More than 50 Shades of Gray…and Blue…and Red…


As we report on Coolest Gadgets, smartphones and tablets are doing everything these days. Aside from making calls and accessing the Internet they get us to our destinations, play our music, monitor our portfolios and even lock or unlock our houses. In fact more and more devices and apps that help us control our home seem to be springing onto the market. Let’s add another one to the list compliments of Philips.

Today Philips will begin selling their Hue lighting system exclusively at Apple stores. Hue consists of 3 LED bulbs and a controller. Plug the bulbs – currently A shape, others are in development – into the light of your choice. Then plug the controller into your Ethernet connection. Using an app for a smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android) and the built in wi-fi receivers in the bulbs you control the color, brightness, off/on. Really the possibilities are numerous. Imagine reading in the living room. Set a nice mellow hue to create a comfortable environment. But say you want to prevent an all-nighter to finish your book. Program the system to blink or change colors (or go off!) at a certain time. Or maybe you have trouble motivating in the morning. Take your bedroom lamps from 2500K to 3500K and mellow blue to obnoxious red when you MUST leave for work. And obviously with the controller on the home network – yes, you could control lighting remotely. Have the house brightness and color as you desire when you arrive home. Or – mess with your spouse and change it while you are away!

Other specs to know. Three bulbs and the controller run $199 and additional bulbs are $59. Each of the 11 LED’s in each bulb can produce up to 16 million colors. So let’s just say that the color combinations are endless. Each bulb has a 90 foot range and create a network – so they can communicate with each other versus individually with the controller. A single controller can facilitate up to 50 bulbs. The bulbs return to their standard white light and 2700K when turned off at the source. Bulbs only use 8.5W at full brightness – yay LED. And the controller uses 350mW power. So don’t worry about sucking up electricity.

Do we need Hue? Perhaps not. Do we want Hue and see a need for it? Of course. See a full review of the product at And drop into any Apple store to learn more or start remotely controlling your lighting.

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