POST A COMMENT

93 Comments

Back to Article

  • Egg - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure how I feel about Anandtech and Ashu Joshi taking what is essentially a 5 week old blog post http://allthingscc.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/philip... adding inline pictures from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashuj/sets/7215763258... doing some edition/revision/expansion work and posting it as an article.

    I don't see Brian Klug posting his reviews on his blog.

    (Note: I am not alleging AnandTech took this without permission. But rather that they're repacking content the author already released.)

    On one hand, both AnandTech and Ashu Joshi are perfectly within their rights to do so. On the other, it's a bit deceptive, and certainly unlike the rest of Anandtech's journalism.

    (Typo: "experience of this lighting system *if* is quite the change from your everyday lights")

    Regarding the content itself, this is incredible niche. I would never use colored lights in my home. I can see them having some business applications, but $60/light is a bit steep.

    Also, for anyone whose interest was piqued by the disclaimer, according to http://www.linkedin.com/in/ashujoshi, Ashu works for Cisco. Tangentially related to this article. Nothing to be concerned about, in my opinion.
    Reply
  • Doken44 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I see your point, but I for one, would never have seen the blog, and am interested to see home automation making bigger steps into the mainstream. Reply
  • ilihijan - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    I just got paid $6784 working on my laptop using these simple steps leaked on this web page. Make up to $85 per hour doing simple tasks that are so easy to do that you won't forgive yourself if you don't check it out! Weekly payments! Here is what I've been doing Epic2.c(om) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I'm not quite sure who contacted whom, but his initial blog post was far less detailed than what we've posted here. Yes, he had the photos, but there's additional information and the text has been heavily edited (mostly by me). It's definitely a niche product, at least from my perspective, but it's also not something we would have normally covered. Since Ashu had the hardware and the knowledge to write about it, and I'm sure most of our readers haven't ever seen his personal blog, I don't really see it as a problem. Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    Agreed.
    I doubt his blog had anywhere near the readership as Anandtech.
    So he detailed the paint job and polished it to bring it in line with Anandtech's standards, then posted the rewrite here where it would reach a much broader audience.

    No legal issue.
    No conflict of interest.
    Plenty of reason to rewrite.
    A subject one wouldn't be surprised to see on a site like Anandtech.
    I find nothing objectionable about this particular situation.
    Reply
  • 2kfire - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Haters gonna hate... Reply
  • Samus - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    people act as if Anandtech is the New York fucking Times... Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Na bro, if they were given a Tesla they would actually test it. Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I didn't see his blog before this email. I found it on his LinkedIn profile. Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Oops, article, not email. Reply
  • Lord 666 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Ok Super Sleuth. On your LinkedIn, does it say you work for the CIA, NSA, or Mossad? Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    None of those.

    I'm in high school.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Oh look a new person posting reviews at Anandtech. Let's be big meanie-heads right away instead of saying hi and welcoming someone who's just getting started. That won't make them jaded or plant the seeds that cause them to feel subversively belligerent toward the readers.

    I, for one, am happy to say, "Welcome Ashu! It's great to see someone new and we look forward to reading your work in the future," even if some people are having a case of the internet grumpy-wumpies.
    Reply
  • Egg - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I didn't comment on this article - at two in the morning - to flame, troll, deface, or hate on Anandtech. I don't think you can accuse me of that, if you look at my language. If you're somehow offended by "a bit deceptive," "I'm not sure how I feel," and "I don't see Brian Klug posting his reviews on his blog," I apologize. Yet I see far, far, worse elsewhere on this site.

    So why did I write a comment, when I should have been studying for a test the day after?

    I've been a reader of many, many, tech websites: Tom's Hardware, HardOCP, The Verge, Engadget, Silent PC Review, techpowerup, AndroidCentral... the list goes on.

    However, there's only one tech website I've continued to read - AnandTech. I read AnandTech because they have some of the most talented people in the industry, Ashu Joshi included. I read AnandTech because it lacks sensationalism and triviality. I read AnandTech because I can be sure everything, short of typos, is correct. I do consider AnandTech to be the "New York Times" of tech journalism.

    That's why I believe what is a valid point can and should be raised. Rational people can disagree on many issues, but here's a different question: isn't at least *knowing* how this article came to fruition better than not knowing? As readers who I like to think are a cut above those of other tech sites, we shouldn't simply ignore these details.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    ''I didn't comment on this article - at two in the morning - to flame, troll, deface, or hate on Anandtech''

    No one said so.

