I’ll be honest here, smart lights are something I haven’t paid much mind to—for such a revolutionary piece of technology, I just thought they were a missed opportunity to make something fun to look at. Imagine my surprise when I saw today that Signify—the company behind Philips Hue—may have just achieved the full potential of what smart lighting could be.
Signify has just beefed up their smart lighting portfolio with the announcement of several new Philips Hue offerings, the first of which is three, unique Lightguide bulb shapes that can be attached to a pendant cord to maximize their visual appeal. The new lightbulbs come in globe, ellipse, and triangular shapes and will retail from $74.99 to $89.99, while the pendant cord will retail for $49.99. The bulbs and pendant cords will be available by the end of the year.
These bulbs are the Phillips Hue approach to the Edison bulb trend that has been taking interior decorating by storm over the last few years, and while Philips Hue already offers Edison-style smart lightbulbs, these are the company’s first to change color. Other new lighting solutions include a filament candle bulb—available for $44.99 in white—that can dim to your liking, and a slim downlight for smart lighting in hard-to-reach places for $69.99.
Gamers can also rejoice with the new Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip, which can produce multiple colors at one time that seamlessly transition into one another for an immersive lighting experience. The lightstrip is available in 24/27-inch ($169.99) and 32/34-inch ($189.99) strips for single monitor setups and a longer strip for setups with three 24/27-inch monitors ($279.99).
Philips Hue is also rolling out presence automation called Mimic to try to automatically tailor your lights to your schedule. You choose which rooms you want to automate, and if you want your lights to turn on when it gets dark out or turn off and on throughout the day. This all sounds like Philips Hue is taking a massive step toward more successfully creating solutions for ambient computing: Philips Hue making more attractive smart lights makes you forget that you’re using smart lights.