Philips Hue Bluetooth Review

Philips has added Bluetooth functionality to its newest bulbs and lights, this is an easy way to get started with Philips Hue. You still can upgrade to the Bridge after starting with Bluetooth lights to get full access to all the features of the Philips Hue system.  

You will need a smart phone or tablet where you can install the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, iOS 11 and higher or Android 7 and higher. Your device does need to support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 4.0 and up. There’s no need to have a bridge, a router, a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection (e.g. 3G/4G/5G) for controlling your lights. 

For now, Philips has launched with this portfolio (A19 and BR30), eventually all newly launched products will be Bluetooth enabled. Look for the Bluetooth icon on the box and/or light to verify that your Hue products work with the Hue Bluetooth app. 

If you are already using a Philips Hue Bridge there is no need to exchange, since you can make full use of the system. Our Bluetooth offer is an easy way to get started with Philips Hue using just a couple of lights in one room, in case you upgrade to a Hue bridge, you will get the full feature set.  

If you are planning to use the Philips Hue Bridge, there is no need to wait. You will get the same functionality if you buy the product right now. However, if you would like to try the Philips Hue lights with Bluetooth, check if it’s available in your market. 

Philips Hue Bluetooth is currently available in the US but will definitely be launched in other markets towards the end of the year! 

Related Questions

How do I recognize that a Philips Hue product is Bluetooth enabled? 

Both on the box and on the product, you will see the Bluetooth logo. Only those products are Bluetooth enabled and can be controlled by the Philips Hue Bluetooth app. All Hue products (also without the Bluetooth logo) can be used in combination with a Hue Bridge.  

I see two different packs (one with, one without Bluetooth) of the same product at my retailer, which one to buy? 

If you are already using a Philips Hue Bridge at home, you can pick either and get the same results as you will be able to add it to your set-up as normal. If you would like to experience a Hue light for the first time, you could buy the product with the Bluetooth logo and expand to a Hue system later. 

Do I still need the Hue Bridge? What is the benefit of adding the Hue Bridge? 

The Philips Hue Bridge is still the heart of our system. The Bridge will allow you to make full use of all the Philips Hue features and benefits. We’ve added Bluetooth to our newest bulbs and lights, as this is an easy way to get started with Philips Hue using just a couple of lights in one room. You still can upgrade to the Bridge after starting with Bluetooth lights to get full access to all the features of the Philips Hue system. 

Do I need to buy new lights if I want to switch to the Philips Hue Bridge? 

No, you can easily migrate your lights from the Philips Hue Bluetooth app to the Philips Hue Bridge.

How to setup Hue Bluetooth

Setup Related Questions

How many lights can I connect? 

The number of lights you can connect and control simultaneously is depending on your phone and tablet and already connected Bluetooth devices. As with all Bluetooth devices, the limit is determined by the phone or tablet you are using. For example: if your phone limits Bluetooth BLE connections to 10 and you already have a smartwatch connected, you might only be able to control 9 lights simultaneously. 

Can I distribute the lights around my house (for example, 1 in the bedroom, 1 in the kitchen)? 

Absolutely, if you are within range of your lights while controlling them (e.g. same room). 

What is an ideal set up? 

Ideally you set-up 2 or 3 lights in 1 room, this way you can really experience what Philips Hue can do.   

Can I give other people access to the lights? 

Yes, when your guests or family members download the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, they can find the lights. The lights can only be found in the first 30 minutes after a power cycle, so when you have switched the lights off and back on via the traditional wall switch or pulled the plug out.  

Tip: Workaround is possible, in app go to settings > voice assistants, this will cause all lights in Bluetooth reach to be open for new connections for 5 mins

Is there a maximum number of people that can use the system? 

The light can remember up to 15 connections (including Alexa and Google Home devices), so the 16th person connecting, will delete the least recently used connection from the light. 

Can I give other people access to the scenes? 

No, scenes are saved in your app, they are personal, so you cannot share them. However, if you create a scene you like, everyone with access to those lights can open the app, see the current setting and then save the current state as a personal scene.  

My house is set up completely with a Bridge, can I use Bluetooth to give specific people specific access? 

No, we do not recommend to use Zigbee and Bluetooth at the same time. 

Dimmer Switch / Wireless Dimming Kit. I have a wireless dimming kit / dimmer switch in my house now and I do not use a Bridge, can I use Philips Hue Bluetooth? 

Your current lights are not Bluetooth enabled so this won’t work. Once you buy new Bluetooth lights, you will still be able to control those lights with the same dimmer switch by touch linking them (light per light).  

