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What’s the Difference Between The Philips Hue Bridge Gen 1 vs 2

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The heart of the Hue system is the bridge and the latest version is the 2nd Gen square bridge with rounded corners, however there are still many users using the 1st gen round bridge will and is still active today. 

We take a look at the difference between the two bridges, what they do and what they cannot do when used with your Hue lights.

What bridge do I have?

If you are unsure which bridge you have this image below shows what each version looks like. Gen 1 on the left is being discontinued and support stopped.

Hue bridge generations 1 and 2

Knowing which bridge you have is easy to tell, the 1st generation bridge is round, and the 2nd generation and latest bridge is more square with rounded corners. 

Bridge V2 is the latest Hue bridge and most up to date. 

How many generations of Philips Hue are there?

There are just 2 generations of the Hue bridge, and there are 4 generations of Hue bulbs.

What’s the difference between Philips Hue Bridge 1 and 2?

With the newer second generation there are some new features and key differences between the first and second generation hue bridge. 

1st Gen Hue Bridge – Support Discontinued in 2020

Released in 2015, this was the first Hue bridge that came out at the beginning of the Hue system, however, Signify stopped supporting the 1st gen bridge and switching off online services for this on the 30th April 2020.

In the press releases they said – “As of today, Signify will no longer release software updates for the Hue Bridge Version 1 platform.However, Signify will be releasing security, quality, and interoperability updates for Hue Bridge Version 1 for one (1) year from this announcement and will ensure compatibility with our online services and the latest version of our mobile Hue app.

After April 30, 2020, no software updates will be made available for Hue Bridge Version 1, and compatibility with our online services will cease.The Hue Bridge Version 1 can only be controlled locally via the special Philips Hue Bridge Version 1 App.”

If you have this generation, you can purchase the newer second generation and then check out our guide on How to Transfer or Upgrade to a New Philips Hue Bridge.

2nd Gen Hue Bridge – Latest

The Philips Hue Bridge 2nd generation was released in October 2015 with a new design and an update to the version 1 bridge.

New features that this bridge has and allows, includes is the support Apple HomeKit so you can use Siri voice control, this is not possible with the 1st generation bridge.

As the Hue eco system expands with new lights and features, this bridge has allowed use for this, such as Hue Sync and Hue entertainment only work with the 2nd gen bridge, and this will continue to be supported where as support for the gen 1 bridge has stopped. 

Difference between Bridge v2.0 and v2.1? – There is a model update however the physical design is exactly the same, there was no official announcement or release, however it has been noted there the new 2.1 version uses slightly less powered as mentioned on the back of the product. There maybe internal chances however the function and capabilities remain the same. 

Is Philips Hue being discontinued?

No. The first gen bridge support has ended and some bulbs have been updated with new features, however the Hue system continues to grow with new bulbs, lights and features each year. 

Is there going to be a new Gen 3 Philips Hue Bridge coming out?

There are no reports of a new 3rd Gen bridge at this time, however there is certainly a need for a new and improve bridge for the Hue eco system.

The limit for hue bulbs is 50, however for many users they have more than this number of bulbs and lights combined meaning that a second bridge is needed. 

A newer bridge that allows more bulbs to be used is a big request and important improvement that is needed and asked for by the Hue user community. 

Do you need a Hue Bridge? 

Yes and no. With the release of Bluetooth Hue bulbs the bridge is not needed, however to get the most out of the Hue eco system and to use all the features and capabilities a bridge is a must. 

Hue uses a mesh network called Zigbee, it you use a bridge then this is how the bulbs will connect and communicate within the system and with your bridge, this has huge benefits over Bluetooth and not using a bridge, you can control more lights from different rooms, you can extend your lights outside and still be able to control them from in your home. 

Features that require the use of the hue bridge include:

  • Geo-fencing
  • Timers
  • Routines
  • Hue Sync and Entertainment areas
  • Connect and use up to 50 lights

To get the best user experience from using these smart lights a Hue bridge is a must, if you already have Bluetooth Hue bulbs they can also be used with a bridge, so when the time is right you can add a bridge into your lighting system. 


Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

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