In the wake of smart lighting announcements from giants like LG and Samsung, Philips just pulled the curtain back on not one, but three new additions to its Hue line of connected lights, and in the process ensured everyone that it’s still the king of Smart Lighting Mountain.
The first and strangest addition is these things that Philips has dubbed “Hue Luminaires.” They’re basically a set of limited-edition, abstract, 3D-printed lamps that change colors. The company is touting them as the artistic “design addition” to the family, and unfortunately they’ve got a price to match. The lamps will reportedly be up for preorder starting on March 31, and will sell for €2,999 and €2,499, depending on which model you opt for. That’s roughly $4,125 and $3,437 respectively. For that price, you could buy yourself a brand new MakerBot Replicator, print your own lamp, and still have over $1,000 bucks left to spend on beer.
The second addition is a much more practical bulb called Hue Lux. Generally speaking, it’s the exact same thing as the original Hue, just without all the extra colors. It’s got the same A19 shape, the same dimming capabilities, uses the same amount of power, and can be controlled using the same mobile application as the original – it just only puts out warm white light. The good news, however, is that this simpler design makes it considerably cheaper. Individual bulbs will be $39.95 in the U.S. or €29.99 in Europe, and starter kits containing a Hue Bridge and two bulbs will be available for just $99.99 in the U.S. or €89.99 in Europe.
Last but definitely not least is the Hue Tap: an innovative wall switch designed to give you better control over your smart lights with a physical switch. This helps solve one of the most fundamental flaws of smart lighting – the fact that switching bulbs on and off with a smartphone application can be cumbersome and inconvenient at times. To give you a wider range of controls than just on or off, Tap has four different buttons that can be pre-programmed to activate/deactivate user-defined scenes. It’s completely wireless and – get this – doesn’t require outside electricity to run. It’s actually powered by kinetic energy, so it uses the force you apply with your finger to generate a tiny bit of electricity, and uses that energy to fire off an RF signal that tells the Hue Bridge what to do. Pretty brilliant if you ask us. Tap will be released at the same time as Lux, and will be priced at $59.95 in the U.S. or €59.95 in Europe.
For more details on all three, head over to the official Philips Hue website.