Philips combines energy efficient lighting with high tech personalization in its new Hue lighting system. The idea is simple. Plug in 3 LED bulbs each capable of various shades or hues of color into light sockets that can be controlled wirelessly via an app run on an iOS device to provide an individualized lighting environment. Download the Hue app to your iOS device and get ready to control the lighting from your device whether you are in the room or away from the house.
Each bulb is capable of displaying different tones of white light from warm yellow, to blue, to red. The app connected to each bulb through a base station plugged into your wi-fi can modify which bulbs are producing which colors and vary the intensity.
The initial kit costs about $199 and comes with 3 bulbs, and the base station. You can buy extra bulbs for about $59 each.
The first time you download the app, you will be walked through the simple set up steps to control the 3 lights you installed. The only difficulty I had was getting the extra lights purchased to be added to the system and work with some of the themes.
The workaround is manually adding each bulb to the theme by tapping the pencil icon and adding the bulb. Surely, an update to the app will allow for all bulbs to be added to each theme automatically so you do not have to add each one. Other than that, the process could not be much simpler.
In sum, this is a really cool way to control lighting in an office or home environment. The possibilities are just beginning. For example, there are (or will be soon) apps to do things like flash the lights blue when you get an email from a particular person, or flash the lights green when your team scores a home run or even turn the lights on when its time to get up. If you are looking to try out a high tech gadget that can transform the feel of a room or space and have some extra money, this is a pretty cool way to do it.
The developer describes the app as follows:
hue lets you express who you are, through the way you light your home. With a vast palette of light and colour. So you can set your inner Picasso free.
hue can be wherever you want and you can access it whenever you want. Any room. Any space. All wirelessly, through your smart device. Clever, hey?
At its heart, hue is a lighting solution for the home. It’s functional and practical. But it can also be emotive and inspiring. It’ll change the way you think about home lighting. Forever.
See what hue can do for you:
– Can a light bring back your fondest memories? hue can.
Choose your favourite holiday photos from your library and use the colour picker to recreate the ambience of that safari sunset, island paradise or snow-
– Can a light be a better guard dog than your guard dog? hue can.
Turn your lights on or off remotely using your iPhone or iPad. Even set the lights to come on automatically, just before you return home.
– Can a light help you get better grades? hue can.
Use the ‘CONCENTRATE’ Light Recipe to help you pay attention and stay focussed for longer.
– Can a light help you unwind after a long, hard day? hue can.
The ‘RELAX’ Light Recipe sets your lights to a specific yellow-white tone, scientifically proven to have a calming effect.
The possibilities are endless with hue.
Requires iOS4 and the Philips hue starter pack (3 Philips hue bulbs and hue bridge). Single bulbs can then be added, up to a maximum of 50 per bridge.
Compatible with iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch (3rd gen), iPod Touch (4th gen), all iPads.