Wish your Philips Hue lights could pulse along with your favorite Spotify playlists? Now they can, courtesy of a just-announced integration between Signify’s smart lighting brand and the streaming music giant.
Besides showing off the new Spotify features during a virtual IFA presentation this week, Philips Hue also unveiled its long-awaited dynamic lighting scenes, as well as a trio of gradient smart lamps, additional brightness options for its white dimmable and tunable “ambiance” bulbs, new filament and ceiling lights, and 120Hz support for the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.
Philips Hue lights can sync with Spotify
First up: Color-capable Hue bulbs can now sync up with your Spotify tunes using a new, in-app integration. While Hue bulbs could already strobe and pulse with music with help from various third-party apps and a microphone, Hue’s new Spotify integration uses timestamped metadata on each track to “anticipate” the beats, as well as an algorithm that creates a “light script” based on the song’s mood, genre, and tempo.
To sync your Spotify music with your Hue lights (the bulbs must be “color-capable”), you’ll need to link your Spotify and Philips Hue accounts. Because the music syncing occurs in the cloud, no microphone is required, and it doesn’t matter what device your music is playing on.
Both free and paying Spotify users will be able to sync their Hue lights with Spotify tunes, according to Philips Hue reps. That said, you will need a Hue bridge for the syncing trick to work (i.e., a Bluetooth connection won’t cut it).
The new Spotify integration will gradually begin rolling out worldwide starting today as an “early access” program; once you’re eligible to enroll in the program, a What’s New update will appear in the app with instructions on how to enable the feature. The integration will become a “permanent” fixture in the Hue app after October.
Dynamic and 24-hour scenes
First announced in June, dynamic scenes are slated to arrive in the Hue app today. Unlike conventional, static light scenes, dynamic scenes allow the lights in a room or zone to slowly change from one color to another.
A similar feature coming this fall will allow you to create dynamic scenes that last a full 24 hours, complete with colors and brightness that change as the day wears on. One of the new all-day light scenes, for example, will “mimic” the movement of the sun, with warmer light in the mornings and evenings and cooler hues during the day.
Select Hue bulbs already support Apple’s “adaptive” lighting mode, a HomeKit feature that automatically tunes a light’s color and brightness according to the time of day in your region. Hue’s new all-day light scenes, however, will not be location-based; instead, different brightness and color settings are plugged into a series of time slots.
Gradient light strip and lamps
Following last year’s debut of the Hue Play gradient lightstrip, a multi-color light strip that syncs with your TV screen when used in conjunction with the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, Philips Hue is now bowing a series of new gradient lights that can work independently of Hue’s TV-syncing device.
For starters, the Hue ambiance gradient light strip ($170 for the main two-meter kit or $70 for a one-meter extension, due October 1) is similar to the existing Hue Lightstrip Plus, except—you guessed it—the gradient light strip can glow in multiple colors at the same time.
Also coming soon are gradient-enabled versions of Hue’s sleek, thin Signe floor ($300) and table lamps ($200), coming to the U.S. on October 12.
Most striking of all is the new Hue Play gradient light tube, a long, slender fixture that’s designed to sit above or below a TV.
Available in black or white and set to ship on January 18, 2022, the Hue Play gradient light tube will arrive in two sizes: compact ($180), for TVs between 40 and 55 inches, and large ($200) for bigger screens. Like the Hue Play gradient lightstrip, the Hue Play gradient light tube can sync with your TV screen with help from the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.
Filament bulbs and ceiling lights
Philips Hue is also poised to expand its selection of filament bulbs, adding White ambiance (tunable) options for its Edison-style A19 ($35), ST19 ($40), G25 ($40), ST23 ($50), and G40 ($50) bulbs.
Most of those bulbs go on sale today, while the ST23 and G40 varieties should ship in late October.
Also set to arrive today is a dimmable (but not tunable) white E14 filament candelabra bulb ($30, or $50 for a two-pack).
Hue is planning new ceiling lights, too, including the Infuse, which shines in white light and color with “subtle indirect light” on the ceiling. The Infuse is due in January for $30, and Hue says it will also be adding new bathroom ceiling lights as well as recessed spotlights.
New, brighter A19 bulbs
Besides the new gradient, filament, and ceiling lights, Philips Hue is unwrapping new, brighter variants of its A19 bulbs, including its dimmable white, tunable white, and color lines.
In addition to the existing 800-lumen bulbs, Hue will roll out 1,100-lumen ($15 for dimmable white, $25 for tunable white, and $50 for tunable white and color) and 1,600-lumen ($20 for dimmable white, $40 for tunable white, and $60 for tunable white and color) versions. Hue reps said that the 1,600-lumen bulbs will be about two centimeter longer than the 800- and 1,100-lumen A19 bulbs.
The new 1,100-lumen bulbs are available today, while the 1,600-lumen versions will go on sale October 12.
120Hz support for Hue Play HDMI Sync Box
Finally, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is slated to get a software update this fall that will enable 120Hz support, perfect for gamers looking for faster frame rates.
Support for 120Hz will be limited to 1080p and 1440p screen resolutions, however. If you want to game in 4K, you’ll have to settle for 60Hz.
We’ll have reviews of the new Hue bulbs, lights, and lamps once we spend quality time with test units.