    ''I don't see Brian Klugs posting his reviews on his forum''

    Well that's maybe becuase he's not new to anandtech...

    ''I do consider AnandTech to be the "New York Times" of tech journalism. ''

    That's your perception, doesn't mean everyone thinks this way, proof of that, someone commented on the fact that this isn't the New york times.

    ''Rational people can disagree on many issues, but here's a different question: isn't at least *knowing* how this article came to fruition better than not knowing?''

    Don't think it makes that much of a difference TO ME, anandtech just gave him more visibility and now that he's working here I guess you won't see much ''duplicates'' on Ashi's blog. The knowledge you tried to add here didn't cut it. Proof of it, most of the replies you had were negatives.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Typo error: Ashu's blog :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Just to elaborate on Galidou's response, this is pretty much the way AnandTech functions if you're ever interested in writing for us. Find something you're passionate about and write about it and send it our way. If it's on your blog, that's fine. If the article happens to be about something we haven't covered, we might talk about turning it into an article for AnandTech. As an alternative, do this in the forums and we're looking at the potential for increasing forum post visibility as well.

    Going forward, once you start writing for AnandTech, we would expect the articles to not be posted/reposted elsewhere, so if Ashu writes about LIFX next it would be an AnandTech exclusive. I don't have a blog for example where I post my AnandTech articles, though I'll sometimes link them and I definitely link them on Facebook. But of course, most of this is up to your discussions with Anand when you sign a writer's agreement...what you're willing to do may be different than what others have agreed to.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Egg - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    "No one said so."
    "Haters gonna hate..."
    And the tone of the other responses suggested so.

    "Well that's maybe becuase he's not new to anandtech..."
    So we should treat different writers with different standards depending on how long they've been writing?
    If someone working for a company for 1 year makes the same mistake as someone working for the same company for 20 years, yes, the rookie probably gets off the hook more easily. But they both get their mistakes pointed out just the same.

    "That's your perception, doesn't mean everyone thinks this way, proof of that, someone commented on the fact that this isn't the New york times."
    Yes, I realize that, that's why I mentioned my opinion that AnandTech is the New York Times of tech journalism. By saying otherwise, you're essentially saying that AnandTech shouldn't have the highest standards possible. Something which AnandTech's About page doesn't seem to support:
    "You support us by simply reading the site and we owe it to you to do the best job possible. Our loyalty is ultimately to the readership and not treating you like idiots is the first necessary step to holding up our end of the deal."

    "Proof of it, most of the replies you had were negatives."
    Voluntary response always holds tremendous bias.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    That's all online journalism usually is. Plagiarism. Most blokes online don't even have degrees. People with an education get real jobs! Reply
  • Bladen - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Whom is coping whom?

    Phillips, or LIFX?

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/lifx...
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    The difference being, of course, that LIFX uses a master 802.11n bulb to control all the 802.15.4 slave bulbs instead of an extra controller box plugged in elsewhere. Also, unlike the Philips system, you have to not just have the app but also must be on the network in order to control the bulbs as each of the LIFX slave bulbs will only work with the master bulb which is behind your network password. The Philips system has no such security, which immediately removes it from the running, IMO. Reply
  • xdpfddai - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    This is incorrect. The Phillips controller hub is behind your wireless network, so whatever security you have on that applies. They are both secure. 802.15.4 also applies to ZigBee. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    The controller hub/bulb isn't in question, it's the slave bulbs that I'm concerned about. The article probably needs to flesh out this comment better:

    "Given the use of the ZigBee controller along with the fact that there is no configuration on a per device level to connect it to the network (e.g. you just buy additional bulbs and they apparently broadcast and communicate with any and all Hue devices), we would assume that 50 lights and a single Bridge is about as far as you'll be able to go within a single area. Conceivably, there could also be problems if your immediate neighbor also picked up a Hue—how would the lights know to talk to your Hue network and not his? This is both the blessing and curse of going with an easy to configure technology."

    If your neighbor can buy a Hue Hub and just start controlling your bulbs, then it is certainly NOT secure. LIFX appears to have locked out this capability simply by using the built in 802.15.4 encryption, so perhaps this is a case of LIFX applying the encryption and Philip not.

