After a slow start, the number of smart home products compatible with Apple's HomeKit is starting to grow. The latest is Philips Hue, which will now lets you control its lights using just your iPhone and your voice.
The Philips Hue system is already compatible with a wide range of smart home devices, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat, Logitech Harmony remote control and Amazon's Echo. So, for example, you can have your lights turn on if you set your thermostat to Home, start watching a movie or wake up in the morning.
iPhone compatibility lets you use Siri to brighten up a room with Philips Hue lights. You can also use Siri to change the scene modes you set using the Hue app, dim the lights to a set level, or even turn on specific lights or rooms (such as "Siri, turn on the living room lights").
The new Philips Hue bridge is a white square with rounded corners; the original bridge was a circular disk. As before, the lights connect with the bridge, which then connects to your home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Version 2.0 of the Hue Bridge will cost $60, but current owners of the Hue bridge will be able to upgrade to the HomeKit-compatible version for $40 until December. You can also purchase the Hue bundle — three lights and the bridge— for $200. For those who don't want to upgrade, Philips will still continue to support the original bridge. Either way, Philips' early investment into smart home technology has made it one of the most integrated devices so far.