Philips has announced a couple of new additions to its Hue line up of connected light bulbs, including a new white-only bulb - the Hue Lux - as well as a switch to physically control the system.
The idea of Hue is that you can control the system through an app on your iOS or Android device. But now the company has launched an extension to the app, offering you a way to select your settings without using the app, and setting you free from your smartphone to a degree.
We caught up with the new Hue Tap at the Light and Building show in Frankfurt to see how it worked and what it offers you beyond the existing app.
The Hue Tap has a small, light, circular design that is slightly smaller in size than your average light switch, but a little thicker. The difference is, however, you can put this anywhere you like using the sticky fixing on the back (or screw fixing) meaning you don't need to mess with any wires.
The Hue Tap offers you the freedom to control your Hue system from any place that is convenient for you. It also means you have a way to turn on the Hue lights in your bathroom for example, without you needing to bring your smartphone or tablet with you. Also, visitors, kids, or anyone else can have light controls without needing to use your smartphone.
The Hue Tap has three buttons that you push to control various lighting arrays that have been pre-set within the app. Once they are set up, you just push the respective button and you will find all pink lights, or blue and pink for example, depending on what you have programmed to that button.
No batteries are required as it is kinetically-powered, using the action of your push to perform the task.
In terms of performance, we didn't get a chance to play with creating a new setting in the app, but we were told it was very simple to do. The Hue bulbs responded quickly and efficiently to the push of the buttons on the Hue Tap and we found no delay between the push and the reaction of the bulbs, much like if you were flicking a normal switch.
The Hue Tap might only be an extension of the app itself, but it is a nice alternative if you want to offer some control without your smartphone and we like it.
READ: Philips Hue review
The Hue Tap will be available after summer in North America and Europe at selected retail outlets for £49.99.