Philips will soon market a new range of connected bulbs in Europe… which will not be compatible with the Philips Hue ecosystem. A way of offering more choice, but which risks losing the consumer.
Philips Hue bulbs have, in recent years, established themselves as benchmark gadgets to gain a foothold in the home automation world. Versatile, relatively easy to use and not excessively expensive, the Philips Hue range has met with a nice little success.
To celebrate, Signify (the company behind the Hue range) will launch a new collection of connected bulbs, still under the Philips brand: the Philips Smart Led. Already present in the United States for some time, these connected bulbs will arrive in Europe during the month of September 2021. But beware, they will not be compatible with Philips Hue bulbs.
Two incompatible ecosystems
Despite the fact that the two products are similar and marketed under the same brand, Smart LEDs and Philips Hue bulbs are not compatible with each other. The new Philips connected bulbs are in fact born from the acquisition of the Wiz company by Signify in June 2019. Since its creation in 2015, the Hong Kong company has been marketing WiFi connectable bulbs. These are the products from this brand that will soon be marketed under the Smart Led range in Europe. As The Verge writes, a mention ” Wiz Connected Will be written on the boxes to distinguish the Hue range from the Smart Led range.
It will therefore be necessary to be particularly careful not to mix the Smart Led ecosystem and the Hue ecosystem because the first relies on a WiFi (or Bluetooth) connection while the second uses the Zigbee protocol. The two ecosystems therefore cannot discuss with each other and do not use the same application. It will still be possible to combine the two ranges using a voice assistant such as Google Assistant or Amazon Echo, but the Philips bulb ranges will not be able to communicate with each other natively.
In all, no less than 36 products will be marketed under the new Smart Led range. Prices will start around € 10 for simple dimmable bulbs and can go up to around fifty euros for the most expensive models. Most newer devices are cheaper than their counterparts in the Hue range.