A whole bunch of new Philips Hue bulbs and accessories are being announced today, and by far the most eye-catching are the line’s first Edison-style bulbs. These LED smart bulbs appear to have a swirling filament exposed inside their clear glass housing, creating a much more stylish look than a traditional, almost industrial Hue bulb.
When the Edison-style bulbs are turned off, it’s clear that they’re filled with LEDs and not the real deal. But when they’re switched on and glowing, they have the same vibe as the real thing, and I think they’d work perfectly well as the room accent they’re supposed to be. They get plenty bright, too.
The Edison-style bulbs will be available in the traditional A19 bulb shape for $25 each, as ST19 tubes for $28 each, and as G25 globes for $33 each, launching in the US this October. Because they’re mimicking the style of old bulbs, they’ll be locked into the warm, orangish color temperature and not adjustable like other Hue bulbs.
A pair of new accessories is coming to the Hue line, too. That includes the line’s first smart plug, which will be able to cut off power to whatever it’s plugged into. Obviously, it’s intended to be used with a lamp, though the Hue app will include icons for some other products, too, like a fan. It’ll sell for $40, which is on the pricey side for smart plugs, which you can find from a lot of manufacturers at this point.
The Hue line is also getting a new controller, the Hue Smart Button. It’s a small and probably easily losable button that you’re meant to mount somewhere discretely to control your lights. So you could put the button on a nightstand, and then press it to turn off your bedroom lights once you’re in bed. The button can be used to dim lights by pressing and holding, and in a very smart addition, it can be set up to automatically adjust the temperature of your lights based on the time of day. It’ll sell for $20.
Signify, the company behind Philips Hue, is also updating the Hue Go portable lamp today for the first time since it was released in 2015. The light now has more vibrant colors, its design has been slightly tweaked so that it stands up properly while charging, and its battery life is dramatically improved, going from around three hours to around 18 on a “candle” setting. It’ll be on sale in November for $80.
Finally, there are also some new Hue spotlight bulbs, which are a little smaller, brighter, and more vibrant, and a plain white E12 candle bulb.
All of the new bulbs, the Smart Plug, and the updated Hue Go include Bluetooth support, so you won’t need a Hue hub in order to use them. The Smart Button doesn’t include Bluetooth, but it can directly connect to up to 10 bulbs via Zigbee to control them directly, meaning none of these new products require a hub to get started.
I don’t know that there’s a unifying theme of this round of Hue product launches, but they continue to establish Signify as the space’s leader, pushing ahead into new bulb styles and finding new ways of making connected lights appropriately smart and convenient to use.