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posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday December 15 2015, @11:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the like-deja-vu-all-over-again dept.

Purchasers of the Philips Hue "smart" ambient lighting system are finding out that the new firmware pushed out by the manufacturer has cut off access to previously-supported lightbulbs.

Philips uses ZigBee, which should mean any bulbs compatible with this standard will work with its Hue products. Not anymore. The firmware update removes this support, limiting this "open, global" standard to Philips' own bulbs and those it has designated as "Friends of Hue."

When owners complained that they had been given the old bait-and-switch on products they already paid for, Philips issued this statement:

While the Philips Hue system is based on open technologies we are not able to ensure all products from other brands are tested and fully interoperable with all of our software updates. For guaranteed compatibility you need to use Philips Hue or certified Friends of Hue products.

The Philips Hue is a premium-priced LED lighting system, but the rapid pace of LED efficiency gains has started to leave them behind. Cheaper competitors have started to significantly undercut Hue's pricing. Maybe this lockout is more about pricing protection than it is about quality protection

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Jaruzel on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:23AM

    by Jaruzel (812) on Wednesday December 16 2015, @07:23AM (#277008) Homepage Journal

    Whereas I love the concept of the HUE range, I hate the way a) Philips have tried to own the market, and b) the complete lack of open documentation, and c) the limited use cases for the actual bulbs.

    Taking point C, I want to use these bulbs in my outside lights. I have four carriage style lamps across the front of my house, and for various activities throughout the year I have to climb a ladder, and swap in/out coloured bulbs - for halloween this year they were all Green, right now, for Xmas, they are Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. When nothing exciting is happening, they'd be White. I keep loads of spare coloured bulbs just so I can do this.

    Do the HUE work outside? No they do not. Granted I've not looked that hard for an alternate solution, but this is/was my main bugbear with HUE. Also... last time I looked at them, you have to reset them back to White before selecting another colour (I think the app does this automatically) - which makes effects like running lights or KITT style strobing, out of the question.

    HUE is already a niche product, by adding more DRM, they are going to become even more obscure.


    This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
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