How to update your philips hue firmware

How to update your philips hue firmware

Philips’ Hue connected bulbs have clinched coveted ENERGY STAR certification and could potentially get more affordable, the light specialist will announce this week. The certification, which Philips plans to detail at the ENERGY STAR Products Partner Meeting, makes the company’s Hue platform one of the first connected lighting systems to qualify not only for ENERGY STAR’s badge of approval, but utility subsidies that could make upgrading to smart bulbs considerably cheaper. I caught up with Todd Manegold, senior director of Hue product marketing, to find more.

ENERGY STAR has had guidelines around LED lighting for some time now, but it’s only with the latest 2.0 version of those standards that it has included specific standby power requirements important for connected bulbs. That opens up qualification of so-called smart lighting, while Philips opting to prioritize its most popular Hue bulbs before broadening the effort across the range.

“We went down the path to start qualifying all major A19 products,” Manegold explained to me ahead of this week’s conference. That spans the gamut from the cheapest Hue White bulb, through Hue White Ambience and Color Ambience, while Philips also found time to include the white ambient BR30 too. And, while ENERGY STAR might be most commonly associated with, well, energy consumption, there’s actually more to it than that.

In fact, there are three main areas of focus: power consumption, standby power consumption, and light distribution. Since a connected bulb is always turned on – even if it’s not illuminated – so that it can react to your smartphone or hub, standby frugality takes particular priority. Indeed, for certification it has to be under 1/2 watt.

How to update your philips hue firmware

Philips’ use of ZigBee helps there. The standard may predate more recent interconnect types like Thread and Bluetooth LE by many years, but the low-power mesh networking technology is still one of the most efficient. Each bulb connects to another, and eventually back to a central hub plugged into your router.

The biggest issue, though, was one of perception Manegold explained. To qualify for ENERGY STAR certification, the light distribution from an LED bulb has to be equivalent to that of a traditional incandescent: in short, when behind a shade, it must fire light in all the same directions that an old-school bulb would, rather than leave a noticeable cut-off line. “That’s not an insignificant task to achieve,” according to Manegold.

LEDs shoot light in one direction, but to mimic the distribution from an incandescent and meet the ENERGY STAR guidelines, an LED bulb’s beam angle needs to be at least 220-degrees. That means light has to come below the meeting point of the LED’s heatsink and optics.The result is a bulb enclosure which doesn’t just include a bunch of LEDs, but some fairly complex light guides too.

“We had to do some iterative things to our products,” Manegold said. “We had to make sure the optics were in lace to not only maintain uniformity on color quality … but also make sure the uniformity was on ENERGY STAR requirements. And we designed our products from an energy perspective on the understanding that the ENERGY STAR requirements would come into play.”

How to update your philips hue firmware

Although last week’s vast internet downtime, blamed on poorly-secured Internet of Things devices co-opted into a botnet, might suggest otherwise, Manegold insists that the tricker aspect of connected lighting is the light part, not the connectivity. “If you’re a tech company with familiarity with software and connected APIs, that’s probably quite easy,” he argues. “At least from our assessment, we’re one of the few that can actually qualify ENERGY STAR at all three tiers.”

There’s more to the news than a badge of honor for Philips, mind. ENERGY STAR certification now means the Hue bulbs are eligible for energy company incentives, and that means a cheaper way to get smart lighting. According to Manegold, the savings could be considerable.

“For consumer benefits, one is the simple endorsement of a quality product,” he told me. “But it also allows utilities to step into the connected lighting world and drive adoption on a greater rate.” By exactly how much an individual bulb might drop will depend on geographical location, energy provider, and retailer, but utility firms in the north west and north east of the US are already pushing anything from $2 to $10 off.

How to update your philips hue firmware

The rebates are instant and at the point of sale, too, which means no pesky forms to fill in and mail out. For Hue white, for instance, you would simply see a $2-3 cut on what would ordinarily be a $15 bulb. It’s not altruism from the energy company, mind, but a recognition that there are big potential pay-offs for encouraging the switch to smart lighting.

“One of the assumptions is that if you have connected lighting, not only are they based on LED – one of the most efficient types of lighting – but when they’re connected you reduce consumption even further,” Manegold explained to me. That could include automatically adjusting lighting depending on ambient light, avoiding unnecessary over-illumination, or tweaking the settings according to peak and off-peak energy periods. Research Philips has cited earlier even suggested that, by making the lighting temperature warmer, residents delayed turning up their physical thermostat.

