Philips Hue Excludes 3rd Party Bulbs With Firmware Update

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You know how printer companies force you to only use "approved" ink? It would seem that the same thing is now happening with high-tech light bulbs. :eek:

The recent change seems to suggest any non-Philips bulbs from manufacturers such as Cree, GE, and Osram will not be supported in many situations, whereas “Friends of Hue” branded product are. At the time of publication, it’s unclear whether 3rd party bulbs will stop working immediately after the firmware update or if they may only become inaccessible after the bridge is reset.
 

Ocellaris

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This is likely one of the best ways they can make sure smart home setups don't get quickly adopted. If customers see it as a pain in the bass or start running into issues they will stop buying or simply never make the first purchase.
 

Quartz-1

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How the blazes do they check? I mean, they're light bulbs, right?
 

steakman1971

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That's a dirty move. As the other poster said, this market is still very new/emerging - is it really a good idea to do a dick move like this?
 

Teenk9

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They will learn what Keurig Green Mountain learned the hard way with the Keurig 2.0
 

MRAB54

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That's a dirty move. As the other poster said, this market is still very new/emerging - is it really a good idea to do a dick move like this?
Seems to me this just creates an opportunity for another company to create an open bridge/app and steal market share.
 

Canon

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Honestly, I don't think this really matters... Very very few people are willing to spend $200 for fancy LED lights... I'm an exception and I like mine but literally not a single person I have talked to has even a little interest in paying $200 for the system.

Philips has shown that their app development is very very slow and many users are quite unhappy. Ask Chris Pirillo what he thinks of his Philips Hue system...

When I bought these lights 2 or 3 years ago, many many features didn't work on Android devices that were available for iOS devices or didn't work as promised. That situation has improved and there are also a fair number of 3rd party apps out these days as well as some basic integration with my Harmony remote (which is a great feature by the way, just pretty poorly implemented and very basic).

I can see Philips wanting to stamp out these cheap LED light competitors because they are charging $60 per light... Clearly it doesn't cost even close to $60 for the technologies in these bulbs, so of course these other companies are going to try and cash in... As they should, we need an actual competitor to the Philips HUE system that is actually open and standards based. I feel like we should be seeing something soon from companies like Lutron that specialize in home automation products. Other companies like Belkin with their WeMO products are hinting at it but they are mostly just light switches and dimmers...
 

sfsuphysics

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I wonder if Phillips has a patent on the technology to do this which locks it all up in their favor, or if it's just not being able to use non-Phillips bulbs. If so they basically cornered the market on this particular technology, not that it will really mean that much for the average person.
 

/usr/sbin

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I like my light bulbs on a physical switch. Like I need an Internet connected light bulb as another vector for people to track me. Are you so lazy that you can't hit a light switch? Maybe I should invent a light bulb that also delivers soda and big macs to you.
 

Z3r0k3wl

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They have disabled it only for new products. Current 3rd party bulbs are not affected. Any new bulbs to market will have to go through a testing program to make sure they work properly with Philips hub because too much junk was being used and people were calling in to complain to Philips even though it's not their problem.
 

Mohonri

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They have disabled it only for new products. Current 3rd party bulbs are not affected. Any new bulbs to market will have to go through a testing program to make sure they work properly with Philips hub because too much junk was being used and people were calling in to complain to Philips even though it's not their problem.
From what I heard, there are lots of bulbs that used to work with the Philips hub, which no longer work, so it's not just new bulbs that are affected. Also, the "friends of hue" program was started at the same time as the firmware update. That makes it sound like Philips are looking for a new revenue stream. If you ask me, they're a few years too early to try this kind of stunt, before they have much of an install base.
 

Daeyx

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I can see Philips wanting to stamp out these cheap LED light competitors because they are charging $60 per light... Clearly it doesn't cost even close to $60 for the technologies in these bulbs, so of course these other companies are going to try and cash in... As they should, we need an actual competitor to the Philips HUE system that is actually open and standards based. I feel like we should be seeing something soon from companies like Lutron that specialize in home automation products. Other companies like Belkin with their WeMO products are hinting at it but they are mostly just light switches and dimmers...
I have a full Lutron caseta smart hub system in my house with Siri integration. Can't fault the system at the moment. The Siri integration works incredibly well and is faster to use then logging into my iPad, opening the app and accessing the light.
 

nilepez

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I like my light bulbs on a physical switch. Like I need an Internet connected light bulb as another vector for people to track me. Are you so lazy that you can't hit a light switch? Maybe I should invent a light bulb that also delivers soda and big macs to you.
I suspect these work inside your home network, though I guess it may be able to work remotely as well.
 

