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Consumer Reports: Web-enabled LED

8:12 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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Consumer Reports has a first look at the "Hue LED" lightbulb system from Philips, which is being sold at Apple stores - and the new "Switch" LED--both of which are currently very expensive.

The new "Switch" bulb actually resembles the old incandescent. It fits into a standard light socket, is dimmiable and can be used in any fixture or any location. It also has no toxic ingredients. It is pricey, selling for $49 at Batteries Plus stores. But, it will last 20 years.

Then there's the "Hue." It lets you change the color of the bulb's light to any shade you want. And you can do it wirelessly with a free app for your phone, tablet, or via your computer. You can also set what time you want the bulb to go on and off.

So what do you get for $199? You get three 50-watt equivalent LED lightbulbs, plus a device you attach to your wireless router.

Still Philips says the bulbs can provide 16 million different colors, allowing you to customize the lighting in each room. Additional bulbs cost $59.

The "Hue's" app lets you control up to 50 bulbs. Prices are expected to fall eventually as mass production begins.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe

(Copyright © 2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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