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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Light Bulbs

Not just bulbs: Philips Hue rolls out new smart lamps

Ranging from $100 to $280, Philips Hue's new adjustable white-light smart lamps and fixtures can wake you up in the morning or change tones throughout the day.

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The Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair Ceiling Light will sell in a hanging pendant model for $280.

Philips

Philips Hue has been selling smart lights for years now, and not just bulbs -- you'll find Hue-enhanced lamps and fixtures in the product catalog, too. Today, Philips is adding more of both to that catalog.

The new lamps and fixtures fill out Philips' White Ambiance lineup, which means that they don't change colors. Instead, they change color temperatures, offering adjustable white light settings ranging from a warm, candle-like glow up to hotter, more bluish-white daylight tones. And, like the rest of the Hue lineup, they'll work with just about every other smart home service you can think of -- Alexa, IFTTT, Nest, Apple HomeKit, the Google Assistant, you name it.

Here's the full list of Philips' new lights:

  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellness Table Lamp -- $100
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Wellner Table Lamp -- $100
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Being Recessed Ceiling Light -- $200
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair Flush Ceiling Light -- $250
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair Semiflush Ceiling Light -- $270
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Fair Hanging Ceiling Light -- $280

The blobular Wellner table lamp can function as an automated bedside wake-up light.

Philips

The Wellness and Wellner table lamps are your cheapest way in at $100 a piece. Each one includes its own Hue White Ambiance LED, offering tunable white light and 800 lumens of brightness at peak settings.

Of course, a single Philips Hue White Ambiance LED light bulb -- which you can screw into any lamp you like -- retails for $30 on its own. That might explain the unique appearance of these new lamps, but you still have to stretch a little bit to see the value here, especially considering that Philips already sells a wide-range of bedside wake-up lights with built-in clock radios. I'm not sure why they didn't just put Hue connectivity into one of those.

The slick-looking Philips Hue Being ceiling fixtures might be the most interesting lights of the bunch -- but they've got competition.

Philips

The higher-end Being and Fair fixtures are perhaps more interesting, as they both eschew the usual plug-and-play accessory approach in favor of a more built-in, semi-permanent smart home aesthetic. Other products like Lutron's Serena shades and Big Ass Solutions' Haiku ceiling lights have tacked in a similar direction -- the thing I'm watching for is whether or not home builders start integrating products like these into new houses and remodels on a wide scale.

Those Haiku light fixtures might be one of Hue's top competitors here. Like Philips' Being fixtures, they're built-in recessed lights with an elegant design and adjustable white tones. At $150 each, they're also less expensive than the Being fixtures, and include built-in presence detectors capable of turning the lights on automatically when you enter the room. Hue's lights can't do that unless you spend $40 on an additional motion-sensing accessory.

All of the new lamps and fixtures are available for preorder starting today. Expect to start seeing them at retail wherever Hue products are sold by mid-June. Additionally, Philips is also announcing a new White Ambiance version of Hue's smart candelabra bulbs -- they'll join the color-changing version on store shelves this July, and sell for $30 each.