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How to Set Up your Philips Hue lights without a Bridge

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With the release of Bluetooth Hue bulbs you can now have Hue smart bulbs in your home without the need for the Hue Bridge. While there are benefits to having one in your set up, if you are new to Hue you can still use their new bulbs without one.

In this guide we look at the different ways to set up and use Hue in your home without a bridge. 

How to Set Up your Philips Hue lights without a Bridge

How to use Phillips Hue Without a Bridge

Many starter packs come with a Hue bridge, but if you don’t want or feel you need one then you can start and set up a Hue smart light without using this. 

Using Philips Hue Bluetooth Bulbs

In 2019 Philips released Hue bulbs with Bluetooth built in, this connection instantly removes the need for the Bridge. The Bluetooth bulbs do work with a Hue bridge too, so if you get one in the future you can continue to use them, however the Bluetooth bulbs are the perfect and easiest way to use Hue without a bridge.

To set up the Bluetooth bulbs it is very quick and easy, you do need to ensure you have the Hue Bluetooth app downloaded to your smart phone. 

  1. Fit your Philips Hue bluetooth bulbs and turn them on.
  2. Ensure you have the Philips Hue Bluetooth app downloaded.
  3. Open the app and select Get Started. When asked tap ‘Yes’
  4. Next, set up your account and follow the onscreen instructions.
  5. If you use Alexa or the Google Assistant at home, then you can select to connect using voice assistant, otherwise, select Not right now.
  6. Once ready, tap Pair.
  7. If adding more bulbs then tap Next or Search for more.
  8. Next, assign a name to the Hue bulb so you know which it is.
  9. Finally, press Next to finish the setup process.

Using a Hue Dimmer Switch and Bulb Bundle

If you buy a dimmer switch with a Hue bulb in the pack then they already come connected, so out of the box the Hue dimmer will control the bulb once fitted.

The dimmer will turn it on and off, and adjust the brightness of the bulb, however you cannot adjust the color of the light and this is one of the benefits of a Hue bridge. The Hue Dimmer Switch can support up to 10 bulbs when set up. 

Using Amazon Alexa to Connect Hue Bulbs

If you have a voice assistant device some Amazon such as the echo or dot you can configure your Hue lights using Alexa via the app itself.

  1. First make sure your bulb is a Bluetooth bulb, it will have an icon on the box and bulb itself.
  2. Fit and turn on the bulbs.
  3. Ensure you have the Philips Hue Bluetooth app downloaded.
  4. Open the Amazon Alexa App on your smartphone.
  5. Head to the devices tab and tap the ‘+’ icon.
  6. Select ‘Add Device’ and choose Phillips Hue from the popular brands area.
  7. Select yes when asked if it is a Bluetooth enabled bulb. 
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to put your Hue bulbs in to pairing mode.
  9. Once your Phillips Hue bulb has been discovered you can select it and assign a name.
  10. That’s it, it is now added and set up.

Using Google Home to Connect Hue Bulbs

If you have the Hue Bluetooth bulbs then you can set up and connect them to your Google home and use voice to control them, To set this up just follow these simple steps:

  1. First make sure your bulb is a Bluetooth bulb, it will have an icon on the box and bulb itself.
  2. Fit and turn on the bulbs.
  3. Ensure you have the Philips Hue Bluetooth app downloaded.
  4. Go to the Google Home app.
  5. Tap on the ‘+’ icon, which is present on the left side of the screen.
  6. Then tap on ‘Set up Device’.
  7. Once your Phillips Hue bulb has been discovered you can select it.
  8. That’s it, it is now added and set up.

Why use a Hue Bridge?

The simple answer is that the Bluetooth bulbs give limited features and a Hue bridge gives your more features and flexibility. 

The downsides to the hue Bulbs are:

  • Can only control in close proximity
  • Can only add up to 10 bulbs
  • Cannot set timers or scenes, or control away from home

A hue Bridge allows you connect more bulbs, dimmers and switches, you can set timers and sunrise and sunset scenes, use your Hue bulbs with more third party apps and contour your bulbs from different rooms in your house or away from home. 

If you need to reset your bulbs, then read our guide on how to reset your bulbs without a bridge here.


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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