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App-driven life: When in Rome, you can turn lights on back home

Want to know how to change your smart phone into a light switch? Philips Hue bulbs are controlled by your Android or iPhone, letting you turn them on and off from another room or another country. 


Your phone -- you want it to be a light switch? There's an app for that. The search for new apps spurs demand for creative app designers like Ben Johnson and Michelle Chen, pictured, at Raizlabs in Boston.

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Now that most phones connect to the Internet, how about your light bulbs? Dutch electronics giant Philips trotted out a new kind of bulb last year – one of the first to come with its own Internet router.

These Philips Hue bulbs can be controlled by your Android or iPhone, allowing you to turn them on and off from the couch or ... from another country. The Hue application lets you adjust the brightness and color of each bulb individually and then program different settings for certain situations.


Dinner time? Maybe dim the lights to 70 percent brightness and give them a slightly reddish tint. New painting that you want to show off? Take a photo of the artwork with your phone and then tell the lights to match certain colors from the image.


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