HomeKit-compatible Philips Hue Bridge updated to support Zigbee 3.0 smart light bulbs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 7
Philips has issued new firmware for its HomeKit-compatible Hue lighting system, updating the Bridge to include support for Zigbee 3.0, allowing it to work with a wider array of connected lights, lamps, and similar devices produced by other companies.




The firmware update spotted on Reddit, released for both the original model of the Hue Bridge and the HomeKit-supporting second generation model, extends the existing Zigbee support from the Zigbee Light Link communication protocol to include Zigbee 3.0. The update to Zigbee 3.0 will mean the Hue Bridge will still be backwards compatible with devices using Zigbee Light Link, meaning any existing connected hardware should continue to communicate normally with the Bridge.

Zigbee 3.0 is a unification of the low-power communication protocol designed for Internet of Things devices. While there are multiple separate specifications of Zigbee that relate to specific types of devices, such as Light Link, Remote Control, and Home Automation, Zigbee 3.0 combines them all together into one specification, in theory allowing any Zigbee 3.0 device to communicate with other compatible hardware.

The shift to Zigbee 3.0 effectively enables the Hue Bridge to work with a wider range of third-party lamps that communicates using the protocol, expanding the usability of the Bridge to control more devices in the home. Previously this was possible only with bulbs supporting the earlier Zigbee Light Link standard, but the move to the newer protocol introduces more options to homeowners wanting to add more network-connected lighting and other to their home.

This also means other devices that connect over Zigbee 3.0 can communicate using the Hue Bridge to other hardware. For example, Hue lights could be controlled by a Zigbee 3.0-equipped remote control produced by a third party, and built-in lighting systems using the standard could be turned on and off by the Hue.

In the case of the HomeKit-enabled Hue Bridge, this means that HomeKit can influence devices on the network that use Zigbee 3.0 via the Bridge, but do not have native HomeKit support.

According to Philip's developer site for Hue, the company previously announced plans to certify new products to the Zigbee 3.0 standard after releasing its Hue Bridge software update. Consumers are not expected to notice any negative change in their lighting systems after the update, due to its backwards compatibility with Zigbee Light Link.

Earlier this year, Philips introduced Hue Entertainment, a way for users to synchronize their lights with movies and games using the Hue iOS app. The firm also teased Hue Sync, an upcoming tool for macOS High Sierra that can construct lighting scrips for any media played on a computer, as well as a refreshed version 3.0 of the Hue iOS app that will offer quick access to recent scenes and simplified light grouping options.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    How about Phillips first fix my ability to login remote via the app!!!  Account credentials accepted, then I get the spinner and never connects!  WTF?!
  • Reply 2 of 10
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 3,858member
    How about Phillips first fix my ability to login remote via the app!!!  Account credentials accepted, then I get the spinner and never connects!  WTF?!
    Why don't you just use the Home app built into iOS? Works great for my Phillips Hue bulbs. As long as you have an AppleTV it should work fine, even from outside your home network. 
  • Reply 3 of 10
    macxpress said:
    How about Phillips first fix my ability to login remote via the app!!!  Account credentials accepted, then I get the spinner and never connects!  WTF?!
    Why don't you just use the Home app built into iOS? Works great for my Phillips Hue bulbs. As long as you have an AppleTV it should work fine, even from outside your home network. 
    I do, but want both to work, they say unlink bridge from web account and/or delete & reinstall app as first troubleshooting steps.  Trying both tonight.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    So will zigabee flex lights work now with HomeKit while using the phillips hue hub?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    So deleting and re-adding the hub via the website fixed the problem.  ;)

    I checked for updates but the 3.0 firmware does not yet show as available.  :(
  • Reply 6 of 10
    When was this update released and has anybody found it successfully?  The Philips Hue app doesn’t have an available update for my v2 bridge.  I’ve been waiting for this update for a while.  I can finally use 3rd party bulbs without paying the hefty Philips premium for their bulbs.  
  • Reply 7 of 10
    adm1adm1 Posts: 630member
    Interesting, the hue app/hub already allowed adding lower priced smart bulbs from the likes of Innr but actively blocked the control of them via homekit - you could only control via the Hue app directly. Very welcome U-turn by Philips.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    mr4jsmr4js Posts: 53member
    More cheap junk from Philips. Better options available elsewhere, I would not wast any money on Philips products. Very unethical company.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29046449




    edited February 8
  • Reply 9 of 10
    macguimacgui Posts: 643member
    The new firmware is v.1712201209 (Bridge V2, square hub). At the moment, my V2 hub is at v.1711151408.

    Automatic update is enabled. Checking for update... shows No updates available.


    mr4js said:
    Very unethical company.
    Oh boo-fucking-hoo.


  • Reply 10 of 10
    The new firmware will be available to US customers on Feb 12, 2018.  This information came from Philips Support.  
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