Hueblog: Philips Hue soon only usable with account?

Philips Hue soon only usable with account?

Registration could become compulsory

In contrast to many other smart home systems, Philips Hue has a decisive advantage: after connecting the bridge to the router at home, you can use the entire system, at least locally, without registering. No account needs to be created.

“That's the good thing about Hue, you don't need to register for local use. Plug it in, install the app and it's up and running,” says a comment from a reader.

Only for some special functions is an account currently necessary, for example for remote control. But that is not really surprising, because the app has to know which bridge it should communicate with outside the home WiFi. And that only works in connection with an account and the cloud servers of Philips Hue.

Now, however, the member management, which is currently still under development, could ensure that the Hue app can soon only be used with an account. Depending on how deeply Philips Hue integrates this function into the app, it must be possible to distinguish between the different users.

Personally, I would have no problem with such an “account requirement”. I already use three different accounts to control my bridges remotely. In my opinion, it would be much more desirable if one could finally manage several bridges with only one account.

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Check your local Philips Hue Online Store for availability of Hue products in your country. There you will also find all the technical information and prices.

In den letzten Jahren habe ich mich zu einem echten Experten in Sachen Hue & HomeKit entwickelt. Mittlerweile habe ich über 50 Lampen und zahlreiche Schalter im Einsatz. In meinem kleinen Blog teile ich meine Erfahrungen gerne mit euch.

Comments 9 replies

  1. I hope they do it properly so I could for instance store my config/prefences online and have it sync on all my devices.

  2. Oh heck no, they do this they better refund me the $1500 I’ve spend on bulbs. I bought them specifically for NO account, I only use the app to add bulbs and that’s it, My home assistant is what I use for everything else. This ‘account’ requirement every stupid company is pushing is just BS! There’s zero reason to force accounts on 90% of smart home products, and smart bulbs is one of those products that have ZERO need for an account.

    1. I don’t even use the app. I have a Zigbee dongle on my Home Assistant. I control the lights/accessories directly from that.

  3. Step 1: Require an account
    Step 2: Require a small yearly or monthly fee for account special features
    Step 3: Extend the fee to cover all account maintenance
    Step 4: Increment the fee for new features or unexpected market conditions
    Step 5: Repeat step 4

    Something about how opening the door on small taxes on just a few people that don’t include you always become larger and then include everybody when the rosy predictions meet reality (and it’s so common you’d think voters/Huesters would be wise to the strategy).

  4. All smart home devices need to be able to work on the LAN with no Internet connectivity.
    Even user access control should be implemented locally, it’s not hard to provide a list of app+device IDs that can access specific lights, rooms and zones.

    First, accounts are not possible for every installation, imagine shared rooms using their technology, which user do you register?

    Next, imagine you cannot turn on or off the light in your apartment because of a temporary Internet failure that prevented the system from connecting to your online account? You really believe it would be ok to carry a flashlight at all time because any day you could get home and not be able to control your lights?

    Finally, they are far from the reliability needed for online accounts to be mandatory… my Hue online accounts stopped working over a year ago when swapping bridges associated with it, and it’s still telling me that there is a temporary issue, and I should try again later… If my Hue system didn’t work without that online account, I probably would have returned all my lights and switches.

  5. I don’t give my Hue Bridge access to the public Internet, just my LAN (HomeKit certification, in fact, *requires* that it be usable this way). An account adds no value for me and I hope Signify doesn’t go through with requiring it. If they do, they will get no usable data from my Bridge, and they’ll just annoy me.

  6. This should be illegal. I am wondering where EU and their “privacy focus” is when it comes to such things.

    Think about being cut off from the internet for a week due to a cable failure. In this case the last thing I want to deal with is finding out how to still be able to control my lights. There is no „security requirement“ behind this, as advertised by Philips. In my optimism this company is becoming more and more ethically questionable. Especially in terms of customer privacy and the longevity of their products (whoever used „sonicare“ might know what i am talking about). The only sustainability this company seems to care about is sustainable profit. Today it’s a account requirement, tomorrow it might be a service fee.

    1. It IS illegal under GDPR, I’m betting they were hoping nobody would bring a case against them. Essentially you can’t lock users out of devices they’ve already purchased by retroactively altering the ToS at a later date.

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