First-Gen Philips Hue Bridge Exits Support in April

Posted on March 9, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Smart Home with 22 Comments

Signify, the company formerly known as Philips Hue, will no longer support its 2012-era first-generation Bridge after April 30. I assume that the online troll army that previously obsessed over Sonos will now turn its attention to this unsuspecting company.

“After April 2020, no software updates will be made available for the Hue Bridge v1 and compatibility with our online services will be terminated at that time,” the Philips Hue account tweeted in response to a question about the coming end of support. “The Hue Bridge v1 can still be controlled locally via the dedicated Philips Hue Bridge v1 app.”

The original tweet asked Philips Hue in overly-aggressive fashion whether the firm would recycle their original-generation Bridge, and then drunkenly careened into familiar territory if you followed the recent Sonos drama. “How long will the new bridge last before you deliberately make it obsolete too?” they asked. “Or make my bulbs stop working?”

Philips Hue/Signify confirmed that it does not have a recycling program and suggested that upgrading from an old Bridge to a new version should be seen as similar to upgrading a PC. (Which may have been a misstep since PC makers typically do offer to recycle old equipment.) But whatever. You can see how this is going to go.

If you have this Hue Bridge, you don’t need to upgrade

According to its End of Support policy, Philips Hue/Signify promises to provide “major platform feature software updates” for a minimum of only one year from date of purchase. It also provides “required security, quality and interoperability updates as well as maintaining compatibility with our online services and the latest version of our mobile Hue application” for a minimum total of three years. After that, updates are at its discretion. This puts Sonos’s original and highly-contested support policy in a positive new light, I’d say.

As for the original-generation Bridge, Philips Hue/Signify says that the pending support end was announced a year ago, at which time it ceased releasing those so-called platform feature software updates. It continued to release security, quality and interoperability updates for the following year, but that is coming to an end on April 30, 2020. “Compatibility with our online services will be terminated at that time,” the document states. “The Hue Bridge v1 can be only controlled locally via the dedicated Philips Hue Bridge v1 app … We do not recommend use of Hue Bridge v1 after April 30, 2020 due to potential security concerns.”

As you may recall, Sonos offers customers with legacy devices a 30 percent discount on new equipment. Signify has a promo code of some sort for first-generation Bridge users, but I can’t see it in the Hue app because I don’t own equipment that old. If you do, open the Hue app and navigate to Explore > Upgrade your Hue experience. I believe it requires you to buy a Hue bundle with one Hue White and one Color Ambiance bulb, but with a free Hue Bridge v2, for the normal price of $89.99.

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