There are many things that you can do with an Alexa device, and turning your lights on and off is just one of them. There are a number of functions that you have access to with Alexa when it comes to smart bulbs, such as turning the lights on, off, dimming them, and changing their colors. One brand of smart bulb is the Philips Hue lights, which, while among the best in the industry, do experience some problems. For example, some are asking why their Hue Lights are not responding to Alexa.
If your Hue lights are not responding to your Alexa commands, your Philips Hue bulbs and Alexa may not be paired together, either because they are unpaired, or they have not been paired yet. It may also be that your Internet connection has issues which would prevent Alexa commands from working.
But how do you get your Philips Hue paired to your Alexa? And what can you do to get the Internet connection working again if it is down?
Why are My Hue Lights not Responding to Alexa?
There are a multitude of reasons why your Philips Hue lights are not working properly, with some being more complicated to address than others.
The Alexa app is confused about handling lightbulb groups
Sometimes, the Alexa app may experience confusion with how to handle lightbulb groups. At times, seemingly at random, your Alexa device will be unable to control certain bulbs. The Alexa app treats each separate light as its own device, but can also do Hue rooms – a grouping of lights in a single room – although sometimes it has problems with these. Ensure that the individual bulbs and the associated Hue Rooms are in the same Alexa smart home groups. Pick a device that is in the same room to also put in the group, as this will allow you to control these lights as part of the group more easily.
The Philips Hue lights are unpaired from Alexa
If your Philips Hue lights are unable to connect to your Alexa, the first thing you should do is make sure that the two devices are paired with each other. You may have forgotten to pair them at some point, or for whatever reason, someone else unpaired the two devices. Be sure to check to see if the two devices are connected via the Alexa app, or the Philips Hue app. If they are not, you’ll need to go through the process again.
Your Philips Hue lights need to be unpaired and re-paired
Sometimes, your Philips Hue apps may experience a “handshake” issue with the Alexa app. What this means is that, despite the bulbs being connected to the app and everything seeming like it should be working, Alexa is not able to connect to the bulbs. In order to try to fix this handshake issue, try un-pairing and re-pairing any problematic lightbulbs from the app.
Third-party tools are interfering with Alexa and/or Philips Hue somehow
The Philips Hue bulbs are able to work with both the Alexa app and the SmartThings app. This app is Samsung’s own app, which works with multiple Samsung devices, like their phones, tablets, and, of course, Philips Hue bulbs. Connecting the SmartThings functionality to Alexa by enabling the SmartThings skill can have the side effect of doubling the lights. This occurs when you also register your lightbulbs with SmartThings and the Alexa app. If you want to avoid this happening, our best advice would be to simply disable the SmartThings skill altogether.
Your Alexa device does not have a connection to the Internet
Another issue could be that your Alexa device is unable to connect to the Internet, which prevents Alexa from being capable of responding to any voice commands, including controlling your Philips Hue lights. A common reason for your Alexa device to lose access to the Internet is simply if your Wi-Fi goes down. Check your Internet connection with other devices to see if they are down too. If they are, go to your router and unplug it, wait, and plug it back in. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it could be an issue with a changed password. If you changed your Wi-Fi password recently, you need to update it on your Echo as well.
The Philips Hue lights are non-operational
While the issue may be due to your Amazon Alexa, it may also have something to do with the Philips Hue lights or Bridge. A good way to test if your Philips Hue lights are having issues is to check the Philips Hue app to see if any lights are listed as ‘Unreachable’. The lights themselves could be burnt out as well. While the Philips Hue bulbs have a much longer lifespan than some of the weaker light bulbs, they will still eventually burn out. Your Philips Hue bulbs have a lifespan of about 2.8 years. So if you never turned your lights off, your bulbs would last about that long. If you only use the bulbs for eight hours a day, however, you could easily triple the lifespan. Once your bulbs burn out, you will have to buy replacement bulbs.
Your Alexa device needs to be updated to the latest version
From time to time, your Alexa will need to receive an update. Normally, your Echo device will update to the latest version automatically, but there are situations where such an update may fail. The most common reason why the update fails is because the device is currently in use. Whether you are asking it questions, listening to music, or shopping for things on Amazon through your Echo, the update will not be able to go through. To force the update, push the mute microphone button (usually located on the top of the device) and give it time to complete the update.
