Xiaomi’s new Mi LED Smart Bulbs are MUCH cheaper than Philips Hues

Getting your living room to light up like a hyperactive gaming laptop is about to get a whole lot cheaper, thanks to Xiaomi’s Mi smart bulbs.

Announced at Mobile World Congress 2019, the new Xiaomi bulbs will cost just €19.90 – roughly £17 – when they go on sale.

Compared to the £45 average asking price for a Philips Hue Colour Ambiance bulb, that’s a huge saving.

Announced at Xiaomi’s press conference, where the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G and Xiaomi Mi 9 were also unveiled, the Mi LED Smart Bulbs can be controlled either with the Mi Home iOS and Android apps, or Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Xiaomi Mi LED Smart Bulb

Using either your voice or your phone, you’ll be able to dim the lights, turn them on and off, or pick from 16 million different colours.

16 million is the same colour range offered by Philips’s Hue bulbs. That said, it’s unclear if the apps and voice assistants will let you create light recipes – where bulbs shine different colours to create different ‘moods’ in different parts of your home – or if the app will be as easy to use as Philips’s one. 

We weren’t able to see the app in action ourselves, but Donovan Sung, director of product management for Xiaomi, gave a quick demonstration on stage, with this unwieldy-looking molymod type construction, and the bulbs shone the same colours in tandem.

Sung said that that the Mi LED Smart Bulbs are “extremely energy-efficient,” and that each one is guaranteed to “last up to 11 years.”

Xiaomi Mi LED Smart Bulb

In addition to the colour bulbs, Sung also announced (but didn’t demo) a white bulb that’s been developed in tandem with Philips – the Philips Wi-Fi Bulb E27 White. This, too, will be cheap and cheerful, around €9.90 (£8.60) and presumably BC bayonet types as well as screw-in types will also be available. 

When do they go on sale? We don’t yet know – Sung declined to mention when we might see these and at the time of writing, no word on release date(s) was available from Xiaomi spokespeople.

Are those prices low enough to get your lights flashing, or are you going to stick with Hue? Let us know @TrustedReviews.

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