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Philips Hue Add Bluetooth To Smart Lights

Dutch electronics brand Philips has moved to simplify its Hue lighting system, ditching the need for a hub and making it easier for the DIY home automator to start adding smart lighting.

Previous Hue lightbulbs required the use of a Hue bridge to connect and control, making it a potentially daunting proposition for entry-level automators looking to try just one bulb, but now Philips have added the ability to set-up and control bulbs via Bluetooth instead, eliminating the need for an extra device and making it easier to install.

The Bluetooth bulbs can also be configured through a hub, so adopters can start with one Bluetooth bulb and expand with more Hue lights throughout their home if they choose.

One Hue bridge can support up to 50 lights.

The bulbs are also able to be integrated for voice control with Amazon Alexa through a compatible Echo device, and will soon support Google Home as well.

Users can integrate Hue lighting in a variety of third-party apps when using the bridge, but controlling them via Bluetooth requires only the Philips Hue smartphone app.

The Bluetooth bulbs are now available in the US starting at US$15, with Canada to follow next week and Europe in the coming months.

Australian pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed, but Philips said it will be adding Bluetooth to more Hue devices throughout the year and in to 2020.

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