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Philips Hue launches new security-focused products at IFA 2023

Philips Hue Secure IFA announcement - Lead Image

From simple smart bulb setups to smart home security, the 2023 Philips Hue Secure range looks to take a big leap forward

First launched back in 2012, the original Philips Hue was one of the first smart bulbs on the market and has since undergone various iterations and upgrades. With its latest additions, the Philips Hue range is set to be bolstered by a series of security-focused products, including home security cameras, movement sensors and outdoor flood lights under the new ‘Philips Hue Secure’ name. These devices were announced in a special presentation at IFA 2023, alongside a handful of other new smart lighting offerings.

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Philips Hue Secure

Arguably the most noteworthy products in this brand-new lineup are the Philips Hue Secure Cameras. These cameras offer 1080p feeds with night vision, as well as various integrations with other Philips Hue products, allowing you to set up light and sound alerts when suspicious motion is triggered.

The cameras will be available in both battery and wired versions and can be placed indoors via an adjustable desktop stand or outdoors, mounted to a wall. Alongside the standard cameras, Philips is also launching an impressive floodlight camera, with a large bright light that can function as a deterrent to intruders or simply light up your drive when triggered by the presence of your car.

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Philips Hue Secure Floodlight Camera

Philips is also offering various peripherals to help increase the flexibility of its cameras, including a ground spike mount, low-voltage outdoor charging cable and an anti-drop cable. The standard wired Philips Hue Secure camera launches in Autumn 2023 and will be available from £175, while the battery-operated model will start at £220. The Floodlight Camera, available in early 2024, will be the most expensive option at £300.

Outside of cameras, Philips Hue Secure’s most interesting addition is its range of contact sensors. These contact sensors are comprised of a main sensor unit and a magnet, with the sensor placed, for example, on a door frame, and the magnet placed on the door itself. With this setup, it can detect when a door, window etc. in your house has been opened, with the main sensor losing contact with the magnet. These sensors can be used for home security, as well as basic utility, allowing you to set your front hall lights to turn on when your door sensor is activated, for example.

The Philips Hue app is also expected to see some changes with these new products, and is set to feature an entirely new security section. The security section of the app will allow users to monitor their video feeds, respond to security notifications by setting off alerts or calling the authorities, as well as set up activity zones and no-record zones to tailor how their camera operates. Aiming to allay concerns about privacy, in my briefing Philips stressed that all video feeds will be end-to-end encrypted in-camera by default, meaning only the user can view the footage.

The various app features will be split between two plans. Philips Hue Secure Basic offers 30 days of video storage and most of the features mentioned so far, and will be set at £3.99/mth (per camera) or £35/yr (per camera). The Plus plan, which includes advanced features like AI pet detection, will be available for £8.99/mth or £85/yr and can be used with up to ten cameras.

What else is new?

Beyond Hue Secure, Philips also announced a new generation of its popular Festavia string lights. Available from September 2023, in time for Christmas, the second generation Festavia lights are now fully outdoor rated. They also now come in three lengths: eight metres with 100 LEDs, 20 metres with 250 LEDs, and 40 metres with 500 LEDs. Adding an extra bit of sparkle to your Christmas tree, patio or back garden, Philips is bringing three new colour patterns to the Festavia lights: Prism, Opal and Shimmer.

Also new in lighting, Hue will be adding a handy new form factor in the form of its MR16 smart bulb. A common bulb type in many homes, Philips’ MR16 is designed to fit into existing light fixtures, and runs off the same low voltage as a standard MR16 bulb, increasing its compatibility with your existing wiring.

Finally, avid tech fans will be happy to hear that Philips is launching its Matter compatibility update in September 2023, after a series of delays. Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard set by companies like Google, Amazon and Samsung, and should increase the ease of use for Hue products when interacting with other Matter-compatible apps and products.

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