Signify addresses Hue brightness by doubling white bulb lumens

June 16, 2020
The table orb now puts out a lot more light, too, as the company also adds colored spotlights to the range and upgrades its Hue strip. All controllable via Bluetooth.

Good news for smart lighting fans who try to live by their parents’ advice to use a decent light or they’ll ruin their eyes: Signify added a bulb to its Hue range that doubles the brightness over what it had previously offered. The company also announced other Hue additions, including a combination white light/colored spot luminaire, and upgrades to its striplight and its orb table lamp.

Signify is positioning the new white-only Philips Hue White A21 bulb for illuminating a room such as a kitchen, where its light could help home dwellers prepare the evening meal and distinguish between, say, a zucchini and a cucumber, or a paring knife and a dicer.

The dimmable 100W-equivalent bulb emits up to 1600 lm, twice as many as the previous 800 lm emitted by the 60W equivalent that has been the company’s brightest, the company said. A brighter product has long been a gap in the company’s Hue offerings.

“It was an often-requested product,” a Signify spokesperson told LEDs Magazine. “We listened.”

Signify set pricing at $19.99 and €24.95, and said the new LED lamp is available “mid-June,” which effectively means now. The new bulb is rated at 15.5W in Europe and 17W in the US, compared to 9W and 10W for the earlier 800-lm bulb.

The new LED luminaire with colored spots, dubbed the Philips Hue Centris, offers diffused white and color room lighting. The colored spots can be rotated in almost a complete circle to accent certain objects. They will be available initially in Europe only in configurations of two, three, or four bulbs. The price ranges from €279.95 to €449.95, and availability is set for “very soon,” Signify said.

In an upgrade to the Hue light strip, Signify has mimicked a regenerating earthworm in making it possible to uses strips that previously might have been left as scrap after a larger strip was cut to size. Users can also now put two whole strips together using a connector that Signify is providing.

Signify — formerly called Philips Lighting and still using the Philips brand — also more than quadrupled the brightness of its Philips Hue Bloom table lamp while adding more colors to it. The white lamp now emits 500 lm, previously topping out at 120 lm. It set prices at €79.95 and $69.99, with availability scheduled for mid-June in Europe and mid-July in the US. The European product comes in a choice of black or white housing, while the US model is available in white only.

All the new products are controllable via Bluetooth connection, a feature that Signify began adding to its Hue line a year ago to make Hue less expensive and easier to set up. Prior to that, users needed to purchase a home hub and then control their Hue smart lights via an app using Zigbee wireless technology.

Signify still offers the hub and Zigbee technology as well, which provides benefits including allowing users to control lights remotely.

The choice of wireless control technologies has been an issue for lighting vendors in general. For example, Osram has been adding Bluetooth to smart lighting systems in the commercial environment, where it had long offered Zigbee only.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]m).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.