The Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 is the heart and soul of your smart home lighting. Without it you may as well just install normal incandescent lighting. In the past, the only way to get your hands on the new hue bridge 2.0 was to purchase one of the 3rd gen Hue starter kits.
These starter kits are often very good value, you can purchase these kits, keep the globes and on-sell the hub. The problem was people often sold these bridges at a huge markup, and often with no warranty due to them being privately sold.
Amazon has now started selling the new square Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 only, and at a very reasonable price. They are even posting to Australia, at very reasonable postage prices. So now is a great time to either purchase your first hub or upgrade your old round version 1 hub to a new one. It’s easy.
Difference between Hue Bridge version 1 vs 2.0
The main difference between the Philips hue bridges 1 vs 2 are,
- Version 1 is round
- Version 2.0 is square. With a few internal upgrades like Memory and CPU. I like how they have done this, it makes it really simple to see visually that you have the newer version.
The newer square-shaped Hue bridge adds Apple HomeKit compatibility. The Hue bridge 2.0 can integrate with all your existing hue lights, lamps, light-strips, and accessories. With faster communication with the Philips Hue apps for iOS and Android, you can now get the most out of these wonderful lights. The square-shape Hue bridge 2.0 is ready for the future as it has more internal memory and a more powerful processor than the round-shape Hue bridge. It is also very simple to transfer all the information and settings from the Hue gen 1 bridge, to the newer square generation 2. We will go over that procedure in more detail further down.
You are able to upgrade the firmware automatically to keep your Hue bridge up to date with all the latest features and security updates. This should happen in the background if you have an internet connection or it may give you an option to go ahead with the upgrade on your smartphone or tablet when using the Philips Hue App.
- Steps to pair the Philips hue bridge with Siri, user manual download pdf
- How to use Hue lights with Siri user manual download pdf
- Instructions on how to use Siri scenes with your hue bridge, user manual download pdf
What is a Philips Hue Bridge?
The Philips Hue Bridge Gen 2 is all you need to set up your personal Hue system. This hub is actually the brain of the operation, that enables you to control all of your Philips Hue products via the Philips Hue app or optional accessories.
Once you have installed the Philips Hue bridge and downloaded the Philips Hue app on your smart device, you can set your imagination free and build your very own amazing lighting system!
In the Philips Hue ecosystem, you can connect up to 50 lights and 12 accessories to enhance your connected lighting experience even further. Accessories are devices like dimmer switch, tap switch, and motion sensors.
You can use the bridge without an Ethernet connection as well as without the internet. All that is required is the square bridge for full lighting control. This is because each light will either talk to the bridge or if it can’t communicate with the Bridge it will talk to a near light globe which is in communication with the Bridge. A true mesh network.
Hue Tap Switch
You can preset up to 4 of your favorite Philips Hue light scenes in the tap switch. Design the scenes yourself or use a ready-made one. For added simplicity I set a button to switch all lights off. Place the tap switch near the exit door, and as you go out touch one button and all your lights will turn off. It’s a huge seller for Philips at the moment, as not everyone wants to get out their smartphone to change colors or turn off the lights.
We actually have had this Hue Tap switch for about 6 months now in our home and it has been a fantastic product. So good I actually pulled it apart to see what magic was inside. Check out our Teardown of the Hue Tap Switch.
You also will never need any batteries the Hue tap switch uses a small amount of mechanical force from the push button to convert into electricity. Similar to this energy module from EnOcean. The Eco 200 converter powers the Hue tap long enough to send a signal to the Bridge.
Hue Motion Sensors
I have been waiting for the Hue Motion Sensor for a long time. This is where the power of home automation comes in. We set the motion sensors to turn specific lights on, at a given time of day or night with a set scene. So when say you walk to the kitchen at night, some or all of the lights will turn on at a nice dim blue color. Check out our full review of this Motion detector.
How to Upgrade Hue Bridge V1 to V2
If you have the old round hue bridge it may be time to replace it and upgrade. The following steps will show you how to migrate from Hue Bridge 1.0 to the new Hue bridge 2.0
Adding your new square bridge to the network.
The first thing to do is un-box your new square bridge and hook it up to your internet router via the included Ethernet cable, and then plug-in the power cable adapter.
Do not remove your old round Bridge 1.0 from your network. Keep it powered on at all times.
It is important that your old bridge remains active and connected to your lights for the time being during the upgrade procedure. Make sure your turn on all your Hue lights, lamps, and light strips.
Power up your new square bridge 2.0, then open up the Philips Hue application on your iOS or Android device. Find the settings tab via the menu button in the top corner.
Take note of the ID number of your current bridge. (under the My Bridge or Hue Bridges entry) Now click “Find Bridge”. In the menu, next tap “Search” to locate your new Philips Huge Bridge 2.0 on the network.
