It’s official, Philips Hue’s gorgeous Lightguide bulbs are real. Signify, which owns Philips Hue, announced the new white and color ambiance light bulbs at the IFA tech conference in Berlin this week, confirming The Verge’s earlier report of the imminent arrival of the oversized dimmable smart bulbs designed for open lighting fixtures.
Other new products incoming to Hue’s smart lighting line include a Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip for PCs, a slimmer downlight for low-profile ceilings, and a tunable white filament candle bulb. Signify also announced a partnership with Samsung SmartThings to sync music with your smart lights, and new features for its Hue app, including the ability to set automatic away lighting — which Hue is calling “Mimic Presence” lighting.
The Lightguide bulbs are the first real statement lighting bulbs from Hue. With a distinctly contemporary design, the bulbs come in three shapes — large globe, ellipse, and triangular — and can be paired with a specially designed pendant cord, available in white and black.
Each bulb has a glowing inner tube that diffuses light, and each sports a glossy finish designed to make the bulbs shine more brightly. They are capable of illuminating your home with both white and color ambiance and putting out up to 500 lumens.
The bulbs cost $74.99 to $89.99 each, and the cords are $49.99. Both are coming later this year.
The other new hardware products include an updated filament candle bulb; the current version is just dimmable. The new Philips Hue White Ambiance Filament bulb adds tunable white light, so you can adjust from warm to cool white light. It’s coming on September 13th to Europe and North America for $44.99 or in a 2-pack for $64.99.
New Philips Hue slim downlights are available now for $69.99 each. These have a lower profile, canless design to go where traditional can lights can’t. Using a tab system, the lights — which are just three-quarters of an inch thick — snap directly into the ceiling to connect to the junction box. At 1200 lumens, with white and color light, the Philips Hue slim downlight is designed for any room of the house and is wet-rated, so can be used in a bathroom.
The new Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip for the PC comes in three sizes, and pricing starts at $169.99. It’s also available on September 13th, and be sure to read my colleague Alice Newcome-Beill’s take on this new gaming peripheral.
With all this new hardware, the Hue app is getting some new features, too, including a “Mimic Presence” automation. This turns your lights turn on and off during the day and / or at night automatically when you’re away from home, as a security measure.
Mimic Presence is coming to the app this month and will be controlled from the Hue Automation tab, where the Spotify music sync integration is currently. This will also be the new home for the Philips Hue Sync app. If you use the Hue Play Sync Box to sync your lights with your TV, you’ll be familiar with this app. Now you’ll be able to control all your Hue lights and devices from the main Hue app.
Speaking of music integration, Signify confirmed details of its leaked expanded partnership with Samsung SmartThings. Its smart lights will be able to sync with music on Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets through a new Philips Hue and SmartThings app music sync, starting on September 1st at 8PM ET.
Music sync lets you pulse your colored Hue lighting in sync with the beats of your favorite songs. It does require a Hue Bridge, and the service only works on Galaxy devices. But it will work with any music service; the Hue app only supports Spotify for music sync.
Finally, Signify reconfirmed its commitment to Matter. Gerwin van der Horst of Signify told The Verge at the IFA Smart Home League event on August 31st that it will be rolling out firmware to update its existing bridge to Matter as close to the launch of the new smart home standard as possible.
The update will make all its smart lighting products, existing and forthcoming, Matter-compatible. Hue currently supports most of the popular smart home integrations, including Apple Home, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa, as well as Samsung SmartThings. Matter compatibility should bring more integration on the hardware front, allowing you to more easily pair Hue bulbs and accessories with non-Hue devices.