Freelance contributor, TechHiveJan 3, 2023 6:00 am PST
Image: GE Lighting
Given that the Matter smart home standard wasn’t officially ratified until November, 2022, it should come as no surprise that many vendors, including GE Lighting, will be showing new smart home products that have not yet been Matter certified. Of the half-dozen or so new products GE Lighting is launching at the CES, only two have achieved that certification, and those are replacements for products that are already on the market.
As GE Lighting product manager Patrick Miltner explained in a pre-CES briefing: Manufacturers can’t put a new smart home product in a box bearing the Matter logo, and then put that box on a store shelf, unless that product has “Matter-certified firmware when it leaves the factory. It’s great if you can do a firmware update later, but it takes time to get that right. And that’s why we haven’t seen a whole lot of Matter-compatible devices just yet. That will obviously change in 2023.”
So, the two Matter-certified products that GE Lighting is showing at CES are new versions of the company’s Cync Full Color Direct Connect Smart Bulb and Cync Indoor Smart Plug. These devices will replace previous versions already on store shelves, and the company says it has no plans to release retroactive Matter updates for any of its older products already on the market.
Expanding the Cync Dynamic Effects and Smart Wafer lines
GE Lighting launched its Cync Dynamic Effects product line in 2022 with indoor and outdoor LED light strips. In March 2023, the company will expand that collection with Smart Hexagon Panels, Neon Rope Lights, and indoor A19 and BR30 floodlights. Each of the products in this line can be controlled via your home Wi-Fi network using GE Lighting’s Cync app. The bendable rope lights, pictured up top, are particularly interesting, because they’re coated with a material that lends a true neon look to the rope.
The company is also introducing new models in its Smart Wafer LED downlights, including a Cync Reveal HD+ Wafer Downlight with 16 million colors and tunable (warm to cool) whites. These smart downlights will be available square, decorative, and gimbal-based wall-wash trims. Available in 4- and 6-inch profiles, these downlights have remote junction boxes and don’t require recessed can housings. They can be controlled with Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands in addition to being compatible with the GE Cync app.
Schlage smart lock integrations
In other news, GE Lighting announced new integrations with Schlage’s Encode and Encode Plus Smart WiFi deadbolts, so that GE Lighting devices can be tied to lock activity (e.g., turning on a light when the deadbolt is unlocked at the keypad).