Three new Philips Hue lights have launched in the UK. From today, a new, smaller bulb size is available to buy, as well as updates to the Surimu and Aurelle panels in fresh shapes and sizes.
Plus, new features are coming via software updates later this year to the Philips Hue Bridge and Hue app that’ll increase customisation and control over lighting.
Don’t forget that to unlock all the features of the lights, you’ll need a Hue Bridge ($59.99/ £49.99). The bridge will let you sync your lights, control them remotely, set up automations and use voice control.
The light panels won’t be available in the US but the software updates might. We’ve asked for further information but hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing this article.
Philips Hue E14 Luster bulb
The brand’s most compact bulb is now available in both White Ambiance and White and Colour Ambiance. If you have a mini light fitting or teeny tiny lamp you haven’t yet been able to add to your smart home setup, this could be your chance.
The White Ambiance bulb has a wide range of colour temperatures, with 50,000 shades of natural white light, from warm to cool.
For more mood lighting options, the White and colour Ambiance bulb offers millions of colours across the spectrum.
E14 Luster White Ambiance bulb – £29.99 (Philips)E14 Luster White and Colour Ambiance bulb – £54.99 (Philips)
White and Colour Ambiance Surimu panel
The Surimu is getting an update as well. The Surimu is a coloured panel that sits flush with the ceiling and emits a soft, diffused light more suitable for creating a club vibe than illuminating the table while you’re engrossed in a particularly challenging puzzle.
It’s currently available in a square 60 x 60cm and rectangular 120 x 30cm form (each £294.99 from Philips) but you can now get a half-size square panel, as well as a circular model.
White and Colour Ambiance Surimu Panel 30 x 30cm – £209.99 (Philips)White and Colour Ambiance Surimu Panel (round) 39.5cm diameter – £219.99 (Philips)
Philips Hue White Ambiance Aurelle panel
There are additions to the Aurelle range as well. The four current models (see them at Philips) have a white frame but if this doesn’t match your colour interior palette, there’s good news. Or, at least, it’s good news if black will match. The four new Aurelle panels are framed in a “premium black finish”.
Alas, if you’re hoping to light your home like a John Wick fight scene, the Aurelle is not for you. It’s a White Ambiance light only.
White Ambiance Aurelle with black frame:
New brightness balancer and motion sensor update
One of the issues with grouped lights is that it’s hard to dim bulbs of differing brightness to the same level. But Philips Hue is launching a fix. Its brightness balancer will give you more precise control of different lights that you’ve grouped together as your “Entertainment area”.
If you’re listening to music, film watching, or gaming, you can individually adjust the related Hue lights to illuminate an area, or bring down higher-lumen bulbs to a suitably dim level for popcorn munching and movie viewing.
The update will arrive via the app in Q3 (July – September) but note that this works only for lights you’ve specifically grouped together in the app in the Entertainment area, which usually means light bars, light strips, accents lights and more.
A Hue Bridge update that’s expected at the same time will also hugely increase the flexibility of your motion sensor programming. Currently, the motion sensors have two time slots – daytime and night – so you could set up a bright light to come on when you open your front door in the daytime and a low-level light at night. This could be a bit limiting if you’d like a different level of brightness at, say, 10pm and 3am.
But the number of time slots will be increasing to ten, so you can customise your lighting to the time of day. This raises the interesting possibility of setting a sunny orange glow to accompany your early morning cornflakes or a vivid red 10am light to alert you to your morning meeting.
The less adventurous can use the Natural Light scene to mimic the sun’s light as it changes throughout the day, which could be a boon on grey winter days where there’s not much actual sun at all.
If you’re interested in this feature, have a look at our review of the Dyson Solarcycle Morph, which has a natural daylight setting and see our round-up of the best light alarms we’ve tested, which will wake you up gently by slowly brightening the light in your bedroom.