Philips defines a new “hue” with a WiFi lightbulb

The best representation of a great idea is when lightbulbs suddenly appear over people’s heads in cartoons, and Philips now has a product worthy of both being a top idea and being a lightbulb.

Launched at the Philips Hue, this light bulb is special, being a web-enabled LED lighting system that can be controlled through an app, set up on timers, and even have its colour changed.

“Philips Hue is a game-changer in lighting,” said Michael Downie, General Manage of Philips Lighting in the Australia and New Zealand region. “The intuitive Hue application introduces a completely new way of interacting with and experiencing light.”

The product is more than just your typical light bulb, with technology inside the special bulbs working with a wireless bridge that comes with a pack of the Hue bulbs.

Once setup, customers can setup the Hue bulbs to change colours and light amounts at different times, pre-programmed settings basically making it possible for your average old desk lamp or ceiling light fitting to become a relaxing light emitter or one better for concentrating at the flick of an on-screen button.

An entire house can technically be controlled with Philips Hue lightbulbs as, according to the company, up to 50 Hue bulbs can be connected to each other, with each bulb using roughly 80 percent less power than a traditional light bulb.

“In the way phones, media and entertainment have been revolutionised by digital technology, now we can also personalise light and enjoy limitless applications,” said Downie.

“Philips continues to be the global leader in LED technology, providing innovative and unique solutions for home lighting. Hue takes it one step further by providing great energy-efficient LED light quality that is integrated with the latest technology, helping to further simplify and enhance our lives.”

Currently, the app is only available for devices in Apple’s iOS ecosystem, such as the iPhone and iPad, but we’re checking with Philips to see if this will be rolled out to other smartphones, tablets, and computers, such as those in the Windows, Android, and Windows Phone systems.

The Hue lightbulbs are in Apple stores now, as well as online from Apple’s online store, with two packs available: an individual lightbulb for $69.95 and a three pack with the Hue bridge for $249.95.