While there are plenty of options for smart thermostats, smart security systems, and even smart home hubs, there have not been many choices when it comes to your smart lights. It’s often felt as though Philips Hue has had something of a monopoly on the connected light game, offering the only Internet of Things bulbs on the market. But that is no longer the case, thanks to the new C-Reach bridge for C by GE lights, you can now control these GE bulbs using your voice using both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. And in the first few months of 2018, GE is also adding Apple HomeKit compatibility.
When GE first debuted its new line of smart lights, affordability was its primary calling card. Because there was no associated smart home hub, all you needed was a smartphone to control your lights. But now, GE is hoping to make these lightbulbs more responsive and more connected still — after all, is something really smart if it can’t talk to it? The C-Reach bridge, however, solves for that. At launch, the smart home hub offered voice compatibility with Amazon Alexa via a new skill, and by the end of 2017, Google Assistant was integrated as well. You can turn your lights on and off, dim them, and control groups of bulbs together using naught but your voice. And with the addition of HomeKit, you can also control C by GE bulbs with Siri using the Apple Home app on either your iPhone or iPad, setting up scenes, automating your lighting, and more.
“Using voice to control lighting unlocks an entire new world of opportunities for consumers,” Jeff Patton, the general manager Connected Home Product Management of GE Lighting, said in a statement. “Sitting on the couch hoping for a cozy experience for your favorite movie? Ask Alexa to dim the lights without getting up. Snuggled in bed with a book? Ask the Google Assistant to turn the lights off once you start to drift off. Away from home? Control lights remotely on the C by GE app. There are countless possibilities to add additional conveniences at home through these collaborations.”
Voice-compatible bulbs include the C-Sleep, which alternates between warm light for bedtime and cool light for the mornings; and the C-Life, which gives you variations on white light for energy throughout the day.
Update: C-Reach bridge will soon be compatible with Apple HomeKit.
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