    "We have considered security. The WiFi connection will use the standard security set-up that you are currently using. Mesh networks based on 802.15.4 will encrypt packets using AES-128. Higher network stack layers will need to handle exchange of security keys and deal with problems like "replay attacks". In short, your lights will be as secure as your home wifi network."
    Reply
  • xdpfddai - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Just RTFM on ZigBee and 802.15.4. In short, they both use 128bit crypto. You don't have to worry about it as the end user either. If anyone is going to do their due diligence, it's going to be Phillips. You need to realize that both LIFX and the Phillips implementation are 802.15.4. Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Last time I checked zigbee uses a four digit, numerical key to identify mesh networks. Not exactly secure. Reply
  • iamezza - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    So someone could hack into your light system and screw with your lights? Not really a big deal TBH. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I think that the technology is almost there, but the price isn't. For this to be a reality for normal users, each bulb would need to be in the $10-$20 range, and would only really gain widespread acceptance if each bulb was below $10. To me, these really only make sense if you have a small apartment or something and can easily light it with 3-5 bulbs total, and even then its a significant expenditure. Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    The zigbee radio's and high output RGB LED's are a significant additional cost (compared to the $10 RGB IR controlled globes you can but for $5 - $10). Neither item is mass produced on the scale that truely reduces their price. Reply
  • Ualdayan - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    There are cheaper Zigbee bulbs. I saw on another site somebody mentioned Limitless LED that are only $57 for 2 bulbs+wireless bridge for phone/tablet, and $19 per additional bulb. Now - they only offer a 3 year warranty (Hue is 5 years I believe), and from what I've read their software isn't as 'fun' as Hue's. Eg nothing like Hue's ability to set a 'beach' mode, 'reading' mode, or 'sunset' mode. Let's face it - nobody needs these - they're just for fun. With that in mind I think personally even at double the price I'd go for the ones that have software that is more 'fun'.

    I just have too many other things I know I should replace before having fun with lightbulbs.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Except, not really, because at that price it's going to have an exclusive audience.

    Something that I did't quickly find in the review is the quality of the actual bulbs. (Considering that this is the business end of the product, I should be able to?)

    The controller itself certainly is interesting, but then it's "merely" Zigbee in a box.

    A comparison to similarly specced non-smart LED lights would have given a better price differential for the smartness.

    Also, I can't really come up with a use case. For me, the light in a room is always tailored to the room. The only reason to use this kind of semi-smart light, is if you have limited rooms, and need to multipurpose them, by varying the lighting. Then of course, you don't need nearly 50 lights.
    To me this looks like the answer to a question nobody asked.
    Reply
  • colinw - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I was kinda hoping for some cool pictures of coloured lights. Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I dropped a bit over $400 to give these a shot late last year. Thankfully, I can afford to do nerdy stuff like this, but in any case, I have 7 lights connected to my bridge, 3 in my living room, 1 in my entry way, hallway, and each bedside lamp has one.

    My SO and I both have control over the system with our Androids, and I also use my iPad to configure, customize, and program "cycles". As in, lights dim at certain times, lights go out at certain times, and I can have all or some of my lights turn on before I even walk in the house - in any color, configuration, and at any brightness I want.

    I love the damn things, and everyone I've showed them to want in as well. Of course that all changes when I tell them the entry cost. Definitely a niche product right now, but so damn cool.
    Reply
  • superflex - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Whoa big fella.
    You forgot to mention your Tesla Models S and retina MBP.
    Image is everything.
    Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Not at all what I was trying to imply, I just like stuff like this, and at the time I could pull it off, so why not? Reply
  • Kranin - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I’m with you, brother. Purchasing three quality LED 60W (equivalent) standard bulbs is going to run you roughly $45 anyway. Though I would have a hard time justifying the expense if I had already converted my home from incandescent to LED, it makes the cost of entry that much more reasonable. You don’t have to be a billionaire playboy to justify spending money on something that is fun and functional. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Be nice.

    My wife and I thought they looked pretty cool. I wasn't sure what I would use them for though. When do you actually use the color changing? My main concern was that after a week or two I'd just use them like normal light bulbs.
    Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    The idea is to use the bulbs to match your existing decor. So you take pictures of your living space, load them in the app, then drag the bulbs around the different areas of the picture to accent your room. The color matching can be impressive.

    For example, we have some plants by the window and one of the bulbs over there does a bright green that makes the entire area glow with life.

    All of our walls are painted different colors as well, so it's great to match a blub in a certain area to the paint...everything gets amplified and the effect is pretty bad ass, but you can also contrast as well. When you have 4 or 5 bulbs to work with in one room, you create any number of "scenes". Great for parties.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    That makes sense. Might actually be fun to try out. Reply
  • Rasterman - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    I didn't see in the article how they operate on a switch. Obviously if your switch is off the light is off no matter what, if you turn the switch on do they automatically come on then, or do you have to toggle the switch on/off/on to get them to come on? Reply
  • UberLaff - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Can you imagine how cool it would be if the lighting of your room matched what was on your TV?

