The short answer to this question is sometimes yes and sometimes no but mostly yes. Whilst the Philips Hue is designed to work in countries all over the world despite the power source, the problem seems to be with the bulbs that are used with the system.
Will Phillips Hue work with 220V? There are different bulbs which are available to be compatible with the power source that is available in the country where your smart home is located. This is the key feature. Bulbs of incorrect voltage may work intermittently or incorrectly with a different voltage system. However, not only is it inconvenient to have lights behaving on their own self will rather than as directed, but it can also be dangerous to use bulbs that are incompatible with the power source in that home. So, what is the answer and how can it be resolved?
The quick answer is to ensure that the bulbs that you purchase to support your Philips Hue system need to be clearly marked as compatible with your power source.
Other Questions you may have:
- What forms of lighting are supported by the Philips Hue?
- What does voltage mean?
- [Extended] Does Philips Hue work with 220V?
- Safety Issues connected with the Philips Hue
- Can Philips Hue be used without a Bridge?
What is the Philips Hue?
The Philips Hue offers the chance to control lighting in your smart home in person or remotely by using an app on your tablet or smartphone to control the system. This means you can create your own ambient lighting system within your own home, and you can also use the system to control your lighting remotely so that you can adjust the lighting in your home from out of the home in order to give the impression that someone is home and to deter intruders. This is a useful tool for those that work out of the home or travel, and for those who go away on holiday and have concerns about home safety when they are away.
For those who love technology and are thrilled by the features of a smart home, the Philips Hue is ideal. Not only can the system be directed manually and via the app, but it also works through Alexa and a Google Home. So, smart homeowners can talk to Alexa and say, urn the lights down in the kitchen, or ut the outside lights on in the garden’ and it will happen. This is a useful tool for parents who can dim or turn out lights in children’s bedrooms without having to disturb them. You can also set your home lighting to fit in with a regular routine. So, if you know that you wake at seven am and need the bedroom lights switched on then, this can be present with the Philips Hue. The kitchen lights can be put on at seven fifteen and of course, the lights can be set to be turned off once you have left the home for work.
There’s no need for dimmer switches when you have a Philips Hue because you can alter the brightness of your lights using an app on your smartphone linked to the Philips Hue. However, there is a manual dimmer remote control which allows the homeowner to dim the lights manually when they are in the home.
How to set up the Philips Hue
When you first purchase the Philips Hue it may be daunting to embark on the set-up process. However, Philips offers a starter pack for those who are using the system for the first time. A starter pack comes with a Bridge which controls the bulbs and a couple of bulbs to get you started. Having up to 50 bulbs that can be used with each Bridge gives you the flexibility to control different areas of the home, different light settings, and different colored bulbs to give different effects in different parts of the home.
Although you are likely to be tech savvy if you have a smart home, the Philips Hue is easy to set up in the home with your existing systems. The starter kit which comes with the Philips Hue bulbs can be purchased online or in retail stores and they appear to be successful and popular according to customer reviews.
In terms of set up, the important part of the set-up process is to connect the Bridge which is the fundamental hub of the Philips Hue system. The Bridge connects to other devices such as Alexa and Google Home and to the app on your smartphone or tablet. The Bridge needs to be connected to your home router and once this key step has been achieved the system should work successfully. Once the connection has been established, the relevant devices are all connected instantaneously. The Bridge accommodates up to 50 bulbs which can all be altered from the Hue. The bulbs can be inserted into your regular light fittings and once the Hue app has been connected to your device, you should be up and running.
What forms of lighting are supported by the Philips Hue?
Aside from using the Philips Hue system in your regular light fittings in ceilings or walls, you can also use the Hue system for table and floor lamps. Not only can you set the bulbs to a dimer setting but there are 16 million different colours of the bulb to choose from. This means you can have lovely muted, colored lighting in any corner or area of your home. These lamps can be attached to the Bridge and the router and used in the same way as the bulbs.
The Philips Hue is so adaptable and can be used with many different forms of lighting. There are lighting strips which can be bent or cut to fit different corners or surfaces in the home to give a truly modern feel to your smart home. As with other Philips Hue products, these light strips are dimmable and available in the incredible range of 16 million colours. They work in regular light fittings and recessed light fittings which are prevalent in many smart homes, so the system is understandable popular for technologically wise smart homeowners.
