Budget-friendly smartbulb wants everyone to have cool lights


Qube Smartbulb
The Qube Smartbulb is taking on more expensive lighting like Philips Hue.
Photo: Qube

I love my Philips Hue smart-lighting kit, but every time I’ve just randomly turned my living-room lights different colors in front of another person, they’ve asked the same question:

“How much did you pay for this?”

And then I just kind of mumble something because while the system has added convenience and versatility to my apartment, I’m still not super comfortable admitting that I plan on paying $60 for a light bulb. Instead, I just say, “It was for work,” and leave it.

But Qube, a new smart-lighting system that launches in April, wants to avoid that kind of awkwardness with bulbs that cost way less than its competitors but offer just as many opportunities for just the weirdest ambience you can design.

HomeKit makes Philips Hue smartbulbs even cooler


The new Philips Hue starter set might be the first must-have gear for people interested in HomeKit.
Photo: Evan Killham

If you’re even slightly interested in having smart lighting for your house, the new Philips Hue bridge, which supports Apple’s HomeKit automated-home framework, should be in your shopping cart right now.

Controlling your lights from your phone is one level of crazy future-stuff, but doing it with your voice drops you into an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And you definitely want your home to feel like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

How to get past Philips Hue’s ‘iCloud Sync’ roadblock


Philips hue lighting
Sure, the lights are all pretty now. But at what cost, Philips?
Photo: Philips

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou should be excited to get Siri up and running with your new Philips Hue bridge and control your lights with the power of your voice, but one annoying error might stop you. It definitely had me scouring the Internet for answers when I was setting up my smartbulb system this afternoon, and I’d love to save you that time.

Because if you’ve spent $200 on fancy lightbulbs, you probably want to start using them right away, damn it.

Why Apple is poised to own the Internet of Things


Apple announced HomeKit to developers at WWDC last year.
Craig Federighi takes the wraps off Apple's HomeKit at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Photo: Apple

Imagine getting home after a hard day’s work in the year 2016: There’s no need for keys as you approach your house, since proximity sensors in the lock mean a simple iPhone voice authorization will open the door for you.

The house has been alerted to your arrival, so your Nest thermostat has adjusted the temperature to suit you, while your Philips Hue connected light bulbs change the lighting to fit your mood — predicted by analyzing your heart rate and schedule for that day. The iWatch on your wrist runs Jawbone app, letting you know your caffeine levels are a little high and that you should wait until 7:30 p.m. before going for a jog to ensure maximum sleep quality that night.

Five minutes after putting your car keys down, dinner’s ready. You’re running late, but your smart immersion cooker — which has been monitoring your location all day — has delayed cooking until the optimal start time.

Hue Menu Lets You Control Philips Hue Bulbs From The Comfort Of Your Mac



Philips Hue lights have quickly become one of favorite new iOS accessories thanks to a bunch of neat hacks and apps that have take advantage of the connected lights. Until now, Hue has mainly been controlled via an iOS app, but Hue Menu for OS X makes it so you can finally control Hue from your Mac.

Hue Menu is a new menu bar app that not only allows users to turn their Hue bulbs on/off, but you can also change the colors, create presets, pick custom colors using your own photos or the Mac OS color Picker and more. At $2.99, the app is an easy buy for Hue owners, plus the developer behind it says upcoming features will include alarms, timers, and geo-fencing.

Here are the full release notes: