Ring's new smart light bulbs take aim at Philips Hue

(Image credit: Ring)

Philips Hue had better look out: Ring is launching its own smart light bulbs. At CES 2020, Ring unveiled an A19 and PAR38 smart bulb, designed to integrate into Ring's ecosystem of security cameras, video doorbells and home security systems. 

Similar to Philips Hue's bulbs, the Ring smart lights require a bridge ($49, sold separately) to connect to your home network, and by extension, let you control the lights remotely and sync them up with other products, or smart assistants such as Alexa.

Update: Philips Hue just reinvented the table lamp and track lighting — here’s how.

It's pretty easy to create lighting scenes with other smart bulbs — for example, having the lights turn on when you say, "Alexa, good morning. But with Ring launching its own lights, it means that someone who already has a Ring video doorbell won't have to download another app if they want to add smart lights to their home. 

Still, at the moment, Ring's offerings are pretty basic. Its lights can beam only one color, and can only be dimmed and brightened. Philips Hue has a huge range of bulbs, light strips and other fixtures that can not only change color, but can change color temperature, too. And, Philips Hue's app has some pretty sophisticated lighting scenes built right in. 

Additionally, Ring is launching solar-powered versions of some of its existing outdoor light fixtures, which means you won't have to recharge their batteries as often—or at all, depending on how often they're used.

(Image credit: Ring)
  • Ring Solar Floodlight: A motion-activated floodlight with a 1,300-lumen rating and a 45-foot motion detection range. This is similar to the battery-powered floodlight ($69), only this device comes with a solar panel.
  • Ring Solar Steplight:  A motion-activated light designed for stairs, decks and porches for brightened security where you need it most. It looks to be larger than the battery-powered steplight, owing to its built-in solar panel.
  • Ring Solar Pathlight: Also similar in design to the battery-powered Pathlight, this model has a solar panel on the top, enabling it to operate for much longer without manual recharging. 

Like the smart bulbs, these lights need to be linked to a Ring Bridge ($49.99, sold separately) to be controlled remotely or via Alexa, but owners can also change the brightness of the lights, create schedules for lights to turn on and off, and set them to turn on when motion is detected. 

Pricing has yet to be announced for any of the products, but all of the gadgets should be available later this year. 

While the solar lights are logical extensions of the company's current offerings, the new smart light bulbs is a clear shot at Philips Hue and its ilk. If Ring's bulbs are priced competitively, they could make it easier for a customer to remain in a single ecosystem of products, and not have to worry about juggling multiple apps.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.