Philips Hue was one of the first smart lighting systems to go mainstream. However, after first launching way back in 2012, Hue is finally ending support for its Bridge v1 at the end of April. Here’s what you should know.
First, for those who aren’t sure if they have a first or second-gen Hue Bridge, it’s pretty easy to tell the two apart. You can see the original circular Bridge v1 in the picture above, while the Hue Bridge v2 features a more rectangular design. As for the Bridge v1's support, Hue says that will finally come to an end on April 30th.
However, just because the Bridge v1 is being end-of-lifed, that doesn’t mean it’s getting fully bricked. Even after April 30th, you’ll still be able to use the Bridge v1 to control your Hue lights locally around the house, though you will lose access to online services, which allow you to do things like turn your lights on and off remotely when you’re not at home.
After April 2020 no software updates will be made available for the Hue Bridge v1 and compatibility with our online services will be terminated at that time. The Hue Bridge v1 can still be controlled locally via the dedicated Philips Hue Bridge v1 app. >>
— Philips Hue (@tweethue) March 6, 2020
In a tweet from the official Philips Hue Twitter account, Hue says the reason for this change is that “Compatibility with the official Hue mobile applications requires the Hue Bridge v1 to be on the latest software version at all times, due to that we are not able to support these online functionalities in the future.”
Going forward, Hue says it designed its Bridge v2 (which was released in 2016) to be future proof, so theoretically, you won’t have to worry about upgrading your Hue Bridge again, at least in the near future. That said, as far as consumer tech goes, it’s hard to expect that any gadget will have a total lifetime of more than 10 years or so.
Hue originally announced that it would be dropping support for the Bridge v1 almost a year ago, but with that reality about to set in less than a couple months, now is probably a good time to look at your options.
Depending on where you are, Hue is running promotions that will get you a free Bridge v2 with the purchase of a new Hue Colour and White Ambiance bulb. But if you don’t need any additional lights, the Hue Bridge v2 can be purchased on its own for $79.