Philips' clever Hue lighting system has just become a bit more versatile. The Dutch firm has released an upgraded version of its Hue Bridge with support for Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to control their Hue lights with Siri and to have them work with other HomeKit enabled devices.
The Philips Hue Bridge is the brain of the Philips Hue system that allows users to control their lighting from mobile devices. The Hue Bridge 2.0 makes it possible to connect and control up to 50 Hue lights and 12 Hue accessories and the addition of Apple HomeKit compatibility means users can now also use Siri on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to control their Hue system.
As well as allowing users to say "Siri, turn on the bathroom light," for example, the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 allows them to load pre-saved lighting profiles for multiple lights and to group compatible devices together in the same way. So, for example, asking Siri to enable "sunset mode" might put your home's lights into their relaxing evening setting, while with another command you could unlock the front door, switch on the lights and turn up heating.
The Hue Bridge 2.0 works with the Philips Hue app, allowing users to change the brightness and color if individual or groups of lights. It's also compatible with the third-party apps required to link Hue lights to other Apple HomeKit enabled devices.
The original, circular Hue Bridge does not offer Apple HomeKit support; existing Hue users who wish to use this functionality will have to upgrade. Philips is helping out a little bit there, giving existing Hue users a 33 discount on the Hue Bridge 2.0 compared to its usual US$60 (for a limited time). It's available now in Europe and North America.
The video below provides a brief view of Philips Hue working with Apple HomeKit.