Some of the frequent questions we get requested right here at TechHive is whether or not you actually need a hub to make use of Philips Hue bulbs. The reply? No, you don’t. However there are many causes to spring for a hub anyway.
As just lately as two years in the past, Philips Hue bulbs solely supported the Zigbee wi-fi protocol, which meant you wanted the Zigbee-enabled Hue BridgeTake away non-product hyperlink ($60, though it’s typically included in discounted Hue bundles) to attach Hue bulbs to your property wi-fi community.
All that modified, nevertheless, with the mid-2019 debut of Hue bulbs that supported Bluetooth in addition to Zigbee. Because of the addition of Bluetooth, supported Hue bulbs will be managed immediately from Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android units, no hub required.
Philips Hue has steadily rolled out extra Bluetooth- and Zigbee-equipped bulbs over the previous couple of years—and certainly, all new Hue lighting merchandise help the 2 wi-fi protocols. Be aware, nevertheless, that that is not the case for hardwired indoor and out of doors Hue lighting, aka luminaires.
With assist from the Hue Bluetooth app, you may flip Bluetooth-enabled Hue good lights on and off immediately out of your cellphone. You may as well regulate their brightness, change lighting scenes, and even management them with Alexa and Google Assistant voice instructions.
However whilst you can management newer Hue bulbs utilizing Bluetooth reasonably than a Hue Bridge, there are many the reason why you may finally change your thoughts (and sure, you can change your thoughts later). Listed here are the 4 greatest ones.
You’ll solely be capable of management as much as 10 bulbs
Whereas a Hue Bridge can management as much as 50 Hue lighting merchandise, the Hue Bluetooth app solely enables you to management a complete of 10 Hue lights.
That cap on the variety of Hue bulbs you may management through Bluetooth is perhaps tremendous when you’re simply getting began with Hue good lights, nevertheless it’ll begin to cramp your fashion if you wish to develop your Hue lighting setup to extra rooms in your house.
You’ll must be in the identical room
One of many beauties of Hue mild management utilizing a bridge is that you could management your bulbs from virtually anyplace.
For instance, you should use the Hue app to show your basement lights on whilst you’re within the kitchen, or (offered you’ve enabled “out of residence” management) from anyplace on the planet with an web connection.
Bluetooth-controlled Hue lights, nevertheless, can’t be contacted over the web, and since Bluetooth has vary of solely about 33 toes, you’ll probably must be in the identical room as your Hue bulbs to regulate them.
You’ll be able to’t group bulbs collectively
Bridge-controlled Hue lights will be grouped into both “rooms” or “zones,” which implies you may management all of the bulbs in (say) your bed room concurrently, or you could possibly even set lighting scenes for a number of rooms that you could set off through the Hue app or with voice instructions.
The Hue Bluetooth app, nevertheless, doesn’t help grouping in any respect. So whereas it is possible for you to to energy particular person Bluetooth-controlled Hue bulbs on and off, regulate their brightness, and apply lighting scenes, you gained’t be capable of management a roomful of Hue lights through Bluetooth on the similar time.
You’ll be able to solely arrange fundamental routines
Utilizing the Hue Bridge, you may create elaborate schedules—or “routines”—to your Hue lights.
For instance, you may set out of doors Hue lights to activate at nightfall and switch off at dawn, or you may allow every day or weekday “get up” and “fall asleep” routines that steadily dim your lights at bedtime and lift the brightness within the morning. You’ll be able to even set the Hue app to routinely flip off the lights if you go away residence and switch them again on if you return, whereas a “randomize” possibility turns your lights on and off at totally different instances to idiot potential trespassers whilst you’re away.
However whereas Bluetooth-controlled Hue lights have routines of their very own, they’re critically curtailed in comparison with these accessible on hub-controlled Hue bulbs. Sundown and dawn triggers are out, in addition to common on/off schedules and people randomized trip schedules.
As a substitute, you get “one-time” wake-up and sleep routines, which is able to slowly dim or brighten your Hue Bluetooth lights, however not on a every day or weekly foundation; as a substitute, you’ll must allow the routines every time you wish to use them.
There’s additionally a timer operate that may carry out varied features when the timer runs out; for instance, you may set a Hue bulb to flash when the timer’s up, activate or off, or change lighting scenes. You’ll be able to tie this into timers working in your good audio system as effectively.
Sure, you definitely can management Philips Hue bulbs with out a hub, and when you’re simply dipping your toes into the good residence market, controlling your Hue lights through Bluetooth is the simplest—and least costly—approach to begin.
That stated, if you wish to benefit from all of the options that Hue lights have to supply, you actually ought to spring for a Hue Bridge. Fortunately, the Hue Bluetooth app makes it simple to maneuver your lights over to the Hue Bridge when you finally determine to improve.