GE Lighting expands Bluetooth-based smart SSL portfolio at CES 2019

Jan. 14, 2019
The C by GE residentially-targeted smart LED lighting portfolio was expanded at CES with the company adding full-color LED lamps along with smart switches and accessories.

The C by GE residentially-targeted smart LED lighting portfolio was expanded at CES with the company adding full-color LED lamps along with smart switches and accessories.

GE Lighting has announced an expansion of its C by GE portfolio of smart LED lighting products connected via a Bluetooth wireless link, making the announcement at CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show). The residentially-targeted solid-state lighting (SSL) line now includes a full color lamp along with Bluetooth-enabled switches and accessories. Moreover, the C by GE portfolio carries Made for Google status and will work seamlessly with all of the Google Home smart hubs. GE joined Signify in making smart home SSL announcements at the CES event in Las Vegas.

We’ll get to more on the products in just a bit, but first we should discuss the name. The C by GE brand seems very similar to the Current by GE brand, but the former is part of GE Lighting and the latter is a sister division focused on the commercial sector that won’t likely be part of GE much longer. As we wrote recently, GE has agreed to sell Current to American Industrial Partners (AIP). Meanwhile, we presume the C in the C by GE brand implies “connected.”

GE chose to base the C by GE portfolio on the Bluetooth wireless standard so no additional hub or gateway would be required to utilize the products. For example, the popular Philips Hue products from Signify utilize ZigBee wireless, which affords advantages in range and scale, but which does require a dedicated gateway.

GE has further partnered with Google to make the use of the connected SSL products foolproof. Users that have a Google Home or Mini or other Google hub simply connect one of the lamps to a socket and then say “Hey Google” to instigate a connection with the lamp and enable voice-based control.

Back in October, GE announced two A19 lamps in the portfolio. The C-Life lamp is warm white and supports dimming. The C-Sleep, meanwhile, offers three different tunable settings with spectral power distribution (SPD) optimized for Vibrant (morning), Active (Daytime), or Calm (evening) settings. That product is also fully dimmable via voice control.

GE gets Google on board with its latest smart LED lamps in both color and white-tunable offerings, among other products in the C by GE line. (Photo credit: GE Lighting.)

Now GE has added full color lamps in both A19 and BR30 form factors. Moreover, the company has added a full-color light strip. All can be controlled via the user’s voice, or through programmatic settings. Indeed, GE offers an app that allows users to customize scenes and settings.

The CES announcement also included switches and accessories. To a large extent, the products are intended to allow users to bring legacy products including other LED-based lighting into their C by GE sphere of control. For example, the Smart Switches include dimming capability for a legacy lamp and enable voice control of such lamps. In terms of accessories, the portfolio includes a voice-controllable power plug and a motion sensor.

“Lighting is pervasive at home, which makes for an intuitive way to turn on smart benefits,” said Paul Williams, general manager of product management & growth at GE Lighting. “We are leveraging lighting’s real estate, plus powerful partner connections, to launch new easy-to-use platforms that drive more productivity, safety, and enjoyment throughout the home.”

GE also said that while the lamps carry the Made for Google designation, the products will work with other home automation products. Specifically, the company said the products also operate with Apple Homekit and Amazon Alexa.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.