Philips Hue Bluetooth vs Bridge: Which is finest?

Philips Hue has remained the highest canine of good lighting by opening up new avenues into its ecosystem. For a very long time Hue’s bulbs solely ran on Zigbee, a mesh community protocol that’s dependable however which requires a Hue Bridge to be related to your Wi-Fi with the intention to work. However final yr, the corporate made an enormous shift with the introduction of Bluetooth, which is now supported throughout its complete vary and can function on all of its future merchandise.

Bluetooth makes Hue a extra versatile product, however there are trade-offs to contemplate. Beneath, we run by way of the variations between utilizing a Hue Bridge and happening the Bluetooth route.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – How do they work?

Let’s kick off with the fundamentals, beginning with the Hue Bridge – which, till late final yr, was required for any Hue setup. The Bridge, which prices £49.99, connects to your router through an Ethernet cable. Consider it because the central nervous system of your complete Hue community. That Zigbee mesh connection helps cut back the probabilities of dropouts, too.

In relation to including new lights, you merely open up the Hue app and get them speaking to your Bridge. All Hue lightbulbs related to the Bridge additionally act as Zigbee repeaters for different Hue bulbs on the community, which implies they’re passing that sign on and lengthening the vary throughout your own home. Once more, lowering the probabilities of a dropout.

For a very long time this was the best way it labored; when you didn’t have a Bridge then the variety of Hue merchandise you may use, save for a couple of equipment, was restricted. Then, final yr, Hue rolled out Bluetooth. Sadly, since this required some {hardware} modifications, the performance couldn’t be added to older Hue bulbs.

Bluetooth works fairly in another way. Bluetooth doesn’t require a Bridge in any respect; you may merely open the Hue Bluetooth app and join your bulbs that means. In truth, there’s a standalone Hue Bluetooth app for operating all Bluetooth connections. It’s just a little annoying that it couldn’t simply be rolled into the primary Hue app, however in the interim that’s simply the best way it’s.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – What are the advantages of the Hue Bridge?

You’ve most likely labored out a few of the advantages right here already, however let’s set the document straight. We’ve talked about this, however one of many Hue Bridge’s advantages is reliability. Having that Zigbee community retains the bulbs speaking to the Bridge and, whereas it actually isn’t foolproof, it helps preserve a secure connection.

Philips Hue Bridge 11

It additionally means higher vary, with every bulb performing as an extender. The issue with any Hue lights managed through Bluetooth is that they must be inside distance of your cellphone’s Bluetooth sign – about 30 ft. Signify, the proprietor of Philips Hue, says this implies you’ll solely be capable of management the lights of the room you’re in – however, after all, your mileage will differ relying on your own home. We have been in a position to management Bluetooth Hue bulbs throughout a number of rooms directly in an condo; however when you’re in a bigger dwelling, Bluetooth most likely isn’t a sensible choice.

With a Bridge, it’s essential to assume much less about placement of lights round your own home; until you’re residing it up in a mansion, there’s a very good likelihood the sign will attain throughout the home.

The opposite massive good thing about the Bridge is that it permits distant entry to your lights, one thing you largely sacrifice with Bluetooth. By having the Bridge related to your router, you may open the Hue app while you’re out of the home to see the standing of your bulbs and switch them off/on/modify the color/modify the brightness.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – What are the downsides of the Bridge?

The largest downside of the Bridge is just the worth. It isn’t low-cost – and may make it costly to get began with Hue. The Bridge is extra of an funding, however the excellent news is that as a result of the Bluetooth bulbs nonetheless have Zigbee help, you may improve to a Bridge later to reap the advantages with out having to swap out any of your present bulbs. As well as, you want just one Bridge, so it successfully turns into higher worth with the extra units you have got.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – What are the advantages of Bluetooth?

The largest good thing about connecting your Hue lights with Bluetooth is that it saves cash. Merely purchase a bulb (examine for the Bluetooth brand on the field, bear in mind), screw it in, open the Hue Bluetooth app, and join. Executed; no faffing with routers or Ethernet cables.

It means you may take a look at the waters with Hue with out having to half with an excessive amount of money. Clearly, it is a crafty ploy by Signify to tempt extra individuals over as soon as they’ve obtained a style; however it advantages customers who now not should go “all in” with a Bridge.

Nonetheless, the excellent news is that Bluetooth-connected Hue lights can join on to Alexa and Google House audio system for voice management. Presently, Bluetooth Hue lights are suitable with the Echo Plus, second-generation Echo Present, third-generation Echo Dot, and your complete vary of Google House and Nest House audio system.

It is a nice choice in order for you voice management, already personal one among these good audio system, and don’t wish to shell out for an extra Hue Bridge. As soon as paired you’ll be capable of use voice controls to show lights on/off, modify brightness and scenes. And, you get distant management, too.

Sadly, although, HomeKit received’t be an choice until you get a Bridge, which is required to behave because the communicator with the HomeKit hub.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – What are the downsides of Bluetooth?

Effectively, we simply talked about that HomeKit isn’t an choice when you go down the Bluetooth route, however there are different limitations. A giant one is you can solely join as much as 10 bulbs utilizing Bluetooth, whereas a Bridge can help as much as 50 lights. Once more, for large houses particularly, that could possibly be a significant limiting issue.

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There’s additionally no distant management as soon as you allow the home (when you’re solely controlling your bulbs utilizing the app) and third-party Hue apps aren’t supported.

Moreover, the Bluetooth app solely allows you to create one room to your bulbs. You may create totally different teams inside a room, although, so in case your rooms are inside Bluetooth vary then you may merely label these teams as rooms. However chances are high this received’t stretch very far.

Neither can you utilize any of the present equipment, such because the movement sensor or wi-fi dimmer. The ability of the equipment is that they preserve working even when your cellphone’s useless or when you’re missing an web connection. Decide fo Bluetooth, and your cellphone must be working otherwise you want an web connection for voice management.

There’s a third means….

You probably have an Amazon Echo gadget with a Zigbee radio inside, you need to use it in lieu of the Bridge totally. This route offers a couple of extra benefits over Bluetooth, however not fairly as many as choosing the Bridge.

As of writing, solely the Echo Plus and Echo Present 2nd Gen help this function. You probably have one, you may join your Hue bulbs on to the speaker by enabling the Hue Alexa ability. As soon as that’s accomplished, you’ll be capable of add them both utilizing the app or by asking Alexa to find your lights.

This route allows management of all of your related Hue lights from exterior the house. Nonetheless, you received’t have entry to a few of the extra superior options that include the Bridge corresponding to customized scenes or geofencing, and you’ll’t use equipment, both.

Philips Hue Bridge vs Bluetooth – Which methodology is finest?

Utilizing Bluetooth expands the scope of the Hue lights and is beneficial if in case you have solely a single mild to regulate otherwise you wish to use a transportable product, such because the Philips Hue Go. If you need a bigger set up of lights, then the total energy of the Bridge mixed with the total app offers essentially the most choices and is the only option.

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