Back in June, Philips announced that the Hue ecosystem would be compatible with Apple’s HomeKit. There was speculation if we’d need to purchase another Hue hub, or if the existing hub could be updated via software to support HomeKit. After plenty of leaks, and even a hands-on prior to launching, Philips has officially released a new Hue bridge to the masses. Turns out that if you want HomeKit compatibility, you will need to purchase a new hub. This falls inline with other vendors who have had to “relaunch” their products with updated hardware to meet Apple’s security requirements. The good news for existing Hue customers though, is that Philips will offer a 33% discount to upgrade. I won’t recap the physical changes to the new Hue hub as they are documented on multiple sites. What I want to do is walk thru the actual transfer process from the old Hue hub to the new one and some general observations, specifically around HomeKit and compatibility.
Transitioning from the old hub
The first thing you will need to do is make sure you have the latest Hue app. Philips released an updated version for earlier this week (iOS / Google Play) which supports transitioning hubs. Once updated, you will also need to make sure that the Hub itself has the latest firmware. You will be prompted to update automatically.
Philips has made it incredibly easy to transition bulbs and scenes from your old hub to the new one. This is contrary to my Lutron experience which required me to unpair all lights/switches and repair them to the new hub. It can’t be understated how much this will make existing customers happy.