    This is going to be killer when we get some compatibility with your home entertainment center. Controlling it manually is cool... but the future is when it changes the mood of your room based on the content you are consuming.
    Reply
  • WeaselITB - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    They (Philips) have already demonstrated this technology with their Ambilight line of products -- http://www.research.philips.com/technologies/proje...

    -Weasel
    Reply
  • Gunbuster - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Really confused why you would have a multiple page review and not include any pictures or video of the bulbs in action. Reply
  • jginnane - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    We've installed extensive LED downlighting in our home using Cree LR6 and CR6 modules. The color temperatures for each are either 2700K (warm) or 3000K (cool).

    We also spent a month in China recently, and were surprised to find so few incandescent bulbs still in use. Residential lighting is practically 100% LED by now, from Chengdu to Shanghai. Only in places where the infrastructure was developed much earlier, like Hong Kong SAR, do you still find some "old" lighting fixtures.

    The Philips controller system reviewed here is enjoyable for its novelty. But in day-to-day practice, you're going to keep a very narrow band of lighting (color and "temperature") for daily use: warm for morning and evening; cool for maximum efficiency in peak times. (Think of it as 100-watt bulbs in your living room versus fluorescents at work.) Barring extreme OCD, you're not going to dial spectrum changes up as more than a seasonal event.

    So the automation/connectivity issue is about as important as putting wifi in your fridge or oven. (Not!) You are far more likely to be researching improvements in LED efficiency at your Home Depot or Lowes than maximizing the potential of your home lightbulb network.
    Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    The purpose of the novelty is to take pictures of your decor, load it into the app, and match the color palette to your bulbs. It's primarily accent lighting if you ask me, but if needed can operate normally as you suggest, such as the preloaded Relax (warm, dim) or Concentrate (max white, bright) modes. Either way, I don't think Philips is marketing this for the Home Depot crowd, or for the LED efficiency aspect of it. These are just toys. Reply
  • jginnane - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    It was on my third pass through the article that I found these bulbs are ""60-watt equivalent" -- determined by getting the maximum Kill-a-Watt draw, 5.4 watts, and "55-watt savings" touted later. So three Philips 60-watt bulb equivalents are nearly sufficient for low ambient lighting in a small room, not focused task lighting (like reading). (Claimed output my Philips of 600 lumens apiece.)

    Yes indeed -- unfortunately -- this Philips package just represents toys at this stage. Besides the high initial price of LED lights, other use considerations are max output and dimming ability. Many companies besides CREE and Philips did not have any dimming ability at all in their first-gen US consumer products. (Note that most LED + Lutron switch dimming combos only go down to about 20% power, then the LED modules start to "fizzle and spark" at lower power draws. If you have good existing wiring, like from incandescent cans you're replacing, you may have to progressively try lower-capacity dimmers because you're drawing maybe 20-40 watts in a room originally specified for 400-700 watts of incandescents.)
    Reply
  • melgross - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately, without having a lumen rating, that number isn't very useful. I find that it can vary all over the place. So that approximately 60 watt number can vary by 50%. Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    On Concentrate mode, I'd assert that the brightness is between a 60w-75w standard bulb, but closer to the 60. It's more than bright enough for reading. It's definitely not low ambient lighting at it's peak output, but it's also no where close to a 100w bulb. Those things burn my eyes anyway.

    But like I said, I don't think this particular product is designed for doing your entire house for a home improvement project, it's personal accent lighting for, dare I say, tech enthusiasts. I set moods and change colors frequently just because I can and it's fun. The deep purples and blues are room saturating. Great for parties and alerting your loved ones that you're just about to walk in the front door.
    Reply
  • melgross - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I'd still like to see a lumen test done. I could do it, but I don't need this product, so I don't want to spend that much just for that. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    My local Home Depot had the CR-6 at $25, so I bought 8 of them. I wish I bought more since the price is back up to $35. I need 27 of them to convert my whole house. The CR-6 is a much better deal is you have recessed lighting (vs. these Philips bulbs). I've been very happy with the CR-6, and like being able to finally have a dimmer in some of my rooms. Reply
  • BravoRomeo - Sunday, April 07, 2013 - link

    Yes, the CREE CR-6 is excellent. Like the Hue, it uses a combination of different color LEDs to produce a smoother and fuller spectrum of light, so colors look richer... Quite similar to incandescent and halogen. Having a CRI (Color Rendering Index) greater than 90 is important to me. I never got used to the poor CRI of CFLs. A lot of the cheaper LEDs use single phosphor chip LEDs, which is not much of an improvement over CFLs.

