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
101 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
101 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
101 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
101 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
101 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
101 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)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...