It could well be the shove connected lighting needs to take it from being a geek’s plaything to having true mainstream appeal. Though predictions for the IoT envisage big things for the segment – and companies like Apple work with builders to bake their smart home platform of choice into the underlying architecture of the house – it’s been fairly hard to make a compelling argument for technologies that have, so far, been considered frivolous. ENERGY STAR certification isn’t the entire answer to that for Hue, but if that means it gets cheaper to extend your smart lighting system into another room or hallway, and spend a few dollars less every quarter on your electricity bill, all the better.

Which the Hue bulbs, lights and bridge are physical devices software updates are rolled out to these over time. With your Hue bridge connected to the internet updates are downloaded and then sent to your hue bulbs which update themselves. This can all be done through the Hue app.

How to Update Hue

Updates and upgrade to the Hue software could be bug fixes, performance improvements, or new features. It is worth ensuing you keep your Hue system up to date.

How to update your philips hue firmware

Bridge – When in your Hue app you can update the bridge software if an update is available.

Hue Lights – Again in the Hue app it will show you if there is an update for your Hue lights, if so you can download and install. Your lights must have power, they don’t need to be on/lit, however mains power must be going to them for them to get the update. Via the Hue app you can also set your bulbs to auto update if you wish under the ‘automatic update’ option. This means any new updates will be automatically installed at a specified time you can set.

Hue app – Finally the Hue app is updated like any other app you may have on your phone or tablet, this is updated in the same way through the app store.

If you have the message below your bulb sating the light is unreachable then ensure that the light is turned on. If the bulb is connected but you are still getting this message then read our guide here on Fixing Hue Lights that are Unreachable.

Philips Hue stuck on downloading updates

Updates take time to roll out, they also take time to download and install too. Updates to Hue lights can take up to a few hours to download and install, it can take time due to the wireless connection that the bulbs use which is ZigBee, with the transferring of data taking some time. The more lights you have the longer it will take.

When updating you can close the app and it will run in the background, so there is no need to leave the app open.

If it seems like it isn’t updating then try force closing your Hue app and restarting, this may then say they have installed or restart the process.

If you are having other issues then check out our common trouble shooting guide here.

Mike Ford
Founder & Editor

Mike is the founder of Hue Home Lighting, a huge Hue fan with far too many lights, covering home and garden. A smart home gadget addict and also enjoys the odd bit of DIY

According to a firm called Check Point Software, a recent vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs could allow malware to be installed on the Philips Hue Bridge that lets it access your internet connection and the devices connected to it. (Apparently, this hack doesn’t apply to the version of Philips Hues’ smart lights that feature Bluetooth.)

Before you get too worried, know that Philips Hue patched this vulnerability in mid-January, and your hardware should have automatically updated itself to version 1935144040. But it’s always a good idea to check. In case you aren’t sure where to find out if your hardware is patched or how to install the necessary updates, we’re going to show you how to do both.

How to check the firmware version of your Philips Hue Bridge

  • Open the Philips Hue app on your Android or iOS phone or tablet
  • Click on the “Settings” tab on the bottom options panel
  • Scroll down until you see “Software update,” and tap this option
  • The next page will show all of your devices and their firmware versions. In our screenshot below, the Hue Bridge is displayed at the top of the list of devices. You can see that it has already been updated to version 1935144040.

How to update your Philips Hue device firmware

  • However, if your hardware (be it a Bridge or just a bulb) is in need of an update, the app will notify you with a solid green bubble, located where the white checkmarks within a green bubble appear in our screenshot. If so, click into it and select “Update.”
  • While you’re here, enable “Automatic update” at the top of the page for peace of mind in case there is ever another vulnerability that needs an emergency patch.
  • Once you see white checkmarks next to all of your connected products, you’ll know that security and software updates for your Philips Hue devices are up to date.

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We have more and more home automation equipment inside our homes. Where before we needed to flip a switch or use a remote controller to operate certain devices, now we simply have to say the correct voice command for them to do what we want thanks to WiFi connectivity and the IoT of things. But of course, that all these computers are connected to our router opens a world of possible ways of security holes against possible hackers with malicious intentions. So today we want to explain how you can update your Philips Hue bulbs to avoid these potential problems.

Why should I upgrade my smart bulbs?

