Archives For Philips Hue

Philips just released firmware for the Philips Hue bridge that may permanently sever access to any “non-approved” ZigBee bulbs. We previously covered third party support in January 2015, when Philips indicated it was not blocked – and have since benefited.

hue-zigbee-faq

The recent change seems to suggest any non-Philips bulbs from manufacturers such as Cree, GE, and Osram will not be supported in many situations, whereas “Friends of Hue” branded product are. At the time of publication, it’s unclear whether 3rd party bulbs will stop working immediately after the firmware update or if they may only become inaccessible after the bridge is reset. We’re also not sure if being “reset” means rebooted or factory reset. This appears to apply to both the round v1 bridge and square v2 HomeKit-compatible bridge after the latest firmware update is applied. Continue Reading…

While Philips Hue HomeKit-compatible gear isn’t officially expected until October 6, the A19 Starter Kit has begun appearing at various retail locations. Indeed, I literally got my hands on the v2 hub bridge. It’s smaller and squarer than the existing model, with a nicer matte finish and generally more tasteful presentation… that is entirely irrelevant since you’ll be plugging it into your router somewhere out of sight. There are three indicators, plus a glowing ring that surrounds the much larger pairing button.

As Philips moves the line to HomeKit, pricing of Hue bundles looks to remain unchanged (in the US, anyway). What’s not yet clear, but should be revealed within the next 48 hours, is the cost of a standalone HomeKit bridge to retrofit the bazillions of Hue homes that sport iOS (like mine). Also unclear, as I’m pretty sure an App Store update is required, is the extent of Siri voice control. For example, will it best Amazon Echo’s existing but limited (tho useful) Hue interaction?

UPDATE: The HomeKit replacement hub has popped up on Amazon for $60… But I’m waiting to learn more about Siri’s capabilities before making my purchase.

sonos-light

For several hours this weekend, the Sonos website featured an unexpected “Light-1” menu option. Combing through the FCC and USPTO, along with the requisite, tho cursory, Googling, has turned up squat. Is this nothing more than a textual error? Or is Sonos getting into the lightspeaker game? Another possibility, assuming this is something more than a coding mistake, could be programmatic light+music synchronization as seen from the likes of SyFy and Philips Hue. We love a good mystery almost as much as we love Sonos whole home audio.

Meanwhile, the Sonos Boost streaming enhancer must near release given a large number of live support documents and updated product imagery, while the Sonos Playbase remains shrouded in mystery.

(Thanks Mike!)

philips-hue-tap-app

With the Philips Hue app update yesterday that introduces support for the Hue Tap, retail available is nearly upon us.

The Tap extends control of your connecting lighting beyond the virtual and into the physical realm. As with everything Hue, the Tap light switch is downright pricey at $60. Yet it brings a subtle, sleek elegance as it meets a practical need with some nifty technology. And most impressive is the Taps nearly infinite battery life, rated at 50,000 taps, powered by your finger’s clicky kinetic energy. Beyond that, the small puck ships with four customizable buttons, which can be linked actions, scenes, and recipes… giving you, your spouse, child, or pet sitter a means of control without a smartphone or tablet app.

Each Hue Bridge is capable of supporting up to 32 of these, enough for every wall in the house. As for me, I’m on the fence if I’ll be picking up a single Tap up… I suppose it depends if I expand my Philips smart lighting collection once the less pricey all-white Lux bulbs hit. Continue Reading…