Samsung gets into smart lighting with Bluetooth bulbs

Bluetooth connection won't require any extra equipment, Samsung says.

By Jared Newman, TechHive |  Mobile & Wireless, bluetooth

Not to be outdone by rival LG, Samsung is getting in on the smart lightbulb market.

Samsung's smart bulb will use Bluetooth to connect with a smartphone or tablet, and users can install an app to control up to 64 bulbs at once. The bulbs can be dimmed down to 10% brightness and offer adjustable white levels. Each bulb is estimated to last for 15,000 hours.

Unlike LG's Smart Lamp and Philips' Hue, Samsung isn't offering Wi-Fi connectivity. While that means no additional equipment is necessary for controlling nearby lights, it also rules out controlling the lights from outside the home. Philips' Hue, by comparison, uses a bridge device that connects to the user's home wireless router for full remote access. (LG's upcoming bulbs will offer both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.)

It's also unclear whether Samsung's bulbs will have any of the extra features that LG and Philips offer. Philips' Hue bulbs can produce a range of colors beyond just white. LG, meanwhile, is promising a way to gradually turn on the lights in the morning, and to blink when you have an incoming phone call.

Home automation--and smart lighting in particular--is becoming an increasingly crowded field. In addition to LG, Samsung and Philips, Belkin offers smart lighting as part of its WeMo home automation system, and TCP offers a smart lighting system of its own.

Still, these bulbs are much more expensive than regular LED lighting--let alone conventional incandescent bulbs--and that's before factoring in the cost of extra equipment. Energy savings from home automation can help defray the cost, but smart bulbs are still a bit of a luxury item.

Samsung hasn't announced pricing or a release date for its own smart bulbs.

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Originally published on TechHive |  Click here to read the original story.
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