Editor’s Note: Updated on Saturday, June 28 to include additional pricing information.
GE introduced its new Link Connected LED brand today, adding itself to its growing list of manufacturers releasing smart lighting options in 2014. New LEDs are expected. Will hit more than 2,000 Home Depots in the US this fall. GE also told us they will be available for pre-order on Homedepot.com starting Monday, where they will sell for under $ 15 per bulb.
That’s a pretty eye-catching price tag and could put some pressure on other smart LED makers trying to sell bulbs at significantly higher prices. I’m thinking specifically about the $ 60 Philips Hue Lux and the $ 40 Belkin WeMo LED (both of which haven’t yet reached consumers yet), although we’ve also seen new smart LED services from companies like Samsung and LG.
Against the pricing trends of such companies, GE will instead aim for the affordable type set by the Connected by TCP Wireless LED Light Kit, which it will compete on shelves at Home Depot. TCP’s kits are cheap, with bulbs selling for around $ 17, but with more market share and undeniably greater brand recognition in the illuminated aisle (after all, this is Thomas Edison’s company), GE may be in a better position to flex the muscles here.
The LED Link will come in three types: conventional 60W replacement type, figure A19 with 2,700K color temperature for $ 15, indoor headlight, picture BR30 also illuminates at 2,700K and retails for the price $ 20, and the PAR38 projector light is rated for indoor and outdoor use that glow at 3,000K and costs $ 25.
That 60W replacement model is rated for a 25,000 hour lifespan and will produce 800 lumens from 12 watts, giving an efficiency rating of 67 lumens per watt. That’s respectable, but not as tall as a TCP Connect LED, which produces 73 lumens per watt. The other LEDs we tested recently pushed that efficiency score higher. For example, Cree’s new three-dimensional LEDs are capable of generating over 100 lumens per watt.
Like Philips, Belkin and TCP smart bulbs, the Link LED will require a hub to communicate with your Android or iOS device. GE hubs plug directly into a wall outlet and cost $ 30. You will also be able to purchase a starter kit for $ 50 with a hub and two 60W Replacement Link LEDs.
Interestingly, ZigBee-based linked connected LEDs are not the direct product of GE’s collaboration with New York-based startup Quirky, but they will be completely programmable. via the Quirky’s Wink app, control other Quirky + GE-branded smart home products, such as Aros Smart Air Conditioners and Pivot Power Genius.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if the new Link LEDs have their own channel on the IFTTT online automation service, recently introduced. channel for the majority of Quirky’s smart home lineup. Another thing worth watching would be SmartThings, a burgeoning home automation network that has integrated both Quirky products and third-party smart LEDs into its compatible device lineup. Both destinations feel fit for Link.