Brighten your life with Hue Lux and GE Link

Once you've had a taste of the Philips Hue system it's hard to go back to old-fashioned lighting control. The hardware available from Philips is amazing. You can pick from a variety of LED form factors including A19, BR30, GU10, PAR16, LightStrips, Bloom accent lights, and the recently introduced Hue Beyond lights. Coupled with the "Hue Lights" third-party app, these power-efficient, color changing, and dimming LED bulbs can improve the quality of your life for years.

Hue Lux - 750 lumens with only 9 watts of power

When the first A19 Hue bulb was introduced in October 2012 it had a retail price of $60 per bulb. Even with its long lifespan, 16 million colors, and host of smart features, the bulb was out of reach for many consumers. In August 2014 Philips started selling the Hue Lux for $30. This bulb looks similar to the original A19, but it does not have the color changing capability. The color produced is a warm 2700K with a brightness of 750 lumen. Power consumption is just 9 watts. It has an estimated lifespan of 25,000 hours or 22.8 years when used 3 hours/day. Like other Philips Friends of Hue products it works great with your existing Hue system, native Philips apps, and many third-party apps.

The Hue Lux can be toggled on and off from your mobile device and have its brightness changed to 255 distinct values. You can also have it turn on or off via schedules stored on your Philips hub. When using schedules it is possible to slowly dim or brighten the light from sub-second times up to 90 minutes. If you enjoy the Hue A19 bulbs, but they are not quite bright enough, the Hue Lux makes an excellent choice. Your brightness jumps from 600 lumens to 750 lumens. In rooms with more demanding lighting requirements, the Hue Lux offers a great solution.

GE Link LED - 800 lumens with 12 watts of power

GE entered the smart lighting market in September 2014 with 3 LED bulbs through a partnership with Quirky. These GE Link bulbs are available in 3 form factors: A19, BR30, and PAR38. The A19 bulb is similar to the Hue Lux, but has a price of just $15. This price point will definitely grab a lot of consumers who are hesitant about spending $30, $60, or even $100+ for a light bulb. The GE Link A19 has a warm 2700K color temperature, produces 800 lumens, and consumes 12 watts. If you already have a Philips Hue system, you can use your existing Philips hub and the "Hue Lights" third-party app to seamlessly integrate GE Link LED bulbs with your Philips Hue LED bulbs!

The three GE Link LED bulbs have a clear glass dome, so it is possible to see individual LED elements under the glass. The Hue Lux uses a frosted coating on its glass to disperse the light in more uniform directions. The frosting also hides individual LED visibility which may be more important when the light is directly visible. If you are putting a bulb in a lamp with a shade, you may not notice any difference between the Hue Lux and GE Link LED. The base of the GE Link gets pretty hot, so it should not be used in any enclosed fixtures. Hue A19 colored bulbs, with their 600 lumen output, are warm, but not hot. Hue Lux bulbs are warmer than the Hue A19 bulbs, but not as hot as a GE Link A19 bulb.

Third-Party App Options?

One of the best features of the GE Link LED bulbs, other than low price, is their native support in the third-party "Hue Lights" app. You can include these bulbs in Scenes, Groups, and the Widget. Response times for on/off control and brightness changes are under a second. Mix and match Philips Hue bulbs and GE Link bulbs in the same Group or Scene. Activate these using the Widget for unprecedented speed and control.

Using a Widget to control the Hue Lux or GE Link LED bulbs completely changes your light control experience. Even the fastest apps take a while to launch, load their configuration, and present a usable interface on the screen. Widgets are designed to be super fast, short-lived, and lightweight. For common, everyday light control, a Widget is the way to go. If you haven't experienced the speed and convenience of a Widget, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this new iOS 8 technology.

Hue Lux versus GE Link

Which one is better? Which one should you buy? Start with a Philips Hue Starter Pack. Get familiar with the capabilities of these great lights. If the initial hardware cost is not a major factor in your decision process, the Hue Lux is an excellent choice for future expansion. If you don't want to spend a lot of money upfront on additional bulbs, try the GE Link bulbs. It would be prudent to buy one or two initially and test them out in your environment. Do they function as expected? Are they visually appealing in your target location? If yes, you should continue replacing your old incandescent or compact fluorescent lights with these energy efficient and bright LED bulbs.

Note that the initial cost of these LED bulbs is important, but do not overlook the operational savings over the expected lifespan of the bulb. If you are in an area that has high electrical costs or in a usage tier that charges high rates, the energy savings over the life of the bulbs are significant. A traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb gives approximately 840 lumens, so a GE Link or Hue Lux could easily replace these power hungry, portable heating units known an incandescent bulbs. Depending on your choice of GE Link or Hue Lux you could power 5 to 6 smart LED bulbs for the operational price of a single incandescent bulb. The LED also lasts much longer (22.8 years at 3 hours/day), so you also save on bulb replacement costs.

What are you waiting for? Jump on the Internet of Things bandwagon, improve the quality of your life, reduce your carbon footprint, and save a lot of money with Hue Lux and GE Link LED bulbs. These are perfect for everyday lighting. Add some Hue colored A19 bulbs, LightStrips, or Blooms for great accent color. When you combine all of these lighting options together in a single Scene and activate it with a simple tap on the Hue Lights Widget, your world and mood can instantly improve.

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