How to update your philips hue firmware

In the previous paragraph we have already dropped the main utility of keeping these gadgets updated to the latest version of their firmware. If you are in the world of technological news, it will not be the first or the last time that you will read about security holes that have been found in certain accessories in our house. Furthermore, relatively recently, we told you in another article about one of these holes that had been discovered in the smart bulbs of the Philips company. This does not mean that the equipment of this manufacturer is less safe than others, on the contrary. Thanks to the constant work of its programmers, this problem was discovered and corrected in just a few hours with an update in the firmware of its devices. Therefore, by updating this section with the latest security patch, we are blocking potential hacking threats .

In addition to staying safe, updating the firmware of these gadgets could lead to improvements in the solution of other errors, reduction of consumption, and functionalities that, if not, we would be missing. In this way, every time a new update arrives to your bulbs or accessories from Philips or any other brand, do not hesitate, update.

How to update any Philips Hue device

  • From your smartphone, be it an Android phone or an iPhone, enter the Philips Hue app. The same since you first set up your smart bulbs.
  • In the start menu, you must click on the settings icon on the bottom bar.
  • Once here, go down through the list until you find a section called “Software update” . Click on it.

In this last menu is where you will find all the information about the firmware of your Philips gadgets. If there is a more current version than the one your accessories have, an icon will appear next to its name indicating that it must be updated. You just have to click on it and voila, the update will begin (this process may take up to an hour, depending on your connection and how heavy this new version is.

And, as we mentioned before, from this menu you can configure that the updates are carried out automatically so that, in this way, you do not have to worry about accessing here periodically. Of course, it does not hurt that every several months we enter this section to see that everything is in order.

Once the updates are complete, all accessories (including the Philips Hue bridge) should look like you see in the photo above these lines. This means that all your computers are on the latest version of their firmware and that, therefore, the most current security patch from the manufacturer is installed.

After a recent vulnerability issue, this is good information to know.

How to update your philips hue firmware

If you’ve got any Philips Hue bulbs in your home, you’ll want to go and make sure they’re updated. See, there’s a known vulnerability that could end up with your Hue Bridge hosting malware, and letting a bad actor access your internet connection and any devices connected to it.

Your Philips Hue bulbs can be hacked, go update them

How to update your philips hue firmware

Thankfully, the issue has both been patched and it is easy to make sure that it has been applied to your lighting.

To do so:

  1. Open up the Philips Hue app
  2. Tap on Settings
  3. Scroll down to Software update and tap on it
  4. Once the app has checked if updates are needed, you’ll either get a prompt to update or a list showing your up to date devices
  5. Any device with a white checkmark on a green circle is up to date, any with just a green circle need updating
  6. If any need updating, tap on the green circle next to them and then confirm by tapping on Update
  7. Also, if you look on that list, next to the icon of your Hue Bridge is the current firmware number. You want to be on version 1935144040 to be safe
  8. It’s also probably a good idea to make sure Automatic Update is enabled, so you don’t have to worry as much

There, now you’re protected from this hack, and you know how to keep your Philips Hue equipment up to date.

What do you think? Surprised that Philips Hue systems were being hacked? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Philips has recently updated its Hue app with some exciting changes. Here’s everything you need to know.

Image Credit: Signify

Philips recently updated its Hue app to version 4.0. With this update came tweaks to the Hue interface along with over 100 additional modifications. These changes include what the company calls a “ground-up” revamp of the popular smart lighting app. So, what did Philips modify? Let’s take a look.

Meet the New Philips Hue App

It’s no surprise that the Philips Hue app was due for an update. While the previous version still worked, it felt stale for many users. But with the new Hue app release, Philips rockets into the future with design and feature changes.

In this version, Philips parent company Signify has announced tweaks that improve performance and enhance the Hue app's user experience. The app also has been given a more refined look.

Note: At the time of writing, the Philips Hue app has been updated to version 4.2, which squashes a few bugs and allows easier enabling of out-of-home control. The core functions, however, have not been affected.

Download: Philips Hue for iOS | Android (Free)

What’s Changed?

Image Credit: Signify

While Philips seems to have abandoned some of the under-hood clunk of previous app versions, several additional feature changes deserve mention. Sadly, we can't cover all of them. For more details, we'd recommend you download the app and start exploring.

That said, five main modification categories immediately stand out.

