CES 2019 Home Automation

GE Debuts Long-Awaited Color-Changing Smart Bulbs

GE Debuts Long-Awaited Color-Changing Smart Bulbs

Nearly four years ago now, GE announced that it would be making HomeKit-compatible color-changing smart bulbs. And today we got to see them firsthand. We’re kind of jabbing a bit, but we were happy to see these latest additions to the C by GE lighting lineup. These are very likely not what GE was talking about in 2015—to the best of our knowledge, no product actually followed that announcement. But we are happy to see this new offering, shown today in standard A19 and BR30 flood-light form.

At launch a few years back, the Bluetooth C by GE bulbs were an island, controllable only from the C by GE app. But with the addition of the [amazon_link id=”B074JR47HY” target=”_blank” ]C-Reach bridge[/amazon_link] about a year ago, those legacy products and these new bulbs will work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. And in case you missed it, GE announced a partnership with Google last quarter where you can pair and control C by GE bulbs with a Google Home device. Directly. With no bridge. Google Home is the bridge. That’s just magic.

GE Debuts Long-Awaited Color-Changing Smart Bulbs
GE’s new C-Start smart switch packs a lot of features into an overly complex industrial design.

GE also announced two new C-Start smart switches—dimmers, actually. They let you control standard built-in lights via Wi-Fi. But they, too, can act as a bridge between your C-Things and the network. One model even has a motion sensor built in. It’s incredibly smart feature bundle that we’re not seeing in other smart switches yet. But that design…there’s just way too much going on there. You shouldn’t have to look at a switch and wonder what to push or touch to turn on the light.

GE will start rolling out these new products this year, with the first slated to arrive later this quarter. We don’t yet know pricing, but the original C by GE products quickly found their footing on competitive pricing.

Keep an eye on all of our coverage of CES 2019 right here.


About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a product experience consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.