IT could be the end of the lightswitch - and the start of having to hunt for your mobile every time you want to switch the lights on.

A low power LED lightbulb can display any colour and is controlled by an app goes on sale in Apple Stores around the world today. Made by Dutch firm Philips, the hue bulb plugs into a normal screw light socket, while a control box plugs into an owners broadband connection.

The bulbs can then be controlled via an iPhone or iPad, with colours and dimming all controlled via an app. They can also be controlled remotely, so users can switch lights on an off when they are on holiday to fool burglars.

Jeroen de Waal, Head of Marketing & Strategy at Philips Lighting said: 'Philips hue is a game-changer in lighting – a completely new way to experience and interact with light.

'In the way phones, media and entertainment have been revolutionised by digital technology, now we can also personalise light and enjoy limitless applications.  'Philips continues to redefine the possibilities of LED technology, and hue pushes the boundaries even more, not only in offering great light quality, but in how lighting can be digitised and integrated with our world to further simplify and enhance our lives.' 

The firm trialled the gadget in New York, Berlin and Shanghai, and found the remote capabilities were the most used. –MO

The app for Philips’ hue also features expert LightRecipes the firm claims can improve people's lives, with  four pre-programmed lighting settings based on Philips’ research around the biological effects that lighting has on the body.

These scenarios adjust bulbs to the optimum shade and brightness of white light to help you relax, read, concentrate or energise.

The firm is also developed advanced software for the system using a phone's GPS sensors to automatically turn on the lights as the owner approaches their home, and turn them off again when you leave.

Philips hue is available only from Apple stores and for £179 for three bulbs and a control box, with each additional bulb costing £49.