Philips Hue is one of the best smart lights, but can it work without a Bridge? And when you do need a Bridge for a home setup?
The answer to this question, is yes. Philips Hue has a new generation of bulbs hitting the market. The new generation of the Philips Hue is embedded with a Bluetooth chip allowing you to control your lights via the Philips Hue with Bluetooth app. Philips Hue with Bluetooth, allows you to control your Bluetooth-enabled lighting with the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, thus eliminating the need for the Bridge..
If you plan on enhancing or integrating the new generation Philips Hue with other smart lighting platforms or older generation models, then you would need to invest in the Bridge. So, if you decide later on down the road that you want to add the Aurora dimmer, Philips Hue Outdoor Luminaires or motion sensors— then you need to plan on purchasing a bridge, as these products are not Bluetooth-enabled. With the Bridge you are using Zigbee to communicate and send wireless signals to other lights and devices which activates features such as motion sensors, energy-harvesting switches and more.
Have other Questions about Philips Hue:
- Will Philips Hue work without internet?
- What is Zigbee?
- Will Philips hue work with Alexa?
- Will Philips hue work with Echo Dot?
- Will Philips hue work with Google Home?
- Can Philips hue be used in the Bathroom?
- Will Philips hue work with Hive?
- Will Philips Hue work with Dimmer Switch?
- What Smart Light apps does Philips Hue have?
- What happens in case of a Power Outage?
- Can you use Philips Hue Outdoors?
- Will Phillips Hue work with 220V?
- What are the Best Smart Light Bulbs?
A bit about Signify
The mastermind behind the new generation of Philips Hue is Signify, an independent company that was created as a spin-off from Philips, back in 2016. The head of technology at Signify is George Yianni. Yianni’s motive behind the various innovations to Philips Hue, to make smart lighting affordable. According to Yianni, “Our research as shown …there is a perception that the Bridge makes [Hue smart lighting] more complex. The customer feedback we get is that users find it very easy to set up our current products. But [Bluetooth] will allow customers to start experiencing smart lighting—so they can decorate their homes with light—with even one bulb.”
The people over at Signify, believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience a smart lighting system. These new bulbs are equipped with a chip that works with both Bluetooth and Zigbee, side-by-side. This creative innovation allows users the option to connect a bridge later down the road and integrate their smart lighting system with advanced features and options. The goal is to eventually place this chip in all of the Philips’ Hue products allowing the possibility to connect via Bluetooth with Bluetooth-enabled lights or Zigbee.
Yianni feels that with the new generation of bulbs, more consumers will be able to have a smart lighting system. Before the introduction of the new generation of Philips Hue bulbs, affordability was the main obstacle in the way of some consumers that wanted a smart lighting system. There starter kits available in the past that contains 4 Hue bulbs and a Hue Bridge—which would run anywhere from $93 to $142, depending on the starter kit that you purchased. With this new Hue bulb, the cost to startup a smart lighting system is significantly lower. The new generation bulbs cost about the same as the older generations. You can expect to pay between $14.99 to $49.99 per bulb depending on the specific product. You can start with one bulb- aforementioned and gradually increase the number of bulbs. This allows you to save about $50 when you initially implement your smart lighting system.
Signify takes pride in being the first to implement this type of technology. Users are given a pre-set option to be able to upgrade to the Bridge in the future. Over time, as new Philip Hue products are unveiled, Signify is aiming to ensure they are equipped with the latest Bluetooth chip. According to Yianni, they are in the process of rolling out more Bluetooth products between now and throughout 2020. Until then, if you anticipate that you would want to control multiple rooms at one time, control the lighting remotely, or even dabble with the more advanced accessories, then you will need the Bridge. This will provide you with the network capabilities with Zigbee, to expand your signal range.
What is the Bridge?
This is the hub that connects all of your lights, and you can connect up to 50 lights and accessories per Bridge. The Bridge communicates through the Zigbee network to send signals to your lights and devices. This is the brain of the smart lighting setup, allowing you to connect with the Philips Hue app enabling you to control your Philips Hue features and products.
