Philips has expanded its Hue line of app-controlled lighting with a new bulb, the BR30, which is designed to fit into recessed sockets typically installed in living rooms and kitchens with a standard E26 screw fitting.
BR30 bulbs are designed to deliver 600 lumens of light, similar to the standard Hue bulbs, but the BR30 is a downlight, delivering light in a downward beam rather than providing omnidirectional light. BR30 bulbs provide a full range of color and a full range of white light.
Like the original Hue bulbs, and the Friends of Hue LightStrips and Bloom, the BR30 can be controlled through an iPhone or iPad, which pairs with the Hue bridge. In addition to the Philips app, there are several other third party apps also designed to work with Hue bulbs.
Ars Technica went hands-on with the new BR30 Hue lights, finding them to perform as well as the standard Hue bulbs.
The color and intensity of the light they produce is indistinguishable to my eyes from that of the standard A19 Hue bulbs. Tone reproduction is bright and rich, with eye-watering reds, blues, and purples, though the lights have the same problem with deep green as do the standard Hue bulbs (owing to their non-standard LED colors—the bulbs contain lime-green LEDs instead of a darker “normal” green). Transitions between colors are smooth, without any jumping or flashing to odd non-intermediate shades.
The new BR30 bulbs, which can be purchased today from Apple retail stores, are available in a set of three for $199 (bridge included) or consumers can purchase a single bulb for $59.