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Light Bulbs

GE's smart bulbs are the first to pair seamlessly with Google Home

Just screw them in and turn them on, and they'll automatically pair with your Google Home smart speaker.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

GE's been selling relatively affordable Bluetooth smart bulbs under "C by GE" branding for a few years now. We've long seen potential for the legacy lighting brand to make a strong smart home play with them, but we bemoaned the fact that they didn't work with any larger platforms at launch. The eventual addition of Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls was nice, but you needed to buy a C Reach plug-in hub to get them to work.

google-home-mini-c-by-ge-life-led

This C by GE Life LED is one that will soon pair automatically with Google Home smart speakers. You'll be able to buy it bundled with a Google Home Mini for $55 starting Oct. 22.

GE

Now, GE is taking a big step in the right direction and announcing that its C by GE LEDs will be the first smart bulbs capable of pairing automatically with Google Home smart speakers. 

Just screw the bulbs in and turn them on, and they'll automatically sync up with Google Assistant, provided you've got a Google Home, Home Mini or Home Max up and running under your roof. And yep, the autopairing functionality will work with Google's new Home Hub smart display, too.

From there, you'll be able to ask Google Assistant to turn the lights on and off and dim and brighten them. If you're using the C Sleep version of the bulbs, you'll be able to ask Assistant to change their color temperature between warm and cool white light tones, too. You'll also find controls for all of this directly in the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device, along with options for setting scheduled lighting changes and crafting custom, voice-activated routines.

Even better -- your Home smart speaker will act as a relay and let you access the bulbs even when you're out of Bluetooth range. No additional hub hardware or plug-in device is needed at all. Cya, C Reach.

GE tells us that the autopairing functionality will go live on Oct. 22, the same day that GE and Google begin selling starter kits that bundle a Google Home Mini with a C by GE Life LED. That bundle will sell online and also at the Google Store site, Best Buy, Target and Lowe's at a retail price of $55, which is basically like getting the bulb for $5.

On their own, C by GE bulbs cost a bit more than that -- you can get a two-pack of the standard Life LEDs for $25, and a two-pack of the color tunable Sleep LEDs for $35. (UK and Australian prices and availability were not announced. The bundle's price of $55 converts to about £40 or AU$80.)

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