LED light strips are really fun to decorate with, especially when they switch to millions of colors. Putting them under couches can make your home look like a nightclub, and they can actually be useful, brightening up under counters and in drawers. They make perfect accents — but nothing that’s going to replace a lamp or overhead light.
Philips decided to change that, debuting its new Hue Lightstrip Plus at IFA 2015 — LED strips that are as bright as two of its regular bulbs and have a 1,600-lumen output, according to the company.
Like many other Hue lights, you can use the accompanying app to switch between 16 million colors and pair with over 250 compatible apps. That functionality requires the Hue Bridge, which is sold separately from the $90 strips. For that price, you get a six-and-a-half-foot strip, which you can trim or bend 90 degrees to fit around corners. Each additional strip is $30. The Bridge costs $80 and comes with two bulbs.
Philips imagines users putting these up in dim rooms in places that simply aren’t outfitted with bulbs, but it also thinks consumers will come up with all sorts of novel ideas for the strips, too. With the original version of the lightstrip, users built furniture around them, incorporating them into desks. The strips, which will be available in October, have adhesive backs for easier installation.
The company also recently released a wire-free dimmer kit. Aimed at helping customers ease into smart lighting, the $40 kit requires zero installation and doesn’t need the Bridge — just stick it on your wall, without cracking open your light switch, and you can start dimming. If you decide later to expand your system for any upcoming Hue-enhanced Sharknado viewings, the dimmer kit will be compatible.