Once the bridge is detected you will be presented with a list of the existing bridges. Note, in the above image, that there may be a few device IP addresses depending on how many Hue bridges you have. Your ID numbers will vary but the only thing of importance is that you select the ID for the new device.
Initiate Bridge Transfer
After adding the new bridge you can begin the transfer process by navigating to Settings -> My Bridge. -> Then Bridge Transfer
This will start the Hue transfer wizard which, is fairly painless and quick.
Select “Prepare transfer” and just follow the on-screen instructions. You will be asked to press the link button on your old bridge, and then the link button on your new bridge.
Once the two are paired up and communicating with each other, you will notice a green checkmark and “Read to transfer” text appears. All you need to do is press the “Start transfer” and your old hue bulbs and scenes will be transferred over to the new bridge. If everything goes well you will receive a notice that all went well. Your lights should blink to confirm the update transfer. Congratulations your Hue lights are now added to the new Square 2.0 bridge.
The optional last step is to reset you Hue Bridge version 1 back to factory defaults. This is achieved by pressing the physical reset. This button is located on the back of the old bridge unit, you can use a pen tip or paperclip to reset the device. Once reset, simply unplug the old round bridge. You can now sell it or give away the old bridge.
Now it’s time to check all your scenes and settings to confirm that everything is good. If you do find that a particular bulb didn’t make it across you can simply re-add it in. Mostly it’s 3rd party bulbs and controllers have difficulty with the transfer.
Check out the video on how to transfer Bridge to Bridge.
Essential for Home Automation
The Philips Hue bridge is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home technology. Simply ask Siri, Alexa or Google depending on your chosen ecosystem to turn on or dim your lights or recall presets without touching a single button. Just your voice. If you use third-party apps you can even link your lights to other Apple HomeKit enabled devices.
Adding extra lights, globes, and light-strips to your home is easy just select the Philips Hue lights of your choice and connect them one by one to your Philips Hue bridge. The new square bridge is powerful enough to handle up to 50 lights, so go crazy and paint your home with light.
Because each light is added in manually, you can give them a unique name and group them together. So when you want to say “turn on the kitchen lights” all you need to say if using the Google Home is: “Hey Google turn on the lights in the Kitchen”
What do the 3 Lights on the Hue Bridge Mean?
- 1st Light means your bridge is getting power. You should always have this light on. If this light is not on, make sure your bridge power adaptor is plugged in and the wall switch is turned on.
- 2nd blue solid light means you are connected to your network, if it is flashing it is not making a network connection or is plugged into the wrong device router/switch.
- 3rd light is your portal or internet light this is important if you want to control your lights from away from home. If it is flashing this means that there is NO internet connection or it is not reaching the meethue.com portal. (portal could be down)In some cases this can also mean Philips is performing maintenance on their website and the portal may be temporarily unavailable. Try again later.
When first connecting to the meethue account you will be asked to Push the Link button, in the hue app, or linking the bridge to your hue account. If you are unable to connect to your hue bridge, there are a few things we need to confirm first.
- Make sure your hue bridge is connected directly to your router, this means no switches, wireless access points, or hubs. Just by-pass them for now.
- All lights should be solid on your hue bridge, none should be flashing.
Philips Hue Bridge Not Connecting
Most issues with the new Hue bridge connectivity can be solved by troubleshooting the network configuration.
For instance, if you have a modem/router combo try plunging the Ethernet lead into another port on the back. Or try another router. This can also be the case with switches or managed switches. Plugging the bridge directly into the router can also resolve the issue rather than daisy-chaining and being the last device on the network.
The Hue Bridge 2.0 also requires your router support UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). You can confirm with your router manufacturers manual if your router supports these settings and how to enable them. Most modern routers manufacture support this feature.
If you still have issues with your bridge not connecting to the internet or your lamps, try setting a static Ip address for the Hue Bridge. I found this fixed all of my dropouts and connection issues. This means your IP address for your square bridge will remain the same, rather than your internet router giving out a different IP address every day.
Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 Specifications
The bridge Max 50 lights per bridge and 12 Philips Hue accessories per bridge Power consumption:300mA Zigbee Light link protocol 1.0 certified Frequency band 2400–2483.5 MHz Dimensions: 3.5 inch * 3.5 inch * 1 inch Desktop or wall-mounted Software upgradable Power supply 100–240 V AC / 50–60Hz Output voltage: 5 V DC 2A Standby power: 1.5W Max Environmental Operational temperature: 32°F – 104°F Operational humidity: 0% < H < 90% 2 Year Warranty
Where to Buy Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 only Australia
If you still have the old round bridge and its working fine, then there is no real reason to upgrade. But if you want to start adding in Apple HomeKit, and more home automation like Samsung Smart-things it’s worth it.
Being future proof as well as having the extra memory and CPU power is an added bonus. Amazon has now started selling these, but they quickly sell out. They are even posting them to Australia. Just keep checking back every few days if there is none in stock as they do replenish these quite quickly.