    I have several CR-6s installed, and now I'm looking for similar quality for floor lamps and such. Hue is impressive, but added complexity. I'd really like something like Hue or the CR-6 that can truly emulate the incandescent bulb: the color should drift orange as the lamp is dimmed... Perhaps add a simple slide switch to enable that feature as well as choose cool, neutral, or warm color.
    Reply
  • melgross - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I began moving to compact fluorescents a couple of decades ago, and now I'm moving to LEDs. Until recently, LEDs have been too expensive ($125 for a 450 lumen bulb), but have dropped considerably ($30 for an 800 lumen bulb). One problem was that the brightness of LED bulbs weren't really known because standards weren't there, or being followed. I'm now finding that they are.

    I've experimented with a lot of these over the years, including naked chips up to 100 watts (vast light output, but terrible color, and requiring a massive heatsink. Which reminds me, the reason why these bulbs weigh so much is because of the heatsinks. That rear portion of the bulb is an aluminum casting, which you can tell by tapping on it. LEDs do get very hot. It's the lack of infrared light in the output that keeps LED light cool. But the LEDs need a sink for the self heating they undergo (a major reason why OLED phone screens are so dim. The hotter an LED gets, the shorter the lifespan, and OLEDs can't run nearly as hot as can these silicon, carbide, etc. models can.)

    But one disappointing part of this review is the lack of information as to the output of these bulbs. ARsTechnica also did a review of these some months ago. I don't remember if they said what the output is. Without knowing that, it's difficult to know how useful these are. For some people, dim rooms are fine, but for others, the room must be bright. So what are these equivalent to? Are we getting 400 lumens, 500, 600?
    Reply
  • BravoRomeo - Sunday, April 07, 2013 - link

    Philips specs the Hue at 600, depending on color temperature. Supposedly it derates itself if it gets too hot, so you might loose some brightness in a poorly ventilated fixture.

    I found the Hue bulbs comparable to a 60W GE Reveal incandescent. In fact, it was able to tune the color of Hue to exactly match the Reveal bulb, but without the heat... All you do is shift the hue a notch or two towards red/yellow and away from green, and a touch less saturated, which is what the filtering on the Reveal bulb does. Very impressive.
    Reply
  • foxalopex - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I've bought a few LED bulbs over history and they've impressed me. They're definitely the next generation compared to compact fluorescents. They turn on instantly and you never have to worry about breaking the bulb if you turn it on and off a lot. Granted there are some problems too. Cheapo LED bulbs like the ones you can get from Walmart sometimes have the problem of the ballast dying if used for a long time. I have some expensive ones too and they've worked great except for slight FM radio interference. They're also horrifically expensive but that's not a surprise since the LED components are pretty pricy. Still I think it's just a matter of time. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Changing colors don't seem very useful unless the user is on LSD, but being able to red-shift home lighting after sunset could be very helpful for people who have trouble sleeping.

    Installing f.Lux on my PC to dim and redden the screen at night has greatly improved my ability to fall asleep, and I'd like to do the same with all my lighting.
    Reply
  • halbhh2 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    "not to mention compared to incandescent lights you’re already cutting power use per light by about 55W, so it should come out as a large net savings..."

    'should' ??

    Not.

    Why did the reviewer stop there, without doing the very easy math?

    Perhaps because the real cost comparison is the *opposite* in reality.

    For instance, you might run 10 bulbs an average of 10 hours a day 365/year, saving about $200 on electricity in 1 year vs. incandescent.

    And incandescent is *not* even the competition here, since most households run a mix of bulbs which include numerous compact flourescents. That's the real comparison.

    In other words, the opposite conclusion is more valid: instead of a "large net savings" expect a *significant net cost*.

    And that's fine if you really want these. Just don't fool yourself into thinking you are saving money.

    Shame on the reviewer.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Full quote instead of your ellipses:

    "For the Starter Pack and three bulbs, you’re looking at around $1 per year, not to mention compared to incandescent lights you’re already cutting power use per light by about 55W, so it should come out as a large net savings (though not compared to running non-connected LED lights everywhere)."

