A new update to the Philips Hue operating software within the popular iOS app has brought about a few changes to the way the lighting system functions with third-party accessories. Specifically, the app will no longer support third-party bulbs that function with the ZigBee wireless protocol, including the GE Link LED and Cree Connected LED bulbs (via CNET).

philipshuestarterkit
Introduced on both the first generation and HomeKit-enabled second generation of Hue bridges, the 1.11 software update was enacted by the company due to an overwhelming number of "interoperability issues" with some third-party products. Philips points to numerous customer complaints of confusion and frustration when setting up these bulbs, in turn tarnishing the Philips Hue brand, as the major deciding factor for ending their support.

We are seeing an increasing number of interoperability issues with these untested third party products, which are causing increasing confusion for our installed base. They are also hampering our ongoing development and damaging the consistency of experience for the Philips Hue ecosystem.

The current plan moving forward is the "Friends of Hue" program that the company also began around the time of the 1.11 update last week. With the new initiative, Philips will send third-party bulbs through rigorous testing and certification before giving it the official Philips Hue bridge-compatible stamp of approval.

The company also noted that those affected by the removal of these select third-party bulbs represent a "minimal fraction" of the total lights working with the Hue bridge out there today. Affected lights already linked to a bridge will continue to work, but "new untested" will not be able to be added to existing Hue networks. Philips also pointed out that the blocked bulbs already working with a Hue bridge won't be able to properly receive updates after the 1.11 software update, so they could run into bug issues with no possible fix in the future.

Update: Philips on Wednesday announced a change of plans from its original announcement, confirming that it no longer intends to shut down the function of a select handful of third-party bulbs due to the unforeseen amount of customers it would affect.

We recently upgraded the software for Philips Hue to ensure the best seamless connected lighting experience for our customers. This change was made in good faith. However, we under estimated the impact this would have on a small number of customers who use lights from other brands which could not be controlled by the Philips Hue software. In view of the sentiment expressed by our customers, we have decided to reverse the software upgrade so that lights from other brands continue to work as they did before with the Philips Hue system.

The company did confirm that the "Friends of Hue" certified partnership program will continue as originally planned.

Top Rated Comments

autousr Avatar
80 months ago
This issue is overblown. I can go to Best Buy right now and buy Hue whites for $15. The only lights I've seen consistently cheaper than hue are OSRAM light strips.
What you don't realize is that the reason you can even get a $15 Hue bulb is because of competition from the other bulbs.

You're gonna be missing out when other people are getting $5 connected bulbs with better color and range, and last longer, because you think "this issue is overblown".
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nuckinfutz Avatar
80 months ago
This issue is overblown. I can go to Best Buy right now and buy Hue whites for $15. The only lights I've seen consistently cheaper than hue are OSRAM light strips.

I'm not going to muck up my system with mismatched bulbs. Philips is right on this one despite their poor bedside manner
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
80 months ago
This is why I'm passing on all smart-home products for at least another 5 years. Once HomeKit is the defecto standard and is fully integrated into all hardware along with my AppleTV and controllable from anywhere with product standards that don't get cancelled / outdated after 24 months, I'll start buying this stuff.

You could spend many thousands on Nest, Philips, Amazon, Google, locks and all kinds of home apparatus today but nothing works together and it's all on a per-app basis. I don't want to launch 4 different apps to turn down my AC, turn off the lights and lock my doors.
Spoken like someone who obviously hasn't used it, and who doesn't know what they're talking about. I have an Ecobee 3 thermostat, Hue Lights, Lutron Caseta, and a Schlage Sense. They're all operable using Siri, and can be operated and configured with a single app called Home. It did cost $14.99, but it controls both mine and my girlfriend's house.

So if you're "passing" for the "next 5 years" you're going to be missing out on a lot of living while the rest of us are living large and happy.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
80 months ago
This is why I'm passing on all smart-home products for at least another 5 years. Once HomeKit is the defecto standard and is fully integrated into all hardware along with my AppleTV and controllable from anywhere with product standards that don't get cancelled / outdated after 24 months, I'll start buying this stuff.

You could spend many thousands on Nest, Philips, Amazon, Google, locks and all kinds of home apparatus today but nothing works together and it's all on a per-app basis. I don't want to launch 4 different apps to turn down my AC, turn off the lights and lock my doors.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
80 months ago
The rest of us as in 0 .0000001 percent of the world lol

Sorry your comment made me laugh because litterely noone I know had smart appliances because we are not lazy.
I see. So having your lights, thermostats and locks be available from anywhere in the world, being able to walk into a lit, warm house, or allowing friends, dog sitters, craft trades into your house, or have your lights on when you walk downstairs in the morning, set a mood in your house with a simple voice command, turn off a light you left on upstairs, etc. makes one lazy?

Perhaps you should get your head out of where it's currently stuck and try to go buy some of these products that I referred to in my previous post. You will find them in scarce supply, because a bunch of people are buying them.

And think about how you're "not lazy" next time you pick up your television remote...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikeb71 Avatar
80 months ago
Keeping my third party companies out of your ecosystem is fine, but it's not good practice to let them in first and take them away later, as some of your customers may have invested heavily in the third party bulbs.
Personally I've only ever used the official bulbs, but since I've had the Hue bridge 2.0 I've had nothing but trouble with the system .
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...