Philips was one of the first manufacturers to jump on the smart home trend with its expansive line of Hue smart light products.
While other companies have adopted similar smartphone device strategies over the last few years, Philips set its devices apart by offering smart lights alongside a network connected bridge, giving users a more reliable experience.
Now, with the company’s new Bluetooth compatible smart lights, connecting the Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs to a hub is no longer necessary.
Rather than a bridge that utilizes a Zigbee mesh network, the new Hue bulbs feature Bluetooth. Philips says this eliminates the need for a bridge, but allows the lights to still feature Zigbee connectivity.
Philips says that up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled Hue lights can be controlled with the Hue iOS or Android app, as well as through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled devices. Further, the company claims that the initial smart light setup process is more straightforward now with its new Bluetooth lights if they’re bought directly from Amazon.
It’s worth noting that Philips says a Hue Bridge is currently required for its new Bluetooth smart lights to be compatible with Google Assistant commands. That said, an update is set to release soon that will remove the need for the Hue Hub.
When lights are purchased from Amazon, Alexa completes the initial setup process for you because the bulbs are already directly associated with the buyer’s Amazon account.
Philips’ Hue White and Color Ambiance Bluetooth lights are priced at $59 per light, with Hue White Ambiance lights costing $39.99 and Hue White Ambiance lights costing $39.99.