Philips is a brand that specializes in offering versatile ranges of smart lights but does Philips Hue work with Alexa without Bridge?
Yes, Philips Hue bulbs can work with Alexa without the Bridge. You can use the Bluetooth feature, the Hue Dimmer Switch, Amazon Echo, or IKEA TRÅDFRI Gateway as a hub for this.
The thing is that most people assume that Philips Hue smart bulbs need a Bridge to function. However, that is not the case; if you don’t have one, you haven’t touched a dead end.
So, let’s dig into how you can set up or control Philips Hue bulbs without using the Hue Bridge, along with some restrictions that will come your way.
Using the Bluetooth feature for Philips Hue bulbs
In 2019, Signify introduced Bluetooth in Hue bulbs and Zigbee, making it easier for users to set up the bulbs. Perhaps the biggest advantage of offering Bluetooth was that users did not require a Hub anymore. This meant that users could simply install the bulb and use it via smartphone.
Even though bypassing using the Hub brings the cost down slightly, there are some limitations as well. For instance, using Bluetooth, you can only connect 10 bulbs at a time, there is no remote control once you have left the house, and third-party integrations are not supported.
Both Google Assistant and Alexa are perfectly compatible with the bulbs but if you were to group Bluetooth Hue bulbs in different rooms, you would find that it isn’t possible. This has to do with the Bluetooth range, which limits the grouping of the bulbs in rooms that are not within the range.
Connecting Philips Hue + Bluetooth to Alexa without a Bridge
To connect your Philips Hue + Bluetooth system to Alexa without using a Bridge, follow the steps below:
- First, make sure that the bulbs have a compatible Bluetooth version.
- Turn on and connect the bulbs.
- Download the Philips Hue Bluetooth app and update it.
- Launch the Alexa app and add the Hue skill, which will allow you to configure and use all the lights from the app.
- Then, click on the plus (+) icon.
- Select Add devices and choose Philips Hue.
- Follow the instructions and make sure the bulbs are near the Echo during the pairing process.
- Once Alexa identifies your device, click Set up Device, and it is ready to use.
Using Philips Hue bulbs via Hue Dimmer Switch
While purchasing Hue Bulbs, customers can also purchase a Hue Dimmer Switch as a bundle. This means that if you were to purchase the two together, they will be already linked as you take them out of the box. You only need to find a location to install the bulb and install batteries in the Dimmer Switch.
And just like that, you will be able to control the Hue bulb by adjusting its brightness, turning it off and on, etc. However, you will not be able to control the color as it requires a Hue Bridge. Furthermore, Philips Hue bulbs can also be controlled via regular switches if you haven’t opted for a Dimmer Switch.
Each Dimmer Switch can be connected to 10 bulbs at a time. To connect the Dimmer Switch with the bulbs;
- Install the bulb.
- Switch it on and bring the Dimmer Switch close to the bulb.
- Hold onto the ON button.
- After a few seconds, the bulb will blink to confirm the connection.
Using Amazon Echo as a Hub for Philips Hue bulbs
As mentioned earlier, Philips Hue bulbs come with Zigbee, which means they can work with some Zigbee smart home hubs instead of a Hue Bridge. However, the integration is not always reliable and the features offered aren’t that many when compared to the Hue Bridge.
Moreover, some Amazon Echo speakers can also be used as Zigbee hubs. If you already have speakers like the Amazon Echo set up, you can add new Hue bulbs using Alexa and the Philips Hue Skill.
To use Philips Hue via Amazon Echo has a hub, follow these steps:
- Turn on your Hub bulb and make sure that it is connected.
- Launch the Alexa app and visit Select Devices.
- Click on the plus (+) button and Add the device.
- After a few seconds, the bulb will be detected and added.
Although you will be able to use voice commands to control the Hue bulbs without the Hue Bridge, you won’t be able to create custom settings. Some advanced features are only available if you opt for a Hue Bridge.
Also read: Does Philips Hue bridge need ethernet?
IKEA TRÅDFRI Gateway as a Hub
Another way of using Philips Hue bulbs via Alexa but without a Hue Bridge is by utilizing an IKEA TRÅDFRI Gateway as a hub. The Gateway plugs directly into your router and handles the communication between the bulbs and your smartphone.
Once you are done setting up and running the bulbs and IKEA TRÅDFRI Gateway, you will need to replay the same steps as in the case of the Amazon Echo.
- Launch the TRÅDFRI app and click Add devices, then Bulb.
- Pick a control device.
- Hold the control device two centimeters from the bulb and press and hold the link button for 10 seconds.
- The bulb will flicker multiple times and then stop, meaning it is connected.
However, then again, you won’t be able to use the advanced features that you otherwise get with a Hue Bridge.
Concluding thoughts on whether Philips Hue works with Alexa without Bridge
So, there you have it; you can use or connect Philips Hue with Alexa without using a Hue Bridge. However, the downside is that you will face several restrictions. If you wish to utilize the advanced features, you will need a Bridge for that.