Philips' latest connected lighting product is taking aim at your recessed fixtures. The new Hue bulb, named BR30 to match the existing standard, screws into sockets typically pre-installed in kitchens, hallways and living rooms. They focus output in a beam, compared to the original Hue bulbs, which yield omni-directional light. That detail is the primary differentiator here -- functionality is identical, as is the price tag of $59 per individual bulb or $199 for a three-pack that includes a Hue bridge.
As with their siblings, including the LightStrips and Bloom, you can control the LED BR30s from a smartphone, computer or tablet, letting you assign any color and brightness to individual bulbs. They're rated for a 15,000-hour lifespan, and Philips reports energy savings of up to 80 percent over conventional bulbs. You can pick up the BR30 beginning today from Amazon or Apple retail stores, while European customers can now order a GU10 version, which is more common in track lighting. That latter flavor will ship stateside in December.