No hub required: Philips Hue smart bulbs now connect to your phone via Bluetooth

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 30 Jun 2019

Philips Hue’s parent company Signify announced on June 27 that its smart bulbs will now have Bluetooth support built-in. Rather than paying extra for a smart hub or bridge, you can connect your lights to each other and directly to your smartphone just by turning on Bluetooth. 

Signify (previously Philips Lighting) revealed on June 27 Philips Hue with Bluetooth, a collection of smart light bulbs that can connect to your smartphone and Amazon Echo devices automatically via Bluetooth technology. 

On your handset, you’ll be able to use the Philips Hue Bluetooth mobile app to choose which colour the lights emit, as well as select from a collection of pre-set combinations. If you have an Amazon Echo device, as long as you purchased your lights with the same account associated with the device, you can “just power on your light bulb and Alexa can complete the setup process for you”. 

If you purchased the bulbs from somewhere else or with a different account, you can just say “Alexa, discover my devices”; Once Alexa finishes the setup process, you’ll be able to control everything with your voice. 

Without the bridge, the range from which you can control the lights will be significantly reduced, since they will not be natively connected to the Internet. They could not be turned off, for example, while you’re away. 

To purchase one non-Bluetooth Hue White and colour ambiance bulb (RM279) and the required bridge (RM279), your total would come to about RM558. The price of the Bluetooth-compatible version is exactly the same, except that you’ll pay RM279 less for a nearly identical experience by not requiring the bridge. The company does note that a bridge can be added at any time to expand the range of features available. 

Philips Hue Bluetooth products are available now in the US, and will roll out to Canada on July 2. A range will arrive in Europe from autumn. – AFP Relaxnews

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