Although one of the most popular platforms for smart lighting in the market, one of the drawbacks of the Philips Hue system is the need for a bridge. That is, starting with Hue is worth a little more than the competitive platforms, because to control even one light, you need a hub.
But with the new Philips Hue with Bluetooth, Philips makes it even cheaper to refine its lighting by letting users drop the bridge. Now, instead of having to buy and set up a bridge from Philips Hue, Hue with Bluetooth bulbs are basically "plug and play". Simply turn the bulb, turn on the light, and then connect the bulb to your phone with the new Bluetooth Hue Bluetooth application (which is separate from the existing Philips Hue app).
Although these new Hue bulbs connect via Bluetooth instead of using a special hub, you can still use many of the most important Hue intelligent lighting features, including turning lights on or off, adjusting brightness, or change colors through the app, use preset scenes to change multiple lights once and allow multi-user control.
And if you have a smart Google or Amazon speaker in your home, you can connect Hue with Bluetooth bulbs to your optional digital assistant so you can control your lights with your voice.
However, compared to standard Hue lights, Hue with Bluetooth lights have a number of limitations. For Hue with Bluetooth, users can control a maximum of 10 lights at a time while those with standard Hue lights can control up to 50 Hue lights on the bridge. In addition, Hue with Bluetooth lights can only be set as one large room instead of being able to assign lights to specific rooms such as kitchen, bedroom or office as you can with ordinary Hue lights.
And if you go deeper, many advanced features, such as setting timers and sleep combinations, connecting smart lights to accessories such as motion sensors and Hue-compatible wall switches, use Hue Sync to match the color of your lighting with what you're watching, and more all require a Hue Bridge. And a real big player for Apple's smart hosts is that to use voice controls with HomeKit, Hue with Bluetooth will not cut it, you'll need a bridge for that.
Fortunately, for those who start with Hue with Bluetooth, upgrading is as simple as buying a Hue Bridge. From there Philips will transfer users to the standard application and help them connect their lights to the bridge instead of connecting via Bluetooth.
Another limitation for Hue with Bluetooth is that when placing on the market, the only styles you can choose are: A19 or BR30, which are available today in a white, white atmosphere and full color for $ 15, $ 30 and $ 50, respectively. Below, Philips says it plans to release more Hue with Bluetooth lights, but there is currently no timing about when it will happen.
At these prices, Hue with Bluetooth bulbs cost the same as the standard Hue Lights. so the real savings come from not having to buy a Hue bridge that has a retail price of $ 50-60, depending on where you buy. Now you can spend more money on the actual lights and see how you feel about intelligent lights without having to worry about how you have to connect everything together.