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Philips improves upon its color-changing lightstrips

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The idea behind Philips' Hue Lightstrips was pretty neat -- a line of LEDs that change color according to your whims -- but they suffered in the execution. After all, the hardware couldn't offer white light, so you were forced to shut them down if you weren't in the mood for a splash of color. Then there was the fact that the strips were only two meters long, making it pricey to run them down your dramatic entrance hall or under your kitchen cabinets. That's why the firm has spent the last year working on an upgrade, so please be upstanding for the new Philips Hue Lightstrip... Plus.

With the second-generation hardware, the company has basically been ticking off each of these problems as it goes. It can now offer tunable white light between 2,000 and 6,500K, so you'll be able to use these as regular bulbs. Secondly, you can extend the strips up to 10 meters by tacking on up to eight single-meter extensions to the 2-meter base unit. In addition, Philips has boosted the output of the bulbs themselves to 1,600 lumens -- a far cry from the 120 lumens found in the original.

The first-generation Lightstrip was cool, sure, but it wasn't able to adequately replace the bulb hanging from the center of your ceiling. Now, perhaps you'll be tempted to ditch your conventional setup and start sticking these along every alcove and baseboard in your home. If so, then the Lightstrip Plus will be available next month, with the two-meter unit (and power adapter) priced at $90/€80, with subsequent one meter extensions costing you $30/€25.

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