A reworked base station from the Philips Hue line aims to be the backbone of your connected home, adding HomeKit compatibility to the company’s long-running line of smart lighting products.
The new Philips Hue Bridge 2.0, announced Monday morning, can control anything that works with Apple’s smarthome protocol, including door locks and openers, window shades, home heating, and more. And thanks to Siri compatibility, you can now simply speak to your iPhone to control all of those gadgets, setting the mood from lights to TV and more.
But wait, you say. Who needs smart lighting? YOU do, that’s who.
Despite the mounting evidence that the quality of light you use affects your sleep, ability to concentrate, learning, and more, too many of us go to sleep by the pale blue light of that little smartphone screen. And work, eat, think, and live under the stale glow of fluorescents. Hey buddy, Philips is saying. Why don’t you cut that out?
The company’s Hue line of bulbs — which Digital Trends nominated for “Best Interface” in the 2015 Home Awards — are capable of shifting colors, to bounce from the clearer, cooler shades that helps us concentrate to the warmer tones that help us prepare for sleep. Scientists have known about the value of the color of light for decades, which affects the level of melatonin our bodies put out, but it’s been essentially impossible to do anything about it. Hues special, color-changing light bulbs tweaks that.
An app controls the system, and comes programmed with a few settings for various moods — think of them as “light recipes.” One helps you concentrate, one helps you wake up, one puts you to sleep, and so on. But you can create your own as well, of course, with colors from the deepest teal to shocking orange to a citrus-y lime to whatever. The app even helps you create your own from a favorite photograph. Siri integration means you can ask your iPhone to switch profiles, and dim the lights without even getting out of your recliner. You can even name and adjust individual lights.
The new, square-shaped Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 works with existing and forthcoming Philips Hue bulbs and lamps — new products in the line brighter A19 bulbs at 800 lumens. The original, round-shaped Philips Hue Bridge will also continue to be supported and receive software updates, though it lacks the hardware required for HomeKit support.
Philip said the new Bridge will also support Google’s Weave protocol, though the company didn’t say when it would be integrated.