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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.jpg
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.

Article Link: Philips Expands Hue Lineup With BR30 Recessed Lights
 

e-dan

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2012
15
0
Or.... you can buy a regular light bulb and save 100 dollars. Just saying...
 

kappaknight

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2009
1,595
91
Atlanta, GA
It's a great product when it works... and while I had problems before, it seems to be working more consistently now. I'm glad I got the Hue instead of waiting for the LiFX system, even though it's been very interesting to see them progress and figuring things out.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,807
885
Seattle, WA
Excellent! I've been waiting and hoping that Philips would release a bulb to fit the recessed lights. Will get one immediately for the porch and have it programmed to automatically turn on and off, and can also add light effects for holidays.
 

liven2

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2002
194
68
Bonney Lake, WA
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.
 

e-dan

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2012
15
0
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.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,050
12,455
Vilano Beach, FL
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.

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?
 

macjonny1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
550
57
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.
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,236
254
Iowa, USA
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...
 

acslater017

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2006
710
98
San Francisco Bay Area
For those who are curious, my experience with the regular Hue bulbs has been mixed. I purchased them with a $50 discount but they haven't really delivered what I imagined.

I wanted to wake up to a timed sunrise and all that jazz but the fading timer doesn't even work. It just turns on all of a sudden. The light isn't as rich as I wanted either. Even as a regular colored light, it's too dim. Also, your light switches have to be on at all times for the software/remote to work. The Hue app is a joke as well.

Maybe if I owned a restaurant or other business and wanted some quick colors, it would be worth it. But in my home, where I switch them on and off all the time, there's just too much friction for too little results.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,807
885
Seattle, WA
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?

I haven't done any BR30s as the bulb was just released, though I will go and pick one up today to put on the porch. As far as the regular bulb style goes, yes, I have a number of these installed already. The price is a bit silly, I agree with that, but if one can move past that, this is a really great system. I love how I can automatically load a sunset profile, an evening profile, and later on have everything turned off and only keep several dimmed lights on radiating a calm green color as part of the night profile. At full intensity these lights draw 7W per bulb, and when dimmed they likely go down to 2-4W.

As far as the hub range goes, it seems quite decent, though the bulbs themselves create a mesh network and so the range increases as you deploy more bulbs. This is a great system and can be a lot of fun when combined with other Hue light types (Bloom) and lights trips.

By the way, there are probably hundreds of profiles available on Hue website. They are fun to play with to see what may suit your surrounds and mood.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,827
754
Earth
I have the standard HUE set and I haven't been happier. I don't use the colors too often, but its nice to be able to control all my lights individually from my iPhone and use the IFTT app to setup different options.

I wish the app would allow me to assign bulbs into 'rooms' so I can control a group of lights at once.

Most likely I will get these when I move into my next place. It's probably smart to buy the 3pack - so you have an extra bridge in case the original one goes bad. I wish Philips would sell these individually and also outside the Apple Store. I'm sure if it came on Amazon - the pricing would be a lot better.
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,236
254
Iowa, USA
Also, your light switches have to be on at all times for the software/remote to work.

Yes, in much the same way your TV has to be plugged into the wall for your remote to work. Turning off your physical light switch cuts power to the light, and losing their wireless connectivity and thus the ability to work with Hue software. How else did you expect it to work?

(BTW, my problem here is just that when you turn them on again, they'll default to a warm white temperature. Reasonable for most people, although I wish there was a way to set this.)

The Hue app is a joke as well.

I found it a bit hard to use at first, but it gets better once you figure out how to customize it and do different things. Changing some of the preconfigured settings NOT to affect all my bulbs was the biggest help, next to figuring out how the brightness and color control panels for individual bulbs worked.

Luckily, it has an open API, so there are third-party apps you can use, and you can always write your own if you have any scripting capability at all. (Like I said before, I've got mine hooked up to a couple wall-mounted PowerMates via a Python script.)
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,050
12,455
Vilano Beach, FL
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.

I haven't done any BR30s as the bulb was just released, though I will go and pick one up today to put on the porch. As far as the regular bulb style goes, yes, I have a number of these installed already. The price is a bit silly, I agree with that, but if one can move past that, this is a really great system. I love how I can automatically load a sunset profile, an evening profile, and later on have everything turned off and only keep several dimmed lights on radiating a calm green color as part of the night profile. At full intensity these lights draw 7W per bulb, and when dimmed they likely go down to 2-4W.

As far as the hub range goes, it seems quite decent, though the bulbs themselves create a mesh network and so the range increases as you deploy more bulbs. This is a great system and can be a lot of fun when combined with other Hue light types (Bloom) and lights trips.

By the way, there are probably hundreds of profiles available on Hue website. They are fun to play with to see what may suit your surrounds and mood.

Thanks for the additional info - I didn’t realize each light became a repeater of sorts, very clever. I like really mild lighting, and the colors+dimming seem perfect to me. I’m about to add some new lighting to my office, and may very likely use some kind of hue setup.

:cool:
 

SFO 1K

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2007
26
14
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.

;)
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,128
1,097
no light can fix my mood after i payed 199$ for 3 bulbs.

did you read the article? $199 is for the wireless bridge that controls the system, and three bulbs.

the bulbs are not simply light bulbs, theyre wifi-controlled, programmable, color switching, dimming LEDs. call them smart bulbs if you like. they do things no other bulb can do, and my house is a lot more enjoyable because of it.

if you cant afford them, or they dont offer value to you, thats fine. but i can and they do for me. and hundreds of thousands of other people, judging by the continued expansion of this product line.

