An update to the Philips Hue system yesterday, Dec. 15, blocked consumers from installing third-party bulbs, including the GE Link and Cree Connected LED products, to their smart home lighting network. After reconsidering the matter, Philips is reversing the upgrade and restoring support for those non-Philips smart bulbs.
In an announcement on the Hue Developer Program page, Philips explained the reason for removing the support in the first place, along with their rationale for reversing the move.
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.
This is obviously good news for anyone using the Philips Hue bridge for their smart home lighting solution, but Philips points out that problems may still remain. Any compatibility issues that were present before, like lights not dimming off, not creating the proper colors, or impacts to the scene experience, will remain. Philips also points out that new compatibility issues might arise as “as new products and features become available that are not Friends of Hue.”
Philips is currently working on finalizing the latest software release for the Hue bridge. Once the new software upgrade is rolled out, customers will be prompted to install it via the Philips Hue app.