    Obviously, we could have listed CFLs along with LEDs, but that's not the point. The point is whether the additional power draw incurred by the use of ZigBee (home automation) is a concern, and the answer is that no, it's not. Compared to CFL (14W), even running 24/7 for a year you'd only be spending an extra $7-$8 per light. If you can get the CFL for about $2 compared to $60, you might break even over the life of the bulb but probably not. But then, a $2 CFL doesn't offer the colored lighting options or home automation, which is the main attraction here.
    Reply
  • halbhh2 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Ok, but I just did not read it that way, and I'm not a poor reader. Perhaps you should clarify the text, so that it doesn't give the wrong impression. Reply
  • Qwertilot - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    Surely the energy use should be a concern?

    Its seemingly 0.4 watt continous vs 5 watt for the actual bulb, so if the light bulb is on for an average of two hours a day you've just *doubled* its yearly power usage. For many bulbs it'll be worse than that.

    While the overall amounts aren't massive it really does seem to be horribly gratitious.

    If this is going to scale out to whole houses/lots more devices then it badly needs some way to power the radios almost entirely off when not required. Some master controller device and a mode where they poll every minute or something.
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    You could help save energy with them in other more unusual ways... I have mine set to turn off automatically when I leave my apartment which guarantees I can never leave them on by mistake - Using a proximity app that senses if my iPhone is in range. And my hallway light comes on to greet me when I get home after a certain hour. Of course, running a server to handle that easily negates that power difference (of course the server is for a myriad of other purposes and not just for home automation control). Reply
  • glugglug - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    > And incandescent is *not* even the competition here, since most households run a mix > of bulbs which include numerous compact flourescents. That's the real comparison.

    Which brings up what for me is the main flaw in this product.

    The bulbs are type A (LED approximation of a standard light bulb).

    Most fixtures where you would use that type of bulb have a cover over them so a CFL is suitable and already uses almost the same power as an LED.

    This would be a lot better if they made the bulbs for PAR30/PAR20/PAR38 where LEDs are a much better fit, and the only 2 real choices are LED or incandescent/halogen, because CFLs are absolutely blinding in those types of fixtures.
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    I think the main purpose for this product is the remote control and ability to dynamically adjust the color. "Fun" as it were. The energy savings over incandescent (if anyone still uses those) is more of a bonus. I have a couple of them in floor lamps (with the plastic "bowl" at the top) and they work fine in those, not ultra bright but bright enough for my needs. And again, a lot of fun to be able to bathe my room in blue light leaning back listening to music or what have you. Reply
  • Drizzt321 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Given that I have a Pre3 with webOS, NOBODY has an App for my device. So can I set these up without the app? Is there a web interface that I can use? Or would I have to rely on the hacked HTTP control commands? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    If you don't have a smartphone, tablet, or iPod Touch, it appears you'd have to go the hacked support route. Ashu can correct me if I'm wrong. :-) Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    Yeah, you'd have to get a hacked app running on a computer with which you could create a web interface... I did this with my set, there is a handy perl script out called Huepl that lets you control most aspects of the lights from command line commands, so I made a web interface "remote" so i could control the lights easily from any device (the phillips app lets you finely adjust colors and color sets but it isn't as handy and of course it doesn't run natively on a desktop computer). Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    wholly crap, that a lot of lumens...I'm not sure I have any place to put a 2800 Lumen bulb (and it doesn't look like you can dim it) except in my garage. I guess if you only have 1 or 2 light fixtures in a room it would work. Reply
  • Ninhalem - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/in-living-c... Reply
  • Digital Deus - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    There needs to be an easy way to locally control the light, either at the lamp or on the wall. Having to use an app all the time just to turn on the kitchen light is a non starter. Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    You can still turn on the lights by flipping the switch as you normally would. You just won't be able to dim it or change colors, it acts as a normal bulb at that point. Then as soon as you activate the app, you're in complete control again. Reply
  • Digital Deus - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    The light always needs to have power. When you turn it off using the switch it's useless as a remote controlled light. The wall or lamp switch needs to be ZigBee. Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    That's what I just said. If you need the immediate gratification of lighting, then you can just flip the switch on and use it as a regular old bulb. If not, just take the 10 seconds to use the app and perform the same action, but with more options. Not sure what the issue is here. Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I think I understand your concern. Yes, to have full remote control at all times, the switch for the lamp needs to be in the ON state. But if you just need a quick light but don't want to bother with using the app, you can just use them like a regular bulb, instant on, instant off.

