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Hue Lights Unreachable? Here’s the Fix

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A common issue with Hue lights is that they are unreachable. You have added them but when it comes to turn them on and off the app says it cannot connect to that light bulb.

Fixing Unreachable Hue Light Bulbs

This is a common issue and can be very frustrating, however there are a few reason this can happen, once you know which reason it could be then you can easily fix it from there.

How to Fix Unreachable Hue Light Bulbs

Why are my Hue Lights Unreachable?

There are a few reasons this could be.

  • The Bulbs are not turned on at the mains
  • Too far away from your bridge
  • Too far away from other Hue bulbs
  • Wifi Interference

These are common issues as to why your Hue bulbs are not reachable, it could be as simple as they are not turned on so have no power going to them, or that they are just too far away.

The Fix

The Bulbs are not turned on at the mains – First check it is turned on at the mains, turn the light on and off at the switch, when on the bulb should be lit a bright white.

Too far away from your bridge – This depends on your set up and how many bulbs you have, if this is your first bulb then it could be too far from the bridge. To see if this is the case try plugging the bulb into a light that is a close to the bridge as possible, turn it on and see if you can control it from your Hue app. If it is reachable and working then the issue is with the distance it was from the bulb. The fix here is to either  move the bulb closer to the bridge than it originally was, or add in another Hue bulb that is in between where the first bulb was and the bridge.

Hue uses Zigbee, and creates its own wireless network, each bulb helps link the network, so the more bulbs you have the better and stronger the Hue network is. This is not part of your home wireless internet network, that is different and separate.

Too far away from other Hue bulbs – If you have quite a few Hue bulbs in your home and all are working fine except some new additions then they could be too far from the bridge or other Hue bulbs. This can be common with the new outdoor Hue lights where there is a bigger distance between these and other bulbs you have.

The fix for this is to bring one closer to help bridge the gap in the network, or add in another bulb to help link them together. Again this can be tested by moving a bulb to see if it works when closer.

Wifi Interference – Your bulbs may all be close together, all working but sometimes it says unreachable for what seems like no reason at all. A cause of this could be interference from your home wireless network. This can be worse if the bridge and your Wifi router are next to each other too.

Your home internet WiFi and the Hue bridge that uses Zigbee to create a wireless network both broadcast on 2.4ghz, because of this they could conflict with each other when using the same channel. The fix here is to change the channel your bridge uses.

To do this load your Hue app:

  • Go to > Settings
  • Then > Hue bridges
  • Select your bridge clicking the ‘i’
  • Then go to > ‘ZigBee channel change’
  • Here you can then change the channel, ensure all your lights are turned on when doing this.

There are different channels to try, so if the first choice doesn’t work then try another channel range.

My Hue Bridge can’t find my new Lights

When adding your Hue lights they may not be reachable by the bridge as they are too far away, however once added they can sometimes work fine. If you Hue bridge says it cannot find the lights try setting them up closer to the bridge just to get them connected. Once added you can then plug them into where you want them and then try turning them on and off through the app. If it says they are unreachable then look at the fixes above to resolve this.

If with the bulb closer to the bridge it still cannot be found then you can add the bulb by manually entering the serial number via the Hue app. You can do this via settings and adding the serial number there.

Article written by Mike

Founder of Hue Home Lighting, huge Hue fan with Hue bulbs all over my home from kitchen to bedroom and garden.

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31 Comments

  1. Steve G.

    What if the lights (total of 5) have been working for months now all are unreachable? Rebooted hub, changed channel, all lights are on with power. No power “bump”.

    Reply
    • Joe Normandin

      Same thing here. They have been working fine for over a year and all of the sudden have become unreachable.

      Reply
      • Ryan

        Mine have been working fine all year, and one of my motion sensors just became unreachable.

        Can’t troubleshoot…

        Reply
    • Karin

      I’m having the same problem. My Hue lights have been working fine for over 2 years. Now for the last couple of days I’m having trouble with 2 of my bulbs (2 out of 5). They aren’t reachable. This is so annoying.

      Reply
  2. Nia

    I have one that has suddenly (after 1 year plus) become unreachable. It is a hue bulb with a motion detector

    Reply
    • Vicki

      Has happened with me also Motion sensor stopped working and a bulb . Can not get the hues app to discover the sensor or bulb. How do we get help from hues , would be helpful if they had chat

      Reply
  3. Gina

    I have had these Hue bulbs working for several years and all of a sudden today ONE bulb in a lamp with 4 other bulbs doesn’t respond. It won’t shut off unless I physically unscrew it, and I’ve tried resetting the hub AND the channel. So annoying.

    Reply
  4. Brian

    This is absolutely awful. I just spend $200 replacing my leds and now they are unreachable, everything is brand new! It just worked 3 weeks ago! I smell a lawsuit, get this shit fixed philips! If you do not I will never use your products again and will expect a full refund plus damages.

    Reply
  5. mike britton

    my hue app is frozen on the “Update Available ” Screen. It is stuck on “connecting” with and the circle just spins.

