New Hue Bridge firmware removes support for ZLL bulbs from other manufacturers

I know most people know this has been an issue on the v2 hue bridge, but apparently Philips has released a new firmware update for the v1 bridge that blocks the usage of ZLL certified bulbs from other manufacturers. These include the GE Link, Cree Connected and Osram Lightify bulbs.

This means that once you install the firmware update you’ll only be able to add Philips bulbs. If for some reason you need to reset your bridge you won’t be able to re-add the other bulbs which were previously added and working fine.

This is completely unacceptable behavior from Philips and I feel it is our responsibility to let them know how we feel about their decision. You can read more at the Hue develop forum here.

Ways to contact Philips:
Facebook
Twitter @philipshuedev, @tweethue,

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interesting, I just migrated to the v2 hub, and have a few ge link bulbs in my setup. I will have to remember to not update.

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Also contact Philips and let them know what you think about the decision to block access to other ZLL bulbs! If they receive enough negative feedback they may very well provide us a workaround.

There is no point to having standards like ZigBee Light Link if we don’t actually hold manufacturers who claim to support them to actually supporting them. I understand that they want to improve the user experience for the average user, but there are ways they can do that without affecting existing users and/or ‘expert’ users.

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So why not all of us yell at people who are violating these protocols. Hmmm like GE, for example? It seems to me that they are the reason companies like SmartThings and Philips are trying to avoid…Why should SmartThings or Philips take the blame if GE screws up?

I’m not sure I’m following… The GE Link bulbs are ZigBee Light Link certified.

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posted over there…probably akin to pissing into the wind, but I said my piece

I bought my ge link bulbs back when the Philips bulbs were still 40-60 dollars and the lux bulbs were just hitting the shelf. it was a cost effective solution.

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GE Link bulbs are a bad example because they’re HA 1.2, not ZLL per the official GE Link Bulb specs:

http://www.gelinkbulbs.com/

The two standards are usually interoperable, so they may be able to function on ZLL networks, but that was not how they were designed and they don’t accept any of the ZLL specific extended commands. Some ZLL bulbs don’t support all the extended commands either because most are Optional in the standard. Very similar to how ST codes the basic ST capabilities into devicetypes, but the community has to expand the feature set. The main difference is that ST uses basic capabilities to provide interoperability; whereas Hue wants everything to work perfectly in sync, which means all devices should be able to do the same things.

It frustrates me that Hue is locking down their system, but the user experience is actually a reasonable basis for doing so. They may be getting a lot of support calls due to non-Hue bulbs, and don’t like telling their customers they can’t help. ST has a similar issue with community devices/SmartApps where support can’t be expected to help, but that’s not a good answer to someone having issues with their system.

Another possible reason that I don’t like much, but won’t fault them for is purely business based. They spent a lot of money and effort getting their software to work as well as it does, but that does them no good if users aren’t buying their bulbs. It lets other bulb makers turn profit without the app/software costs, which are a reasonable justification for higher bulb costs.

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Hmm. As far as I am aware all of the GE Link bulbs are ZigBee Light Link certified. You can see them listed as such here. I know they don’t act as a repeater, but what other functionality are they missing?

The core problem with what Philips is doing is that they are taking away functionality that has existed within their product from day one. If they wanted to launch the 2.0 bridge without support for ZLL bulbs that would be fine, but don’t issue a firmware update that intentionally disables this functionality in the v1 bridge. I’ve been using GE Link bulbs with my Hue bridge for more than a year now without any issues.

Honestly, what’s even the point of having an interoperable standard like ZigBee Light Link if the devices that support ZLL cannot interoperate freely? The world of HA is fragmented enough as it is.

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I’d be more pissed if I wasn’t a SmartThings user. I ran across this problem myself just yesterday, but didn’t think too hard about it when it occurred to me to pair the GE bulbs directly to SmartThings after failing to re-connect them to my Hue. Now that I know this was intentional I will not be buying any more Philips connected products. Some vendors view backward compatibility for installed user bases as a requirement, others don’t. Knowing where Philips lands on this issue will allow me to make better technology decisions in the future.

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