LEDVANCE, the maker of Sylvania lighting in the US and Cananda, today announced that their multi-color bulb is available now for pre-order, with shipments available starting in September.
The bulb is an A19 bulb that utilizes Bluetooth to be controlled through Apple’s Home iOS app or through Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Because the bulbs are Bluetooth-based – and do not utilize ZigBee technology like Phillips Hue or Sylvania’s own Lightify (now Smart+) – they do not require a Hub for control; though a 4th Generation Apple TV is still required to be used for HomeKit control within the home and remotely. “We are proud to break new ground with Apple to bring to market this first of its kind product,” said Aaron Ganick, head of Smart Business Americas, LEDVANCE. “Apple is known for innovative products that are simple and intuitive to use, while making our lives better. HomeKit is no exception. Our new HomeKit-enabled SYLVANIA SMART+ products are perfect for those who have heard how great it is to have a Smart Home but aren’t yet ready to tackle the installation and maintenance responsibilities of a larger system. Every iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch user already has the Home app at their disposal, and children are growing up talking to Siri as just a normal part of everyday life. We are making the reality of Smart Home even easier to obtain for the masses.”
The bulb itself aligns with Apple’s view of HomeKit being a simplistic, easy to set up way of creating a smart home. But HomeKit isn’t without it’s drawbacks, and this bulb is a perfect example of some of HomeKit’s limitations. Apple HomeKit utilizes stricter security and device approval, and does not rely on the ZigBee, Z-Wave or other protocol communications – which they say results in a more secure, reliable way to create a smart home. Though smart home device security is always a concern, HomeKit isn’t without it’s own difficulties and limitations. And while the idea of smart lighting without a hub isn’t new, many find issues with Bluetooth based lighting with regard to distance and performance. However, perhaps the performance of LEDVANCE’s new smart bulbs paired with HomeKit will prove to be a winning combo.
The smart bulb is now available for order on Amazon for $44.99.
Do you utilize Apple HomeKit? What do you like about it? What do you wish you could change? Let us know in the comments below!