Philips Hue smart lights have been among the most consumer friendly smart home upgrades on the market for years, and today a new addition to the connected bulb lineup is making the upgrade even easier. Signify is officially announcing Philips Hue with Bluetooth, all-new smart lights that don’t require a bridge for setup.
Philips Hue is launching its Bluetooth lighting lineup with three products today with more to come later this year and next year:
Philips Hue Bluetooth products in the traditional A19 light bulb shape and BR30 downlight are available in the US starting today. The products come in three versions: White ($14.99), ideal for smooth dimming; White Ambiance ($24.99), which allows you to customize your shade of white light; and White and Color Ambiance ($49.99), offering access to millions of colors and shades of white light. More products will be Bluetooth-enabled later this year and in 2020.
The Philips Hue system has previously relied on a network connected bridge using a Zigbee mesh network to communicate with each smart bulb. The new Bluetooth connected bulbs aim to make getting started easier by eliminating the need for a bridge while still offering Zigbee connectivity.
Up to 10 lights can be controlled from the new Philips Hue Bluetooth app on iOS or with voice control from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Adding more than 10 bulbs and using Siri voice control and Apple Home app control through HomeKit requires a Hue bridge.
Philips Hue touts easier-than-ever setup using Amazon Alexa and the latest Echo devices with its new Bluetooth lineup:
If you purchase the light bulbs on Amazon.com, using the same account associated with your compatible Echo device, just power on your light bulb, and Alexa can complete the setup process for you. Bulbs purchased elsewhere also easily connect to compatible Echo devices – power on your light bulb and say “Alexa, discover my devices.”
Both Zigbee and new Bluetooth bulbs are compatible with the Philips Hue Bridge for expanding features including HomeKit support, remote access, Philips Hue Entertainment, and Friends of Hue and third-party app support.