Philips Hue bulbs


I have heard of issues with Alexa/Echo and Hue, mainly caused by the setup in each app being inconsistent. If you ever have issues finding your bridge (but were able to connect to it previously), that’s likely the reason. Disconnect it as a device under the Alexa/Echo app and restart with just the Hue.

I’m a Hue fanatic. I got a few color ones and a bridge thrown in for fun when I bought a TV at best buy - I loved them so much (and love them for seasonal decorations especially) that I ended up buying 33 more (all color - make sure you buy the latest versions (3rd E) as the earlier versions have issues with Green colors being less dark, but otherwise are identical), including a couple of lightstrips, GU-10s for my spot lighting, etc., replacing all the lights in my house. I mainly control them through Google home these days, and have managed to get a few of my friends to jump onboard with Hue after seeing the effect they can have.


Yeah, that’s what I ended up doing along the way, but went a little further and basically started over with the same Bridge.

Now the Hue app on my phone is stuck trying to update all my bulbs. I have read that this process can take up to 24 hours (or twice the amount of lights), but I started this particular update about 4 hours ago, and it’s still stuck. Not a single bulb is listed as having been updated. Plus, the app appears to suspend itself whenever the phone screen goes to sleep, and that (I believe) halts the update.

Hoping I’m not going to have to wipe my Bridge firmware and app and start this all over again to fix another problem. Love the lights but their software sucks.


Bulbs finished updating overnight, except for one. Hue app can’t update bulbs when it’s not connected to the same wifi network, and I’m at work. Grr.

Edit: Just realized that from a security standpoint, not being able to update my Hue firmware from outside my home network is actually a good feature. So I can live with that. :)


Is there an easy way to tell these apart from older versions? Is 3rd E the “Ambiance” line?


No, the 3rd gen Hue are more vivid in their colour than the previous gen. Ambiance is a separate SKU from plain white.


The 3rd gen bulbs have a little sunburst in the top right corner of the box that says “Richer color” or something along those lines.




Thread necro: I put a gen3 Hue colour bulb into a FADO IKEA desk lamp since the Friends-of-Hue GO Lamp isn’t supported to try an approximation of Philip’s old AMBIX initiative (colour matching to video playback, or games) and it works (with whatever CPU hit the Windows app takes) but the overall effect is underwhelming. Not really good as ambient/bias lighting either.


rei (or anyone else with one of these,) outside of your bias project, in practice do you end up actually changing the hue of any of your standalone bulbs that much or is it mostly a one time novelty and then left alone afterward.

I’ve wanted to get one for a while but I’m betting I would set it and forget it, making them much more of a cost premium than a dedicated color light.


I use the color settings around the holidays… and that’s it. I can strongly recommend the White Ambiance though - changing to a bright blue-white when I’m doing work, then a softer white to warm white/nearly yellow as the evening goes on is great (and can be automated!).

If you’re after bias lighting, there’s a bunch of Chinese resellers putting their own branding on cheap LED strips with a remote to change colors on Amazon. No integration with smart home tech last I checked, but perfectly serviceable for the $10ish they’re asking.


I think the only practical use is changing hue during winter to provide more blueish light.

Once or twice I’ve used it to dim the lights so I could watch annoyingly dark movies.

Smartphone control sucks which means a hardwired device which is more money wasted.


Good info, I’ll strongly consider the white ambiance.

Is the hub still needed to tie it to voice control on an Echo?


There is also this …


Hue Disco has it beat by a mile.


You can almost infer as to the usefulness of the colour bulb when I only have a single one.

I tend to agree with this author’s findings on the colour match effectiveness:


Before my pen and paper group split up in acrimonious middle-aged finger pointing, the DM tried using the colour bulbs for “candlelight” effect.


Hah! That would be a good use of one I think.


I have 4 colored, recessed flood lights in my basement game room and I do use the colors regularly by way of the ChromeHue extension here on my browser. Each evening as I prepare to play a game or listen to a record or whatever, I click the little icon in my browser and can easily dim the lights. And, as long as I’m at it, I usually pick a random color like dark red or blue or purple just for a mood. It’s so fast and easy on the desktop.

Upstairs, I have a Hue strip for bias lighting behind my tv and a couple of lamp bulbs, all on a timer. Those are programmed in my Logitech tv remote which is handy if I don’t have my phone. In fact, I rarely use my phone to adjust my bulbs.

They recently updated the official app so now when you turn on the light switch, you can set your bulbs to return to their last color and brightness setting… seems like a great feature but I haven’t played with it yet.

There’s a pretty good free app called OnSwitch that has a nice, flickering candlelight setting. I think they charge a few bucks for the fireplace and various others like fireworks and color splats with accompanying sound effects. It’s cool but the app takes about twenty seconds to start up which means I rarely use it.

These bulbs are silly but I’m addicted to adding them around the house every now and then. For a while, my teenage daughter was using one in her bedside lamp. She loves her headphones and can’t hear us calling for her so we would use the app to flicker or change color on her lamp when it was time for dinner. :D


Ikea tradfri colour bulbs are out now for $19us/29cad half the price of hue but dimmer color and less flexible app and ecosystem support. Also requires both dimmer/switch/remote ($10) and gateway(30/40) to work.


I love the HUE colour bulbs – have 32 of them and a few lightstrips too. Other than getting up in the morning, they are always on various colours - so many good apps for holidays, etc. too.