Updated: Philips Hue will work with any ol’ bulb after all

Update 12/26: Only a day after the original announcement, Phillips has reversed its decision to block third-party light bulbs on Phillips Hue.

Following negative backlash, Phillips said it underestimated the number of consumers using third-party bulbs, and is currently working on an update to undo yesterday’s decision.

Original story below…

Digital rights management has come to home appliances as Phillips announced it won’t support third-party bulbs for Phillips Hue. The smart home lighting system will eventually have more options for bulbs, but anyone looking to go off the proprietary path may encounter obstacles.

Phillips announced its latest update as fixing an “interoperability issue,” citing that certain third-party light bulbs wouldn’t operate properly with its Hue system, either not turning off successfully or properly working with the Hue’s “scene” functionality.

Up until now, owners of Phillips’ light framework could use typically cheaper bulbs from other brands such as Cree or GE that were compatible with the system. However, as Hue updates its platform, several of these bulbs were unable to keep up and showed performance bugs.

Rather than working out issues with each individual product, Phillips is putting Friends Of Hue in effect, a program in which brands can undergo testing to meet Hue’s standards. Products that make it into the Friends Of Hue circle will work after the update is applied, making them the only current alternative to Phillips’ proprietary light bulbs.

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