Hue products are known for their reliability, ease of use, and integration with third-party solutions. However, they typically require a Zigbee hub to function, which makes a Hue setup quite pricey if you're only looking at buying a couple of bulbs. The competition has long offered lights that connect directly to a Wi-Fi router or your phone over Bluetooth, and Philips is finally giving in by announcing a range of bulbs that don't need a hub to function — even though they can also work with one.

Unlike traditional Hue Bulbs that rely on the Zigbee protocol to communicate with the Hue bridge, these bulbs can forego the hub entirely and connect directly to your handset using Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0. Additionally, they work with Alexa and Google Assistant, both on phones but also smart speakers. Indeed, just like the GE C-Life, they can be controlled directly by the entire Google Home and Nest Hub lineup, as well as third-generation Echo Dots, Echo Plus, and second-generation Echo Show products, so your phone doesn't need to be within range if you want to adjust them. Plus, if you're an Echo user and purchase the lights from Amazon using the same account associated with Alexa, the lights will automatically be paired with your speaker when they ship.

In terms of features, the lights are controlled by the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, which is separate from the standard Hue software, as it needs to establish a direct link with them. It can connect to multiple Bluetooth bulbs to turn the lights on and off and manage their brightness and color settings. It also supports preset scenes to match your preferences. Lastly, even though the bulbs are controlled through an app or smart speaker, they work with multiple users, so anybody in your household will be able to turn them on and off using their device.

While these Bluetooth lights are convenient, especially because they work directly with smart speakers, you need to keep in mind some of their limitations: If the bulbs are only connected over Bluetooth, they won't work with other services such as IFTTT, Friends of Hue, motion sensors, and may not integrate with some of your routines, as there won't be a Hue bridge to relay this information to them. However, you can upgrade to the full experience and link them to a Hue bridge, which will enable you to connect them to other smart accessories and third-party solutions.

For the time being, the Bluetooth lineup consists of three color variants: White, White Ambiance, which lets you switch between bright and warm shades of white, and White and Color Ambiance, which is capable of producing millions of colors and shades of white. They're available today for $14.99, $29.99, and $49.99, respectively and come in A19 and BR30 shapes. The company will also expand its Bluetooth-enabled range with new products this year and in 2020.

Press Release

Set the perfect look and feel in your room with new Philips Hue with Bluetooth

Use the Philips Hue Bluetooth app on your smart device for easy setup and control of your lighting, to create your desired atmosphere or complement your home decor
Seamlessly connect your Philips Hue with Bluetooth with Alexa or the Google Assistant

Somerset, New Jersey – With today’s introduction of Philips Hue with Bluetooth, Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, makes smart lighting even more accessible. Setting the mood in your room, whether you are hosting a dinner party or relaxing at the end of the day, is now as easy as screwing in a Philips Hue Bluetooth light bulb and tapping an app to set it up and control it.

With Philips Hue Bluetooth smart lighting, there’s no wiring or guesswork when it comes to choosing the right lighting for your space. You can use the lights to easily create the right ambiance for every occasion or use millions of colors to decorate your home.

You can start with a single light bulb or instantly connect multiple Hue Bluetooth products, and later, seamlessly upgrade your system with the Philips Hue bridge to enjoy even more functionality. Using the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, you can:

Turn the lights on/off and dim or brighten them to your preferred setting
Choose from millions of colors and any shade of white light to paint the wall and Instagram your space
Use the pre-set scenes to set the mood or match your daily routine
Allow multiple users to control the same lights

“People often underestimate the power that lighting can have on the look and feel of a room,” said Jasper Vervoort, Business Leader, Home Systems & Luminaires, Philips Hue, Signify. “With our Philips Hue Bluetooth smart lighting, we’re making it easy to experiment and have fun with light at home. All it requires is the smartphone you already have. We’re confident that once you start, you’ll want to keep exploring what else Hue can do.”

Do you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home smart speaker or Nest smart display?
Control your lights hands-free – Philips Hue with Bluetooth also works with your voice. You can easily connect your Hue Bluetooth lights directly with Alexa and the Google Assistant if you have a compatible Amazon Echo, Google Home smart speaker or Nest smart display.* Then, simply ask Alexa or your Google Assistant to turn your Hue Bluetooth lights on/off, dim/brighten them or put on a certain color or shade of white light.

Connecting new Philips Hue with Bluetooth light bulbs to Alexa is easy. If you purchase the light bulbs on Amazon.com, using the same account associated with your compatible Echo device, just power on your light bulb, and Alexa can complete the setup process for you. Bulbs purchased elsewhere also easily connect to compatible Echo devices – power on your light bulb and say “Alexa, discover my devices.”

For Google Home and Google Nest devices, you can seamlessly set up your Hue Bluetooth lights in the Google Home app in a few simple steps.

*Philips Hue Bluetooth smart lighting works directly with Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen), Echo Plus (1st and 2nd Gen) and Echo Show (2nd Gen), with support for additional Echo devices to be announced. Amazon Echo devices also support voice control of Philips Hue Bluetooth smart lighting through the Philips Hue bridge.

Extend the possibilities
The Philips Hue bridge is the heart of the Hue system. It allows you to make use of all Hue features and benefits. You can upgrade from Philips Hue with Bluetooth at any time – just add a Philips Hue bridge to expand your system with more lights and smart accessories throughout your entire home – indoors and out. With the bridge, you can also access the full Philips Hue ecosystem including away from home control functionality, Philips Hue Entertainment and Friends of Hue and third-party app compatibility.

Bluetooth Products Available Now
Philips Hue Bluetooth products in the traditional A19 light bulb shape and BR30 downlight are available in the US starting today. The products come in three versions: White ($14.99), ideal for smooth dimming; White Ambiance ($29.99), which allows you to customize your shade of white light; and White and Color Ambiance ($49.99), offering access to millions of colors and shades of white light. More products will be Bluetooth-enabled later this year and in 2020.

For more information about the new Philips Hue Bluetooth products, please visit meethue.com.