Philips Hue smart LED light bulb hits Apple Stores exclusively on October 30

“Philips has set its sights on disrupting the home automation market, today launching its new ‘Hue’ smart light bulbs, which are to be sold exclusively in Apple Stores worldwide from October 30,” Matt Brian reports for TNW.

“The electronics giant becomes the latest company to launch a web-enabled LED light bulb, capable of interacting with smartphones and tablets to automate lighting in the home using integrated wireless technology,” Brian reports. “Philip Hue will launch in Apple Stores from tomorrow, including a starter pack of three bulbs (600 lumen or 50 watt equivalent) that will work with the lamps in your home.”

“Philips Hue supports up to 50 bulbs, integrates with both iOS and Android devices and offers up to 80 percent less power than a traditional bulb (lasting as long as 15 years or 15,000 burning hours),” Brian reports. “It will be available from $199/£179, with additional bulbs costing $59/£49.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Phillips Hue TV commercial:

Philips Hue video:


      1. DOA to the mass market. However, there are high-end installations that would install these. If they offered a 20-year replacement policy, it would look better.

  1. That’s $200 for a three-pack, not a single bulb. With a deal like that, you could light a couple of rooms for under $1,000, though you may have to skip a house payment.

    1. The bulbs themselves are not wi-fi, only the base station is – the base station talks to be bulbs via some other technology which I’ve never heard of before called “ZigBee Light Link standard” …. no idea what that means for power consumption.

    1. The problem with CF is that people turn them on and off, no BS. When you turn a fluorescent light it uses most of it’s energy and shortens its life. This is only one problem with CF, but it’s why they don’t last for shit. I have been changing to LED for about a year and their great. The big problem is the Edision socket. LED’s could be a lot cheaper if did not have to conform to that. That would require the lighting industry to adapt a new standard; good luck there.

      1. Compact fluorescent lamps : a terrible product. And they contain mercury. And if you think they are bad for the general public that’s only a drop in the ocean compared to commercial applications. Can lights with CFL’s burn up ballasts and sockets left and right. They are difficult to work on and just a nightmare. L E D lamps are the future. Color/temperature will improve to please the eye in the future. Obviously prices will come down also. And remember, LED lamps (the type you buy at Home Depot to replace your incandescent lamps) are not intended for use in enclosed fixtures. I doubt that very many people realize that but who reads directions? Speaking as a licensed electrician, “always read directions”.

        1. I’ve been looking at LED lights that can be used with dimmers, because CFL’s are so poor with dimmers. There is such a wide range of prices for color temp. and lumens at HD and Lowes. It is hard to find an affordable option that is more than 60watt equivalent. Philips are most expensive, Sylvania also pricey, then there are the Utilitech and Ecosmart brands I’ve never heard of, or perhaps online retailers. What brands or online stores do you recommend?

    2. I *do* get two to three years out of my CFLs at less than two bucks apiece, compared to a few months at best for incandescents. I also get a few years from ceiling-mounted Circleline fluorescents. Some complain about the quality of the light, but maybe they should try a different color “temperature”. Yes, they contain traces of mercury, but so do the office and business fluorescents we’ve lived with for generations.

      $59 LEDs? Not even government mandates can make these a viable proposition.

  2. Is there anyone who really uses bulbs as dim as a 50-watt bulb would be in any serious lighting? Perhaps if all one uses lighting for it to keep from stumbling over furniture, but some of us like to read, or to see other people in the room while we’re talking to them.

    When they bring out 60-, 100- and 150-watt equivalent bulbs, talk to me then. Until then, I will continue to use incandescents and CFLs.

    1. My thoughts too. 50W is too low to be of real value.

      Also, ~ $60 per bulb? Am I going to save even half that over the next 3-5 years on a per bulb basis? Absolutely not. When they get down to less than $20 each, I might become interested.

    2. I dislike the majority of the compact fluorescent bulbs that I have tried – slow startup, annoying flicker, relatively short lifetimes…they just aren’t suitable for most home uses.

      About a year ago, I bought an LED bulb for $15 to gain some experience with this new home lighting technology. The LED that I purchased provides the same illumination as this Philips Hue wireless networking bulb (600 lumens). I have been using it for over a year in the lamp beside my bed, and it works *great* as a reading light. You don’t need 100W to read at night! It provides a warm light much like an incandescent bulb, and it can be dimmed using standard fixtures. Best of all, it uses about 85% less power than a comparable incandescent, and LED efficiencies have improved since I purchased this bulb.

