Philips Hue’s original model Bridge — used by the brand’s popular Hue bulbs to interface with smartphones and digital assistants — is losing support for all internet connected services on April 30th, 2020, including Google Assistant and Alexa.
Once that date passes, customers will still be able to use the Hue Bridge v1, but only when connected to the same local network using the legacy Philips Hue Bridge v1 app. However, Philips won’t be offering any new software updates for the app, including security patches. Due to those security concerns, Philips recommends that customers upgrade to the v2 model of the Bridge rather than continue using the limited functionality of the v1.
The company actually announced that the v1 Bridge would be losing support last year, but the move is still significant: most Hue products aren’t functional without the Bridge to serve as a hub, and it’s the first major deprecation of any Hue products since the company first started selling them in October 2012.
Philips Hue first introduced the v2 Bridge model in 2015, as part of an update to add support for Apple’s HomeKit smart home technology (at the time, Apple required manufacturers to have a physical hardware authentication chip to work with HomeKit, although it has since eased up on that restriction.) It’s easy to tell if you’ve got the v1 Bridge or not: the original model (the one that’s losing internet support) is circular shaped one, while the v2 model is rectangular one.
In a comment to CNET explaining the decision, Philips Hue noted that “The Hue bridge v1 no longer has the resources to guarantee the evolution of the system — from compatibility and quality, to speed and security — thus we decided to end the support for it.”
Philips Hue also tried to reassure customers of the current v2 model on Twitter that they shouldn’t fear a similar lack of support soon, noting that “there is no planned date when the Bridge v2 will no longer be supported.” Another tweet added that “There is currently no scheduled end of life for the V2 bridge, and we’re not working on a new bridge at the moment either so will continue working with the V2.”
Correction: Philips Hue smart lighting products are made by Signify; Philips Lighting rebranded as Signify in May 2018.