New Philips Hue bulbs updated with Bluetooth connectivity

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2019
Philips has updated the Hue line with Bluetooth-equipped bulbs replacing the Zigbee-only ones, but they still need the Hue Bridge to work with HomeKit.

Hue with Bluetooth are now available in A19 and BR30 bulb types
Hue with Bluetooth are now available in A19 and BR30 bulb types


Starting today, new A19 and BR30 Hue bulbs are available that support Bluetooth alongside the traditional Zigbee. These new Bluetooth bulbs are designed for those who are just starting out their smart home or don't have access to the internet to control their bulbs.

They are set up using the new Hue Bluetooth app, and up to 10 can be controlled through the app. A hub is not required for connectivity through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge. At any time users can add the Philips Hue Bridge to unlock additional functionality such as support for Hue accessories and Apple HomeKit.

Hue with Bluetooth are now available in A19 and BR30 bulb types
Hue with Bluetooth are now available in A19 and BR30 bulb types


Like the existing bulbs, white is just controllable and dimmable and stays a natural white, White Ambiance can be adjusted from a warm to cool hue of white, and White and Color Ambiance can adjust the shades of white as well as the full color spectrum spanning millions of different hues.

The new Hue with Bluetooth bulbs will replace the existing A19 traditional bulbs and BR30 downlight bulbs which are the two most common. They each come in White, White Ambiance, and White and Color Ambiance. for $14.99, $24.99, and $49.99 respectively.

Additional bulb styles will be adding Bluetooth in 2020. So far it has been a busy year for Signify and Hue. After releasing a pile of outdoor lights at CES 2019, they've launched an outdoor light strip, an outdoor motion sensor, and the indoor Aurora dimmer -- all of which AppleInsider has reviewed recently.

The new BR30 and new A19 bulbs can now be ordered on Amazon, each in White, White Ambiance, or full White and Color Ambiance versions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,454member
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity

    The LifeX bulbs I bought for my grandson work great.   So does the Insignia garage door opener.  Both can use a hub if you want.   But the hubs are all Apple devices (AppleTV, HomePod or a stay-at-home iPad).  Especially for a door opener/lock I don't trust anybody but Apple to have access.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I was excited when I saw this, but then I read the article. I have probably 50+ HomeKit devices and not one hub (other than Apple TV). I really don't want to have a bunch of hubs. Also, 99% of my HomeKit devices are WiFi. I find Bluetooth much more of a problem and I would not want my house full of bluetooth light bulbs. I would consider a few of these if they add HomeKit without needing their hub,
    edited June 2019 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 481member, editor
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity

    The LifeX bulbs I bought for my grandson work great.   So does the Insignia garage door opener.  Both can use a hub if you want.   But the hubs are all Apple devices (AppleTV, HomePod or a stay-at-home iPad).  Especially for a door opener/lock I don't trust anybody but Apple to have access.
    So part of the reason they didn't do that is for the complexity. The Hue Bridge is already certified as a HomeKit device and these bulbs support the bridge so why the need to get them re-certified on their own? That would inflate their cost as they pay Apple those added licensing fees and slow down their launch cycle while they wait approval from Apple.
    Second, if you first start with the bulb then add the bridge the setup gets quite complicated as the bridge itself is a HomeKit device. If the bulbs were too, when adding them to the bridge you'd essentially have to remove the bulbs from your HomeKit setup and reconfigure them with the bridge. Too much for the average user.

    LifeX does work without a bridge but they are Wi-Fi-based bulbs and not Bluetooth or Zigbee as the Hue bulbs are.

    Nothing changes as far as the privacy goes. In fact, since they are local using Bluetooth, one could argue they are more secure than bulbs that get on the Wi-Fi.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity

    The LifeX bulbs I bought for my grandson work great.   So does the Insignia garage door opener.  Both can use a hub if you want.   But the hubs are all Apple devices (AppleTV, HomePod or a stay-at-home iPad).  Especially for a door opener/lock I don't trust anybody but Apple to have access.
    All bluetooth bulbs need a cloud account to store scenes and other stuff that the Bridge normally does.   Philips probably doesn't want to build out a cloud infrastructure so for people that need more functionality they'll just add a Bridge. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,668member
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity
    What...on earth...are you talking about?
    D_CMillswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,454member
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity
    What...on earth...are you talking about?
    If you gotta ask the question, you won't understand the answer.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,454member
    "HomeKit is not supported in these bulbs over Bluetooth and still requires the Philipe Hue Bridge"

    So, why would they do that?
    I see only one reason:  Spying.
    .... Well, maybe a second possibility:   Stupidity

    The LifeX bulbs I bought for my grandson work great.   So does the Insignia garage door opener.  Both can use a hub if you want.   But the hubs are all Apple devices (AppleTV, HomePod or a stay-at-home iPad).  Especially for a door opener/lock I don't trust anybody but Apple to have access.
    So part of the reason they didn't do that is for the complexity. The Hue Bridge is already certified as a HomeKit device and these bulbs support the bridge so why the need to get them re-certified on their own? That would inflate their cost as they pay Apple those added licensing fees and slow down their launch cycle while they wait approval from Apple.
    Second, if you first start with the bulb then add the bridge the setup gets quite complicated as the bridge itself is a HomeKit device. If the bulbs were too, when adding them to the bridge you'd essentially have to remove the bulbs from your HomeKit setup and reconfigure them with the bridge. Too much for the average user.

    LifeX does work without a bridge but they are Wi-Fi-based bulbs and not Bluetooth or Zigbee as the Hue bulbs are.