The Philips Hue does not need an internet connection to work. However, the Bridge is required to use an Ethernet cable to connect with a wireless router for wireless communication to other bulbs. If you are questioning if Philips Hue needs internet to control the lighting system—the answer is no. Internet isn’t necessary for the router in which you connect with the Bridge. This device is standalone, so the internet is not required. The Philips hue works through a mesh network known as the Zigbee Light Link, also known as Zigbee pro wireless network protocol.
Zigbee is a communication specification for low power wireless personal networks, such as home automation. This is the mesh network that the Bridge communicates through to send wireless signals which allow you to control and operate your smart lighting system.
Yes. You are able to pair Alexa with Philips Hue for your smart home setup. In fact, several voice commands are recommended to optimize your experience using smart lighting. You can use Alexa to help guide you with light recipes, to find the best lighting to customize your lighting. Here are some of the commands that Alexa can perform and the top commands that are used:
- “Turn on all the lights.”
- “Turn off all the lights.”
- “Make my kitchen brighter.”
- “Dim the lights.”
- “Brighten the lights in the living room to 75%.”
- “Make my lights warmer.”
- “Make my lights cooler.”
- “Turn my kitchen lights green.”
- “Set the lights in the den to Relax.”
- “Turn on Read in the study.”
Don’t forget to to say Alexa before giving the command. Once again these are just the top ten commands that are used. You have a wide variety of colors and scenery to choose from.
Own an Alexa, try our list of 529 Funny Things to ask Alexa.
Yes. The Philips Hue Bluetooth lights are directly compatible with the Amazon Echo Dot Third Generation, Echo Plus and the Echo Show 2nd Generation. Alexa is the voice and brains behind the Amazon Alexa and Echo devices and speakers. It is recommended to utilize the Bridge, to maximize the Philips Hue system benefits. Just using the Bluetooth limits the additional benefits, such as Away-from-home control, schedules, routines, timers, configuring Hue smart accessories, Syncing lights with music and movies and video games.
The Echo Dot does require you to say either Alexa or Echo before a command.
Google Home is a Google Assistant-enabled device that is compatible with Philips Hue Bluetooth lights. You have control of your smart lights by using Google Assistant commands. You can:
Provide the basic light control by stating a command such as—
- “Hey Google, turn off the lights.”
- “Hey Google turn off the bedroom lights”
- “Hey Google turn off all the lights”
- “Hey Google dim the lights”
- “Hey Google dim the lights in the den by 40%”
- “Hey Google brighten the lights in the bedroom by 20%”
Set moods, scenery, color the walls, provide best light based on activities—
- “Hey Google turn off Soho in the kitchen”
- “Hey Google turn on Read in the family room”
- “Hey Google turn the lights purple”
Set your sleep lights—by using the command below, you are able to dim your lights slowly for 30 minutes, until they are off
- “Hey Google Sleep my lights.”
If you need a gentle wake up in the morning- where the lights are slowly brightened for 30 mins. Use the command below
- “Hey Google turn on gentle wake up”
Click here for 139 Google Home commands.
The answer is yes, as long as the hue bulb is within a bathroom light fixture for safety. Philip Hue has lights highly recommended for the bathroom. Three basic types of lighting should be used in the bathroom environment.
- Ambient lighting- is used to highlight the area
- Accent lighting- designed to concentrate on a particular area or space within the bathroom
- Task lighting – which is what is used to shave and apply makeup
To help provide the type of lights needed, there are products that Philips Hue has—as part of their product expansion portfolio, which are:
- Philips Hue Adore Mirror- non-heated white light with a dimmer switch. You use the app to connect to the device and control it through either one of the many friends of Hue devices or with phone apps.
- Adore Bathroom Wall Lamp/Light- bathroom mirror light with a dimmer switch, has a white diffused light that can be adjusted
- Adore Bathroom Spotlight- it possesses a dimmer switch and can be adjusted to shine the light where needed it comes in a single spot, two spot and three spot.
- Philips Hue Adore Chrome- is a ceiling light with a dimmer switch to control the brightness and you perform the control through the Hue app (for the Bridge)
Yes. It has recently been announced that you Philips Hue light bulbs are able to integrate within the hive platform fully. This allows you to control your Philips Hue lighting through the Hive interface.
