Lighting

Philips Hue White Ambience lightbulbs include HomeKit functionality for a lower price

I’m a huge fan of Philips Hue lights, as the smart technology behind them often proves itself to be an immense convenience. Perhaps I’m better off walking across the room to flip a light switch, but I’m perfectly fine with telling Siri to do it or swiping up Control Center in iOS 10 and tapping a light in the HomeKit pane. Dimming the lights down to a warm glow in the evenings while browsing Twitter with my phone on NightShift is one scenario that, for me, makes Philips Hue an incredible experience.

The underlying issue with smart lightbulbs in general and Philips Hue in particular that has kept many people from fully adopting them is the price. Philips’ colored bulbs come in around $50 apiece, with the Starter Kit providing three bulbs and the connecting hub for $180. At first glance, those seem like fairly hefty prices for lightbulbs, of all things. However, a cheaper option is available for those who love home automation but don’t need the RGB colors of Philips Hue’s white and color ambiance bulbs, as the company is now selling a white ambience-only variant of their Hue line.

A look at the brand new Philips Hue app

For decades it was a thing of science fiction. Books and movies have long depicted their protagonists speaking commands to inanimate objects and having orders carried out instantly. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone, including myself, used to daydream of being able to control lights simply by giving a voice command from anywhere in the room, no longer having to get up and walk over to flip a light switch on or off.

Then Philips introduced their Hue lightbulbs and companion API, moving traditional light switches a step closer to obsoleteness by introducing the ability to turn lights on and off with a smartphone app, bringing us one step closer to making voice controlled lights a reality. When the second generation Hue bridge was introduced with HomeKit support, Siri gained the ability to control Hue peripherals, creating the ultimate ease-of-use scenario.

There’s almost a magical property surrounding Philips Hue lights. A room can be lit or darkened by a spoken word, its walls repainted in an instant, or the atmosphere changed to anything from a tropical sunset to an Arctic aurora. There’s really no limit to what one can do with a few Hue lights and some creative inspiration.

Philips launches dimming kit for Hue wireless bulbs

Philips’s ‘Hue’ programmable LED lights can now be controlled in a more traditional fashion with the new Hue Wireless Dimming Kit and white bulbs.

Announced this morning, the Dimming Kit allows you to adjust the brightness of up to ten white bulbs at the same time and can be installed directly on the wall or used as a remote control of sort for Hue lights.

The Hue Wireless Dimming Kit can be hooked up to Philips’ existing Hue hardware via the company’s Hue bridge accessory to control the standard Hue and Hue Lux lighting.

Apple granted patent for iOS docking station with flexible Lighting connector

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published dozens of Apple patent grants on its website, among them an invention describing a docking station for portable devices with a flexible Lighting connector.

First revealed in March 2014 and then filed in October 2014, the U.S. Patent 8,986,029 titled ‘Dock connector with compliance mechanism’ outlines a compliance mechanism in the iOS device dock that flexes when the connector is stressed in order to pivot the connector at a point where the connector protrudes from the dock housing.