by Brent Dirks
November 5, 2013
The Philips Hue line of app-controllable lighting has taken a big step forward with the addition of three new family members – a BR30 downlight lamp, a GU10 lamp for track lighting, and the Disney StoryLight. First up, the pictured BR30 kit is available for $199.95 at Apple Stores or on Apple’s site now. Buyers will receive three lightbulbs and the ZigBee-based HueBridge. Each additional bulb costs $59.95. Unlike the original set of bulbs, which was released last year, the BR30 lamps are designed for downlight fixtures. Because of that, the bulbs are more omnidirectional and deliver 630 lumens of light output. Each bulb is rated for 15,000 hours of light. The GU10 bulb fits popular track lighting systems. Available in Europe now, it should make its way to the United States sometime next month as a starter kit and a separate bulb option for the same pricing structure. Finally, the DisneyStory Light should definitely pique the interest of parents. The device, shaped like Mickey Mouse ears, combines an app with a Hue lamp that syncs with specific Disney e-books to set the atmosphere. It should be available today, but pricing wasn’t announced. The universal companion iOS app, which is designed for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad/iPad mini, can be downloaded in the App Store now. A major update earlier this year brought several nice new features, including geofencing and increased customization. Because Philips has opened up the SDK to control the Hue system, there are also a number of third-party apps that control the lights, including Goldee. Hitting the App Store last month, the app features 10 beautiful and ever-changing scenes for the lighting system.