The Internet of Things is fast and ever-growing, and there are a few companies out there that have taken the lead on bringing Internet-connected objects to the masses.
Like Philips, which makes a range of Internet-connected light bulbs in various sizes and shapes.
The range is called Hue, and the standard starter kit, called the -- you guessed it -- Philips Hue Starter Kit, contains three LED bulbs and a little device called a Hue bridge, all for $199.99 (Available on Amazon). You can buy individual Hue bulbs for $59.99, and each one has a 15-year lifespan.
The LEDs in each of the bulbs emit a spectrum of colors, enough for creating 16 million different hues -- we'd venture to guess that's where the name came from.
Take a peek at the Philips Hue lights
Are Philips' WiFi-connected Hue bulbs right for you?
The Philips Hue LED bulb is displayed, Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in New York. LED bulbs seem to be the future of home lighting: They save electricity, theyâre durable and they donât contain mercury, which compact fluorescents do. But having them pump out white light like any old light bulb is sort of like using a computer as a doorstop. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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That bridge we mentioned before is used to communicate with the bulbs. You plug the bridge into your router, and it takes care of telling the bulbs what you want them to do.
Most interaction will take place on your smartphone, using the Hue app. From there you can change the color and intensity of your lights, set up alarms and timers, and even geofences.
Geofences are pretty much what they sound like: Invisible, geographic fences you set up using GPS. So you can place a geofence around your house, and have that turn off your lights when you move outside of the fence, and turn them on when you move inside the fence.
And with access to over 250 third-party apps, there are loads of other interactions. You can, for example, use an app called Ambify to sync up your lights to music. They'll flash, pulsate, and change color to the beat of your favorite jams.
You can also link up Hue bulbs and automation service IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That. IFTTT lets you connect multiple apps and services together using what it calls "recipes." You might set up a recipe to make your Hue bulbs flash blue when you get a new follower on Twitter, or red when your stock portfolio drops below a certain level.
In other words, while you may not immediately realize it, there's a whole lot you can do with a set of light bulbs connected to the Internet.
CNET praises Hue's integrations with third-party apps, and even built in features like the geofences we mentioned before. But it isn't quite sold on the price, writing, "three-bulbs-and-a-hub is expensive at $199, the novelty factor will wear off for many users quickly."
And PC Magazine agrees with that sentiment. The outlet call the bulbs "prohibitively expensive." Despite that prohibitive price, though, PCMag still seems to like the bulbs. It gave Hue an "excellent" rating, and gave the WiFi bulbs an Editors' Choice award.
In rounding up several reviews of Philips Hue, we found a common theme throughout: While the bulbs are on the expensive side, if you're looking for a feature-packed set of light bulbs you can control from your phone, Hue's for you.
See more of the Philips Hue in action in the video gallery below:
Round-up of Philips Hue lights reviews on YouTube
Are Philips' WiFi-connected Hue bulbs right for you?
I have officially started my journey on making our house a smart home by installing the Philips Hue Connected Smart LED Wireless Lighting System. I will walk you through the unboxing of the Lux Starter Pack, installation and configuration. Surprisingly the entire setup process was incredibly easy. They broke it down into three easy steps:
1. Screw in your bulbs & turn on your wall light switches
2. Plug in the hue bridge & connect to your wi-fi router
3. Download the app and follow instructions
There honestly wasn't much else to it!
Get your Philips Hue Lux Starter Pack here:
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In this unboxing and review video, I will be doing the Hue Lux Starter Pack! A great product from Philips available exclusively at the Apple Store/OnlineStore! Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoy!
To order one in Canada: http://store.apple.com/ca/product/HFV02VC/A/philips-hue-lux-starter-pack
To order one in the U.S: http://store.apple.com/us/product/HFV02VC/A/philips-hue-lux-starter-pack
Con el Bulb Starter Pack de bombillas Hue de Philips, podrás controlar tu iluminación desde el iPhone o el iPad. Crea escenas de luces a partir de tus fotos favoritas, elige entre los juegos de luz creados por expertos de Philips que te ayudarán a relajarte o a concentrarte. Incluso podrás definir temporizadores para despertarte con el mejor tono luminoso todos los días. Ajusta los tonos blancos y los colores. Cada bombilla hue proporciona 600 lumens y produce todos los tonos de blanco (desde caliente a frío) y una gran variedad de colores. Además, las bombillas consumen un 80 % menos de electricidad que las bombillas tradicionales. No importa lo que quieras hacer con tus luces: Hue es la respuesta. El pack incluye tres bombillas Hue, un puente Hue con su fuente de alimentación y el cable LAN para conectar el puente hue con el router.
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Unboxing and review of the app controlled Philips Hue wireless home lighting system.
Starter Kit: $199.95
Bulbs: $59.95 each
Sold at the Apple Store.