Can Philips Hue Control Other Bulbs or Normal Lights?

Smart homes allow you to have greater control of your devices, all while automating things such as turning on and off lights, adjusting temperature, adjusting irrigation based on the weather, and opening and closing window treatments. We will mainly talk about light control here.

As smart home system becomes more easier and affordable to use, there are many truly awesome options available to provide your home with a high-tech makeover. You can incorporate the various devices at a time. It is also preferable to control them from one central location instead of using a few different apps and hubs.

Smart home technology should be seamless and reliable – enhancing and integrating your daily life without drama. If you have smart bulbs of other brands, you surely want to integrate them into your Philips Hue system, instead of spending extra money to buy Hue smart lights. Is Hue compatible with these smart bulbs?

Smart home technology not only helps you in your day-to-day life but also saves you money in the long run. But most of family still have a number of light fixtures and lamps to control dumb or normal bulbs. Do you want to control the normal lights with your Philips Hue system?

Investing in smart lights, like Philips line of Philips Hue smart fixtures and bulbs and Hue bridge, means you can turn on and off all of your Hue lights from anywhere you have an internet connection with your Philips Hue bridge, regardless of when you pull into the driveway or at bed during the night. 

The Philips Hue bridge is the brain of Hue smart lighting system, it allows you to connect and control up to 50 of your Hue lights and accessories. If you have normal or dumb bulbs, I am sure you also want to control them with your Hue bridge. Is it possible?

Yes, if your other bulbs use the Zigbee Light Link standard, your Philips Hue system can control these third party bulbs due to the Hue bridge being Zigbee-based. Philips Hue also can control normal lights if you use compatible Zigbee switches or smart plugs. But if your bulbs are WiFi only, while the Hue hub is Zigbee only, in this case, you can’t control your bulbs with Philips Hue because they are not compatible.

Being able to expand your Hue system with third party bulbs, please continue to read to find some useful information.

What Is Philips Hue Bridge?

This Bridge is very easy to use. Setup is also a breeze. Just plug it in, and install the Hue app on your phone, push the button on your bridge and you are off and running.

You can use this Hue hub to add your lights to your Echo Dot. You can access your lights through Alexa on your Echo Dot. You have to wire the Hub to your router.

You can pair your Zigbee bulbs to your Hue bridge and adjust the bulb brightness, colors and get a color scene that you like, you also can create your own personal lighting scene.

If you update your Hue bridge to a newer version, you have to re-add all your bulbs to the new hub when you switch.

You also can use this hub with your GE/Quirky and Ikea bulbs, it will work perfectly.

Philips Hue is quite reliable and comprehensive, I’ve had many lights for years and they are consistently reliable.

How to Control Philips Hue Lights

Hue products range has grown since there were launched first in 2012. Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs have added the existing Zigbee-powered Philips Hue, which need you to set up an external bridge. The Hue bridge is useful to control your lights with the Philips Hue app.

When you want to know how Hue bridge works, you should know what’s Zigbee first. Zigbee is a wireless communication technology such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which allows your smart light to talk to each other and to your control hub. Your Hue bridge job is to act as a Zigbee-to-Wi-Fi translator for your lights and network.

The “bee” in Zigbee’s name was inspired by zig-zag dance of honeybees when they pass messages in close proximity to one another. So think of it as a low bit-rate, low-power, short-range protocol in 2.4 GHz band for efficient communication across a “mesh” of devices.

The Philips Hue Bluetooth lights can be controlled with or without Hue bridge. You can connect your lights to your tablet or phone through Bluetooth, which means you can control them with the Hue Bluetooth app directly.

The Philips Hue Bluetooth mobile app.

You have a diverse spread of control methods at your disposal to make the most of your smart lighting. Some of the below are:

  1. The Hue Dimmer Switch
  2. The Tab Switch
  3. Your voice via Google Home/Nest, Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings hub

The Hue Dimmer Switch

You can use Hue dimmer switch to toggle your light scenes, brighten or dim your room, or get the best light based on the time of day. You can make it attaché to magnetic surfaces or walls. You also can take around your home for convenient control as a remote control.

The Hue Tap switch

The Philips Hue Tab comes with 4 buttons to control your lights. You can turn on your lights via the largest button. The 3 other buttons can be set up for preset combination of light intensity and color. Its four programmable buttons are useful for easy customization like setting the right atmosphere for a movie night. You need the Hue Bridge for the Tab switch and you’ll need the Hue app less often due to this.

Your Voice via Devices

If you get an Amazon Echo, you can use Alexa for a lot more than just asking what the weather is going to be like, listening to music, and setting timers. With the right additional devices, you can have Alexa to turn your lights on and off, you also can get them come on and off automatically at set times via Routines.

You have to use the new 4th-gen Echo, Amazon Echo Plus or other newer Echo Show units if you don’t have a Hue bridge. Because these Alexa smart speakers have the ability to find your smart lights since they contain a Zigbee chip.

I have written an article for How to connect Philips Hue Dimmer to Alexa.

Use any of these tips or a combination of all of them, your life will get easier since you automate more of the boring processes in your home. 

Can Philips Hue Control Other Smart Bulbs?