      There are 75W-equivalent LED bulbs on the market now, with 100W-equivalent bulbs on the way. If you want to make a real dent in energy consumption, switch to LED bulbs, where practical. As a nation, we could shut down a number of old, polluting power plants if a significant percentage of existing residential lighting were converted to LED bulbs. And there are high-intensity commercial LED lighting solutions available, too, that could save companies a lot of money over time.

    3. It depends on the application. I’ve been replacing R-30 75-watt halogen lights in my kitchen (recessed lights) with LED lamps, over the course of months (LED bulb: $30, 25,000 hour life, 13.5 watts; Halogen: $10, 2,000 hour life, 75 watts). In this usage, all 650 lumens (LED lights) are aimed downward and perform very nicely against 1010 lumen halogen. And the savings, on a monthly basis, pays for the bulbs very quickly.

      If you’re trying to replace the bulb in an upright lamp I think you’d need a better approximation of the lumens, as in that application the light is heading out in all directions.

  3. I just sat through 5 of these new videos, and one of them gave me the impression that there is another Philips device required in the scheme (that I suppose comes with the $200 pack). If so, who wants more crap cluttering up there house? I don’t. Can anyone clarify?

    Nice series of Apple-inspired videos though.

    Expensive, hell yes. And only 50W-equivalent? LAME. Push it to 75 or 100W equivalent, and then we can start a conversation around this.

    1. I don’t think anyone here is bashing the technology itself.

      It’s just that this technology is absolutely not ready for prime time (or the consumer market). If you can get 60W bulbs in bulk for about $1.25 each and these are $66.66 each for the first three, then the price difference ($65.41) must be made up somewhere.

      Yes, some people will buy bulbs *only* for the “green factor”, but they are very unlikely to pay over 53 times as much — certainly not if their not going to make even half that difference back in the (unlikely) 15 year lifetime of the bulb.

      As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread … when they get below $20 each, I’ll definitely think about getting them. When they get below $10 each I’m in for sure.

      1. There are non-wireless LED bulbs currently on the market for $12 to $15, as I noted above. The one that I bought works great as a reading light.

        LED bulbs do produce waste heat (thus the aluminum heat sink fins), and heat is the enemy of electronics. My understanding is that LED bulbs may not fare well in ceiling canister lights because the heat is trapped and the hot air rises to concentrates near the base of the bulb, thus reducing the lifetime of the bulb. However, I expect to get many years of service from my LED bulb in its typical lamp fixture and shade which enables good convective cooling airflow across the heat sink fins.

    1. So thanks for starting the name-calling. I think CFLs are just the temporary bridge between incandescent bulbs and LEDs, because LEDs make a lot of sense but need to get cheaper. CFLs are still brittle, and the flood CFL bulbs drive me nuts how they are not instant on (LEDs are instant on).

      These Phillips Hue bulbs will come down in price quickly, and it’s a cool idea. Much better for home automation than having to buy new fixtures or wall plugs for lamps, etc. Most home automation systems today are not worth the money because they simply don’t work well.

      1. It was a joke, get over yourself. I called no names, I used an adjective:

        In modern usage, “Luddite” is a term describing those opposed to industrialisation, automation, computerisation or new technologies in general.

        It is no secret that MDN and a vocal group of it’s forum posters are fans of Rush Limbaugh, these same posters frequently use words like commie to describe anything and everything that they dislike or disagree with.

        Any regular listener of Rush would also know that he has a long-time blue pill induced condition for CFL light bulbs. I am not a fan, however I used to have a coworker than listened constantly and even I have heard this railing against the CFL bulb and the effort to ban incandescent bulbs.

        I happen to agree with your post about home-automation and LED’s. I would consider the Hue solution @ $100/25 Initial/replacement myself. I also agree that the price will come down. It is currently about double what I think the market will bear. Even at my comfortable figure, many will not like it.

        If I get 15 years of bulb life well, now that would be something.

        1. “It is no secret that MDN and a vocal group of it’s forum posters are fans of Rush Limbaugh”


          You’re right.. But I do find it slightly odd considering Apple is a (mostly silent) liberal company that has publicly donated to liberal civil issues (NO on prop 8) is currently led by a gay CEO and was founded by Steve Jobs who was a lifelong liberal/Democrat that supported Obama – his wife still does.

        2. CFL, the Canadian Football League, has been around for 100 years. They have a copyright on CFL and will sue anyone buying a CFL light.

          Switch to LED lights ASAP.

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