Regular readers know how much I love smart lights. They give so much versatility to your home’s ambiance and colour. The Philips Hue line is a popular kit that allows you to easily get started with adding smart LED lighting, timers, colours and more to your house. Today, Philips has announced more smart functions are coming to its system, with the addition of a motion sensor for the Hue line.
Philips Hue line includes the Hue bulb starter kit, which can be placed into any regular light bulb socket, allowing lights to be controlled via a smartphone or tablet (or the wall switch). There’s also the Hue Go lamp which I’ve written about previously; it’s actually the light I use to subtly wake me up at my 3am alarm time.
Philips Hue preview; hands-free motion detection
The new Philips Hue motion sensors were demonstrated for me in a private, advance Skype call. The sensors work quickly, triggering the lights to come on in half a second in the live demonstrations I was shown. You can walk into a room, and instantly, any Philips connected lights will come on and allow you to see, without ever touching a switch, or digging for your smartphone.
“The Philips Hue motion sensor not only provides hands-free control but also helps deliver peace of mind. You can be guided safely throughout your home at night with lighting,” said Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader, Home Systems, Philips Lighting. “Plus, you no longer have to remind the kids to turn off the lights when leaving a room. The reliable detection the motion sensor provides when you exit supports this and also helps you be more energy efficient.”
Sensors know if it’s 2am; light adjusts accordingly
Cleverly, these motion detectors also have a daylight sensor, which will adjust the level of light so that if you get up at 2am for a crying baby or to pee, the lights will only come on at a low level so you’re not getting blinded. Now that’s putting thought into your design.
Philips Hue motion sensors are battery powered; no cords!
The detectors are individually battery powered so you can stick them anywhere; wall mount them, leave them on a table, or tuck them on a shelf, or the top of the frame of a painting; you’ve got versatility. With two AA batteries, Philips tells me in our call that the sensors will last about two to three years with ‘average use’ of a few times per day. The sensors are also said to have a great range, and can see about 100° in all directions. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to test these out for myself later in the fall when the sensors become available.
Of course, what colour the lights come on, when, and how is all infinitely customizeable via the Hue app.
Philips enhances colour saturation in Hue line, adds new bulbs
Philips has also re-engineered its Hue line lights to have richer colours than before. Where it was sometimes hard to achieve rich, true saturation, in the newest generation of lights, Philips tells me it’s now been able to achieve far better colour. I hope to be able to compare the new colours (using the old bulbs/lights) in tests later this year.
Philips has also added new bulbs to the line; the GU10, popular in Canada (hallogen fixtures) and the BR30 spot light.
The new Hue motion sensors sell for $39.95 (CDN or USD) and will become available in October 2016.