Today Philips announced Hue — “the world’s smartest web-enabled LED home lighting system.” The new LED lighting system is available exclusively from Apple, both online and in stores, starting on October 30, 2012, and requires an iOS or Android app and a home Wi-Fi router. It can handle up to 50 light bulbs, each of which output 600 lumens and use about 8.5 watts of energy.
These are the Edison-type screw-in LED light bulbs, so they’ll work in most sockets where you already have similar bulbs. Hue can control lights remotely, turn on lights gradually as an alarm, or establish ambience with the colors of the rainbow.
Hue’s wireless connection is provided by the open ZigBee Light Link standard, said Philips, so the system can integrate with other ZigBee certified systems.
Hue comes in an introduction pack with the Hue bridge and three light bulbs for the luxurious price of $199. After that, one can add a bulb for an investment of $59 each, according to a Philips statement.
Other efforts in the field of residential smart LEDs include the recent Kickstarter project LIFX, Google’s smart LED from LSG, and a dimmable bulb called Insteon. Of the foregoing, only Insteon is on the market right now.