Yes, you possibly can management the newest Philips Hue smart bulbs with just your smartphone or smart speaker by way of Bluetooth, saving you the price of shopping for the Hue Bridge. But not having the Bridge very a lot limits your choices.
Being a dyed-in-the-wool smart dwelling fanatic with smart lighting in each room of my dwelling, I typically overlook that not everyone seems to be concerned with diving straight into the deep finish of the pool. So I’ve two distinct suggestions relating to the newest technology of Philips Hue smart bulbs: For lovers like me, I say go for it! For of us who just wish to dabble in smart lighting, I say there are less-expensive alternate options if you’re satisfied you don’t wish to wade deeper into the smart dwelling waters.
The high quality of sunshine these new Hue bulbs produce is each bit nearly as good because the bulbs that got here earlier than, they usually have one new function the others didn’t: help for Bluetooth along with the extra sturdy mesh community protocol Zigbee. That change means you possibly can management these new bulbs together with your smart system (or smart speaker) with no need to additionally purchase the Philips Hue Zigbee-to-Wi-Fi-bridge.
On the one hand, that’s nice for dabblers as a result of it should save them at the very least $50 (MSRP for the Bridge is $59.99, but it surely’s typically on sale, and it prices even less when it’s bought in a bundle with the bulbs). On the opposite hand, you should buy a full-color smart bulb just like the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi bulb (mannequin KL130) for about the identical value ($29.99 for the A19 model) as Philips expects to fetch for its tunable-white-only bulbs (you possibly can change the colour temperature of Hue White Ambiance bulbs from heat white to chill white, however you don’t get the colours of the rainbow). If you don’t care about tuning the bulbs’ colour temperature, dimmable Philips Hue White bulbs value $14.99 every—which is about $5 less than what TP-Link expects to fetch for its dimmable white bulbs.
Wi-Fi bulbs just like the TP-Link KL130 (and the LIFX smart lighting lineup) supply one other profit, too. If you’re not utilizing the Bridge, the Philips Hue bulbs’ reliance on the comparatively brief vary of Bluetooth means you and your smartphone must be in the identical room because the bulb you want to management. The similar goes for an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker. A Wi-Fi bulb, in distinction, will probably be restricted solely by the vary of your router. And when you’ve got a very good mesh router, that must be wherever in your house.
Are smart bulbs actually all you’ll ever need?
But earlier than you conclude that Wi-Fi smart bulbs are the best way to go, ask your self when you assume you’ll ever wish to go farther within the pursuit of a smart dwelling. The Philips Hue ecosystem is greater and broader than another smart lighting household in the marketplace; it consists of not just the A19 bulbs you’ll…