Again, these alternate forms of lighting can be dimmed using the app or with a remote device used manually in the home.
Philips Hue and different voltage supplies.
The Bridge comes with an adaptor for 100-240V so that should work with any power system. Therefore, in theory, it should work anywhere in the world. This vital component controls the whole system, so it is important that this is set up correctly and is fully functioning before any attempt is made to connect bulbs or to set up the system with the app.
If you have a home with a power source of 220V, the Philips Hue bulbs will work even though they are only recommended for 110V. This is certainly the case for Philips Hue bulbs bought in the United States. However, Philips Hue Lux bulbs will not work on 220V. They are better used on a power source of 110V, and if you try to connect them to a 220V supply this could cause serious problems.
Some customers have found that unless they purchased their Philips Hue in Latin America or Europe then they are unable to run them off a 220V power source. So, although the bulb appears to be the issue, there are odd cases where the system does not function correctly. If this occurs, it is worth contacting Philips in the country where you purchased the system, to check for faulty equipment and to talk through any issues that may be related to a faulty set-up.
What does voltage mean?
The voltage of an appliance is dependent on the power source available in the building and country where you live. Wires are designed to be able to carry a certain voltage and can be damaged if they are asked to carry a different voltage for which they were designed. Not many appliances require a 220V circuit, they would be the high-powered home appliances such as a tumble drier or a hot water heater or oven for example. The higher voltage circuit is common in some parts of the world but not universally. For example, in the United States, the power circuit is 120V. Most countries have a circuit that can take 230V.
America was one of the first countries to benefit from a universally available electricity system and it set this power source at 120V. Technology and materials would not have coped with a higher voltage at that time, and it would be counterproductive to reform the system at this stage. The cost and inconvenience of changing the entire system to a 220 or 230V system are prohibitive as it would involve replacing numerous household and industrial items throughout the country.
Many homes in the US have been adapted to be able to cope with a higher voltage and many new homes are built with the capacity to cope with 110V-240V.
Does Philips Hue work with 220V?
The short answer to this complex question is that sometimes the system works and sometimes it doesn’t. The answer lies in the power source supplied to your smart home and the type of bulb you have purchased to support your Philips Hue.
Philips itself says that the Hue will work on any power source between 100-240V. If your system isn’t working properly, and you believe this is as a result of voltage incompatibility then you should contact Philips directly and see if they can offer you some advice on how to fix the problem. Users have reported that Philips has been very helpful in fixing glitches and that systems have worked when they followed the suggestions that Philips gave them.
The issue of which voltage source the Philips Hue will work with is rooted in the different power sources in different countries. Homeowners who have properties in different countries might want a Philips Hue in all their homes. Although the systems and bulbs purchased in the United States are recommended for the local system which supports 120V, customers have been successful when setting up the Philips Hue system in homes that have a 220-240V power source in their homes.
There is a caveat to this discovery. The Philips Hue is compatible with Philips Lux bulbs and these bulbs do not work well with a 220V power source, so should be restricted to use in a home with a 120V power source.
Although the Philips Hue system can be successfully used at the 220V power source, the Lux bulbs may light up successfully for a time, then they may flicker and die. Customers have also reported that the Lux bulbs sometimes re-light when the system is instructed to turn off. Not ideal.
Of course, there are 120V adapters on the market, and customers have reported success by connecting these adapters with a Philips Hue system even in a location where the power source is 220V.
Philips insisted that the system will work in a variety of homes if the power source is between 100-240V. this would appear to cover all options. However, this does not help customers who have had trouble using the Philips Hue in different locations with different power sources and have found intermittent success.
Customers did report issues with Philips Hue bulbs which were bought online and connected to the system at different voltage sources. It may be that the system had some teething issues that Philips has managed to iron out. If your Philips Hue system is not working effectively with a particular power source, it is worth contacting the manufacturer and possibly get a replacement system from them if it is faulty in any way.
However, another issue that may influence the efficacy of your system is the type of bulb that is used with the system. Once again, Philips has worked hard to iron out teething issues with the bulbs and to improve their compatibility with different homes and systems in response to the feedback from Philips Hue customers.
