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iLuv launches Wi-Fi-enabled Rainbow8 bulb with support for Apple's HomeKit

Accessory maker iLuv on Thursday opened up sales of the Rainbow8, a new HomeKit-ready lightbulb that connects via Wi-Fi without requiring a dedicated hub.

The bulb is rated at 800 lumens, and supports dimming as well as cycling between 16 million colors. While people can use iLuv's iPhone app, HomeKit compatibility enables centralized control through Siri, as well as the iOS and Apple Watch Home apps.

The bulb supports standard features such as grouping, scheduling, and scenes, along with location triggers when leaving and arriving.

Wi-Fi is generally preferable to Bluetooth for HomeKit devices, since it responds faster, often has better range, and offers a full range of features. Without a hub, Bluetooth accessories may not be reachable when an iPhone or iPad is away from home, and can otherwise find themselves limited.

Other Wi-Fi-capable lighting systems —such as Philips Hue —often use a hub to get around size and technical issues.

The Rainbow8 is now on sale for $49.99. The mobile app is a free download for devices running iOS 7.1 or later, but the latest HomeKit functionality —including the Home app —requires iOS 10.