Philips Hue lighting products are considered by many to be the epitome of smart home lighting products. You can use Philips Hue lights to add connectivity to basic lighting fixtures, or get creative and use Hue products to decorate your home for special occasions like Halloween. They're easily controlled via the mobile app or personal assistant.
And in 2020, the Philips Hue product portfolio is getting smarter and more versatile.
The updates start with the Hue app, which has been updated to improve the Zones feature. Currently, a Hue device can only control the lights in one entire room, but the Zones feature will let you control smaller or larger combinations of devices.
For example, you could assign a Hue Switch to turn off all the lights on only one end of the house, in the specific corners of the rooms where you have Hue lights installed.
Also included in the app update is a new battery level indicator that will let you know when the battery in one of your Hue accessories is running low.
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box will also receive a software update that will allow you to use your voice to control the box.
Once the update is available this spring, you'll be able to use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple's Siri to turn on the box, change light settings and switch between HDMI devices.
The Sync Box will connect up to four HDMI devices to your Hue system, and it will sync your Hue lights with the content that's being shown on your TV.
For instance, you could connect your TV to the Sync Box and watch your favorite movie. With something like a Hue light strip set up behind your TV, the Sync Box will use colors from what's on your TV to adjust the colors of the light strip. It's a nice way to add ambiance and enhance the viewing experience.
The software update will be available in the spring and can be applied via the Hue Sync mobile app.
The Sync Box will also work with any IR remote; you just need to program it in the mobile app.
In addition, there are three new Hue hardware products, all of which are designed for outdoor use. The $139.99 Appear fixture, the $139.99 Lily XL spotlight and the $129.99 Philips Hue Econic pedestal light will be available in the middle of March.
Between the three lights, you can spotlight a wall or stairway, light a path or accent an entryway.
All three devices are capable of 50,000 shades of white light and up to 16 million colors. They're controlled via the mobile app and can be programmed to turn on or off using the app's geofencing capabilities.
That means you can come home at night to a brightly lit pathway or keep your house covered in light when you're not there.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.