New additions to Philips Hue bulbs have built-in Bluetooth. This allows the bulbs to be controlled by a smartphone’s app without a hub. Although there have been some ways to control Philips Hue bulbs without Hue Bridge by using Amazon Echo or Google Assistant devices, you can change limited colors. A multicolor version of Philips Hue Bluetooth light bulbs can change millions of colors with Philips Hue Bluetooth app without Hue Bridge. That is one of the notable features of all Philips Hue color bulbs. However, it’s important to know that there are many downsides as compared with the complete system set up with Hue Bridge. Here are the details of Philip Hue Bluetooth light bulbs.
No hub or bridge required
You can directly controlled the lights with a smartphone app. You don’t need Hue Bridge, which costs around $50.
Change millions of colors and Create scenes
Even if you don’t have Hue Bridge, if you have newer Amazon Echo devices with a built-in smart home hub, non-Bluetooth Philips Hue color bulbs can be turned on/off and changed colors. However, the range of colors is minimal. Now that smartphone’s app can control Bluetooth bulbs, they can fully change millions of colors, and you can also create scenes.
Should be in range of Bluetooth
Just like many other Bluetooth gadgets such as headphones and speakers, lights should be in the range of Bluetooth, which is approximately 33 feet or 10 meters.
Not connected to the internet
Unlike the system with Hue Bridge, Bluetooth light bulb is not connected to the internet. So, you can’t control them away from home, create routines, or make IFTTT receipts with them.
No advanced features
You can change the full range of colors and create scenes, and that’s all you can do. Without Hue Bridge, you can’t use advanced features such as hue entertainment, which syncs the lights with music, game, video, and so on.
What’s more, you can’t even make groups with Philips Hue Bluetooth app. If you want to use light bulbs in different rooms, it’s very inconvenience to control them. You may have multiple apps with multiple accounts, but switching multiple accounts back and forth would be a hassle.
You may create scenes and use as a room assignment so you can control the lights in different rooms in a single app. For example, say Room A has light A1 and A2, and Room B has light B1 and B2. You create Scene A, which turns on A1&A2 and turns off B1&B2. You create another Scene B which turns on B1&B2 and turns off A1&A2. This example is just turning on/off. If you want to change scenes in each room individually, you have to create scenes for each room individually. That would also be a hassle, and your app would be likely filled with numerous scenes.
Up to 10 light bulbs
Philips Hue Bluetooth app can connect up to 10 Bluetooth light bulbs. If you want more, it’s recommended to buy Hue Bridge, and you can add up to 50 bulbs in total.
Voice Assistant compatibility
It works with Alexa. You can control the lights with your voice with newer Amazon Echo devices (3rd gen Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and 2nd Echo Show.) According to the company, additional Echo devices and Google Assistant devices will be compatible in the future. However, they are not compatible with Apple Homekit, so you can’t use Siri voice assistant to do anything at all. (Of course, you can download Philips Hue Bluetooth app from Apple App Store and control the lights with the app.)
Who’s Philips Hue Bluetooth for?
Philips Hue Bluetooth light bulbs are good for a starter and for those who first install smart lighting system into your room. Since you can’t make groups for multiple rooms, they are suitable for use in a single room.
Or, if you are interested in Philips Hue advance features and setups, but not yet sure of investing Hue Bridge and other accessories all at once, buy a couple of Bluetooth light bulbs to try. Whether or not, you buy Hue Bridge and other accessories in the future, Bluetooth light bulbs can be controlled as long as you have a smartphone. And after you buy Hue Bridge, you can add the bulbs to Hue Bridge and control them with the original Philips Hue app.
Or, if you already own Philips Hue Bridge and lights, and need more light bulbs, it doesn’t really matter which one you buy. However, Bluetooth bulbs have more value than the standard ones in case you no longer need some bulbs and give away to your friend or resell used ones. So, as long as the price is comparative, you may as well choose Bluetooth bulbs over standard bulbs.
- No Hub or Bridge required
- Also compatible with Hue Bridge
- Change millions of colors (multicolor bulbs only)
- Create scenes
- Works with Alexa (3rd gen echo dot, echo plus, 2nd gen echo show, as of July 2019)
- Google Home and Google Nest devices support coming soon
- Only 10 light bulbs connected to the app
- Works only in range of Bluetooth
- No control away from home
- No group and room setup
- No routine (wake up, sleep, timer, etc)
- No IFTTT
- No entertainment features (sync with music, video, game, etc)
- Not work with Siri (not compatible with Apple HomeKit)
Philips Hue Bluetooth Lineups
- White and Color Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulb
- White A19 LED Smart Bulb
- White Ambiance A19 LED Smart Bulb
- White and Color Ambiance BR30 LED Smart Bulb
- White BR30 LED Smart Bulb
- White Ambiance BR30 LED Smart Bulb
- Multi-pack A19 or BR30 to save money