Already among the best ways to get into smart home tech, Signify’s Philips Hue smart light bulbs just got a little more beginner-friendly. Where previously buying into the brand’s smart lighting system meant purchasing bulbs and an almost $50 hub, bulbs now work all by themselves via Bluetooth connection to a smartphone. In other words, you can buy a few bulbs, see if you’re into phone-controlled light then make the call to upgrade to the hub.
The most significant difference between Bluetooth control and hub control is range. Using the hub, the Hue bulbs are connected to the internet, allowing you to turn the lights you left on in the morning off from work (or anywhere you have service). Using the bulbs exclusively through Bluetooth means you need to be within 25 to 30 feet of the light to control it. In that sense, the update is a sort of try-before-you-buy feature, lowering the price barrier for smart home tech without sacrificing its peak functionality.
The new Hue bulbs are available for pre-order on Amazon now. They’re set to ship June 30.
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