Philips

The best HomeKit accessories under $50

Smart home tech is one of the most exciting areas of consumer electronics, as the market continues to grow each year. HomeKit in particular has had a particularly strong 2017 with a record number of new products released.

I feel it is a good time to gather up the best, and most affordable HomeKit tech whether it is for your own home, or as a gift. Everything we've included, barring maybe one exception, comes in under $50.

Philips expands Hue smart lighting with new bulbs, fixtures and table lamps

Philips has expanded its Hue smart lighting family of HomeKit-compatible accessories with today's announcement of a brand new candle bulb alongside all-new fixtures and free-standing table lamps. All the new accessories support HomeKit, allowing users to control their lights with Siri on their iPhone or iPad.

The new 40W-equivalent Hue White Ambiance candle bulb provides “the perfect shade of white light for any moment”. It uses a smaller E12 base for fixtures like ceiling fans, chandeliers or decorative table lamps and can output light at up to 450 lumens of brightness.

The candle bulb joins the company's existing White Ambience family of lights, which includes the A19 bulb, GU10 spot light and BR30 downlight.

The newly announced products include:

$200 Philips Hue White Ambiance Being Flushmount $100 Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellner Table Lamp $100 Philips Hue Wellness Table Lamp $30 Hue White Ambience Candle Bulb

The new Hue White Ambiance Wellner and Wellness table lamps both include a White Ambinece light bulb for capable of outputting light at 800 lumens. The new Hue White Ambiance Being Flushmount and Hue White Ambiance Fair fixture feature a built-in White Ambience bulb with light output at up to 3,000 lumens.

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The Fair fixture is available in flushmount, semi-flushmount and suspension styles for attaching to a ceiling.

Hue smart lights were designed to provide the white light needed to help you wake up and energize, concentrate, read, relax and go to sleep naturally.

Mark Cieri, Vice President and General Manager for Home Systems with Philips Lighting US, said:

To put it simply, consumers can have one light to support all of their daily activities. Think about all of the moments you enjoy in your kitchen. Select a cool daylight scene for your morning coffee to energize for the day ahead.

Help your child focus on their homework with a bright white light. Then, create a cozy ambiance for dinner under a warm light to wind down. With Philips Hue White Ambiance, you can personalize your lighting and truly feel at home.

Using HomeKit, Siri and the accompanying iOS app, users can create various hues of white light that can be dimmed or brightened throughout the day.

You can pre-order the new products via the Philips web store ahead of their arrival next month.

The new $30 candle bulb will be available for pre-order in June and launch in July.

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.

New Philips Hue smart bulbs: fall asleep more peacefully with every shade of white light

Philips today announced it's expanded its Hue smart lighting system with a brand new light bulb that focuses on the many shades of white light in order to encourage better sleep cycles, helping you wake up naturally and drift to sleep more peacefully.

The Apple HomeKit-compatible, color-tunable bulb gives you 800 lumens at the color temperature range from 2,200k to 6,500k, imitating the changing daily brightness and color temperature of natural sunlight. Philips also offers a starter kit that includes a pair of white ambiance bulbs, a bridge and a dimmer switch.

Phillips brings HomeKit support to Hue bulbs and lamps, launches HomeKit-compatible Bridge 2.0

Keeping true to its promise of adding support for Apple's homeKit platform to its Hue lineup of smart lights, Philips today launched a brand new Hue Bridge 2.0 with HomeKit support, bringing HomeKit compatibility to existing Hue bulbs and lamps. In addition, the new Bridge supports other connected home platforms so it's future-proof while the original, round-shaped Bridge will continue to be supported with software updates.

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.

Philips to add HomeKit support to existing and new Hue lights this fall

Philips Hue, a personal wireless lighting system that we reviewed thoroughly, will get updated with support for Apple's home automation platform called HomeKit, the company confirmed Monday in a post on Facebook.

Upcoming Hue lights released this September and onwards will have built-in HomeKit support. Existing Hue lights will be upgraded with HomeKit compatibility through a free software update that will unlock new features for your existing Hue hardware, said the firm.

New noise-cancelling headphones from Philips draw power from Lightning port

As The Verge reported Thursday, Consumer electronics maker Philips took the wraps off its new on-ear headphones that don't have a built-in battery, instead drawing power from the Lightning port of an iOS device.

The Fidelio NC1L features noise-cancelling technology which uses four different microphones to suppress background noise. Audio quality is improved further thanks to the use of Philips's own integrated 24-bit digital-to-analog converter instead of the one built into iOS devices.

Philips demos Notification Center widget on iOS 8 for controlling Hue lights

Just a few hours ago, Philips tweeted a concept image of a prototype Notification Center widget that could be used for controlling its Hue lineup of iOS connected bulbs and lights. As it stands, this functionality is provided through the Philips Hue app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. But this extension concept reveals that users could have more convenient access to an off button and different lighting settings without launching the app.

Notification Center widgets are a new feature in iOS 8 that Apple announced at its WWDC keynote earlier this week. Developers are able to build extensions that provide systemwide functionality through widgets in Today view, something that has been possible through jailbreaking for several years. In fact, there is already a jailbreak tweak called HueHueHue for controlling Philips Hue lights through Control Center. This prototype is a similar concept…