It is probably the absolute worst case that especially users with a large installation fear: A total failure of the bridge. Unfortunately, Philips Hue still does not offer any backup function, even almost ten years after its launch. This means that if the bridge fails and cannot be restarted, there is a lot of work to do.
René Wahl, the developer of the All 4 Hue application, which is particularly popular on Android, is currently addressing this issue and for the first time offers something like a backup function in the new beta version of his app. However, there are some details that need to be taken into account.
First of all, a manual data backup must be made. In All 4 Hue, all settings of the bridge are loaded and saved in a file that is stored on the smartphone. This file can then be used for restoration in case of an emergency.
However, when resetting the bridge or switching to a completely new bridge, you cannot simply press a button and everything is as before. The ZigBee system is simply not designed for this, because the individual lamps are permanently coupled to the bridge and are assigned a unique ID.
So some manual work is still necessary. It is best to reset all lamps, switches and sensors and then let the new bridge search for them. Then you can continue with the restore via All 4 Hue.
Rooms, switch assignment & more can be restored automatically
At the beginning of the recovery, the hardware is “linked”. From the backup, All 4 Hue obtains the unique serial numbers of the various devices and links them to the new identifications that the devices have received after pairing with the new bridge. If problems occur, the affected lamps or accessory products can also be linked manually.
After that, however, it becomes quite convenient, because All 4 Hue can restore the software data on its own. The developer tells us: “Software resources are elements that are generated on the Hue Bridge via apps such as All 4 Hue, i.e. memory sensors, light groups, zones, rooms, light scenes, room scenes, timers, alarms, rules and rule groups. All 4 Hue is able to automatically recreate all these resources as part of the recovery.”
So the effort is actually minimised considerably. In the current beta version of All 4 Hue, this new feature has to be unlocked for a one-time fee of 6.99 euros. It is not yet known when All 4 Hue will offer this new feature in the final app and also on other platforms.