Philips has expanded its Hue line of app-controlled lighting with a new bulb, the BR30, which is designed to fit into recessed sockets typically installed in living rooms and kitchens with a standard E26 screw fitting.

BR30 bulbs are designed to deliver 600 lumens of light, similar to the standard Hue bulbs, but the BR30 is a downlight, delivering light in a downward beam rather than providing omnidirectional light. BR30 bulbs provide a full range of color and a full range of white light.

huebr30
Like the original Hue bulbs, and the Friends of Hue LightStrips and Bloom, the BR30 can be controlled through an iPhone or iPad, which pairs with the Hue bridge. In addition to the Philips app, there are several other third party apps also designed to work with Hue bulbs.

Ars Technica went hands-on with the new BR30 Hue lights, finding them to perform as well as the standard Hue bulbs.

The color and intensity of the light they produce is indistinguishable to my eyes from that of the standard A19 Hue bulbs. Tone reproduction is bright and rich, with eye-watering reds, blues, and purples, though the lights have the same problem with deep green as do the standard Hue bulbs (owing to their non-standard LED colors—the bulbs contain lime-green LEDs instead of a darker “normal” green). Transitions between colors are smooth, without any jumping or flashing to odd non-intermediate shades.

The new BR30 bulbs, which can be purchased today from Apple retail stores, are available in a set of three for $199 (bridge included) or consumers can purchase a single bulb for $59.

Top Rated Comments

e-dan Avatar
112 months ago
I do. I have a bunch of these installed already. They are great for mood lighting as you can load a variety of color and intensity profiles.

no light can fix my mood after i payed 199$ for 3 bulbs.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
liven2 Avatar
112 months ago
To expensive

I absolutely love these but they are still way to pricey! When the bulbs get down to less than $20 each, maybe. But at this point I feel this technology is just not affordable for most.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RMo Avatar
112 months ago
Or.... you can buy a regular light bulb and save 100 dollars. Just saying...

Yeah, and replace it a few times a year and spend more on your energy bill. LEDs in general are a bit more expensive, and while Hue takes it to the extreme, LEDs are still a pretty good deal. (Usually, you'd at least break even in the long run compared to incandescents, and you'd give CFLs a run for their money if not the same. I'm not sure that would quite happen with Hue, but you're obviously paying for more than that here.) I'm only surprised that their warranty isn't longer since LED bulbs are estimated to last a decade or two under normal use.

Plus, a regular light bulb obviously can't do all the things Hue can. I bought the starter pack (used, so a bit cheaper) and it's really nice to be able to dim lights in sockets that don't have built-in dimmers and change the color temperature according to my task (warm white for general relaxing, cool white if I'm working, for example--the non-white colors are mostly just for fun, IMHO, and I don't use them a lot). If you're on vacation, you can also turn them on or off remotely either manually or on a schedule to, e.g., make your house look occupied. You can integrate them with IFTTT and, e.g., a smart lock to turn your lights on when you open your door. Plus there's an open API that you can use to make them do about anything you want. I have mine controlled by two Griffin PowerMates.

It'd be nice to see the price come down $10 or $20 or more, but these aren't horrible. The downlight is a nice addition and the same price as the regular bulbs, and they actually produce the same number of lumens at a lower wattage, which is nice. (Honestly, the regular Hue bulbs aren't entirely omnidirectional, but at least these will fit nicely in recessed sockets.)

That being said--I think I'll just stick with my $10 wall-dimmable LEDs I got a few years ago for now in my recessed fixtures. :) Maybe if I need to replace them some time...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SFO 1K Avatar
112 months ago
I have 12 of these hue lights (original design) and look forward to expanding with the new offering. We have lights for morning to drive energy and alertness, lights to calm into the evening, light for "theatre time" when we're watching movies on the big screen, and lights for accent when there's no other reason to customize.

;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macjonny1 Avatar
112 months ago
We’ve got a couple of recessed lights out in the kitchen and these are _so_ tempting. I really dig on creative lighting (we’ve done a few things in the kitchen already).

I guess this does come with the “hub”, and they are LED (so assuming a long life), so not the worst deal.


Have you done any of these BR30 yet? Or the standard “bulb” style? Decent range on the hub?

Good range and adding a light in between extends the range if needed. Mine goes from one floor to the basement no problem.

I have 3 of the standard bulbs from the kit. My kids don't even know why the light changes colors sometime as I haven't told anyone. My 12 year old thinks it is pretty freaky and my 5 year old loves it, they just don't know I'm behind the colors changing. Fun times.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jaro65 Avatar
112 months ago
Who the heck buys these
I do. I have a bunch of these installed already. They are great for mood lighting as you can load a variety of color and intensity profiles.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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