----------

For those who are curious, my experience with the regular Hue bulbs has been mixed. I purchased them with a $50 discount but they haven't really delivered what I imagined.

I wanted to wake up to a timed sunrise and all that jazz but the fading timer doesn't even work. It just turns on all of a sudden. The light isn't as rich as I wanted either. Even as a regular colored light, it's too dim. Also, your light switches have to be on at all times for the software/remote to work. The Hue app is a joke as well.

Maybe if I owned a restaurant or other business and wanted some quick colors, it would be worth it. But in my home, where I switch them on and off all the time, there's just too much friction for too little results.

the timers work fine for me.

i agree that they need to come out with more lumens (brighter bulbs). am really digging the LED strip lighting sets. super vibrant.

the app isnt perfect but its basically good enough.
 
Last edited:

musicianm

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2012
89
0
Minnesota
I own the setup too. Currently running 7 bulbs.

Absolutely great system - all my lights are on timers for when I wake up, leave work and get home.

Even have vacation modes that automatically turn lights on and off to look like I am home.

The one thing Philips is missing though- is a standard white on/off bulb.
I don't need to spend $60 a bulb in areas I never plan to change colors with.
If even they did white only for $30 I would outfit the rest of my house with them.

----------

SFO I do the movie thing too!

Apparently there is a way to sync the lights to a philips TV to change colors based on the theme of the movie background/color...

I am curious about this... though if Apple ever does come out with a TV I would prefer to buy Apples.... :)
 

GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
1,632
89
$1800 to put wifi-bulbs all over my house, not including the bathrooms, where mood lighting can be very important. Excellent.
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,509
329
Middle Earth
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.

Patently false. People really aren't motivated by price. They simply need to see a reason for a given product. $20 is nothing. People spend $4 on a coffee because they value that expenditure. Hue sounds like a frivolous purchase until you have a group of bulbs that dim well. This used to be very expensive to add to your home (dimmable bulbs) but now you can have it and colors in an easy to setup package for $60 a bulb that last 15 years. Is it for everyone? No but I doubt you see the technology come down to $20. You have wireless tech and multiple colors that need to be integrated.

For those who are curious, my experience with the regular Hue bulbs has been mixed. I purchased them with a $50 discount but they haven't really delivered what I imagined.

I wanted to wake up to a timed sunrise and all that jazz but the fading timer doesn't even work. It just turns on all of a sudden. The light isn't as rich as I wanted either. Even as a regular colored light, it's too dim. Also, your light switches have to be on at all times for the software/remote to work. The Hue app is a joke as well.

Maybe if I owned a restaurant or other business and wanted some quick colors, it would be worth it. But in my home, where I switch them on and off all the time, there's just too much friction for too little results.

I've noticed as well that the ramp up or down isn't that smooth. I think it's more of a software thing than anything because using the sliders on the iOS app dims with smoothness. I'd like to use the geofencing features more and integrate with IFTTT but right now i'm just happy to have an "scene on and All Off" functionality.

Looking to close on a new home and I think it's got some BR30 pot lights. I'll certainly add more Hue bulbs.

----------

$1800 to put wifi-bulbs all over my house, not including the bathrooms, where mood lighting can be very important. Excellent.

Mood lighting in a bathroom? That's a odd one. I realized quickly that I didn't need Hue bulbs everywhere. But where I have them is very nice. I figure my sweet spot will be around 20 bulbs or so and if I don't have to replace them for 15 years I'm a happy man.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68030
May 13, 2010
2,833
2,059
Washington, DC
no light can fix my mood after i payed 199$ for 3 bulbs.

Won't know until you try.

----------

$1800 to put wifi-bulbs all over my house, not including the bathrooms, where mood lighting can be very important. Excellent.

Compare that to the cost of automating all of those lights some other way and see how it goes.

----------

Thanks for the additional info - I didn’t realize each light became a repeater of sorts, very clever. I like really mild lighting, and the colors+dimming seem perfect to me. I’m about to add some new lighting to my office, and may very likely use some kind of hue setup.

:cool:

It's not a repeater, it's ZigBee - a low power wireless mesh is the main feature of that standard.

----------

For those who are curious, my experience with the regular Hue bulbs has been mixed. I purchased them with a $50 discount but they haven't really delivered what I imagined.

I wanted to wake up to a timed sunrise and all that jazz but the fading timer doesn't even work. It just turns on all of a sudden. The light isn't as rich as I wanted either. Even as a regular colored light, it's too dim. Also, your light switches have to be on at all times for the software/remote to work. The Hue app is a joke as well.

Maybe if I owned a restaurant or other business and wanted some quick colors, it would be worth it. But in my home, where I switch them on and off all the time, there's just too much friction for too little results.

I only use these in my entertainment and music room, where the Logitech harmony remote can control the lighting with the settings of my entertainment system. Also makes for great mood lighting for creativity or just jamming.
 

GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
1,632
89
Won't know until you try.




Sarcasm > logic, every time. ;)

Compare that to the cost of automating all of those lights some other way and see how it goes.

$gazillion dollars for wifi-bulbs all over my house, not including the bathroom, where mood lighting can be very important. Excellent.

----------

I only use these in my entertainment and music room, where the Logitech harmony remote can control the lighting with the settings of my entertainment system. Also makes for great mood lighting for creativity or just jamming.

This explains your earnest defense of the $60 wifi bulbs. ;)
 

smithrh

macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
2,603
1,425
Yeah, and replace it a few times a year

I moved into my new house some 12 years ago now.

I've replaced exactly zero bulbs - and yes, they are all incandescent.

If your incandescent bulbs are burning out a few times a year, you have other problems.
 
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