Interface Look and Navigation

When you open the app, the first thing you’ll notice is that rooms and zones are grouped for easier navigation. You can also sort subsections manually and move each around the screen until they are configured to your liking. Tabs at the bottom of the screen allow users to move between options much more fluidly.

Tapping on a room will show Hue’s new tiles aesthetic. With tiles, users can now scroll through their scenes and fixtures even easier. Tap and hold any of these tiles to rearrange them.

Overall, the experience feels—to use a tired cliché—smooth. Save for a slight delay upon opening, sliding around the improved menus and options is delightfully intuitive.

Improved Home Tab, Hue Scenes, and Hue Scene Gallery

Image Gallery (3 Images)

The Hue Home screen now shows all of your rooms, zones, and individual devices with the new app. Tapping any of these items will allow you to see the devices contained within a room or a zone and let you set lighting scenes.

Adding a light here is as easy as tapping the + in the upper-right corner of the screen. If you have more than one Hue bridge, you'll also see an icon in the upper left of the home screen that lets you switch bridges more quickly.

After adding and selecting a fixture, you’ll see color settings for every Hue light in the room. You can easily adjust colors by moving them on the color wheel. Once you dial in your perfect look, you can save these adjustments as a new scene.

There’s also a new left-handed mode for brightness. This change might strike some as insignificant, but swapping the brightness slider to the left side of the screen can feel liberating if you're a lefty.

A notable feature here is the addition of the Hue scene gallery, which allows users to select scenes created by the Philips Hue lighting design team. These scenes range from Relax and Concentrate to Lake Placid and Soho.

You can find the current Firmware version of your player in the settings menu under “Information”. Regularly check for new Firmware updates. Follow the instructions below to update the firmware of your player.

  1. Launch the Internet Explorer.
  2. Enter the Philips support site at url .
  3. Select your resided country & language.
  4. Enter the model number.
  5. Click on Software under Product Support.
  6. Click your desired language under Firmware upgrade software to download the zip file into a temp file on your PC.
  7. Unzip the file and double click the setup.exe file to install the firmware manager with the firmware to your PC.
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation on your PC.

Upload the software to your device

  1. Run the application on your PC at Start->Programs->Philips GoGear Digital Audio Player->GoGear SA110X or GoGear SA111X ->Philips Firmware Manager .
  2. Remove the battery from the player and then press and hold the PLAY button while connecting the device to the PC. Keep holding the PLAY button until the firmware manager is recognizing the device.
  3. Click the START button to upgrade the firmware to the device.
  4. Once the upgrade process is completed, you may safely eject the player and then disconnect it from your PC.

The information on this page applies to the following models: SA1200/37 , SA1210/37 , SA1100/37 , SA1110/37 . Click here to show more product numbers Click here to show less product numbers

A newly found vulnerability could let a hacker inject malware into homes that use Philips Hue bulbs. A patch that eliminates the threat is available now.

alt=”philips-hue-white-and-color-ambiance-led-lamp” width=”1092″ height=”615″ />Chris Monroe/CNET

Zigbee is one of the wireless protocols that smart home devices commonly use to talk to each other. Now, a new report from the security research firm Check Point details a vulnerability with those Zigbee transmissions that could allow a hacker armed with little more than a laptop into your home network from as far as 100 meters away.

The attack in question exploits the signals sent between Philips Hue smart bulbs , one of a number of high-profile smart home devices that communicate via Zigbee. A hacker with a laptop and a Zigbee antenna tricks the system into kicking a bulb off of the network, then implants that bulb with malicious code. If the user deletes the suddenly unresponsive bulb from the Hue app and attempts to re-pair with it, they’ll spread that malware from the bulb to their Hue Bridge, the central Philips Hue control device which you wire to your router. That’s not good.

Check Point sent their findings to Signify, which owns the Philips Hue brand, and plans to release a full report on the vulnerability once manufacturers have had time to issue a patch for it. Signify has a firmware fix ready to go today, so Philips Hue users will want to be sure to download and install it from the settings section of the Hue app.

“We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and do everything to make our products safe,” says George Yianni, Head of Technology Philips Hue. “We are thankful for responsible disclosure and collaboration from Check Point — it has allowed us to develop and deploy the necessary patches to avoid any consumers being put at risk.”

Along with Philips Hue, other popular smart home devices that use Zigbee include the Amazon Echo Plus , the Samsung SmartThings system, Sengled smart lights, and smart locks from Yale .