The first thing to know is that, compared to other smart home technology, smart light bulbs are simple. Today’s bulbs are much brighter, more compact, have better color representation, and are easier to set up. 

They have different prices and the Hue bulbs are more expensive than other picks. Besides Hue bulbs, if you have other bulbs or normal lights in your home, you might wonder if your Philips Hue can control the normal lights and the other bulbs in your home because the Hue bridge is so powerful.

You might know some information, I will give in-depth information for your questions.

Zigbee Bulbs that Are Compatible with Hue

Philips Hue has supported open interoperability making use of the Zigbee Light Link standard. It makes sure that Philips Hue can work alongside third-party devices such as other smart bulbs within the Hue ecosystem. So Philips Hue can control other smart bulbs that are Zigbee based. Do you know some smart light providers such as GLEDOTPO, SYLVANIA, and Innr?

When you open an app and set up the color of your smart bulbs, your command is sent over the Wi-Fi router to your Hue Bridge. Your bridge then communicates with your bulbs using the Zigbee wireless protocol, telling them to change their color based on your given settings.

If you want to buy some other bulbs that are compatible with Zigbee, some brands below you should consider.

  1. Cree Connected light bulbs. They can be paired with your Alexa devices and work with other Zigbee hubs such as WeMo, SmartThings, Hue bridge, Wink.
  2. Ikea Trådfri bulbs. Wireless dimmable
  3. Sengled Element bulbs. Voice control with Google Home and Alexa, Works with Echo with built-in Hub and SmartThings, and Hue bridge.

I have an article about Can Alexa Control Outdoor Lights

If you want to know what bulbs can be connected, just search your other Zigbee based devices within the Hue app.

After searching, it will discover all of your Zigbee smart bulbs and they will be connected to the mesh network, which means that you can control them in your home. 

Can Hue Control Wi-Fi Smart Bulbs?

Smart lights use wireless transmissions technology to send and receive their signals, and different bulbs use different techniques to get their job done. But when it comes to the smart bulbs that use built-in Wi-Fi radios to connect directly with your router, your Philips Hue can’t control these bulbs.

Many brands use more than one wireless technology to better integrate your smart devices with your lights. For example, a smart bulb may work with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple HomeKit and they usually design their own app to work for you.

I will give an example for Wi-Fi bulbs here. 

Do you know LIFX bulbs? They are not quite as well known as Philips Hue, however, it’s definitely one of the best smart lights you can consider. 

Thanks to an impressive app and integration with your smart assistants, it will be worth the outlay. And unlike Philips Hue, their lights can connect straight to Wi-Fi without a hub.

So in order to control Zigbee and Wi-Fi bulbs, you need different apps and different settings for them.

If you still want to integrate them, you can try Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo. They are both smart hubs and can make your device work to a certain degree. Smart hubs are automation devices on their own, with the added ability to allow you to set up your home life creatively.

Can Philips Hue Control Normal Lights?

Smart bulbs are LED light bulbs that have technology built-in so they can connect to a common network such as Bluetooth, Zigbee or Wi-Fi that can be controlled remotely. But normal lights don’t have these features, so you can’t use Philips Hue to control them directly. Normal lights can’t perform dimming and other features that smart bulbs do.

Most people have some standard lights in their homes. it is also pretty easy to use for them, they are just controlled with electricity via a wall socket or switch. It can meet our basic life and you only use the “on/off” feature to turn them on or off, without any other functionality like changing color or dimming.

Of course, you can still make your ‘dumb’ bulbs smart with some methods when you need to turn them on or off. One of these methods is to use smart plugs to control them.

Using a smart plug

Smart plugs take your wired home to a new level. You can plug them into your outlets and allow you to run your device via Alexa. A smart plug also can turn a “dumb” device like a room fan, coffee maker, or table lamp into a smart device. 

For example, you can use hue smart plug to control your floor/side lamps.

Since you can remotely control your power outlet, you can manage anything that is connected to it. Simply plug it into the wall socket, and after adding your Hue smart plug into the Hue app, you can control it via your voice. This means you don’t need to physically go near to your power outlet. You can turn on or off it via voice or just pressing your mobile phone buttons by Alexa or other smart home controllers.

In order for your smart plug to work, a stable Wi-Fi connection is necessary. Because if you want them to communicate with each other, your smartphone needs to be connected to your smart plug via a Wi-Fi connection.

Using a Zigbee light switch

You also can control your traditional ceiling lights with a Zigbee light switch like GE Enbrighten switch by newer Echo devices or Hue bridge. 

Conclusion

Philips hue bulbs are worth your investment since they can make your home living easy and enjoyable as they are pretty energy-saving, convenient, and awesome for size. But they have a higher price tag, if you can use other brands of smart bulbs to get the same effect at a cheaper price, I am sure you will be interesting to try them.

And again, Philips hue can only control the Zigbee-powered bulbs seamlessly, and it is very hard to control Wi-Fi bulbs. However, you can try Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo for your Wi-Fi bulbs.

In order to make your traditional, or “dumb” bulbs smart, you can buy a smart switch or plug that is compatible with Zigbee. And then you can turn them on and off remotely.

The right smart home features can make your lives more convenient and comfortable, create peace of mind and safety, and increase your overall feeling of well-being.

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