Hive has unveiled its new smart GU10 bulbs in the UK, and has also opened up its system to play nicely with Philips Hue bulbs.
If you have the Philips Hue Bridge installed you can now have Hue smart light bulbs sucked into the Hive app, and control those devices alongside your existing Hive ones. It’s the first time that Hive has opened up its system to a third party, and this could be an exciting vision into the future of the smart home ecosystem.
While Hive already has an excellent line-up of smart lighting, bolstered by its new dimmable GU10s, it should make it more attractive for existing Philips Hue owners to get on-board. It means Hue bulbs can be added to the company's Recipes – the Hive version of Alexa Routines.
Both Hive and Philips Hue run on the Zigbee protocol, which enables control of smart home devices over a wider area, and a more stable, reliable connection – so that’s the underlying technology behind this integration. It's the same way that you can add Ikea bulbs to your Philips Hue set-up.
It’s just a shame that Hive still requires the Hue Bridge to be present, and doesn’t enable people just to add Philips bulbs. The smart home is suffering from a few too many proprietary boxes right now, and this would have been an opportunity to do Hue users a favour.
What’s more, anyone using a smart speaker, such as the Echo or Google Home can already mesh Hive and Hue devices together anyway, so won’t feel the benefit of this new integration.
If you’re a Hive user looking to integrate your Hue bulbs, just go to your Hive app, choose Add device and hit the all-new option to install a Works With device. Choose Philips Hue and continue the set-up process.
We’re actually using Philips Hue bulbs without a bridge in our Hive home, controlled via the Amazon Echo Plus, which includes a Zigbee hub. We therefore weren’t able to add our bulbs into the Hive ecosystem.
Back to Hive’s other announcement, its GU10 bulbs are now on sale. The dimmable spotlights represent great value and you can pick them up for just £15 a pop, and get a six-pack for £70. They don’t seem to be available in the US yet, but we’ll let you know when they are.