    I do this quite a bit in the morning. But, I could just as easily schedule some on and off times that coincide with my routine.
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    Right, if you just want the light on NOW, you could just flick the switch off and back on again and it would turn on in regular "incandescent emulation" mode. It's only the other scenario that would be annoying, if you wanted a light off NOW, so you flick the switch, but later on you'd have to go back and turn it on. Luckily though i can think of far fewer reasons i'd want to turn a light off urgently. (and i have other much quicker ways of remotely turning off the lights than the philips app - through a computer web interface or in some cases i have them set to turn off when my phone (and hence me) move out of my home out of bluetooth range). Reply
  • georgewedding - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    1. What color temperature settings (degrees Kelvin) are supported? Can users set the bulbs for 6,500K, 5,000K or 3,2000K color temperature?

    2. Do the bulbs maintain these color temperatures when dimmed? What about as the bulbs age? And what is the projected lifespan of the bulbs?

    3. What is the lumens output?

    4. What is the resulting illumination level falling on a surface (lux) if the bulb is installed in standard( 8-foot) ceiling fixture?

    5. What is the base style? A19? Are the bulbs spots or floods? (They appear to be flood lights). What is the beam spread at an industry standard installation height?
    Reply
  • degobah77 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Personal accent lighting. Read the other comments. This isn't a commercial product. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    2 hune dolla!..., fo three bulb...no. Reply
  • I am as mad as hell - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    When is this current thingy going to be replaced by Disqus or something similar? Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    Are you sure this guy is a network expert Anand? I'm just a lowly pass average elec eng undergrad and even I know that zigbee supports multiple mesh networks in the same area on the same frequency. When you configure a zigbee mesh deivce you give it a network number. The radio then ignores or relays messages for other networks (depending on the radio's configuration).

    Zigbee is a low bandwidth, 2.4 GHz protocol. It is designed to ensure data is received. Xbee Pro modules (one implimentation of Zigbee) can send coherent line of sight signals over more than a mile.

    Quote:
    What isn't clear is whether or not you can increase the total number of devices by adding additional Bridges to the location. Given the use of the ZigBee controller along with the fact that there is no configuration on a per device level to connect it to the network (e.g. you just buy additional bulbs and they apparently broadcast and communicate with any and all Hue devices), we would assume that 50 lights and a single Bridge is about as far as you'll be able to go within a single area. Conceivably, there could also be problems if your immediate neighbor also picked up a Hue—how would the lights know to talk to your Hue network and not his? This is both the blessing and curse of going with an easy to configure technology.
    Reply
  • Stuffster - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    After reading about these bulbs (closer to 50W each according to the math), my first thought was: what, if anything, can Philips/Google/Apple/whoever glean from my use of the app ?

    Are any/al of the changes I make in the app visible to these companies (or anyone listening in, such as the NSA :-))? Up till now it's only my electric company that has been remotely in the loop on such things.

    I'd be particularly concerned about this when in wifi mode, where I'd expect that no data would need to exit my home. What's the scoop?
    Reply
  • chstamos - Saturday, March 02, 2013 - link

    There is a kickstarter project called "LIFX" that is based on the same basic principles (although their bulbs are supposed to utilize wifi, not zigbee). Unfortunately, judging from the "pledges" they don't seem to be much cheaper. Though, on the bright side (gettit? gettit? ;-) ) they seem to offer notifications via blinking home lights, and that's pretty nifty..... Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    You should be able to get your hue lamps responding to whatever as well, there may already be implementations of that using the hacked protocol they use - at least anything a computer can script can control the lights. But yeah you're right, i looked at LiFX but they aren't any less expensive than Hue, and Hue is actually available... Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    I didn't see any whining and complaining about LUXURY item or product ?!

    What's going on here ?

    Did our usual crybaby posting crew defer their usual stank to a knee jerk reflexive Apple muzzle worship ? I doubt that - maybe they just brainfarted out.
    Reply
  • glugglug - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    The extra weight is normal for LED lights, programmable or not, as LEDs don't work as well when they get hot, so LED light bulbs have hefty heatsinks.

    A decent LED bulb goes for $30-$40, especially if you try to get a warm white close to incandescent color instead of the typical painful bluish, so $60 for color adjustable LEDs is actually quite reasonable.

    In areas like NYC where the ConEd prices are highway robbery at face value, and they multiply that by claiming you use several times more than you do, a $60 LED bulb can pay for itself in 2 months if you use it 24-7.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    Philips was already in home automation before this with their Pronto remotes. They got out of that due to lack of profitability a bit over a ago year now.

    While home automation is nice, I personally do not see the need for lights that change color. For people who experience seasonal affective disorder, this package might be the worst thing that they could do for themselves as "daylight" light sources are the best for them.

