The smart home options just keep on coming. The latest is the Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit, which will set you up with three LED bulbs, the "Gateway" hub that serves as their collective brain, and a handy remote control. Setup is a breeze -- just plug in the Gateway, screw in the bulbs, and download the free TCP app to your Android or iOS device. You'll be controlling your new lights within minutes.
As smart lighting kits go, there isn't a lot to dislike about what TCP's offering here. Each bulb gives … Read more
Philips seems to have its Hue smart light bulbs on an ever-expanding trajectory. The newest entrant: the BR30 Connected Downlight Lamp, available as either a standalone bulb for $59, or in a set of three for $199, which includes the Hue Bridge wireless hub.
Other than their bulb design, the smart home basics of these BR30 lights are similar to those of the original Hue Connected Bulb. Connect the Hue Bridge to your wireless network, and then use your smartphone or tablet to control the bulbs with the Philips Hue app. Programming options include an expansive range of colors, from … Read more
LIFX is a Wi-Fi-enabled LED bulb that you can control on your Android or iOS device. Much like the Philips Hue and fellow crowd-funded lighting project Ilumi, LIFX bulbs boast functionality way beyond that of incandescent lights or even other LEDs.
LIFX began on Kickstarter with a $100,000 goal, and ended up with pledges totaling $1,314,542 by the end of its campaign. Though the funding period is over, you can still preorder a LIFX bulb on the Web site for $89. That $89 will net you a highly customizable, energy efficient LED light that claims to last … Read more
Have you ever felt like your Flag Day lights were missing something? Perhaps your kickoff-timed lighting display still needs that fourth color from your team's second alternate European road trip jersey?
Rather than expanding into the galaxy of home automation component devices, Philips is taking a focused approach with its Friends of Hue product line. Hue, of course, is Philips' connected LED light bulb line that debuted last year. The Friends of Hue, at the moment comprising two accessory products, so far stay rooted in the world of LED illumination.
Among Hue's new Friends are the Bloom LED … Read more
Like many of the new breed of user-installable, smartphone-controlled home tech products, the WiFi-connected Philips Hue lighting kit has high geek/novelty appeal. After all, it's a color-changing, LED light bulb package you can program from a smartphone. But beyond its remote on/off and scheduling functions you'll need to get really into the extended features--like geofencing and IFTTT support--to make this kit worth $199.
Those features won't appeal universally, but they will have their niche fans. What house party DJ or dorm room Lothario wouldn't love an automated, multihued mood-setter? For the hyper-connected, setting the … Read more
You geeked out. You showed your friends how crazy it is that you can make the living room purple using your phone. But now, the novelty has worn off and you're wondering, "Why did I buy this again?"
Because the Philips Hue is so much more than a glorified light bulb. In the latest release of the Hue software (coming to Android by October), Philips added a slew of innovative features that finally make the Hue as useful as it is fun.
Remote access Before you can enjoy all of the Hue's features, you'll have … Read more
When you think of the 1980s, certain catchphrases come to mind: "Where's the beef?" "I'll be back!" and "Everybody have fun tonight/Everybody Wang Chung tonight." Even if you're too young to get the final reference, you've probably heard it on a host of CBS shows like "Two and a Half Men," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Big Bang Theory," and many more programs and films. Wang Chung, whose most memorable singles include "Dance Hall Days," "To Live and Die … Read more
Apple released a set of snazzy new iPhone commercials today dubbed "Brilliant" and "Discover" to show off various features and apps on the smartphone.
Choreographed to upbeat music -- the same as its recent iPad ads -- the commercials display the phone in a pair of hands that click, tap, and swipe through various games, apps, and videos.
"Brilliant" highlights how people can use the smartphone to pay for a Starbucks coffee with the Passbook app, use the scientific MyScript math calculator, and control the dimming of a lamp with the new Hue Lighting … Read more
Lightbulbs. Simple, cheap, and easy to replace, right? Not anymore! Philips is dragging the humble bulb into the future with its "Hue" technology -- wirelessly controlled light orbs that give you complete control over the lighting in your house.
The Hue bulbs look like ordinary lightbulbs, and screw into light sockets as normal. Inside each bulb, however, is a wireless transmitter that communicates with a hub you plug into the back of your router.
Once connected, you can use a Web site or download an app (the iOS version is out now -- there's no sight of an Android version, though Gizmodo reports it's coming in December), then use the wonderful power of the Internet to fiddle with the lights in your home. … Read more