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Hey guys hopefully you have been able to resolve thi issues. I know I hit the HHome app on my iPhone and after that suffered some frustrating and same issues as you are. Try deleting the bulbs via the app then re add them. Also making sure your iPhone/device is using the 2.4 WiFi (if you have dual band WiFi) also there is a great group of folks on Facebook (Philips Hue Community)that have lots of experience trouble shooting frustrating issues. I can tell you all brands suffer the same issues but in my opinion Hue has the least problems. Tech support through Philips is slow but they can typically solve the issue first time.

    Reply
  7. Ryan Mohamed

    Same issue. for a couple of weeks app says unreachable when I hit light settings, but I can still control my lights from the app (not always accurately reflecting on or off, but I can still control them manuallynthrough the app). Since the lights were unreachable in the app, likely during the October app update, I lost all synchronization ability and control through my google home which is extremely dissatisfying.

    Reply
  8. Tom

    I’m having the same issue – 7 lights all show as unreachable. I tried deleting one and now I’m unable to re-add it. Power cycled my router and the Hue Hub several times.

    Reply
  9. Lars Christoffersen

    Same problem AS everybody else! Had the system for many years and suddenly I have problems with unreachable lights (2 out of 4) Very annoying!! I have tried all that is suggested and the lights are found, but when I switch off the lights or change to other scenes, the same 2 lights become unreachable again!
    I have told everybody about the system and proudly shown it to others but now I am desolate and very unhappy about Philips Hue!
    Can we have some qualified help from Philips?

    Reply
  10. Mcor

    Same problem here. Working for at least two years, now unreachable. Changed channels, turned off/on from app, updated app, cleaned up, powered off/on hub, etc. Strangely, can intermittently get it to work with an old Halloween app. Then it goes out again. I don’t want to have to troubleshoot turning my lights on!

    Reply
  11. Ethan

    I have been having the same problem and the best solution to this issue for me was to go into settings in the app, remove the unreachable light bulb, turn the light switch to the off position, then, turn the light switch back on after a few minutes. Once the light bulb was on I added it as I would a new light bulb. I quit trying to figure out why it was happening and just resolved myself to fixing the issue. As of now, the offending bulb is back and responding normally. I hope this helps

    Reply
  12. Lars Christoffersen

    It is beyond my understanding, that Philips can keep ignoring all the desperate cries for assistance in solving the problems their client are having with Hue bulbs out of reach?
    How can a Hue system that has been working perfectly, suddenly begin to call bulbs unreachable?
    You need to do something and you need to do something now!

    Reply
  13. Jens Malm

    Bought a startkit yesterday. Worked fine until 9am this morning. Now all 3 lightbulbs are unreachable. Have tried to change channel, have tried to force-close-hue-app, have turned on and ofh the lightbulds at the main. Done everythingand nothing happens. This is not ok! I will return this product and byt IKEAs instead!

    Reply
  14. D-Ro

    Same problem. One of four bulbs unreachable. I’ve tried all of the tips to no avail. Can a bulb’s controls go out? Is the bulb itself faulty? If so, it’s a $15 LED bulb.

    Reply
  15. Samuel Hawley

    Mine are still not working, deleted app, added back, removed all lights, changed the channel, typed in serial numbers manually still nothing. Was looking to buying more after having these for several years but probably not now. Help us with your product Philips hue.

    Reply
  16. Patrick La Roque

    I have a big setup—heavily invested in this platform. Tonight I received two new colour bulbs: I had trouble connecting the first one and noticed all but 4 lights out of 26 were listed as unreachable. They all still worked fine however. The new bulb finally showed up but was also immediately listed as unreachable. Also still worked. The second bulb on the other hand is a no go: for the first time I need to return a Hue bulb. Tried everything, even the Touchlink solution…nothing. Either the bulb is dead is something is wrong with the system…seeing this thread doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    Hopefully this is a bridge firmware glitch that can be fixed ASAP.

    Reply
  17. Stephan Viertel

    Same issue here. Couldn’t reach any of the 4 Hue bulbs after working fine four a couple of years. All unreachable. Changing channels did not work. After deleting all four bulbs from the Hue App I could not add them. The App did not find new lights. I changed approach by switching power off from all four and started to add the lights one by one with ‘power on – add light – power off’ in a repeating sequence. Now all four are reachable again and everything seems to work fine. Not sure if this is a sustainable situation. Let’s see. I think this is an wifi / zigbee interference issue but very strage that this occurs all of a sudden.

    Reply
  18. Steve

    Same issue as everyone else, had 8 Hue bulbs connected to an Amazon Echo that worked fine for almost a year, than one day, they are all unreachable. I have tried all the suggestions posted so far to no avail. Very frustrating to be left with 8 expensive LED bulbs.

    Reply
  19. SIFIRID

    Sounds to me very common and relatively recent. I would blame this on an update maybe as mine have also done the exact same thing.. pay way to much for such unreliability. Mine happened on 1 Dec 2018. Have reset bridge, moved lan cable to another port, turned all lights on, ran Alexa discovery, etc…

    Reply

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