Philips Hue smart bulbs have long been some of the most popular around and they’re just about to get better. That’s because they’re being updated to make it possible to use them without picking up the $60 Hue Hub that was previously a requirement.
To do that Signify, the company that makes the bulbs, is adding Bluetooth. That means that users can connect to the bulbs using just their phones whereas the older bulbs use the Zigbee protocol and thus required the hub.
The downside is that Bluetooth has a much more limited range than the Zigbee and WiFi setup the hub provided. Bluetooth also won’t allow users to control their bulbs from outside the home via the internet, either. But that’s been thought of already and Signify is also including support for the Hue Hub as well. That means anyone who needs the advanced features it provides can pick one up when needed. Signify also says that a hub is a good idea if you’re using more than 10 bulbs, too.
This smart light, while Bluetooth compatible, will continue to work with your Hue Hub and can be seamlessly integrated into your Hue Ecosystem. Continue to light your home smarter with Philips Hue.
The standard Hue A19 and BR30 floodlight bulbs will be the first to get the Bluetooth treatment and pricing will largely be the same as before. That means a single white bulb will cost $15, while a single White Ambience bulb will be $25. As always, the color bulbs will see a steeper price of $50.
The rest of the Hue lineup will apparently get Bluetooth support later this year or next year depending on the range.
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