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Carry out Philips Hue excellent bulbs desire a hub? No, but here is why they’re better with one

It’s good to presumably well additionally administration Philips Hue bulbs by potential of Bluetooth in state of a hub, but here are the functions you’ll be lacking.

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One of many most frequent questions we regain asked here at TechHive is whether you in fact favor a hub to make consume of Philips Hue bulbs. The acknowledge? No, you don’t. However there are quite so much of causes to spring for a hub anyway.

As currently as two years ago, Philips Hue bulbs handiest supported the Zigbee wi-fi protocol, which intended you well-known the Zigbee-enabled Hue Bridge ($60, even supposing it’s in most cases incorporated in discounted Hue bundles) to connect Hue bulbs to your state wi-fi community.

All that changed, on the different hand, with the mid-2019 debut of Hue bulbs that supported Bluetooth along with Zigbee. As a end result of the addition of Bluetooth, supported Hue bulbs may per chance presumably additionally additionally be controlled straight from Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android gadgets, no hub required.

Philips Hue has gradually rolled out extra Bluetooth- and Zigbee-outfitted bulbs over the previous couple of years—and indeed, all original Hue lights products pork up the 2 wi-fi protocols. Affirm, on the different hand, that that is no longer the case for hardwired indoor and outside Hue lights fixtures, aka luminaires.

With aid from the Hue Bluetooth app, you may per chance presumably additionally turn Bluetooth-enabled Hue excellent lights on and off straight from your cell phone. It’s good to presumably well additionally additionally alter their brightness, exchange lights scenes, and even administration them with Alexa and Google Assistant state instructions.

However when you may per chance presumably additionally administration more recent Hue bulbs the utilization of Bluetooth in state of a Hue Bridge, there are quite so much of the rationale why you may per chance presumably presumably finally exchange your mind  (and shuffle, you can exchange your mind later). Listed below are the four most attention-grabbing ones.

You’ll handiest be in a position to govern up to 10 bulbs

Whereas a Hue Bridge can administration up to 50 Hue lights products, the Hue Bluetooth app handiest lets you manipulate a total of 10 Hue lights.

That cap on the probability of Hue bulbs you may per chance presumably additionally administration by potential of Bluetooth will most certainly be dazzling when you occur to’re precise getting began with Hue excellent lights, on the different hand it’ll birth up to cramp your style when you occur to would seize to fabricate bigger your Hue lights setup to extra rooms to your state.

You’ll may per chance presumably additionally merely mild be within the a similar room

One of many beauties of Hue mild administration the utilization of a bridge is that you just may per chance presumably additionally administration your bulbs from practically anyplace.

As an illustration, you may per chance presumably additionally consume the Hue app to turn your basement lights on when you’re within the kitchen, or (offered you’ve enabled “out of home” administration) from anyplace on this planet with an net connection.

Bluetooth-controlled Hue lights, on the different hand, can’t be contacted over the salvage, and since Bluetooth has vary of handiest about 33 toes, you’ll doubtless may per chance presumably additionally merely mild be within the a similar room as your Hue bulbs to govern them.

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It’s good to presumably well additionally administration the most modern Philips Hue excellent lights with out the Hue Bridge (pictured), but you’ll want to resolve for a chain of limitations.

It’s good to presumably well additionally’t community bulbs collectively

Bridge-controlled Hue lights may per chance presumably additionally additionally be grouped into either “rooms” or “zones,” which method you may per chance presumably additionally administration the whole bulbs in (recount) your bedroom simultaneously, or you may per chance presumably presumably even method lights scenes for extra than one rooms that you just may per chance presumably additionally method off by potential of the Hue app or with state instructions.

The Hue Bluetooth app, on the different hand, doesn’t pork up grouping at all. So when you may per chance presumably be in a position to vitality particular particular person Bluetooth-controlled Hue bulbs on and off, alter their brightness, and phrase lights scenes, you won’t be in a position to govern a roomful of Hue lights by potential of Bluetooth on the a similar time.

It’s good to presumably well additionally handiest method up total routines

Using the Hue Bridge, you may per chance presumably additionally affect elaborate schedules—or “routines”—for your Hue lights.

As an illustration, you may per chance presumably additionally method outside Hue lights to set off at nightfall and switch off at morning time, or you may per chance presumably additionally enable each day or weekday “regain up” and “descend asleep” routines that delicately dark your lights at bedtime and raise the brightness within the morning. It’s good to presumably well additionally even method the Hue app to automatically turn off the lights when you occur to enable home and switch them relief on when you occur to method, while a “randomize” option turns your lights on and off at assorted situations to fool doubtless trespassers when you’re away.

However while Bluetooth-controlled Hue lights maintain routines of their occupy, they’re severely curtailed when in comparison with these accessible on hub-controlled Hue bulbs. Sundown and morning time triggers are out, along with current on/off schedules and these randomized vacation schedules.

As a substitute, you regain “one-time” wake-up and sleep routines, that can slowly dark or brighten your Hue Bluetooth lights, but no longer on a each day or weekly foundation; as an different, you’ll want to enable the routines on every occasion you ought to make consume of them.

There’s also a timer characteristic that can presumably fabricate assorted capabilities when the timer runs out; for example, you may per chance presumably additionally method a Hue bulb to flash when the timer’s up, set off or off, or exchange lights scenes. It’s good to presumably well additionally tie this into timers working on your excellent speakers as effectively.

Base line

Yes, you with out a doubt can administration Philips Hue bulbs with out a hub, and when you occur to’re precise dipping your toes into the excellent home market, controlling your Hue lights by potential of Bluetooth is the perfect—and most cost-effective—manner to birth up.

That acknowledged, when you occur to would seize to take excellent thing relating to the whole functions that Hue lights must offer, you in fact may per chance presumably additionally merely mild spring for a Hue Bridge. Happily, the Hue Bluetooth app makes it straightforward to circulation your lights over to the Hue Bridge when you occur to finally consume to upgrade.

Affirm: At the same time as you make a choice one thing after clicking links in our articles, we may per chance presumably additionally merely carry out a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for extra well-known ingredients.

Ben has been writing about technology and particular person electronics for bigger than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, the place he covers excellent home and home entertainment products.

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