+ Monday August 19th, 2019

It’s been a great couple of months for smart lighting products in Australia. Not only is Bunnings putting smart lighting options on their shelves everywhere, but new options have appeared in IKEA and Kmart. It’s easier than ever to add smart lighting to your home, and now Signify (makers of the Philips Hue lighting system) are officially launching new Hue Play lights in Australia.

Hue Play is an LED light bar, about 25cm long, that can be set up horizontally or vertically on a stand as desired. There’s also nondestructive mounting options included if, like me, you’re renting. You can buy them in single or double packs, and there’s an expansion pack available if you want to grow the system later on.

They look great on either side of your TV (where most Hue users have set up light strips), or as a standalone feature light on a wall. Of course, you connect them to your Hue system just like the rest of your lights for control and they can also connect to the Hue Sync desktop app to modify their output in sync with your music (if it’s playing from your desktop), or on-screen events in games.

While today is the official launch, the lights have been up for sale on various sites for a while. I noticed them on Amazon last week and had made a note to investigate exactly what they were!

Personally I’m finding that I prefer Hue lighting solutions to others. Despite the higher price, they are always high quality products, and the fact that they run over Zigbee keeps my wi-fi network free for my actual devices instead of routing traffic for every light in my house over it. With the new Local Home SDK already supported by Hue, control of devices with the Google Assistant has also become lightning fast in recent weeks.

Right now you can find Hue Play on Amazon at $100 for a single and $180 for a double base pack, while the expansion pack is $90 if you search around.

It pays to keep an eye on prices (a search on OzBargain shows that the double base pack came down to $130 during recent sales), and remember to take advantage of price matches should better prices be available at some retailers.

Jason Murray   Assistant Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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