A few years ago, GE launched C-Sleep, a Bluetooth smart light bulb that automatically shifted its color temperature throughout the day to match the ambient outdoor hue. The New York company expanded the C by GE lights product family in November 2017 with C-Reach, a hub that connects to GE bulbs with Wi-Fi so that they can be controlled with the Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit. And today, ahead of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company took the wraps off of this year’s additions: full-color bulbs, smart switches, a wireless wall plug, and more.
GE’s new smart home products carry a “Made for Google” designation — a smart bulb industry first, the company claims. Made for Google, which launched in October 2017, certifies that USB-C earbuds, power adapters, phone cases, and more will work with products like the Pixel, Pixelbook, and Google Home. In this case, the compatibility confers benefits like quick setup through Google Home, Google Home Mini, the Google Home Hub, and the Google Home app without the need for a dedicated hub.
“Lighting is pervasive at home, which makes for an intuitive way to turn on smart benefits,” Paul Williams, general manager at GE Lighting, said. “We are leveraging lighting’s real estate, plus powerful partner connections, to launch new easy-to-use platforms that drive more productivity, safety, and enjoyment throughout the home.”
First on the list are full-color LEDs in three form factors: a 60-watt equivalent A19 bulb, a BR30 recessed can, and a custom-sized light strip. All feature tunable whites and “millions” of color options — an improvement over GE’s C-Life bulbs, which have a single color setting, and C-Sleep bulbs, which have three settings — and can be controlled with voice and apps, or through custom routines and schedules.
Also new this year are hub-free C by GE smart switches that work with existing light fixtures. They can power-toggle and dim most brands of incandescent, halogen, CFL, or LED bulbs, and work with voice assistants and smart home apps. Additionally, they can wirelessly communicate with each other to synchronize bulbs on different circuits; work when switched off; and come in several distinct flavors, including a dimmer switch with an embedded motion and ambient light sensor.
If those don’t float your boat, perhaps the new C by GE app and voice-controllable smart wall plug might, or GE’s new battery-powered motion detector with a built-in ambient light sensor. If not, there’s GE’s Smart Light Starter Kit, which comes with a Google Mini and pre-paired C by GE bulb, which was a CES Innovations Awards honoree.
GE’s new smart bulbs, smart switches, smart wall plug, and motion detector will be available later this year, the company says. The Smart Light Starter Kit launched in October, and starts at $55.