Philips Hue light kits now give you more for your money

Philips Hue lights are high on the list of our best smart home device recommendations, but outfitting your entire home with these smart bulbs, which enable you to control your lights from a smartphone, tablet or smart speaker, is pricey.

The good news is that the Philips Hue system is now better value and more robust thanks to the unveiling of new starter kits, multi-packs and additional funky light designs.

New Philips Hue 4-packs

Hue is like an addiction – you never want just one smart bulb in your home. That's why Philips is feeding your light cravings, slipping an extra A19 bulb into its starter kits – and many kits are the same price (or close to it) as before.

The flagship Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit, for example, comes with four A19 bulbs and the essential bridge for $199.99. The original bundle had three bulbs and retailed for $179.99. And three bulbs is hardly enough for a smart home (a smart room, maybe). One bulb alone costs $50, so you're getting a fourth bulb for $20. (UK pricing for the new kits has yet to be confirmed.)

It's a similar story for the Color Ambiance Starter Kit at $149.99 (and White Kit at $99.99). They're also getting a four-pack (vs two-pack) makeover, giving you better value than before.

Already have the bridge? Philips is also selling multi-pack bulbs in fours. No, you don't have to decide between buying each light individually or buying the three-pack kit again with the bridge (and giving the bridge away) due to their close prices.

More Hue lights coming in October

Philips Hue lights now come in all shapes and sizes by way of entire smart light fixtures, instead of just bulb replacements for dumb light bulbs.

Launching in October, the Philips Hue White Ambiance Cher Suspension Fixture is designed for hanging above a kitchen island or dining table. It's priced at $229.99.

The Philips Hue White Ambiance Downlight is designed to replace recessed ceiling lights and comes in two sizes: 4 inches (700 lumens) and 5/6 inches (750 lumens). They're $34.99 each. 

Ceiling lights often have dimmer settings, but the White Ambiance Downlight is meant to deliver warmer and cooler shades from above.

The smallest but maybe most-requested smart bulb is the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Candle Bulb, also launching in October and priced at $49.99.

This 40W-equivalent bulb has an E12 base that fits in your smaller light sockets, but it still boasts 16 million colors and 450 lumens, according to Philips. It's designed for awkward ceiling fans, chandeliers and decorative table lamps.

Smart bulb competition

Philips has pioneered smart bulbs with Hue, but it's faced competition from smaller companies like WeMo, TP-Link, and several others you haven't heard of on Amazon (and don't really trust).

It was only a matter of time before we saw an official Philips Hue price drop (or value-added bundle) across its line of smart bulbs – and since Amazon often reduces prices further, we may see these prices go even lower.

Matt Swider