Philips Hue's fall update: Vintage bulbs, smart buttons and a big bet on Bluetooth

Cupertino, September 6, 2019

The family of Philips Hue smart bulbs continues to expand.


I really hate to talk about it, but the summer is fading - and the last speaker is the pillar of intelligent lighting, Philips Hue, who makes a habit to announce new products around this time of the year. Indeed, the brand is currently introducing many additions to its product line, including new ones. vintage style smart bulbs, a second-generation version of the notebook Philips Hue Go, as well as the new smart plugs and Philips Hue buttons to trigger your lights.

The parent company Philips Hue, Signify, is on the ground in Berlin to make it all debut at This week's IFA Technology Showcase. We will make sure to update this post as soon as we have an overview of it all for ourselves. For the moment, here is a brief overview of all that is new:

  • Philips Hue vintage style LED bulbs (with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    $ 25 - $ 33, available in October 2019
  • Philips Hue Go (second generation with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    $ 80, available in November 2019
  • LED candelabra Philips hue white (with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    Package of 2 $ 33, available in September 2019
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance / Projectors GU10 White and Color (with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    $ 50 pack, available in September 2019
  • Philips Hue Smart Plug (with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    $ 40, available in October 2019
  • Philips Hue Smart Button (with Zigbee and Bluetooth)
    $ 20, available in October 2019

It's all about Bluetooth

First of all, the big story of Philips Hue this year is this: the brand adds Bluetooth support in all its new lights. Everything still uses Zigbee communicate with Philips Hue Bridge, but by adding this additional Bluetooth radio, users can ignore the bridge and connect the bulbs directly to their phone or tablet for simplified control of local lighting, including the ability to directly pair with some Alexa and Google Assistant devices. From there, the addition of Bridge provides access to advanced Hue features such as Hue Entertainment TV Lighting and Google Assistant wizards are gradually disappearing, as well as integrations like Apple HomeKit which still require a Hue Bridge.

This is a big change for the brand, but also a wise decision because it means that curious shoppers only need one bulb to be able to test Philips Hue. Hue White Light Indicators Start at $ 15 each - before, you had to spend at least $ 70 or so on a whole Philips Hue starter kit that packs the bulbs with the Bridge. Do this $ 150 or more if you wanted a kit with bulbs that changed color. Now you can play with a Hue Bluetooth bulb changing color for a $ 50 buy-in.

It's still expensive at a time when smart lights are becoming easier to paybut it's still a big step in the right direction. And, with the arrival of many new Bluetooth enabled bulbs, you will have all kinds of relatively inexpensive entry points into the Hue ecosystem.

The rumors were true: Vintage style Philips Hue bulbs are officially installed.


Modern smarts, vintage looks

At the heart of these new Bluetooth-enabled Hue bulbs is a new suite of vintage-style Hue White lamps with faux filaments inside. Rather than Thomas Edison's incandescent tungsten, the filaments are composed of a series of light-emitting diodes chained to each other, then twisted into artistic spirals to give an alluring aesthetic to the old school.

Rumor has nailed this one earlier this summer, when images of new bulbs leaked online. Signify made it official today, with new vintage Hue bulbs entering a classic shape, an elongated ST19 shape and a G25 shaped globe. Hat-tip on the European iCulture technology blog, which in June foresaw that three different versions of the light bulb would be launched this fall.

Signify signals each of the three models at 530 lumens of light at a very hot color temperature of 2100 k, similar to a candle. Philips Hue, director of technology, George Yianni, calls this "the ideal point" for light bulbs like these, and I would tend to agree. At 530 lumens, they are midway between 40W (450 lumens) accent lamps and your common source of 60W (800 lumens). This makes them bright enough to brighten the room, but not too bright, it's important to look directly at them, which is important because the key is to use them in exposed amp configurations and not to hide them under a lampshade.

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Smart tips and tricks


Yianni calls the trio of old bulbs "first wave", saying that over time, it is planned to add new bulbs like these to the Philips Hue range. It may take some time before one of them changes color. The diodes themselves can only emit one color at a time; you would need different diodes for different colors. This is fine if the diodes are hidden under a cloudy bulb, as with ordinary Hue LEDs, but with vintage style bulbs like these where the diodes are visible, this would give ugly filaments, with a lot of strange holes depending on the color or color. setting the temperature you used.

"We have not yet found a way to make it aesthetically pleasing to our aesthetic standards," Yianni says, though he adds that the changing color versions are definitely on the wish list.


The first generation Philips Hue Go had to stay within reach of the Hue Bridge for total control from your phone. With the addition of Bluetooth, you can take the second generation version wherever you want.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

A shade that goes where you want

A new product that will change color: a second-generation version of the Philips Hue Go, a portable bowl-shaped lighting device that you can unplug and take with you into the house with a built-in battery.

The addition of Bluetooth seems particularly relevant here. With the first generation versionyou must be within range of a Hue bridge to control it with the Hue app. Now you can take the Go wherever you want - camping trips, BBQ, beach, etc. - and control the brightness and colors directly from your phone.

To this end, the new Go also promises a much better battery life: from 2 to 3 hours to 18 hours. It is also brighter, with a maximum light output of 520 lumens, compared to 400 lumens compared to the first version. Signify also indicates that the brightness will decrease up to 1.2 lumens, which could make the Hue Go an ideal choice for your child's bedside table, especially if he likes to use Google wizard awakens Hue fade to relieve them from bed in the morning.

The new Hue button can trigger lighting with one click, while a new smart plug promises to get your lights playing.


A smart button and an overpriced jack

Of Click Smart Switch the Lutron AuroraIn the past year, we have seen a growing number of Philips Hue accessories designed to give users better physical control over their smart lighting. Now, Signify is adding a unique product to the stack with a new one-button remote called the Philips Hue Smart Button.

The built-in smart button magnet allows you to stick it on the refrigerator. In parallel, the smart plug allows you to add items such as light strings to your Hue configuration.


Promising three years of juice with a single coin-type battery, the Smart Button pairs with Hue bulbs via Bluetooth or Zigbee. From there, just click once to turn the lights on or off, double-click to change scene, or press and hold to lower the level. Signify adds that you can program the button to turn on the lights according to different settings depending on the time, which is pleasant to the touch.

The button also includes a built-in magnet that allows you to stick the item on a base plate in the wall when you're not using it, but you can just as easily snap it onto the refrigerator or any other surface that meets the specifications. magnets.

The other new Philips Hue accessory is the one users have been looking for for years now: a Philips Hue smart plug. This will work like other smart connectors that allow you to automate everything you plug behind. The obvious attraction for Philips Hue users is that you can use it to add lights, strings of lights and other devices to your smart lighting system.

Signify adds that the plug "works with everything Hue works with", which puts Alexa in play, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, etc.

The only drawback is the absurd price of $ 40 label. Most other smart connectors cost closer to $ 20and if you control your lighting through a third-party platform like Alexa or Apple HomeKit anyway, you do not worry at all if your listing does not appear in the Hue app.

We're going to test all the new Hue products at CNET Smart Home in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to see how these claims for brightness, battery life and connectivity hold up . But as long as the first impressions disappear, each one of them appears as a judicious addition to the Philips Hue ecosystem - and with the exception of the plug-in, the prices are not too painful either. .

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