If you’ve noticed that your Philips Hue Bridge won’t let you add third-party smart bulbs to your setup anymore, it isn’t because your system is broken. A new update to Hue’s software issued last week ends support for bulbs that communicate using the ZigBee wireless protocol, but don’t bear the Hue name. That includes low-cost lights like the GE Link LED and the Cree Connected LED.
The move comes in the form of version 1.11 of the Philips Hue operating software, released for both thefirst- and second-generation Hue Bridge last week. After a number of complaints from users, Philipsissued a written update and FAQ to explain the measure, citing an increase in “interoperability issues” with untested third-party products as the deciding factor. Specifically, Philips points to “confusing differences in setup and resetting,” along with instances of third-party bulbs keeping the Philips Hue Wireless Dimmer Switch from working correctly.
It’s a disappointing development for anyone who bought into Hue on the merits of its open approach to smart lighting. One of Hue’s trump cards has long been its ability to wrangle third-party bulbs together within a single, well-developed system, the promise being that you could buy a Hue starter kit and then expand your system with the third-party bulbs of your choice. That isn’t the case anymore, at least for the time being.