In the “old days,” the only way you could link Philips Hue smart lights to a Google Home device was using a Hue Bridge.
But the bridge is a separate unit, meaning extra expense and a more complicated setup—which makes home connectivity newbies cringe.
Fear not, neophytes: the latest iterations of Philips Hue can now be connected to Google Home using Bluetooth.
Even without the Hue Bridge, you can connect your Philips Hue smart light to your Google Home device over Bluetooth. To do this, you need the Philips Hue app and the Google Home app. Use the former to set up the Philips Hue system. Then use the latter to identify each bulb and link it to your smart speaker.
Read on for the specifics of connecting your Philips Hue system to your Google Home device without using a Philips Hue Bridge.
Setting Up a Philips Hue Light With the Hue Bluetooth App
The Philips Hue Smart Light Bulb from Amazon.com is one of the many units available. It’s capable of outputs of one white and 16 million colors.
The Hue smart light typically works with a device called the Hue Bridge that connects to your router.
The bulb, the bridge, and the router make up the Hue Hub.
The Hub lets you control up to 50 smart lights throughout your residence, whether indoors or outdoors.
You can also add accessories (like smart switches and motion sensors), set up routines and timers to automate lighting, and control lights remotely.
But if you don’t want to splurge on a separate, expensive bridge, opt for the newer Philips Hue versions that are also Bluetooth-compatible.
You can connect them to smart speakers like Google Home without the bridge.
According to HelloTech, here’s how to do it in 13 steps:
- Screw the bulb into a socket and turn it on.
- Open the Philips Hue Bluetooth app and tap Get Started.
- You will be asked if your lights are Bluetooth-compatible. Tap Yes.
- Set up your account by entering your name and email address. Tap the slider at the bottom of the page to accept the terms and conditions.
- You will be asked if you use a voice assistant. Tap Yes.
- Since you’ve already installed and turned on your bulb, tap Add light.
- The app will start searching for your Hue lights. If you’re linking to a dimmer switch, turn it up to maximum brightness and tap Pair.
- A prompt will ask you to allow the app access to your device’s Bluetooth. Allow it, and when your device acknowledges your bulb, tap Next to continue. When adding multiple bulbs, tap Search for more.
- Find out which bulb your device is paired to by tapping Hue bulb. This will quickly turn your light on and off. After pairing all your bulbs, tap Next.
- Choose Google Assistant for your voice assistant and give your bulb a name, preferably one Google Home can recognize. Tap the text box at the top of your device’s screen to do this.
- (Optional) You can also change the bulb name by tapping the Settings icon in the app’s bottom-right corner. Go to Lights and pick the bulb you want to rename. Tap the bulb’s default name to change it.
- Tap Next to finish the setup. You can now control your light from the app.
- Tap the Lights tab in the app’s bottom-left corner to dim your light or change its color.
Next comes the linking of the Hue lighting system to your smart speaker.
How To Connect Philips Hue to Google Home Without a Bridge in 13 Steps
Google Home allows you to control Philips Hue lights with your voice. To do so, you must have the following ready:
- The Philips Hue system should have a minimum of one light installed and already set up.
- Your Google Home device should also be working already.
- The Philips Hue Bluetooth app should be installed on your mobile device.
- Download it for iOS or Android here but take care not to download the regular (non-Bluetooth) app.
- The same goes for the Google Home app – if you don’t have it, download it from Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for Apple devices.
Once you have the above all ready to go, this is the procedure from Philips itself for connecting your Philips Hue to Google Home without a bridge:
- Check that your Hue bulb is Bluetooth-compatible. Look for the Bluetooth logo at its base or the packaging.
- Screw the bulb onto its receptacle. Turn it on at the wall to ensure it’s working.
- Download and open the Google Home app. It is available for both Apple and Android.
- Tap the plus icon at the app home screen’s top left corner.
- Tap Set up device.
- Under New devices, tap Set up new devices in your home.
- Select the area in which you’d like to set up your light (home, work, other). Google Home will start searching for available devices with which to connect.
- After the app discovers your bulb, select it.
- Pick a room where your device is located.
- Give your light a name so it’s easy to remember. For example, “library light.”
- When the setup is complete, your light will blink, indicating it’s ready for use.
- It will now appear in the Home app, and you can control it with Google Assistant.
- If you want to connect several smart bulbs, you have to repeat the final few steps for each.
If you’re having trouble controlling your lights, check that they and your Google Home device are on the same WiFi network.
Moreover, if your bulbs are refusing to link up to Google Home, move your smart speaker closer to your bulbs (within three feet (0.9 m)).
Turn your lights off, wait for around 10 seconds, then turn them on again.
Or disconnect your lights from other apps or voice assistants.
Advantages of Using the Bluetooth Connection Method
- You can turn the lights on and off.
- You can dim them.
- You can set the brightness to a particular setting.
- Your choice of colors is endless, including multiple shades of white light.
- You can add bulbs to routines and scenes.
- Several people can control the same bulb by linking to it through Bluetooth.
Cons of Not Using a Bridge
According to Smart Home Insider, the limitation of a Bluetooth connection is it’s more restrictive than using a bridge in the following ways:
- You can control only a maximum of 10 bulbs from your smartphone, tablet, or Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker. Common examples of smart speakers, apart from Google Home, are Amazon’s Show, Plus, and Echo Dot.
- You won’t be able to take advantage of features like Hue Scenes.
- You’re limited to the predefined colors of the smart assistant instead of the entire color spectrum.
- You can operate your lights only when your phone is within their range.
- You can’t control your lights remotely once you leave the house and go out of range of the lights.
- There’s no support for third-party app integrations.
- Without a bridge, you can’t incorporate the new Hue bulbs with older models, the new Hue outdoor luminaires, or the more advanced Hue accessories, like the Lutron Aurora dimmer or motion sensors.
- You can’t group Bluetooth Hue lights into various rooms. However, you can create groups within rooms. Therefore, you can have a bedroom or kitchen group, but creating another from a different floor may not work because you have to be in Bluetooth range.
Home connectivity experts prefer using the Hue Bridge because they can take advantage of Hue lights’ full potential.
The bridge gives you the most reliable control over your lights and access to all the Hue app functions.
Now that you know you can connect your Philips Hue lights to Google Home without buying a separate bridge, you can begin setting up your lighting network to reinforce your home security and comfort.
Have an illuminating journey ahead of you!
Learn more: Do Philips Hue bulbs get hot?