Can I control my Philips Hue lights using the Hive app?
Yes. You can control the brightness, color temperature and turn them on and off. You can also use the mimic feature—where you appear to be home when you are not. Hue colors are supported in the Hive app, and you have complete control via the integrated platform. The setup is simple, login to your Hive app and click on “install devices, then “works with” and select Philips Hue and follow the remaining steps. You do need to make sure that the Philips Hue Bridge is connected to the Hive Hub, in order for your Philips Hue lights to automatically have updates applied.
Yes, by removing the original light switch. From there you can control with a wall switch or remote control. The wall switch is attached to the “wall” with adhesive. Remove it from the wall, and it is the remote control.
There is a more straightforward way that this is handled. The Aurora dimmer is easily assembled on top of the light switch. This eliminates the need to have voice control or to use an app. When the dimmer is used, the light switch remains on. You can maintain the Aurora Dimmer through the Hue app.
The main apps are as follows:
- The Hue app— if you have the Bridge to pair it with, you can control all of your light settings from the app. Allows you to sync your lights, set timers and routines, enable things such as away from home control, and you can control up to 50 lights.
- The Hue Bluetooth App— You are able to control up to 10 Bluetooth enabled lights. If you see the Bluetooth icon on the Hue products that you purchase that product should pair with control from the Bluetooth app.
- Hue Sync Mobile App— This allows you to set and control content on Tv. Make your lights dance and flash—must use with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.
- Sync Desktop App—This app pairs lights with music, movies and games. You can even set your lights to mimic your screen.
Just like the traditional light bulbs, power is needed to control the lights. When the power returns, the lights should resort back to the last setting it had. If there are any issues, you will need to update Bridge to the latest update. You then need to open your Philips Hue app and go into the Power Loss Recovery settings, and set it to what you wish the lights to do after a power outage and power is restored.
What is the difference between Philips Hue with Bluetooth and Philips Hue with Bridge?
Both versions of Philips Hue, allow you to do the following:
- Use with Amazon or Google Home voice command devices
- Adjust temperature of light for better ambience
- Work with Hue dimmer switch
- Options of 16 million colors of light
- Incorporate use of light recipes for daily tasks
When you upgrade to Philips Hue with Bridge, you enjoy the following additional features:
- Instead of being able to control up to 10 lights with a single room range, you can control up to 50 lights with a full house range
- Configure Hue smart accessories
- Set timers and schedules for your lights and moods
- Control your lighting system remotely with Away-From-home control
- Use the wake up and go to sleep features and commands to brighten or dim lights
- Sync your lights with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync box for music and movies
- Enhance your media entertainment with Philips Hue color-capable LED lights, set your lights to do what’s on your TV or computer screen
What is home automation?
This is the term given to your “smart” appliances. This means device or component in your home is functions without assistance.
What is Philips Hue?
Philips Hue is a complete smart lighting system that consists of the following:
- Light bulbs- variety of sizes, shapes and models based on your preferences and needs
- Hue Bridge- this is the hub that connects all of your lights, you can connect up to 50 lights and accessories per bridge
- Hue app- think of it as a remote command center, you can control your lighting system from the app
What is Smart Lighting?
Smart lighting is a home automation feature that is designed to be more efficient than traditional lighting. Traditional bulbs are replaced with smart bulbs that are joined together through an internet-connected hub. This allows you to adjust the brightness in your home, as well as create a lighting schedule based on your lifestyle.
Yes, Philips Hue introduced an outdoor collection in 2018 to create the right setting in your outdoor space. This includes motion sensors, mimic feature as well as the lighting color schemes and scenery that is available in the indoor suite. The outdoor collection is also able to connect with your current system through the Bridge, allowing you to control the outdoor lighting through the Philip Hue app.
How many different types of Philips Hue color types are available?
The answer is three color types are available (each providing a different purpose), which are:
- White- dimmable and gives a white light the color temperature of 2700k.
- White ambience- dimmable, adjustable from being a warm, soft white to bright day light (between 2200k and 6500k)
- Color & white ambience- Of all the types this is the most colorful. The lights are dimmable and provide over 16 million colors to choose from.