Quix

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I didn't know anyone actually made 3rd party hue bulbs. That doesn't seem like a big enough market for anyone to care about.
 

Exavior

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They have disabled it only for new products. Current 3rd party bulbs are not affected. Any new bulbs to market will have to go through a testing program to make sure they work properly with Philips hub because too much junk was being used and people were calling in to complain to Philips even though it's not their problem.
It makes sense to me, only tested and confirmed to work units are allowed to cut down on people bitching about 3rd party units screwing up their system. It is like getting mad that Cisco won't support the $15 sfp you bought online from a site in china.
 

Obi_Kwiet

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That's a dirty move. As the other poster said, this market is still very new/emerging - is it really a good idea to do a dick move like this?
Unless their plan is to have an expensive niche market that dies after a few years due to lack of adoption, no. Stupid companies always that their proprietary ecosystem will be popular with consumers and they will be able to use it to leverage out the competition. Except it never is, because no one would even want that. It even more stupid in a space that consumers currently don't care about.
 

aznattic

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I didn't know anyone actually made 3rd party hue bulbs. That doesn't seem like a big enough market for anyone to care about.
I have a FLS-PP which is basically the hue led strip module but with a max length of 33 ft (which i use) compared to Hue's led 6 ft strip. I paid $120-130ish for the FLS-PP, power brick, 2 16 feet of leds and cables. In comparasion one Hue strip is $90.

In a sense i would of spent $450 for for the Hues led strip vs $130. I don't have the option to change every color strip like i would with the 5 Hue strips but i didn't need it.

It's a smaller market for sure, but I'm glad there is a 3rd party market!


I see the update in my phone app, but from what i've always known, i have to choose to update it. Hoping it's not a forced update later cause my FLS-PP still works.
 

ShamisOMally

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The SONY proprietary format of Light Bulbs.

Ask SONY how their proprietary market is working with their memory cards.
 

zaniix

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I didn't even know what this was until I looked it up. This seems like such a niche product I say who cares, buy something else.

I will just program some drones to follow me around the house with fancy lights.
 

xXaNaXx

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they've reversed their stance on this and are going to roll out an anti-update update to revert the firmware back and allow 3rd-party bulbs to work again:

Friends of Hue - Update

We recently upgraded the software for Philips Hue to ensure the best seamless connected lighting experience for our customers. This change was made in good faith. However, we under estimated the impact this would have on a small number of customers who use lights from other brands which could not be controlled by the Philips Hue software. In view of the sentiment expressed by our customers, we have decided to reverse the software upgrade so that lights from other brands continue to work as they did before with the Philips Hue system.

We are working on the reversal of the upgrade and will shortly confirm when this will be available.

Philips remains committed to providing our customers with the best possible connected lighting experience. That is why we launched the Friends of Hue partnership program to test and certify that products and platforms from other brands work seamlessly with Philips Hue. Customers using uncertified lights may continue to have the same incompatibility issues as before, such as lights not dimming to off, creating the right colors or scene experience.

Philips welcomes other brands to join as Friends of Hue so that we can work together to ensure seamless and great lighting experiences.


Q. Why have you reversed your strategy?
We underestimated the impact this would have upon the small number of our customers who currently use uncertified lights from other brands in the Philips Hue system. We have decided to continue to enable our customers who wish to integrate these uncertified products within their Philips Hue system.

Q When will the software upgrade be reversed?
We are currently finalizing a new software upgrade and will let you know shortly when this will be available.

Q: How will you ensure compatibility with untested products?
Building an interoperable and future proof system like Philips Hue requires us to continually add functionality. This means we must put products from other brands under continuous tests and upgrades. We do this through our Friends of Hue partnership program, which enables us to certify and ensure compatibility with Philips Hue. We will not actively block them and will continue to rely on the level of compatibility offered by ZigBee certification.

