Philips just announced that it’s ending all support for first-generation Hue Bridges. And while that usually means no more patches and features, this goes a bit further—no more internet. You’ll still have local control of your lights, but if you want remote control, you’ll need to upgrade to generation two. How can you tell which version you have? It’s easy, just look at the shape. If it’s a circle, you’re in trouble.
That’s right; you won’t need to find a sticker or serial number or look up a complicated chart. Generation One hubs are round, and version two bridges are square. If yours is round, you’re on generation one.
Now you don’t have to replace your bridge immediately. If all you ever wanted or need is local control of your smart bulbs, that will continue to work. And Philips says it isn’t cutting off internet access until April.
After April 2020 no software updates will be made available for the Hue Bridge v1 and compatibility with our online services will be terminated at that time. The Hue Bridge v1 can still be controlled locally via the dedicated Philips Hue Bridge v1 app. >>
— Philips Hue (@tweethue) March 6, 2020
But you should probably consider making the upgrade. In addition to killing remote access, Philips also says it won’t issue security patches, and it already discontinued new feature releases for the original bridge.
You can buy a V2 Bridge on its own, which will work with your existing lights. But if you were planning to add more Philips smart lights anyway, now is as good a time as any. You can grab two white bulbs with a hub for just a little more than the bridge by itself.
Philips Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Dimmable LED Smart Bulb Starter Kit (2 A19 60W White Bulbs and 1 Hub Compatible with Amazon Alexa Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant), 2 Pack
This kit comes with two white Philips hue Bulbs and a bridge. That will set you back less than buying all three separately, so if you wanted more bulbs this is the best way to buy a bridge.