GE Link Breaks Smart Bulb Price Barriers with $15 ZigBee-Enabled LEDs
Compatible with Quirky’s new Wink home automation hub, GE Link smart LED bulbs ($15 and up) communicate via ZigBee; Lutron ClearConnect wireless bulbs expected to later this year.
If you think smart bulbs are dumb because of the crazy expense of individual lamps when a smart dimmer is so much more effective, think again. The new GE Link smart LEDs start at just $15 each for a standard A19 bulb – way less than competitive products.
For example, the Philips Hue white-light LEDs (Lux) cost $40 each. Like GE Link, the bulbs communicate via ZigBee.
GE announced today a series of ZigBee-enabled bulbs that integrate out of the box with the newly announced Wink home automation hub, a product of GE’s Quirky business.
In addition to the A19 version, GE will offer a BR30 model for less than $20 and PAR38 for under $25, spokesperson Megan Lavelle tells CE Pro.
Here are the details:
- 60-watt replacement soft white (2700K) LED bulb, or A19 shape, commonly used for general lighting in table and floor lamps.
- Indoor soft white (2700K) floodlight LED, or BR30 shape, installed as downlighting found in dining room, living room or other entertainment spaces.
- Indoor/outdoor-rated bright white (3000K) spotlight LED, or PAR 38, used for outdoor security or spotlight.
The products will be available for pre-order via HomeDepot.com this fall.
Will the bulbs integrate with other ZigBee-enabled hubs besides Wink’s? Not yet, Lavelle tells us: “For now, Wink is our preferred platform for GE Link bulbs. This will help consumers navigate the connected home market because it is an open platform and can connect with multiple devices.”
Then again, Wink is backed by GE, so there’s no big surprise there.
Alternatively, GE will offer its own IP-enabled ZigBee Gateway Hub, model PBNDL-SBQH (not unlike the Philips Hue). A GE Link Starter Kit with a Wink-powered hub and two A19 bulbs will retail for less than $50, according to Lavelle.
Also from GE: ‘Telligent Bulbs for Lutron
(Note: This section has been revised from the original, which had noted erroneously that these bulbs were based on the Caseta version of Lutron’s ClearConnect wireless portfolio -jj)
Meanwhile, GE is forging ahead with smart bulbs embedded with Lutron’s Clear Connect wireless technology - the original flavor compatible with RadioRa 2 (not the newer, more affordable Caseta version).
The bulbs are meant to serve as a simple add-on option for consumers who want to enhance their existing RadioRa system with more controllable nodes without rewiring.
Lavelle says that GE is exploring a Caseta wireless version of the bulbs, as demonstrated at CEDIA Expo 2013.
The ‘Telligent line has been in trials at select Sam’s Club stores, Lavelle says, but a broader rollout can be expected later this year.
Meanwhile, Lutron has enjoyed some substantial wins with Caseta. Staples Connect was the first to embed the technology in its hub. Wink just announced Caseta support as well. While the necessary radio is included in the Revolv home automation hub, the technology is not yet supported.
GE Link Starter Kit with two ZigBee bulbs and Wink-powered ZigBee hub and app will retail for $50 for lighting control only. For more integration, go with the Wink Home Automation Hub.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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