Safety Issues connected with the Philips Hue
Customers have reported issues with the Philips Hue bulbs and Philips have responded, sometimes with more success to the customer than at other times. The safety warning that has been circulated claims that if Philips Hue bulbs had been purchased from a United States source, in person or online, if they then were used in locations with 110V they didn’t work. So, US purchased bulbs will only run off a 110V system according to Philips. They recommend that unless the bulbs say they are compatible for 220-240V then they shouldn’t be used on a 110V system in case they are a danger. Packaging offers this information to the customer, so It is important to check that you are purchasing bulbs from a country that you are using the system. The company will not replace bulbs unless they have been purchased from the country that they are intended to be used in, so this is an important factor when purchasing bulbs and particularly important when trying to buy in bulk online or trying to source a bargain.
There are great deals to be had on Philips Hue bulbs which owners of smart homes have been purchasing for their Hubs. However, there are some factors to consider when trying to get a bargain with these online offers. Customers have reported the bulbs working well on a 220V system for a while, then getting hot and resetting themselves.
The root of the issue appears to be that Philips Hue bulbs purchased in the US or from an online supplier based in the United States, are compatible for 120V power sources and therefore will not work in homes where the voltage source is 200-240V. This encompasses almost the entire rest of the world outside the United States. Hence, customers have been sorely disappointed and frustrated with Philips, when they needed to be savvier when purchasing the bulbs.
The bottom line is that it is vital to check the packaging of the bulbs you are purchasing to support your Philips Hue system. If the packaging recommends that the bulbs are used with a 220-240V power source and that is the source available in your home, then the bulbs should work successfully. If they are recommended for a power source of 110V to 120V then there is less chance of success and there are potential risks associated with using the bulbs in your smart home.
Because this is the standpoint that Philips takes, it is unlikely that they will offer replacement bulbs or refund as it is seen as a customer error. This is deeply frustrating but is a valuable lesson to learn for the future.
Whilst we are buying our Philips product from one company in our minds, there are different branches of Philips throughout the world and each country is supported by its local Philips. The company will help with refunds and replacements if there are genuine issues with a product bought in one country and lit by bulbs that are also purchased in that country. However, if you have purchased the Philips Hue in one country where you live and attempted to use bulbs that are compatible with a different voltage system to the source in that country, Philips will not support replacements or refunds.
Whilst this is viewed as customer error, those who have fallen victim to this inconvenient section are resentful that the company has not made more effort to inform customers that they could encounter problems with incompatible bulbs. If they are fully aware that customers have bought a system that is supported by a variant voltage system, it would seem prudent to reinforce to customers that they must buy the supporting bulbs in the same country, or from an online source that is based in the country where the Philips Hue has been purchased and will be used.
It feels as if Philips is eschewing responsibility for this loophole somewhat. However, there are reputable and helpful light bulbs retailers who have taken on the mantel of responsibility and offer customers this information before purchase. They will ensure that the bulb is completely compatible with the Philips Hue that they have, and more importantly with the power source that exists in the home where the bulbs will be used. Once a retailer such as this has been found, they are a gold mine for Philips Hue customers and will give a huge peace f mind to those whose fingers have been burnt in the past.
Of course, it would be wonderful if Philips Hue light bulbs were compatible with all power sources, as they claim the Philips Hue system itself is. It would have solved a lot of customer frustration if this had happened, however, until that happens it is vital to check the voltage compatibility of your Philips Hue bulb. Then the system should work successfully in your smart home, regardless of the power source that is supplied to that home. The key is to ensure that the bulb is compatible with the power source rather than the Hue itself.
In conclusion, the Philips Hue system is a wonderful addition to the smart home and provides homeowners with the ability to direct the lighting in their homes to their specific taste. The features that the system offers are hugely beneficial in terms of ambience and safety. The Philips Hue system, the Bridge being the hub of the package, are compatible with homes that are served by a variety of power sources.
The conflict arises with the bulbs that are purchased to support the system. These bulbs need to be sourced from a country that has the same voltage power source as the hub itself. This information is clearly marked on the packaging, but if buying online, customers need to be extra vigilant.
It is tempting to purchase bulbs online at a discount, and especially from global suppliers such as Amazon and eBay. However, when doing so, it is vital to ask if the bulbs are compatible with the power source where the bulbs will be used. Once this has been done by the customer, their problems should be resolved. Of course, safety is a vital issue with any electrical appliance, so the advice from Philips about using compatible bulbs should be heeded, despite customers reporting that the supposedly incompatible bulbs did work with intermittent success.