The Alexa app needs to be reinstalled
This is not a common reason to have your Philips Hue bulbs not work, but the Alexa app may be having trouble working properly. One method that you can take is to uninstall and reinstall the app, which may help fix the issue. One downside, however, is the fact that you need to set the app back up once you’ve finished reinstalling it.
The Philips Hue Bridge is having issues
There are visual indicators as to whether the Bridge is having issues. The Philips Hue Bridge has three lights that light up when things are working properly. The lights, from left to right, indicate power, network, and Internet. If the power is not working, all lights, including the power light, will be off. If the middle light is off, it means that the Bridge is unable to connect to the Internet through your router. Finally, the third light means that the Bridge is offline, and is unable to connect to the Internet.
The method of troubleshooting the connection between your Philips Huge Bridge and the Wi-Fi router will depend on how you have them set up. For instance, if you are using a wired connection through an Ethernet cord, you should make sure that it is properly plugged into both ends – the Philips Hue Bridge and the Wi-Fi router. Also ensure that the cord is not damaged in any way. Double check that the power cord for the Bridge is also plugged in and not damaged. If there is an issue with either cord, the Bridge will not be able to function properly.
One method of restarting your Bridge is the same as the method used for restarting your Wi-Fi router. Unplug the Philips Hue Bridge from the power, wait 10 seconds, and plug it back in. If this works, all three lights should then light up.
Why is one Philips Hue light working, but the other is not?
When only one Philips Hue light is not working, this can do a world of good to help you figure out what is going wrong. For example, if one light is working just fine, but the other is not, the usual answer is that the one light is burnt out. This can be easily addressed, as all you need to do is replace the bulb. But what if the lights are the same age? Well, first, check to see whether the light is broken in any way, or why things are not working with it. If it does not seem broken, the next step would be to try it in other light sockets.
If the bulb works when you switch to a new socket, this suggests that there is something wrong with the light socket itself. In this case, check whether the socket has power on your circuit breaker. To know how to use a circuit breaker safely, refer to this guide. Also be sure to not have too many things using electricity through the same circuit. If there is a problem with the light socket not working, this will be a more complicated process, as you would need an electrician to take a look at it (or replace it if it is a lamp, for instance) to address it safely. We do not recommend you doing anything with electricity that you are not trained to handle.
Do my Philips Hue lights need a Bridge?
There are a lot of smart bulbs out there, and not all of them work the same way. For example, some are just lightbulbs, which have the wireless capabilities built into the bulbs themselves. Often, these lightbulbs have their own apps that let you control them. Meanwhile, many kinds of Philips Hue lights require a Bridge to use. The Bridge is meant to plug into the router, which can be a little more complicated than other types of bulbs. However, if you do not want to deal with a Bridge, the good news is that more recent models of the Philips Hue lights now include Bluetooth functionality in the bulb instead of a separate Bridge. Thus, the process is much simpler.
How to connect Philips Hue to your Internet
The method you use to connect your Philips Hue lights to the Internet will ultimately depend on which type of Philips Hue you get. If you have a Philips Hue bulb that was released in 2019 or later, the process will be a lot simpler. All you need to do to set them up is to screw them into whichever light socket you want to be able to control remotely. Next, download the Philips Hue app to your phone (on the App Store or Google Play Store on iPhone or Android respectively).
From the Philips Hue app, you will be asked if you have light bulbs that are themselves Bluetooth enabled. Select ‘Yes’ if they are, and ‘No’ if they are not. If you select ‘No’, you will be given instructions on how to set up a Philips Hue Bridge. After this, you will be instructed to set up your account by following the on-screen instructions. You will also have to accept Philips Hue’s terms and conditions. You will be asked whether you use a voice assistant. This feature should be used if you intend to use Alexa or Google Assistant. If not, select ‘Not Right Now’. You can always set it up with the app at a later date.
Next, turn on the light switch and tap ‘Add Light’. The app will begin searching for your Philips Hue lights. It will then ask for permission to access your Bluetooth settings. Tap ‘Pair’, and then you will either be able to tap ‘Next’ or ‘Search for More’ – depending on whether you have multiple bulbs you would like to pair. This is not too uncommon, especially considering a lot of light sources have multiple light sockets. If the bulb does not connect properly to the app, try turning off the light for at least 10 seconds, and then turning it back on, before selecting ‘Retry’. It is recommended that you have the device within three feet of the bulb(s),
If you chose a voice assistant earlier, you are now given a choice between setting up Alexa and Google Home. Once again, you can choose to skip this step for now. You can now assign a name to each Philips Hue bulb. This helps the voice assistant. You can say, for instance, “Alexa, turn on the living room light” or “Alexa, turn off bathroom light.” If you have multiple living room lights, you can simply name one ‘Living Room Light 1″ and “Living Room Light 2”. Once you’ve named them, tap ‘Next’, and you should be able to control your Philips Hue lights with the mobile app.
