What is the Hue Bridge, and is it Needed?
The Hue Bridge is the hub, the control panel, the heart of the Hue echo system. The bridge is the device that talks to your bulbs, tells them what to do, when to turn on, colors to be and what to do. The bridge uses ZigBee to talk to your lights and also stores and sets your animations, timers and settings.
The bridge itself is mains powered and connects to your network via an ethernet cable, it is quick and easy to set up.
Guide to the Hue Bridge
The small hub that allows you to adjust your hue bulbs using your phone or tablet, be it at home or away on holiday. With the bridge connected to the internet you can access your hue bulbs when away from home, allowing you to turn lights on and off if you are on holiday for example as a security measure.
The hub doesn’t require an internet connection and can be used perfectly fine with it. However it does need to be connected to a wire router, as the bridge it self is not wireless.
Downsides with the bridge is that it is an additional piece of hardware you need to purchase adding to the cost and investment in the Hue echo system, additionally the hub is not wireless and therefore needs a wired connection to your router.
You only need one bridge and it can control up to 50 lights across your house.You can purchase this kit with either two or four bulbs
Is it needed?
With the release of updated Hue bulbs, they now include Bluetooth, so no bridge is required to use the Hue system. That being said there are differences between having a bridge and just using Bluetooth.
With Bluetooth bulbs you can have up to 10 lights, however to control these bulbs you will use your Bluetooth enabled phone and must be within range of that bulb. Bluetooth doesn’t work over a long range, and therefore you will have to be in the same room to control the bulbs. On the other side if you have a bridge you can have up to 50 bulbs and be able to control them anywhere in the home, as well as when you are away using the internet.
With no bridge and using Bluetooth bulbs you will need to use the Bluetooth app, this will let you:
- Connect up to 10 smart LED lights
- Control lights within one room
- Easy wireless dimming
- Choose from handpicked light scenes
With Bluetooth function you can control bulbs without the need for a hub or ZigBee, you will be able to control bulbs directly via your phone and the Bluetooth Hue app.
The number of Bluetooth phones you can control is limited by your phone or tablet device, you will also be limited by the range when changing your bulb as Bluetooth connectivity isn’t designed for long distances.
These bulbs will work with Amazon Alexa where you can ask alexia to dim the lights or turn on and off. Coming soon these bulbs will also be able to work with Google assistant too.
When buying the new Hue bulbs you can tell if they have Bluetooth as there will be the Bluetooth logo in the top right of the box.
Does hue bridge need ethernet connection?
Yes. There is no wifi from the Hue bridge, so it must be connected to your router by an ethernet cable.
Can I connect Hue bridge wirelessly?
No. It is not possible to connect to your wifi network wirelessly, your bridge must be connected to your network via an ethernet cable.
What is the Hue Bridge range?
The bridge must be connected to your interest router via an ethernet cable, as there is no wifi enabled on the bridge. The bridge itself uses ZigBee to connect to the Hue bulbs, each bulb can also link to another creating mesh network allowing you to cover a large area with Hue bulbs and for them to all still work as long as they are within a range of each other.
The internal environment will effect the range, such as walls, where the bridge is located and how close the bulbs are to it.
How many lights can a bridge control?
The latest gen 2 Philips hue bridge (Square one) can control up to 50 light bulbs and 12 accessories at a time.
Can you have 2 Hue bridges? If you have added as many lights as you can to a bridge, then you may need to add another one and this can be done, however via the app you can only control one bridge at a time so will need to switch between two Bridges, go to Settings > Hue Bridges and select the Bridge you want to control.
Buying a Philips Hue Bridge
If you are looking to buy a Hue bridge then a starter kit is a great way to get a bridge and bulbs in a package that makes for good value compared to buying it all individually.
This starter kits includes a bridge, 3 bulbs and a dimmer switch. Perfect for kick starting your hue set up and using in a single room such as living room or kitchen.
If you already have Hue bulbs or looking to upgrade from the 1st gen hue bridge then you can buy it on its own. Amazon sell the Hue bridge, you can also by it from most electrical online stores.
Hue Bridge Differences
You can tell which bridge you have and which is the latest from the image below.
The first gen bridge is discontinued and not supported anymore, there are also new features such as Hue sync that will not work with the 1st gen bridge.
You can view all the philips hue bridge lights here that you can buy and use.
Hue Bridge 3.0 Coming Soon?
At the moment their are no reports or rumours of a new bridge, the latest model is currently 2.1.
From a new bridge we would love to be able to add more lights and accessories as well as being able to back up our settings.
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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I just got the lamp for free with my echo plus and want to know if a can use without the bridge and how to set up because I checked a lot of stuff online and put the app to try but did not worked
You don’t need the bridge you can turn on/ off and dim via Alexa
Can I use other brands of smarts bulbs with my Hue hub?
I have alexa and several bulbs in my home … I just bought the Hue Dimmer Switch… how do I set it up using my alexa app.. do I need the Hue Bridge for any of these add ons?
I have tried several times… im just unable to get it connected using Alexa??
Hue Home Lighting
You will require a hue bridge to use the dimmer.
can not seem to connect my hue bridge, I plug it in to the wireless router and none of the lights come on, I reset the wifi only three lights come on and as soon as I go on the app to pair they go away, I do live in an apartment does that have something to do with it
I have the latest echo show with a built in hub. I also have the original hue bulbs (not bluetooth). Can I connect without a hue bridge? Also can the lights be voice operated by Alexa or just manually using the app. I want to be able to operate the lights via voice command. Thanks
You guys should make a hue bridge that can charge outdoor and indoor lamps or does it do that as well?