Philips Hue Will Finally Offer White BR30s

Dave Zatz —  June 7, 2016

philips-hue-white-br30

It was inevitable. After years of pining, as soon as I purchased additional, colorful Philips Hue BR30 bulbs, a white variant was sure to be released. And, sure enough, here we are. While FCC docs indicate we’ll shortly see a tunable white BR30, the lumens still clock in pretty low at a reported 680 (compared to the bright WiFi Lifx Wi-Fi bulbs that periodically call my name). As to timing, I’d guess these Hue White Ambience will hit retail in the next month or three and I imagine they’ll go for $30-40/pop. In which case, I may still come out OK given the 50% off outlet sale I recently availed myself of.

3 responses to Philips Hue Will Finally Offer White BR30s

  1. I get the colored bulbs, but I guess I don’t really see the value in while-only bulbs since you can get a Lutron Caséta Wireless Dimmer than would control all of your bulbs in the room for about the cost of a single bulb from this class. With color, I see the benefit (for others, not necessarily myself), but am I missing something with these new bulbs that are varying levels of white?

  2. The last four bulbs I replaced were Lutron-controlled LEDs. I’ve gone back and forth on connected bulb vs connected dimmer. But with bulbs coming down in price and ease of installation, plus many folks have Hue, it may make sense (to standardize). Also Philips still allows Hue to control 3rd party Zigbee bulbs.

    Something else that has been challenging for me is that not all LEDs work the same or well with all dimmers. My first gen Crees wouldn’t dim on my Lutron, the second gen buzzed, and the Philips that I settled on wouldn’t dim lower than like 40%. With Hue, I have none of those issues.

    Another Hue benefits is the builtin functionality plus an open API for other apps and services. You can set scenes, timers, control several rooms at the same time, geofencing, etc. Some of this you can also do with Lutron (and their bridge).

    For pricing, Philips Hue standard lamp-size white bulbs are normally $15/ea – but Best Buy had them for like $11.50 a few weeks back.

  3. I didn’t realize they were that cheap…I looked on Amazon, and they were quite a bit pricier on there, but maybe a different size bulb than the ones you got. I bought a bunch of standard warm LED bulbs a while back from Costco (Feit Electric brand) which work well in my implementation, and were heavily discounted from Duke Energy discounts ($5-$7 for a 2 or 3 pack, depending on size).

    I don’t do a lot of ambient lighting or some of the other “connected home” things that others do. I have my few systems that I run individually from separate apps (Nest, MyQ, etc), but haven’t found that interface that I really love (though I do like the Alexa option for a future purchase if I can get some Echo Dots).

    I do like the Hue strips, and have considered the, for under cabinet lighting to use as a cool night-light solution in the kitchen, but am researching what I need to step down the voltage from my existing wiring, and whether they can be direct wired rather than plugged in (no reason it shouldn’t work).