CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Smart Home

Get a Philips Hue smart-bulb starter kit for $68.99

Originally $130, and now selling for $100 elsewhere, this two-bulb kit gets your smart home off to a -- sorry -- bright start. Plus: Save up to $105 on an Apple Watch Series 3.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!


philips-hue-ambience-starter-kit

For just $69, this kit gets you started with Hue smart-lighting.

Philips

I don't know if I'd call Philips Hue the gold standard when it comes to smart-home lighting, but it's probably the best-known brand and quite possibly the most popular. Look at product reviews on Amazon and elsewhere and you'll see the Hue stuff scores high ratings almost across the board.

Of course, if you're anything like me, you've steered clear of it because of the premium pricing. Today, however, you can get a Hue starter kit at a significant discount: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished Philips Hue White Ambiance Smart Bulb Smarter Kit for $68.99 shipped. That's after applying discount code CHPSKT6 at checkout.

This kit lists for $130 and sells elsewhere -- including Amazon -- for $100. Yes, it's refurbished, with a comparatively limited 90-day warranty. But that warranty comes from Philips proper and the kits look good as new, according to the seller. (I asked.)

They come with two ambiance LED bulbs, the Hue Bridge, which allows you to manage up to 50 bulbs, and a wireless switch.

The bulbs are A19-standard, meaning they can screw into pretty much any lamp or fixture. Because they're ambiance-minded, however, they're best suited for the likes of nightstands, reading lamps and so on.

They're roughly equivalent to 60-watt incandescent bulbs, and you can adjust each one pretty much any way you like within the white-light spectrum: "warm, candle-like tones at one end and cool, bluish-white daylight tones at the other." That's a description from CNET's review of the kit, which found it very good overall, save for a couple minor quibbles.

In addition to all the usual app controls afforded most other smart bulbs (scheduling, away-from-home control and so on), the kit supports all the major smart-home hubs: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

The remote, meanwhile, effectively provides an on-off-dimmer switch you can put anywhere, no wiring required. It also lets you toggle between four lighting presets.

So, yeah: good kit, good deal. I wouldn't pay $130 for it, and even $99 feels like a stretch. But $68 is in my comfort zone for a top smart-lighting brand. Is it in yours?

apple-watch-series-3

You can swap the standard (and ugly) black sport band for something snazzy like this.

Scott Stein/CNET

Bonus deal: OK, folks, you ready for some cheapin' and jivin'? (I have no idea what that means.) I'm going to tell you how to get an Apple Watch Series 3 for as low as $240. Just be prepared: There's some hoop-jumping to do.

Step 1: Head to Kohl's and purchase the Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm) for $359 or the 38mm model for $329. Leverage Ebates to save an extra 3 percent on either one.

Step 2: Claim your $105 or $90 (respectively) of Kohl's cash, which is automatically added to your account upon purchase.

Step 3: Redeem that Kohl's cash between Nov. 8 and Nov. 16, either online or in-store. And this is where you'll have to employ some strategy, because your goal is to purchase something you can turn around and sell (on eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, wherever) for close to the same price. Look for popular electronics, especially if they're on sale. Look for coupon codes that can lower the price even further, and improve your chances of recouping the full cost. And leverage Ebates again, because why not?

Basically, you're trying to turn that Kohl's cash into actual cash. Of course, if you want to shop there anyway for personal items, gifts or whatever, you can skip step 3 and still effectively net that Apple Watch for a hefty discount.