Skip to main content

Sources: Philips Hue to release HomeKit support in October via bridge box, new 800 lumen lights with better colors


Update: We’re hearing the date for the new HomeKit bridge is October 6th … In addition, Philips has officially confirmed that the old box will not be getting HomeKit compatibility in any form. However, it will continue to receive other software updates. You can buy the new HomeKit bridge from here.

Philips is finally ready to join the HomeKit ecosystem with a new box that will act as a bridge between the Apple HomeKit standard and its range of smart internet-connected lightbulbs. As shown in the images above, provided by sources, the new box looks very much like an Apple TV — a rounded rectangle ‘puck’ with indicator lights showing connectivity status.

The new HomeKit box will be available in October and connect existing Philips Hue accessories to the Apple platform. The bridge box will be sold standalone as an official ‘Works with Apple HomeKit’ compatible accessory as well as in new combo sets, also depicted above. These sets include new bulbs with a few improvements over the current models …

The new lights, of type E27 and GU10, will have an improved color spectrum over current bulbs meaning they can more accurately depict a wide range of hues. In particular, the green and turquoise color reproduction will “look much better”. The new lights are also brighter, maxing out at 800 lumens compared to the current range that tops out at 750 lumens with the Hue Lux.

The new lights will be sold in combo sets with the HomeKit bridge. The official names of the refreshed products are the Philips Hue White Starter Kit, the Hue Bridge and the Philips Hue White and Color Ambience (in either E27 or GU10 variants). Pricing will be comparable to the equivalent Hue accessories currently available.

We are also told that Philips is working on ways to bring HomeKit support to existing Philips Hue bridges. This means current Hue customers would not have to buy any additional equipment to work with HomeKit, but this may not be ready as soon as October. If this software update is released, the new box would differ mostly on its cosmetics. A rough picture of the product surfaced earlier in the month.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Dil Ribeiro - 8 years ago

    I do hope they find a way of making it available to the existing bridges…

  2. Maxim∑ (@MCaudebec) - 8 years ago

    “We are also told that Philips is working on ways to bring HomeKit support to existing Philips Hue bridges.” yeah they promised over the winter so they better…

    • Jonny - 8 years ago

      Did they promise to support the bridges or the lights? Based on other hardware companies having to release new hardware (ecobee, insteon, etc) to be compatible with HomeKit I was always assuming the lights would work but we would need a new bridge to include the homekit hardware requirements.

  3. alanaudio - 8 years ago

    I understood that implementing HomeKit required that a special HomeKit ID chip has to be built into the device. Unless those chips were built in when the devices were built, it’s hard to see how the old bridges can subsequently become HomeKit bridges if that ID chip is essential for their operation. There were reports that the ID chips were only starting to appear three months ago, but Philips bridges have been around for much longer than that.

  4. surfingarbo - 8 years ago

    Awesome. I’ve been waiting for this.

    The current 760 lumen Hue Lux lights are very much brighter than the 600 lumen Hue ones.

    Also waiting for a native Hue Watch App, but according to their Twitter account, I don’t believe there’s an immediate plan to release that update.

  5. Graham J - 8 years ago

    I’ve paid enough for my Hue setup – I won’t be paying even more to control my lights from the same devices I already do. If they can somehow manage it without a new box that would be nice.

    • Jonny - 8 years ago

      Depending on price, my plan is probably going to wait until I need to buy some new bulbs and just buy a starter kit that would include the hub (provided that there is some savings vs just buying the hub and bulbs separately).

  6. Clif Marsiglio - 8 years ago

    I’m wondering if the Hue hub can deal with the GE Link bulbs…now that my hope of Wink actually becoming compatible has disappeared with the death of Quirky (eminent as no one seems to want to buy them). I should pick up a Hue hub just to find out…

    • Jonny - 8 years ago

      I think there is some compatibility but it’s limited. I looked into it awhile ago and never actually it out.

    • amazingrugs - 8 years ago

      You may want to check out the SmartThings hub. This lets you use a variety of products that have different protocols (Zigbee, Zwave, etc) and let’s them all talk and work together.

      Right now I have a mix of Hue and GE Link bulbs that all are on timers and turn on and off depending on door sensors/motion sensors.

      I’m pretty impressed with how it works. The app is confusing, but spend a little time and you’ll get it to do what you need, plus there is an open source commnunity for writing scripts that bend your devices in new ways.

  7. Ahmed Noor - 8 years ago

    I just purchased the E27 starter pack yesterday, what should I do :0

    • opiapr - 8 years ago

      If I were you I will return it. Wait a week or so and get a new one with the new bridge and better lights.

  8. jasperlynn - 8 years ago

    Why is this launch so…obscure? No official words, no set time for press releases…makes me wonder.

  9. Dave Z - 7 years ago

    I got my hands on the new HomeKit-compatible bridge.

  10. Rob Brogan (@robrogan) - 7 years ago

    Don’t forget that in addition to buying a new Philips hub, you’ll need to buy the new Apple TV if you actually want the iOS interactions such as telling Siri to turn your light on/off. I’m hoping for the software solution they promised earlier, but I think we’ll still be stuck with a ~$150 purchase of the TV :/

  11. This article couldn’t have been more wrong with the “better colors” and “the green and turquoise color reproduction will ‘look much better'”


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.