GE teased their new “Sol” smart light that is both a smart lightbulb as well as an Amazon Alexa-powered speaker and microphone. They will also be updating their C by GE smart bulbs to work with Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit.
GE is starting to make serious progress in smart lights
GE announced that they will be releasing what they call the first lighting product to have Alexa built in. The product will be called Sol. Based on the video above and their press release, it looks like the Sol will be able to act as a standalone Alexa device, so you won’t have to own an Echo or Echo Dot. This could be a good solution for people like me who have an Echo in the kitchen, but would like to have Alexa in more rooms without having not-so-pretty cylinders all over our homes.
The C by GE Sol will retail for $199.99 when it is released this September.
GE also announced that they would be updating their existing C by GE smart lights to work with Alexa and HomeKit. This support will come via the C-Reach hub, which the company does not yet sell, and has not announced pricing for.
The connected bulbs will be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit this summer. This compatibility is made possible through a new easy-to-operate C-Reach hub, allowing consumers to turn on and off their C by GE lights, dim them and control bulbs individually or in groups by rooms with a simple voice command.
I have personally owned these bulbs for a few months and have been using them sparingly due to their lack of integration into any other smart home ecosystem. Currently they can only be controlled by GE’s own app, and the experience is simply not as good as it is with Apple’s HomeKit or Amazon’s Alexa. Keep your eyes on this space.