Philips eyes trendy homemakers for app-controlled e-lights
1970s mood lighting revived for internet era
Apple fans eager “to start experiencing light in a completely new way” - yes, that’s exactly what it says here - will soon be able to to do so courtesy of Philips.
Heralding what the Dutch electronics firm is calling “a new era in home lighting”, Apple Stores in the UK will this week begin selling the networkable LED lightbulbs that can be controlled by an iOS app.
Says the shockingly naff spiel: “Philips Hue signals a new era in home lighting both in the way we think about and experience light in our homes.”
Most of are happy enough to flip and switch and have enough light to read by, but Philips anticipates a world where you “personalise your home lighting experience with custom settings... save your favourite light scenes for each room or time of day and recall them in an instant... use any photo on your phone as a colour palette to paint your room with light and bring your memories back to life... [and] let light wake you up refreshed or help your loved ones fall asleep”.
The £179 starter kit includes three 50W-equivalent bulbs, and a box that plugs into your broadband router to maintain a wireless link to the bulbs using ZigBee technology - it uses the ZigBee Light Link standard.
Hue's ZigBee adaptor
Download the Hue app, and you can change the tone of the white light each bulb emits. More usefully, you can set them to go on and off at certain times - handy when you’re away - and even turn lights on remotely over the net, though this requires you to create an account with Philips.
Individual bulbs cost a staggering £49 - more than ten times the price of an ordinary bulb. They’re also screw-caps - E26 and E27, to be precise - so not much use to those of us with bayonet light fittings, though presumably Philips will ge round to these too if there’s demand.
Hue goes on sale on 30 October. ®
I'm looking at Lightwave RF for my house - socket control switches are circa £25 per module, and the advantage is that you can more or less use standard bulbs after that.
And there is a kickstarter project called LiFX to bring this type of controllable RGB LED bulb to market using wifi. Thats even more expensive at the moment than the plippy one, but once it reaches mass market, I reckon it should have a more optimal cost.
And this being iOS only? How very 2010 of them.
Yes, you need an APP for that. Don't have an iPhone? Well, fuck off, will you?
So I need an iPhone now in order to turn on the lights, yes?
So Philips, certainly not a company I associate with incompetent product design per se, cannot come out with a networked lightbulb that can be operated via a simple web interface – maybe in addition to a few apps for a FEW phones.
No, it has to be an iPhone and maybe, maybe later Android.
Sweet fancy Moses, whatever happened to open standards.
I've said it before and I will say it again: DO NOT tell your potential customers that you do not care to cater to them because they did not buy the phone you think to be the hot shit. It - is - a - bad - marketing - move. People also tend to remember companies who tell them to fuck off. And not in a good way. Is this really so hard to understand?
What's important is the amount of light it emits and that's measured in lumens, not the power consumption of some obsolete and inefficient bit of technology that produces mostly heat. In any case 50W was not a commonly used rating for GLS lamps. It might be useful to know how much power the system is actually consuming when in use and on standby.
So effectively this is a dimmer switch handled via the itnernet / WAN right? I think I'll pass, especially at the price per bulb.
Unless of course somebody can tell me it's worth that price per bulb in theoretical energy savings, which I doubt considering the bulbs are 50w compared to the 12w I currently have plugged in.
Re: Lightwave RF
I came here to mention the Kickstarter project too - which, as the price is in dollars, is actually cheaper even with international shipping than the phillips - the problem is they have sold out ages ago..
They have got more than 13 x their desired funding though so should be able to keep going after the project has ended