Thursday, March 27, 2014, 09:01 pm PT (12:01 am ET)
Philips adds 3D-printed luminaires, all-white bulbs and wireless switch to 'hue' lineupPhilips on Friday announced three new products hue wireless lighting ecosystem, including 3D-printed art-like luminaires, dimmable white-only hue lux bulbs and a unique battery-free wireless light switch called the hue tap.
The three new products build on Philips' hue wireless lighting system, which has grown from the original iOS app-enabled, color-changing LED bulbs to an ecosystem of smart lighting accessories.
First up is the hue lux, a white light-only version of Philips' smart bulbs for users looking to jump into the connected home market. Where the original color-changing hue bulbs may have served a niche audience, the lux targets a more diverse demographic while retaining compatibility hue ecosystem compatibility.
Instead of changing from white to green to red like the flagship hue light bulb, lux's output can be adjusted in terms of intensity and brightness. The bulb outputs a single fixed-color warm white light that is dimmable.
Philips says lux will go on sale this fall at a price of $39.99 each or $99 for a two-bulb starter kit that includes the hue wireless bridge. The hub itself is based on the ZigBee protocol, meaning users can incorporate the lights with third-party sensors, switches and other home automation components.
A new Friend of hue product is also set for introduction in the second half of 2014 in the hue tap, a wireless switch capable of controlling hue light scenes without the need for batteries. The tap is the first official product from Philips to bring hue lighting control out of the app and into the physical world.
Powered by kinetic energy in the form of finger taps, hue tap's four buttons can be mapped to cycle through light scenes — per-device color and dimming presets configurable on the iOS app — without an iPhone.
Hue tap will go on sale in North America and Europe this fall for $60.
Finally, the most ambitious of hue's latest offerings are three 3D-printed smart luminaires co-created by design studios WertelOberfell and Strand+Hvass.
The futuristic designs, made in both pendant and table styles, cleverly incorporate hue bulbs with 3D-printed shapes to produce what can be called light sculptures. Controllable via the dedicated iOS app, the lamps are fully compatible with the hue ecosystem.
The lamps are dubbed "Entity" and "Tempest," each being inspired by images from nature. Strand+Hvass' design is inspired by shadows cast by branches in the spring sun, while WertelOberfell's creation looks at nature on the micro level.
"We liked the idea of using the geometry seen in the eyes of crustaceans and insects then reversing them so they become light emitting cells rather than light gathering cells," said WertelOberfell's Jan Wertel of the Entity lamp.
With their high-minded design aesthetic, the products are more about art and less about functional lighting. As such, pricing starts at 2,499 euros (about $3,450) for the Entity and Tempest, while the pendant lamp comes in at 2,999 euros ($4,130). Philips will be displaying the lamps at the Light and Building show in Frankfurt from Mar. 31 to Apr. 4 and those interested can pre-order at meethue.com.
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