Hue – Bluetooth Control App

Some of the latest Hue Bulbs can now be controlled using the new bluetooth app.

Philips-Hue-Bluetooth-Settings

This will undoubtedly reduce the volume of technical support requests relating to setup of the Hue devices with the Hue Hub. Gaining visibility of the devices in the Hue app is not always straight forward.

In my experience – this can be caused by either gaps in the Zigbee Mesh network and/or a limited understanding of the how the Mesh/WiFi networks function and work together to deliver the setup and control functionality.

The introduction of bluetooth control adds another couple of options:

  • The Hue Bluetooth control app can now be used to scan for and setup the new Hue bluetooth compatible devices within range. Once the devices are detected and setup, simplistic control of them is possible via the app.
  • Having got the devices working, there is an option to leave as is, or to enable the full functionality of relative devices the settings can be transferred to the Hue Hub at the touch of a button.

So this provides another control option and an alternative means of getting the Mesh network setup without touching the Hue Hub. With these clear advantages there are also some considerations:

  • The range of the control is a function of the bluetooth radio range. So controlling lights with bluetooth alone, tucked away at the other side of the house will not work. The key advantage of the Mesh network, deploying the Zigbee Light Link Protocol (ZLL) is that the devices themselves act as network range extenders/repeaters/relays. In the bluetooth control instance – the device control is via a bluetooth signal direct from the phone to the device, hence the range is much less.
  • Also – at this time, the full range of device features are only available if controlled via Hue Hub. Hence lights can be switched on and off, but not much more. Also if the light is to be triggered via a motion sensor etc, again this is facilitated by the Hue Hub.

A quick look around Amazon revealed the following, I have no doubt their presence will become more prevalent in the fullness of time. Note the bluetooth badge in the top right hand corner of the box front.

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