Philips Hue Ambience offers white light from warm to cool

Philips has a new Hue light set for smart home fans, and this time the connected bulbs aim to bring every shade of white light into your bedroom or living room. The Philips Hue White Ambience kit introduces a new bulb, which although only offering white light – rather than the colors Hue is perhaps best known for – can be adjusted in light temperature.

In fact, the Ambience bulb supports anything from 6,500 K, the equivalent of cool daylight, all the way to 2,200 K, which is a warmer, almost golden light. Philips' light recipes are supported, which use different light temperatures to promote concentration, relaxation, or other moods.

However, the Ambience kit also introduces new "Routines" to the app, effectively preset macros designed to automate lighting changes. "Wake Up", for instance, mimics the sun's rising, with the light levels gradually increasing until your chosen wake-up time; conversely, "Go to sleep" does the opposite, gradually dimming.

A new light recipe, "Nightlight", is intended for those often up in the night – Philips suggests new parents might be ideal candidates – providing a low-level of light sufficient to see by, but without the blue light component that would disturb normal sleep cycles (assuming any new parent remembers what a "normal sleep cycle" actually looks like).

It's not Philips' first foray into white bulbs. Back in 2014, it launched Hue Lux, offering white-only LED lighting for a lower price-per-bulb than its original multicolor bulbs.

That was followed last year by the Wireless Dimming Kit, which paired a single white bulb with a wireless, battery-powered wall switch for easy retrofitting.

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Hue White Ambience takes elements of the two, but builds upon them with support for different light temperatures. It comes packages with the same remote wall switch as in the Wireless Dimming Kit, along with the new second-generation Hue Hub 2.0 with Apple HomeKit support.

Even if the light recipes and sunshine wake-ups aren't appealing, Philips suggests there's plenty of simply aesthetic reasons to go for light temperature control. In an open-plan space, for instance, it's possible to delineate different living areas – the kitchen versus the dining room, perhaps – by making the light in each zone warmer or cooler.

The Philips Hue White Ambience Kit goes on sale this spring, with pricing set to be announced closer to release. Meanwhile, integrated luminaires – effectively lamps with this white-adjustable control built-in – will follow in fall 2016.