Philips expands iOS-controlled Hue lighting with LightStrips and Bloom

Philips expands iOS-controlled Hue lighting with LightStrips and Bloom

Summary: Easily one of my favorite pieces of hardware, the Hue lighting system has grown to include two new lamp-free options. Here's why you're going to love them.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad
Philips expands iOS-controlled Hue lighting with LightStrips and Bloom - Jason O'Grady

I stopped in my local Apple Store this week to pick up a second Hue Starter Pack when a retail staffer told me that two new Hue products had just come out, Bloom and LightStrips, part of the new Friends of Hue line. Would he like me to see if they had any in the stock room? You bet. 

Hue is an iOS-controlled LED light bulb and it's amazing. The aforementioned Starter Pack (SRP $199) includes three LED bulbs and a wireless bridge which allows you to control the bulbs from your iPhone or iPad via the Hue app (free, App Store). Hue bulbs can be set to glow in any color in the rainbow (including all shades of white), they pack 600 lumens and use 80 percent less power than a traditional light bulb.

What's not to like?

While the price isn't cheap (ok, it's exorbitant) no one said being an early adopter was cheap. 

What makes Hue compelling are the preprogrammed "Scenes" available withing the Hue app. Touching any of the included Scenes changes all of the bulbs to a preset color pattern, and the effect is pretty dramatic. Think of how much a coat of paint can change the entire look of a room, then imagine doing it with light. Then repaint the room again and again with different color schemes with the touch of a button. Yes, it's that cool.

When you outgrow the three bulbs included in the Starter Kit (which will happen), you can add new bulbs for $60 a pop and up to 50 can be controlled from a single bridge. But Hue bulbs are just the beginning.

Philips has expanded its line of Hue intelligent lighting to include two new products as part of its LivingColors family.

Philips' iOS-controlled Bloom - Jason O'Grady

LivingColors Bloom ($79.95 at Apple, $59.94 at Amazon) is a standalone table lamp that lets you bring Hue to a space without a fixture. Bloom can display up to 16 million colors and puts out 120 lumens. Just plug it in and point it at a wall or other surface to indirectly light a room. Bloom requires an existing Philips Hue bridge, so you'll need to buy a Starter Pack because the bridge isn't sold separately. [Update: Bloom is backordered 1-2 months at both Apple and Amazon's online stores. You might have better luck in person.]

Philips' iOS-controlled LightStrips - Jason O'Grady

LightStrips ($89.95 at Apple) is a 6.6-foot strip of LED lights that, like Bloom, put out 120 lumens in up to 16 million colors and are controlled with the free iOS app and a Hue bridge. The flexible 2-meter LightStrips are great for installing under cabinets, counters or couches and highlight striking architectural details, define spaces, and illuminate hard-to-reach spots. What's even cooler is that LightStrips can be cut to specific lengths to meet your needs. 

The other illuminating development in Hue-land (sorry, couldn't resist) is the release of v1.1 of the Hue app (free, App Store) which adds some pretty cool new features, including geofencing, alarms, timers and IFTTT support

Cue the video:

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • DarkLights for Windows 8 - A software for Philips Hue & LivingColors

    If you have a Philips Hue Bridge, please take a look at the Windows 8 store and try the new app "DarkLights". It's free (no adds) and works with Hue and LivingColors.
  • Connecting the lamps

    Hello Darkproject,

    Your application looks very great and have a lot of functions.
    I downloaded it but its impossible to connect my hue lamps. The prog see no lamps, even if I reset the bridge or press the connext button.

    I am so sorry because I was looking for such a great application for Win 8 Pro since long time. I try to find the best soft for my Surface Pro 1 and Philipps Hue.
    I could pay for such a good program if my lamps could be connected. I have 3 normal bulbs + 1 led band Hue Friends.

    You have a solution to connect my lamps or a new update of this soft ?

    Thanks a lot, great job and I hope I can use it in the future.

    Bernie, Montreux, Suisse