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Home / Technology / You do not need a hub thanks to Philips Hue's new Bluetooth bulbs

You do not need a hub thanks to Philips Hue's new Bluetooth bulbs



  Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED Lamp

The latest Philips Hue LED can connect to your phone or your Alexa and Google Assistant devices via Bluetooth, without hue Bridge is required.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Put a stop to the rumor mill: Bluetooth Philips Hue lights are officially one thing – and are available wherever Hue products are available today.

For years Philips Hue's Smart Lights have used the ZigBee wireless protocol to communicate with each other and with the Hue Bridge, which controls them and acts as a ZigBee translator for your router ,

At the beginning of this month there were rumors that Philips Hue parent company Signify was working on new Hue bulbs that support Bluetooth. With such lights, you can skip the Hue Bridge altogether and pair it directly with your phone. instead. These rumors now seem to have been confirmed.

"With our intelligent Philips Hue Bluetooth lighting, we make it easy for you to experiment with light and have fun at home," says Jasper Vervoort, Business Leader, Home Systems & Luminaires for Signify's Philips Hue team. "All you need is the smartphone you already own."

Signify launches with its three main Smartlights both in a traditional A-shaped design and BR30-shaped headlights . – A total of six new Bluetooth Hue lamps. The prices are the same regardless of the desired form. Normal white bulbs cost $ 15 each, white ambiance bulbs that allow you to set the white light color temperature cost $ 25 each, and full color changes cost $ 50 each. These are the same prices as in the old versions, which included only ZigBee radios, so you do not pay extra for adding Bluetooth.

This is the first time that Signify offers a floodlit version of . the standard, $ 15 Hue White LED . This bulb is already one of our favorite under the A-shaped Smart Lights. Therefore, the new $ 15 floodlight version should be a welcome (and overdue) addition to the product range. Previously, your cheapest Philips Hue flood light option was the white Ambiance BR30-LED, sold in a pack of two for $ 45. The new Bluetooth versions will continue to be sold for $ 45 in a pack of 2.

More information: The Best Smart Lights with Color Changes That Cost Less Than Philips Hue

] Adding bluetooth in fact means you get these bulbs right from your phone but you can not control them with the usual Hue app. Instead, use a new, reduced Bluetooth-specific Hue app. It allows the basic control of lighting, eg. These include turning objects on and off, adjusting color and brightness, and saving and triggering scenes.

You still need the full-featured Hue Bridge and the original Hue app to try out more advanced features or connect to Apple HomeKit.


Ry Crist / CNET

The new app does not support high-end features such as Hue Entertainment Lighting Zones which are synced to your TV, Google Assistant Wake-Up Fades or the option to control lights via IFTTT or with Siri commands via Apple HomeKit. If you want to try this, you need to get a Hue Bridge.

"We are confident that you will want to continue exploring what Hue can do after the launch," says Vervoort.

Adding the Hue Bridge also allows users to control the lights beyond the limits of the Bluetooth range (about 30 feet or so). However, Hue Bridge is not your only option. According to Signify, the new Bluetooth Hue bulbs can all be directly paired with Google Home Smart Speakers and Google Nest Hub and selected Amazon Alexa devices – especially with , Third generation Echo Dot the second generation Echo Show and the Echo Plus of the first and second generation . Other echo devices will later be supported by Direct Connect, adds Signify.






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Signify also says that pairing the Bluetooth lights with Alexa is especially easy if you buy them from Amazon through the same account that's connected to your Echo speakers. Just screw in the bulbs and turn them on and Alexa should automatically detect them. Otherwise you will have to ask them to "discover new devices", which takes about a minute. All in all a pretty trivial amenity, but still a remarkable one when smart lights play as well as possible with the most popular voice assistants .

The Philips Hue Team Shares Me More Bluetooth Hue bulbs are in the works for 2019 and 2020. This is in line with reports of vintage-style Philips Hue filament LEDs and an updated version of the portable Philips Hue Go fixture is scheduled to be in operation this fall. The Hue team still does not confirm that, but IFA the European Technology Show, where Signify usually introduces new products, is about two months away – I imagine we'll know a lot more soon.


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