Philips Hue smart bulbs are getting a huge upgrade, as the bulbs are being outfitted with Bluetooth built in, meaning you can set them up and use them without needing a hub to control them.
It’s a big step as previously buying into the Hue ecosystem required you to drop £50 on a Philips Hue hub, a wince-inducing cost if you want to try out smart bulbs but aren’t entirely certain if they’ll be for you.
Hue is a little behind the times on this as many other smart bulbs also use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to stay connected, but as Hue is probably the best-in-class in terms of app integrations, syncing up with just about everything you can throw at it, this is a stellar upgrade to the bulbs. I’d go as far as saying it was the best upgrade they have ever received.
Related: Amazon Prime Day Smart Home Deals
With these Bluetooth bulbs, all you need to get started is a light fixture, a bulb and a smart phone. However, you’ll lose a few features you get with the hub: These Bluetooth bulbs will have a much shorter connection distance, and because there’s no Hue hub, there’s no way to remotely access them from when you’re out of range, which is a pain if you accidentally leave one on as you’re leaving the house.
However, all of the bulbs are still packing Zigbee, which means you can buy a hub to upgrade your Bluetooth enabled bulbs later, if you find you want the extra control.
Prices on the bulbs will stay largely the same. The A19 and BR30 Hue bulbs are the first to get the upgrade. Expect to pay a little under £50 for a full colour bulb, and as low as £20 for a dimmable Hue bulb with white light. If you’re hoping to get a bargain on some Hue lights, Amazon Prime Day 2019 is going to be a good shout, keep an eye on our hub page for the best deals out there.