To set up the Philips Hue Bridge, plug it into an electrical outlet. It should be placed near enough to your Wi-Fi router, such that it can be connected to it via the provided network cable. Once you’ve done this, wait until the four lights on the Bridge light up. Next, using the Philips Hue app, go to Settings, then Hue Bridges, and finally, Add Hue Bridge. Follow the instructions listed on the app.
What do I do if my Alexa device is broken or otherwise not working?
While your Alexa device will probably be fixed just by doing the above steps (such as fixing the Wi-Fi info), it is entirely possible that you may not be able to get your Alexa device to work even if you do these above steps; it may need to get replaced. Depending on how long it’s taken for the Alexa device to become broken, getting it replaced may be easier or more difficult.
If something happens with your Echo in the first month after you purchased it, as long as it wasn’t your fault, you should be able to get it refunded or replaced. For example, if your Echo is broken because of shipping, a defect, or even if you change your mind about buying one, you can have it sent in. However, even if you send it in after the initial 30 days, so long as it is damage you did not cause, the Echo’s one-year warranty will cover a replacement for free.
However, if the warranty period has already ended, that makes things a lot more complicated. In all likelihood, even if your Echo begins to degrade in quality, if it happens after the one-year period, you will probably not be able to have it replaced. In this case, you will probably have to get your Echo replaced with a new one. But hey, if your Echo is old, it might be time to upgrade anyway.
Do the Philips Hue Bulbs have a warranty?
If you are worried about whether your Philips Hue bulbs are covered by a warranty, don’t worry any further. Starting from the moment you buy the bulbs, they will be covered by a two-year warranty – which is twice as long as other devices often are. Thus, if your Philips Hue bulbs burn out abnormally fast, or if the Bluetooth in the later Philips Hue bulbs does not work, for example. However, if the issue with your bulbs is your fault, you are not likely to get them replaced or repaired via a warranty. You will have to get a warranty that specifically covers accidental damage. Without this type of warranty, if you drop the bulb and it breaks, that is unfortunately going to be on you.
Does the warranty cover the Philips Hue Bridge too?
While you may be more aware of your Philips Hue bulbs, the Philips Hue Bridge may also wind up breaking or having a defect. Luckily, every part that comes with the Philips Hue bulbs – including the Bridge – is covered by warranty. Again, however, in order for a replacement of the Philips Hue Bridge to qualify under the warranty, it would have to not be your fault that the damage happened, but by the manufacturer’s instead.
Do other smart lights have Bridges?
Smart light bulbs generally have the Bluetooth functionality built into them these days, but does that necessarily mean that every other brand of smart bulb works the same way? After all, the Philips Hue light bulbs required a Bridge until only recently. Another brand of smart bulb that works with a Bridge is the Ring Bridge, which is included with the A19 Smart LED Bulbs. This Ring Bridge works much in the same way, serving as a connection between the Wi-Fi router and the smart LED bulbs. These bulbs also have a smartphone app that is used with them, and can be controlled with an Alexa device as well.
Can other smart bulbs work with the Philips Hue Bridge?
If you have a Philips Hue Bridge, but you want to get replacement light bulbs, you might want to consider alternative light bulbs. Whether this is because you consider Philips Hue lights too expensive to afford to replace, or if you want to try a different brand. But the question is, will other brands of smart bulbs work with the Philips Hue Bridge?
If you want to continue using the Philips Hue Bridge without compatible Philips Hue smart bulbs, the unfortunate news is that you will not be able to, as it is a proprietary piece of technology. The good news, however, is that you can still get new smart bulbs and not bother with the Bridge, since smart bulbs are easier to use than they were in the past.
What devices can the Philips Hue lights connect to?
There are a multitude of ways you can control your Philips Hue lights. As we already discussed, the lights can be controlled using voice commands via Alexa. However, if you use Google Home, you can still control it with voice commands. In addition, the Philips Hue app will work on your smartphone and tablet.
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