It’s been half a year since the new Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus with Bluetooth support hit the market. Apart from the additional wireless technology and the ability to reconnect cut-off parts with a connector, nothing significant has changed. But there is one problem: The new Lightstrip Plus cannot be connected with old extensions and the old Lightstrip Plus without Bluetooth is not compatible with the new extensions. The pins, which have a much more compact design on the new generation, are the reason.
“Of course, this is something we didn’t necessarily want to have this way. But it was necessary to take a step forward and allow users to reconnect cut-off parts,” Hue inventor George Yianni told us in an interview. To enable the connector to connect cut-off parts, the contacts on the new light strip had to be placed closer together.
“We don’t have a plan to launch our own adapter so you can use v4 extensions with the v3 lightstrip,” he continued. However, it would be conceivable for a third-party supplier to bring such an adapter to market. From a technical perspective, the connectors haven’t changed, they’ve just moved closer together.
Most users only attach the Light Strip once
Of course, the change would have been carefully weighed beforehand. “Most users buy a light strip and mount it permanently in one place. So relatively few users are likely to have this problem. We wanted to make the product better and provide a way to continue using cut pieces. People just didn’t like throwing away cut pieces of the Light Strip,” says George Yianni.
Not implemented in the new generation, on the other hand, was an improvement I would have liked to see: reduce the distance between the LEDs. “In the end, you always depend on the form factor. You can’t dissipate much heat on a lightstrip. And the more stuff you put on the lightstrip, the more vulnerable it becomes when it’s bent and twisted,” explains the Hue inventor. The situation is different with the Hue Signe or the Gradient Lightstrip, for example – here, the form factor and also the cost structure are completely different from those of the normal Lightstrip Plus.