Philips Hue’s new security camera uses your smart lights to scare off prowlers

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Philips Hue smart home security camera on a desk

Philips Hue

While Philips Hue has made a name for itself in the world of smart lights, there hasn’t been much expansion beyond that world — until today.

Starting this fall, Philips Hue will launch its first line of smart home security cameras. And, of course, they work in conjunction with the company’s smart lights. The announcement came courtesy of Hue’s official blog.

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At first glance, it’s fairly standard for a smart home security camera. The Hue Secure (which can be either indoors or outdoors) has a live feed, recorded clips, motion alerts, two-way talk, night vision, and a built-in alarm. A small subscription fee ($3.99 a month) gives you access to a longer history of clips and the ability to set customized motion zones.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Provided you have Hue smart lights, you can set a customized response to motion. And that doesn’t just mean turning lights on if someone is nosing around. With Hue’s security cameras, you can set customizable actions for your lights — say, brighten lights that were set to dim light or set lights to strobe red.

Also: 5 things I learned while building my smart home

While doing something like this was technically possible before with a third-party app like IFTTT or Tasker, this is certainly an easier method.

The interaction with lights doesn’t happen automatically though. When motion is detected, users will get a notification. On that screen, there’s a “Perform Action” button that has the option to sound an alarm, call authorities (or another emergency contact), and turn on the lights.

Philips Hue is also introducing door and window contact sensors that have the same customization options, with those light automations happening automatically when a door or window is opened.

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Four security cameras will be available this fall — a wired and battery-operated version, each in a black or white option. A fifth camera, the Philips Hue Secure floodlight, is set to debut early next year. 

How much will these cameras set you back? The Secure cameras will carry a price tag of $200 for a wired version and $250 for the battery version. Adding the floodlight brings the price to $350. It’s worth noting that’s significantly more expensive than the competition. Ring and Blink both have indoor and outdoor cameras in the $60 range, with floodlight versions coming in at around $100.

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