How do I migrate to a Bridge / what happens? 

  • In app, go to settings > upgrade to a Bridge. Make sure you are on the same Wi-Fi as your Bridge. Push the button to connect. The lights will then be taken out of the Bluetooth app and moved to the Philips Hue app. Follow complete process with Philips Hue Bluetooth app in the foreground. This includes downloading the Philips Hue app and connecting that to your bridge and lights. 
  • It is important to be in Bluetooth range of the lights during this process, leave your phone near lights.
  • Bluetooth app process: Bluetooth app find Bridge, connects to the Bridge (pushlink), makes the lights factory new, does a search on the Bridge for new lights, the Bridge will add those lights, Bluetooth app changes the names of the lights (to original name from Bluetooth app), let’s you know which lights have not been migrated (out of range), migrated lights are no longer controllable via DLC app. Repeat process for not migrated lights, make sure to be in range of those lights. 
  • When migrating to Bridge, you will also lose connection to Alexa and Google Home. Follow normal set-up process to enable voice control.  
  • When migrating to Bridge, other users connected via Bluetooth will lose connection, so they need to either get new Bluetooth access or access to the Bridge. 

When migrating and if you are out of reach of certain lights, stay on the bridge migration screen and retry for unreachable lights. If you leave the migration screen, the app will be reset and you will lose connection to those lights altogether. You then need to add them to the bridge via 6-digit code on the bulb or connect them first to the Philips Hue Bluetooth app and migrate again. 

How do I migrate to a Bridge when already connected to Amazon Alexa

This will work for Bluetooth lights, but also lights that are connected via Zigbee to Echo Plus and Echo Show 2nd Gen (Echo devices that are Zigbee enabled)

  1. In the Amazon Alexa delete you device from the app (Devices -> Lights -> Select light -> Settings -> Waste Basket)
  2. Do step 1 for all devices you want to migrate
  3. In the Hue app search for new devices after setting up your bridge (Settings -> Light Setup -> Add Lights) as the lights will be factory new, they will be found as a normal new bulb

Other option, in case all your lights are also connected to the Hue Bluetooth app:

  1. Follow the instructions to migrate the lights to the bridge (Settings -> Transfer to Hue Bridge)
  2. Follow the steps to link with the Hue skill in the Alexa app. (Home -> Sills & Games -> Search “Hue” -> select and Enable Hue Skill)

The advantage of the last option is that you will keep the light names as defined in the Hue Bluetooth app.

In case you cannot find the light in the Hue app, you can follow the normal instructions to add a light to the Hue bridge (e.g. 6 hex code)

Technical Questions

Can I change my ZigBee lights into Bluetooth lights (to get rid of the Bridge for example)? 

No, the older generations Philips Hue products will not be able to use Bluetooth and when connected to a Hue Bridge you have the full feature set. 

Is there a way to reset the lights? 

In the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, go to settings, manage lights, and in the specific light, you will be able to reset the light or delete it from the app. Reset the light will make it factory new. The same can be achieved by a reset via Dimmer Switch (on+off button next to the light for 10 seconds). Please be aware that you will still need to delete the light from the connected devices list in the Bluetooth menu. You will also loose connection with Google assistant and Alexa

Can you add competitor products (also Bluetooth) to your Philips Hue Bluetooth set up? 

No, you cannot add other Bluetooth lights from 3rd party brands, there is no lighting standard for Bluetooth (like with Zigbee) so the products are not compatible. Also, Philips Hue Bluetooth lights cannot be controlled via competitor apps for BLE products. 

What Bluetooth profile is being used? 

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and support BLE version 4.0 and higher

Can I disable Bluetooth on my Hue lights connected to a Hue Bridge, so my lights don’t keep A:   showing up in my Bluetooth device list on phone/PC? 

No, this is not something you can configure.  

Will the Bluetooth lights form a mesh network? 

No, the lights will not communicate with each other. You need to be in range with your phone to control each light separately. They will form a Zigbee mesh network after you migrate the lights to the Bridge 

Can I still listen to my music via Bluetooth when controlling the lights? 

Yes. Your phone is capable of multiple Bluetooth connections, you should have no problems using your Bluetooth headphones or speakers. 

Can I still get the latest software update to lights via Bluetooth? 

Yes. You will have to stay in range of the light and keep the Philips Hue Bluetooth app open, then you will be able to perform a software update via Bluetooth. Make sure that your phone or tablet is connected to the internet. 

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