Q: What specific compatibility issues will remain after the roll back?
All compatibility issues that were present previously will remain, such as lights not dimming to off, creating the right colors or scene experience. Compatibility issues may arise as new products and features become available that are not Friends of Hue.

Q: How can customers get back to their old situation?
Once rolled out, our customers will be prompted to install the new firmware via the Philips Hue app. For lights that have compatibility issues with Philips Hue scenes, the user may have to edit and re-save the scene in the Philips Hue app to regain the old functionality. If these scenes are used with our physical switches the newly saved scene will need to be configured for use.
....so in other words, you tried to pull a dick move, it backfired and a lot of people said they were going to stop buying your shit & prevent as many others from doing so as they can, so you back-pedaled to save some face and prevent loss of revenue. got it. :rolleyes:
 

westrock2000

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The SONY proprietary format of Light Bulbs.

Ask SONY how their proprietary market is working with their memory cards.
The minidisc was a great example. They excluded other record labels from releasing albums and they also excluded other manufactures from making players/recorders (except for some Goldstar models). It wasn't until the late 90's that they FINALLY allowed 3rd party hardware (but still no record labels). However by that time, MP3 was making it's way to market and was significantly cheaper and more convenient.

 

NickJames

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Light bulbs are probably the stupidest place to try to integrate computer technology ever.
A wireless light bulb that can be controlled by phone, PC or remote control anywhere in the world. A bulb that can have its color completely altered at the press of a button. A bulb that can dim as much or brighten as much as you want. A bulb that can literally do anything you want it too.

What's not to like? If I sit down to watch a movie I like to set them down just low enough to give a little ambient lighting so I can still get up and go to the bathroom or kitchen. I like setting different colors when having a LAN party. Wireless color changing lights is the fucking best.
 

Darunion

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A wireless light bulb that can be controlled by phone, PC or remote control anywhere in the world. A bulb that can have its color completely altered at the press of a button. A bulb that can dim as much or brighten as much as you want. A bulb that can literally do anything you want it too.

What's not to like? If I sit down to watch a movie I like to set them down just low enough to give a little ambient lighting so I can still get up and go to the bathroom or kitchen. I like setting different colors when having a LAN party. Wireless color changing lights is the fucking best.
Did you just realize who you quoted? :p

I do like my hue setup, I have one cree bulb I use with it, I will say since day one it seems to be the only bulb that sometimes ignores commands, but only a $5 savings, not really worth the hassle.

The color bulbs are a blast though, except my wife likes to make the living room pink lol.
 

nilepez

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Firmware this.....

Seems like these do a lot more than you can do with a switch. Personally, I want to change out all my switches to ones with motion detectors, so that lights turn off automatically.

As for hue, there's some really cool (expensive) lighting for the system.
 

Frankie

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If I buy some of this stuff for my gf for Christmas, will she think I'm an idiot?
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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If I buy some of this stuff for my gf for Christmas, will she think I'm an idiot?
Wow, how are we supposed to know how your girlfriend will feel about lights? Everyone is different. For example, if someone bought those things for me, it'd get an eyeroll at best and a, "Wow, that's pointless," but it could go downhill from there depending on the context. I'd say if she's smart and practical, then probably look for something else, but if she's into zing-glam without putting much thought into anything it might not turn out too bad. But seriously, we don't know anything about you, the circumstances of your relationship, or her (and no, that isn't me asking you to share that stuff in a forum) to really even guess how someone might react. Maybe drop a little hint about them to see if you get a positive reaction or something before making a purchase.
 

Frankie

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Wow, how are we supposed to know how your girlfriend will feel about lights? Everyone is different. For example, if someone bought those things for me, it'd get an eyeroll at best and a, "Wow, that's pointless," but it could go downhill from there depending on the context. I'd say if she's smart and practical, then probably look for something else, but if she's into zing-glam without putting much thought into anything it might not turn out too bad. But seriously, we don't know anything about you, the circumstances of your relationship, or her (and no, that isn't me asking you to share that stuff in a forum) to really even guess how someone might react. Maybe drop a little hint about them to see if you get a positive reaction or something before making a purchase.
How does your gf feel about light bulbs?
 
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