

Finally, a smart wall plug with single outlet and physical power button is scheduled to sell for $25.

Each of the new C by GE products will be HomeKit-enabled when they launch this spring. A C-Reach hub is required to operate via the Home app and Siri.

AppleInsider is at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from Jan. 8 through Jan. 11, where we're expecting 5G devices, HomeKit, 8K monitors and more. Keep up with our coverage by downloading the AppleInsider app, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos throughout the event.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Too bad about needing a bridge, but it’s nice to see more competition. Hue is stupid expensive.
    rainmakerGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 13
    I enjoy talking to my lights every day (via HomePod) to turn them on or off. I don't bother with their multicolour capabilities. The Hue hub is an annoyance but I grudgingly accept it. I will certainly consider this GE version because of the price. The worst part is that most light fixtures in any house are connected to a wired switch which messes up the controlability. I'll probably be expired before anyone figures out how to fix that, even though any fifth grader coulod figure that out.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    That is one ugly switch. How hard can it be to solve the switch problem? Is it regulation? Is it the perceived difficulty of rewiring switches? It seems easy in my mind at least but I'm no electrician. When are these Friends of Hue switches that were meant to be out in 2018 being released if not at CES?
  • Reply 4 of 13
    tbornottbornot Posts: 107member
    In 2143 humans will lose the ability to walk as their legs atrophy.
    rainmakerdewmeGeorgeBMacneilm
  • Reply 5 of 13
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,250member
    GE will sell a 60-watt equivalent A19 bulb, a BR30 for recessed cans and a light strip. A white connected bulb will run $13, while a tunable white version is slated to sell for $20. A more advanced bulb capable of emitting millions of colors is set to sell for $30. 

    If it's reliable kit, it'll be welcome competition for Philip's Hue line up. I'm not crazy about having to buy another hub though.


    tbornot said:
    In 2143 humans will lose the ability to walk as their legs atrophy.

    And you'll have lost the ability to make stupid comments, as you'll be long dead by then. There will no doubt be others to take up the mantle, justifying the 'Ya can't fix stupid' axiom.

    In the mean time many people will be enjoying the convenience of walking into a room and not have to fumble for a switch. Or put on a prosthetic before walking into said room.  Or rolling into it, for those who've already lost the use of their legs.

    Home automation and good health are not mutually exclusive.

  • Reply 6 of 13
    I like the Lutron Caseta line of switches, still needs a hub for HomeKit but just plug in to an open port on the router. Actually might be a benefit since the traffic isn't clogging your normal WiFi. Based on the picture in the article, you don't need lights in your house anymore, the round circle looks like it will glow bright enough to illuminate at night. These companies need to just make a switch, plain old everyday switch. Well the standard Toggle/Paddle switch form-factor/looks would be fine. No need for glowing blues, greens, and purples except when setting them up. I personally like the flat switch paddle looks. Tight to the wall, clean.
    2old4fun
  • Reply 7 of 13
    macgui said:
    GE will sell a 60-watt equivalent A19 bulb, a BR30 for recessed cans and a light strip. A white connected bulb will run $13, while a tunable white version is slated to sell for $20. A more advanced bulb capable of emitting millions of colors is set to sell for $30. 

    If it's reliable kit, it'll be welcome competition for Philip's Hue line up. I'm not crazy about having to buy another hub though.


    tbornot said:
    In 2143 humans will lose the ability to walk as their legs atrophy.

    And you'll have lost the ability to make stupid comments, as you'll be long dead by then. There will no doubt be others to take up the mantle, justifying the 'Ya can't fix stupid' axiom.

    In the mean time many people will be enjoying the convenience of walking into a room and not have to fumble for a switch. Or put on a prosthetic before walking into said room.  Or rolling into it, for those who've already lost the use of their legs.

    Home automation and good health are not mutually exclusive.

    I agree. Hue bulbs are on the expensive side and haven’t dropped in price since their debut. It would be great if these GE bulbs push Phillips to lower their pricing. 

    Not that I want to pay for another hub but I tend to prefer solutions that work with a hub versus those that don’t (like iDevices). The reason: I have had to reset my Home app at least 3 times (thoughnot in about 9 months so hopefully the issue has been resolved). Having to set every bulb, switch, outlet, thermostat, etc back up is time consuming and a PITA. But it’s much easier with Hue and Lutron, where I enter the HomeKit code and everything connected to the hub is instantly available. With iDevices (and others) every piece has its own HomeKit code and needs to be set up individually. 
  • Reply 8 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,461member
    tbornot said:
    In 2143 humans will lose the ability to walk as their legs atrophy.
    "In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find..."

    I guess it worse...
  • Reply 9 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,461member
    IoT continues to disappoint.   Random, poorly connected gadgets that don't really improve people's lives.

    Too bad, Steve was Zen Buddhist instead of Hindu -- a little reincarnation would be helpful.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    C by GE is -- and has been for quite some years -- an effing catastrophe of product design/management.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,884member
    tbornot said:
    In 2143 humans will lose the ability to walk as their legs atrophy.
    See the source image
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 13
    Requiring a hub is a non-starter for me. Leviton makes native HomeKit switches and dimmers that have worked flawlessly for me. Also, I prefer to control the switches/dimmers rather than the individual bulbs.
    GeorgeBMacagilealtitude
  • Reply 13 of 13
    Its fun to see GE evolve their smart lighting lineup. I think having their product lineup work with and without hubs helps smart home noobies buy into it, which seems to be one of C by GE's key audiences. That and the price isn't bad. Looking on the C by GE website, looks like the switch LED ring is white, while its blue in the photo... leading me to believe its multi-color for set up. I wonder if you can dim or turn off the light ring via the app.  Also think its cool that this thing will work with three-way applications... Not the case for the Wemo smart switch I put in. 
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