Need to Know
- GE is adding several new products in 2020 to its C by GE line of smart home lighting.
- The new launch also includes updates to the C by GE app, and third-party integrations are coming that will allow GE’s smart lighting to “talk” to other smart home products.
- The smart lighting market is going to be worth $23 billion by 2025.
Starting in early 2020, C by GE’s new hubless three-wire smart switches and two wire-free dimmers will be available in stores, both of which are firsts for the industry. These new products don’t require a central hub like the Google Nest or Amazon Alexa to control them and can be installed without rewiring the house, making them enticing to new smart home adopters.
While GE is already a leader in appliances, an insistence on simplicity, safety, and efficiency makes consumers lean on their lighting solutions automatically.
Compared to IKEA’s smart home advances which are admittedly spotty in terms of ease of use and connectivity issues, GE has a better grasp on the lighting technology but similarly struggles with connectivity as seen by the 1.8-star rating of their app on the Google Play store. The main complaint? “Abysmal” connectivity and difficult set-up.
Along with new products, the conglomerate also updated its C by GE app to support new bulbs, dimmers, and plugs. What started with an app to control C-Sleep, a Bluetooth-controlled light bulb that shifts its color temperature automatically throughout the day, evolved into the C-Reach hub that controls the bulbs over WiFi, and has now become C by GE.
The app allows consumers to personalize their daily routines with their smart lighting, in a similar way that smart temperature control systems will manage the temperature of your home whether you’re home or away.
Eventually, GE will also open third-party integrations into the app under the name of Works with C by GE. “[C]onsumers will see third-party smart products carry this identification, signaling simple integration and compatibility with C by GE products,” wrote the company in a press release.
Integrations are great, but it remains to be seen whether these new updates will change the ease of use for consumers. It is in GE’s best interest to succeed in smart lighting, which will be worth over $23 billion by 2025, especially with competitors all around.
“As we expand our presence in the smart home, we’re committed to providing [consumers] with convenient products that exceed expectations,” says Paul Williams, GM Product Management & Growth, GE Lighting.