Philips Hue vintage-style bulbs leak online, reportedly coming in September
A new Philips Hue smart plug and new bathroom fixtures are also reportedly on the way -- and the rumor is that some will support Bluetooth, letting you skip the Hue Bridge.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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Editor's note, June 27: Philips Hue has released new smart bulbs with added-in Bluetooth support, confirming one part of this report. Still no word on new filament-style Hue bulbs or any of the other new products rumored to be coming this fall.
The other big eyebrow-raiser: All of the new bulbs and the new Hue Go will reportedly include Bluetooth radios. Sounds like Signify (Philips Hue's parent company) wants to give people a way to connect with the bulbs right out of the box without needing a Philips Hue Bridge plugged into their router -- though you'll almost certainly still need the Bridge if you want to take full advantage of all of the Hue platform's tricks, features and integrations with third-party devices.
On top of that, the products just make sense. A smart plug that would let you automate lamps right from the Hue app would be a welcome addition to the lineup, and new bathroom light fixtures should help complement the Hue Adore smart mirror in high end smart homes where bathtime comes with its own lighting scene.
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As for the vintage-style bulbs, which arrange the light-emitting diodes into a faux-filament to mimic the look of old-fashioned Edison bulbs, they'd fit right in with a growing trend. Seriously, take a stroll through the lighting aisle at Home Depot or Lowe's sometime -- the things are everywhere, including vintage-style bulbs of all shapes and sizes from Philips itself. Adding an automatable Hue version to go up against other programmable vintage-style bulbs from names like Sylvania seems pretty close to a no-brainer. iCulture adds that we should expect to see three different shapes for the bulbs: small, large and elongated.
Just don't expect them to change colors anytime soon. The light-emitting diodes inside of color-changing LEDs don't actually change colors -- instead, the bulbs use a mix of red, green, blue and white-light diodes at different intensities to create their millions of different color options. That's all well and good when the diodes are hidden and diffused beneath a bulb that isn't clear, but with vintage-style LEDs, the diodes are meant to be seen. If they changed colors, you'd have different parts of that fake filament lighting up for different colors, sort of like a weird, gap-toothed grin.
The real question is whether or not the entire lineup of new products will actually make it out of Europe and over to the US. I'd say that the vintage-style bulbs, the smart plug and the new Hue Go are all safe bets to make it across the pond, but I'd wager against those new bathroom lights. In the past, sources at Signify have conceded to me that they don't see as much demand for fixtures like those in the US as they see in Europe.
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We'll know more this fall, when we'll have boots on the ground in Berlin once more to track all of the new lights down to give you a good look. For now, here's the full list of rumored new products, as reported by iCulture:
Philips Hue White GU10 LED (updated design with Bluetooth): Coming September for 19.95 euros (approximately $22)
Philips Hue White Ambiance GU10 (updated design with Bluetooth): Coming September for 29.95 euros (approximately $34)
Philips Hue White & Color GU10 (updated design with Bluetooth): Coming September for 59.95 euros (approximately $67)
Philips Hue White Filament LED with Bluetooth: Coming September for 19.95 euros (approximately $22 )
Philips Hue White Elongated Filament LED with Bluetooth: Coming September for 24.95 euros (approximately $28)
Philips Hue White Large Filament LED with Bluetooth: Coming September for 29.95 euros (approximately $34)
Philips Hue White Candelabra LED with Bluetooth: Coming September for 19.95 euros (approximately $22)
Philips Hue Go (updated design with Bluetooth): Coming October for 79.95 euros (approximately $90)
Philips Hue Fugato spotlights: Coming September from 89.95 euros (approximately $101)
Philips Hue Argenta spotlights: Coming September from 89.95 euros (approximately $101)
Philips Hue Centura recessed spotlights: Coming September from 64.95 euros (approximately $73)
Philips Hue Adore mirror lamp: Coming September from 149.95 euros (approximately $169)
Philips Hue Adore bathroom spotlights: Coming September from 49.95 euros (approximately $56)
Philips Hue Smart Plug: Coming at an unspecified date for 29.95 euros (approximately $34)