C by GE, General Electric’s smart home line has had its sights set on HomeKit for quite a long time, but struggled to come through. This looks to be changing though, as the App used to control C by GE products received an update today that simply states “HomeKit functionality added!”. While this is certainly great news to see, we are hearing whispers that HomeKit support is only being added for a few select lighting devices, and not the full suite of products offered by the company.
The C by GE product line, which saw a revamp at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, covers all the basics in smart home gear. The company has 3 versions of a typical smart light bulb, which include a standard dimmable soft white bulb, a tunable white bulb, and a full color bulb that supports “millions” of colors. HomeKit support has been enabled for the smart bulb line, however, a separate hub is required. The C-Reach hub, is a compact all in one unit that plugs directly into any available power outlet. The C-Reach hub, along with the smart bulbs, utilize Bluetooth for connectivity, which may limit placement options around the home, but does not require Wi-Fi network access.
Other devices within the C by GE catalog include a suite of smart light switches, which have some interesting features. GE has 5 distinct smart light switches, including one that resembles a traditional light switch, utilizing an on/off toggle that makes it blend in with other toggle switches in a home. Of course, GE also has a “rocker” or “paddle” switch style as well, and uses the familiar “decora” style rectangular shape. For those that prefer tactile feedback when using a switch, GE has included an on/off button switch, which houses an LED light ring indicator. Light dimming is also covered in the lineup, with a switch that uses the aforementioned button style along with a “slider” to control light levels. Finally, at the top of the product line is a switch that incorporates a motion sensor as well as the button style switch and dimming slider area. Rounding out the C by GE offerings is your typical smart outlet/plug which has a nice compact and space saving design.
The C by GE line is a great addition to the HomeKit family, as the suite of products are affordable, and bring some unique styles to the table. Pricing for a smart bulb starter kit, which includes the hub required for HomeKit support start at around $50, and add on light bulbs can be found in packs of two for $15-25. We have also heard that a battery powered motion sensor is also in the works, and we will certainly keep you updated as detailed as released. Have some C by GE products in your home already and would like to share you experience with adding HomeKit? Follow Us On Twitter, @HomeKit_Hero, and let us know your thoughts!