    IMHO, the changing color aspect is marketing bling that Philips is adding to a high-priced product to market it to the masses. As I see it, the price of this product resides in the cost of the LED lights. One might be able to find a simpler and lower cost home automation starter kit, and then put LED bulbs in where they make sense - this approach, however, would abandon the changing color LEDs which may be of little use to most people anyway other than for novelty uses.
    Reply
  • glugglug - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    1. Instead of the LED approximation of a standard light bulb (which they do poorly due to the heatsink affecting the form factor), make the bulbs available in PAR30 or other PAR form factors, which LEDs exel in, and which is typically used for recessed ceiling lighting for a greater effect on room ambiance.

    2. Provide an API for controlling them which can be integrated into an Windows audio filter driver or WMP visualization for the full disco effect.

    If both of those were in place, I'd probably get 15 of the bulbs for my basement.
    Reply
  • shriganesh - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    What a nice and detailed and clean article! Thanks a lot Ashu Joshi! Keep up the great work. I never thought of the neighbor's commands interfering with ours! Reply
  • sotoa - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    Can these be used outside? Like to light up the front porch? For example, I can see changing the lights to Green for St. Patrick's Day, or Orange for Halloween, etc. What do you think?

    Are these bulbs equivalent to a 60 watt incadescent? I wasn't quite clear on that.
    Reply
  • Velocialume - Thursday, March 07, 2013 - link

    So this is the third review I've read for the Hue system.. I'm about to purchase it, but I can't seem to find confirmation that you can in fact, have the bulbs cycle colors autonomously. I really like the idea of having a sort of dreamscape type room with each bulb gradually changing color every few minutes.

    Either I'm blind or inattentive, but I haven't seen this feature mentioned in any review. Is this possible?
    Reply
  • Ualdayan - Monday, March 11, 2013 - link

    While I researched them like you are doing (I went ahead and ordered some btw) I found that they basically respond to HTTP POST commands (that's what he meant by open source). That means a simple javascript running on one of your computers could cycle through the different colors on all the lights for you. Take a look at every hue for ideas. (Funky comment system claimed it was spam when I tried to type the URL in an easily clickable link for you) Reply
  • mgc8599 - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    The power consumption figures seem incorrect to me. Kill-A-watt is showing current reading as 0.08 to 0.09 amps so the power draw should be (0.08*110=8.8 w or 0.09*110 = 9.9 w) and not 5.4 w which gives 60 to 67.5 volts. also in off state the power draw will be (0.01*110=1.1 w or 0.02*110=2.2 w) and not 0.4 w as written because it gives 20-40 volts. Reply
  • random2 - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    "...they’re quite a bit heavier than a typical light bulb. Most likely the added weight comes from the controller and antenna necessary to talk to the network, and possibly the addition of multi-colored LEDs adds a bit as well..."

    If this has already been posted in the comments my apologies.

    I believe these are heavy in part because household 120v current needs to be stepped down to a DC supply for these LED lamps. meaning each lamp has a transformer.
    Reply
  • Franks8519 - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    A practical question. Has anyone used these in a 6" ceiling can? It looks like they might be too small to be effective. I love the concept, but do they get lost in a 6" can? Reply
  • BravoRomeo - Sunday, April 07, 2013 - link

    You could use the Hue bulbs in a 6" can, but they would have about the same soft/diffuse lighting effect as installing a bare 50W frosted incandescent or a 12W CFL spiral. Adding a parabolic reflector trim would help direct light downward, as without such, much light is wasted into the can and would be disappointing.

    A better solution, if you don't need the color changing, is the Cree CR6 LED retrofits, which are available at Home Depot for $25 to $35 (as well is a smaller 4" retrofit). Excellent color rendering with Cree's "TrueWhile" led array, dim ability, and they look great since you get a new trim as well. Cleverly, the included white trim is part of the heat sink for the LEDs. I installed two in my bathroom and am very pleased. It would be nice if Philips brings the Hue technology to a similar format.

    Philips have said they are working on other bulb formats for Hue, including the venerable BR30 commonly used in 6" recessed can lights. If they can get them as bright as the Cree solution, I might be interested. I'd also like to see some emphasis on more directional lighting, which in both track and recessed applications adds much visual drama to interior lighting design. I love those Halo recessed fixtures with the hidden aimable MR16 bulb... $200 per fixture, but great for illuminating artwork without drawing attention to themselves.
    Reply
  • Sascha Schweitzer - Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - link

    With the Hue Alarm Clock app you can now set wake-up timers on Android. Really missed that feature in the Philips app... Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now