    Nothing changes as far as the privacy goes. In fact, since they are local using Bluetooth, one could argue they are more secure than bulbs that get on the Wi-Fi.
    Complexity?   I found it to be incredibly simple to attach IoT devices to Homekit and maintain & operate them from there.   A hub is essentially a middleman and will only ADD complexity not reduce it -- particularly multiple hubs from multiple vendors

    Privacy & Security?   So how is a 3rd party hub from some company I don't trust that is sending data to their very hackable cloud service more secure than my WiFi and Apple's iCloud?

    edited June 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,573member
    I am concerned about these issues. But I'm more concerned about functionality. I use Philips Hue bulbs around my house every day and on average once a day one of the bulbs in my house fails to respond (usually to a HomeKit motion-activated trigger from a Philips Motion sensor because that's how I usually turn my lights on.) So I typically have to speak to my HomePod the command to turn on the light that missed the command.

    If I recommended Hue lights to my friends I would have to explain to them why they respond only 99% of the time. So I won't recommend them.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 481member, editor
    Complexity?   I found it to be incredibly simple to attach IoT devices to Homekit and maintain & operate them from there.   A hub is essentially a middleman and will only ADD complexity not reduce it -- particularly multiple hubs from multiple vendors

    Privacy & Security?   So how is a 3rd party hub from some company I don't trust that is sending data to their very hackable cloud service more secure than my WiFi and Apple's iCloud?

    Correct. Both for Signify to implement and the user to manage.

    You aren't understanding the process that would have to happen. These bulbs can work both as Bluetooth bulbs or with the Hue Bridge. So if someone bought a bulb, used it via Bluetooth they could later expand by getting the Hue Bridge with it so they could access remotely, use motion sensors, or use other Hue accessories.

    Hypothetically, if the Bluetooth bulb supported HomeKit, what would happen is that a user would have the bulb connected to HomeKit via Bluetooth. Then they would buy the Hue Bridge (a separate HomeKit device) and connect the bulb to the bridge. When that happens, they would have to remove the bulb from HomeKit and then re-add it after connecting to the bridge. This would break all automations, rules, etc that were set up for that bulb or room. The average user is also going to have issues knowing to remove the bulb from HomeKit and re-adding it to HomeKit.

    Bluetooth is simpler by itself, but when converting from Bluetooth to the Hue Bridge it gets much more complex.

    Plus on Signify's side they have to go through the complex process of getting the device certified for HomeKit and including HK pairing codes on all bulbs.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    seanjseanj Posts: 257member
    I am concerned about these issues. But I'm more concerned about functionality. I use Philips Hue bulbs around my house every day and on average once a day one of the bulbs in my house fails to respond (usually to a HomeKit motion-activated trigger from a Philips Motion sensor because that's how I usually turn my lights on.) So I typically have to speak to my HomePod the command to turn on the light that missed the command.

    If I recommended Hue lights to my friends I would have to explain to them why they respond only 99% of the time. So I won't recommend them.
    Weird, all my Hue bulbs respond 100% of the time, never any issues.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    I would just like to see less outrageously expensive hue color bulbs.

    Once $49.95, always $49.95?

    I can wait for the occasional sale but I'd rather be able to buy bulbs when I want them, not when Philips wants me to buy one ... LOL.


    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 100member
    I experience the same issues with my Hue bulbs that 22july2013 described, which happen once a week or so.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,454member
    Complexity?   I found it to be incredibly simple to attach IoT devices to Homekit and maintain & operate them from there.   A hub is essentially a middleman and will only ADD complexity not reduce it -- particularly multiple hubs from multiple vendors

    Privacy & Security?   So how is a 3rd party hub from some company I don't trust that is sending data to their very hackable cloud service more secure than my WiFi and Apple's iCloud?

    Correct. Both for Signify to implement and the user to manage.

    You aren't understanding the process that would have to happen. These bulbs can work both as Bluetooth bulbs or with the Hue Bridge. So if someone bought a bulb, used it via Bluetooth they could later expand by getting the Hue Bridge with it so they could access remotely, use motion sensors, or use other Hue accessories.

    Hypothetically, if the Bluetooth bulb supported HomeKit, what would happen is that a user would have the bulb connected to HomeKit via Bluetooth. Then they would buy the Hue Bridge (a separate HomeKit device) and connect the bulb to the bridge. When that happens, they would have to remove the bulb from HomeKit and then re-add it after connecting to the bridge. This would break all automations, rules, etc that were set up for that bulb or room. The average user is also going to have issues knowing to remove the bulb from HomeKit and re-adding it to HomeKit.

    Bluetooth is simpler by itself, but when converting from Bluetooth to the Hue Bridge it gets much more complex.

    Plus on Signify's side they have to go through the complex process of getting the device certified for HomeKit and including HK pairing codes on all bulbs.
    I don't think you understood MY point:  NO F-N Hubs (unless it's an Apple hub) -- at least for me & mine.  3rd party hubs add complexity and privacy & security risks.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    waverboywaverboy Posts: 106member
    Lifx is the only way to go.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 431member
    waverboy said:
    Lifx is the only way to go.
    I have 1 Lifx bulb and several hue bulbs. The routines I have set for the Lifx fail at least once a day however I rarely have issues with the multiple hue bulbs I have. I would have preferred to go with Lifx due to them being wifi, not needing a hub and offering brighter colour bulbs for the $. However, based on my limited experience with Lifx I haven't been impressed with their reliability. 


    Anyone else have both Lifx and Hue? would be interested to hear others experiences when using both brands. 1 Lifx bulb isn't enough for me to conclude if they are any good or not. I may just have a dud bulb or wifi issues where it's installed...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    laytechlaytech Posts: 238member
    Why are you forced to use a hub, it is so lame. I use LIFX and they don't require a bridge, they just work and with home kit, they are literally fantastic. Having another device plugged in using power is just clunky when it doesn't need to be. LIFX prove this so why do Philips insist on the same?
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
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