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Philips updates Hue with cheaper bulb offering in LG Smart Bulb counterstrike

Adds Lux, a less pricey white light Hue, days after LG's Smart Bulb reveal
Fri Mar 28 2014, 09:40

DUTCH ELECTRONICS FIRM Philips has updated its Hue line-up with a cheaper bulb that emits only white light, just days after LG revealed a similar LED lighting offering on Tuesday, the Smart Bulb.

Named Lux, the light bulb line update is significantly less pricey than the coloured Hue options, costing £90 for the starter kit, or £30 per extra Lux bulb. The colour controlled Hue lighting costs £180 for the kit, and £50 per bulb.

Philips Hue Lux bulb

The less pricey Lux bulb will be available sometime this summer, Philips said.

Philips' Hue multi-coloured LED light bulbs are controlled by mobile devices via a WiFi bridge that hooks up to an internet router. In effect, this allows users to control lighting colours for different moods via apps on iOS or Android mobile devices.

On Tuesday, LG announced a very similar Smart Bulb that can be controlled by Android and iOS smartphones, costing around £20 per bulb. However, the LG Smart Lamp is available only in Korea at the moment and UK pricing has yet to be announced.

Like Philips Hue, LG's 60W light bulb is made of LED lights, giving it a much longer lifespan than the average light bulb of around 10 years, while also using 80 percent less power than incandescent bulbs, LG claimed.

LG smartlamp for Android and iOS

Communicating with iOS 6.0 and above or Android 4.3 and above via Bluetooth or WiFi, the Smart Bulb boasts various features, such as party mode that flashes in time with music being played. However, this function only works with Android devices, LG said.

The bulb can also be programmed to turn on gradually and thus be used as an alarm clock, so the lights build in strength in the morning to wake users up naturally, rather than emitting a loud noise and scaring them awake.

LG said that the light bulb will also help those with hearing problems when using a smartphone, as it can be programmed to flash or blink to alert the user when a call is received.

Perhaps more notably, the Smart Bulb has a security mode that will secure a user's home while they are on holiday by turning on via a timer set from the smartphone to give the impression the property is occupied.

We can imagine Dutch technology company Philips isn't pleased with LG's news, as the Smart Bulb's features remind us of the firm's Hue lighting system, that Philips launched over a year ago.

philips hue light bulbs

Alongside the launch of Lux today, Philips also announced Hue tap, a £50 product that the company calls the first ever kinetic-powered, web-enabled light switch.

"Hue tap needs no batteries as it operates using kinetic energy, simply through taps from your finger. As a result, it has a remarkable zero watts of power consumption and needs no mains power source," Philips said.

However, it does require a hub that connects to your router.

Like Lux, Hue Tap will also be available in the UK sometime in summer this year. µ


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