Amazon Prime Day

What so I buy a plug socket that goes on and off and then have a plain white bulb instead?

I want to get a smart bulb to control white tones to give a different ambiance.


Didn’t end up resisting the temptation to buy anything.

Yes, or ceiling fixing, and whatever colour or temperature bulb you want.

No reason a new fixing type couldn’t support colour changing, that innovation just happened to coincide with ‘smart bulbs’ so that’s where it’s available. (As far as I’m aware.)

My point is, it’s silly to have to replace perfectly functional smart comms. components just because the bulb’s gone.

But of course such a consumer saving translates to a less profitable business - why sell fixings once if you can get away with selling the technology inside bulbs, which are bought much more frequently.

But what if I want a full spectrum of colours like I have now with my hue setup?

I understand the use of smart plugs and would look at this type of thing for TV’s etc but just a plain bulb… nah but then that’s just me

@nexusmaniac OK sold :slight_smile: I’ll wait

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The additional circuitry to support smart control is relatively cheap once you have the the control circuitry needed to drive the LEDs and change colour.

If you put the smarts in the socket, you’d still need a communications protocol to tell the bulb how bright to be and what colour to be. It might as well be BTLE or zigbee or whatever.

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As I said,

Why do you need BLE or any wireless protocol?

Allow me to rephrase my point: imagine the first generation of Hue lighting came in the '90s, as an innovation on dimmer switches - perhaps R/G/B dimmers so you could modify the brightness and relative combination of each primary colour - everything wired, the IoT hasn’t happened yet, and we’re all using AskJeeves or Lycos, but heavens no, not while somebody else is on the phone.

If that had happened first, and been popular enough, (I’m sure it could be done if you really wanted it) then when the IoT took off it would have been natural that light fixings would house the wireless communication ICs, and the bulbs would be the same ‘dimmable RGB bulbs’ we’d been using for a decade.

Instead, colour combinations was launched as an additional selling point of one of the first ‘connected’ lighting systems, Phillips already made bulbs but perhaps not fixings, and chose the most profitable route.

I would have estimated that it more than doubles the component cost, but that’s by the by really - bulbs are cheap, smart bulbs have a much larger profit margin. You can’t sell them at one price to first-time buyers and another price to replacers, so they have huge markup every time you buy them. As a company, that’s obviously preferable to huge markup on the one-time purchase fixings.

How do you get the command to change colour or brightness into the bulb? Remember, it has 2 terminals. You either have to modulate the supply or transmit the command some other way.

The controller electronics in an RGB LED bulb is approx 60c - remember you need a controller channel for each colour LED. A BLE chip is less than 10c.

It doesn’t intrinsically have to, though! Dumb bulbs (that work either with this hypothetical all-wires system, or this also hypothetical ‘smart fixings’ system) could have four DC terminals, or six AC.

You could even design the ‘smart fixings’ such that they took either six-terminal ‘multi-hue’ bulbs, or two-terminal ‘fixed-hue’ bulbs (i.e. as easily purchasable today).

Okay. As I said though, that doesn’t really matter - that’s just good evidence for what I’m saying about the massive markup.

You could but it’d be way more expensive and not benefit from the steep decline in prices that electronics brings to the problem. You’ve increased the wiring from the smart dimmer by 2-3 and copper is expensive, increased the cost of the bulbs through additional contacts, reduced reliability, broken compatibility with all previous installations…

The “huge markup” is to cover the research, development and lifetime support costs of what is currently a niche product. The actual electronics in these devices is very cheap when produced on serious scale.


I’m not saying it’s unreasonable, quite the opposite really. I’m saying it’s unreasonable to expect a company to sell a one-off product (fixings) - making it harder to cover R&D costs and turn a profit - when they could markup and sell a consumable (bulbs) instead.

I just don’t think it’s forever. Whether it’s driven by standards, ‘green’ campaigners, or a new company differentiating on price, I just think it makes much more sense to separate ‘the IoT bit’ from the consumable.

Love ‘em mate! Hey siri is awesome.

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However in case of new LED bulbs can we really consider them as “consumable”? I have yet to have one of those die on me, as opposed to the legacy incandescent bulbs which burn out every few months.

Have you setup the location bit so they turn on and off automatically when you leave the house?

No, can I do that with HomeKit? I don’t have an Apple TV or iPad anymore, sold them a few months back.

I have linked them with HomeKit and also Nest but I only have Nest Protects, nothing else with them.

You can do that with HomeKit but I believe it relies on a device acting as a “source of truth” for the homes location i.e. an iPad that doesn’t leave the home, or an Apple TV

You can do it in Hue App under Routines > Home & Away

Correct. Although HomeKit has better customisation than the Hue service for me when it comes to home/away automation.