How Hue works

See just how advanced — but easy to set up and use — a Hue smart home is.

Smart lights talk

Anything “smart” needs to be able to receive instructions. Hue smart lights use Zigbee or Bluetooth to communicate, depending on whether you have a Bridge.

Zigbee technology with smart lights

With Bridge


The Bridge connects to your router to establish a Zigbee network. Once you install your lights, they can communicate with the Bridge and each other. 

Each light is a repeater of the signal, meaning that you can extend the network by adding lights. This is called a mesh network.

Why does the Bridge need to be plugged into my router?
Will Hue lights slow down my Wi-Fi?
Will my lights still work when my internet is down? 
Bluetooth technology with smart lights

Without Bridge


This setup doesn’t have a Bridge, so you use your mobile device to communicate directly with the lights.

As your device moves, the network moves with it. This is why there’s a limit as to how far away you can be from your lights.

If I start with Bluetooth, can I add a Bridge later?
How do I know which Hue lights are Bluetooth capable?
Philips Hue app to control yoiur smart led lights

Smart app control

The Hue app is your command center. Guided setup gets your system ready: tap to instantly control your lights, create automations, and more.

Behind the LED

Beauty and brains. Our lights are researched and designed at our headquarters in the Netherlands.



White color LED bulb


Color temperature: 2700 K

A soft white light that’s easy on the eyes. 

White ambiance LED bulb

White ambiance

Color temperature: 2200-6500 K

All shades of white light, from warm orange to cool blue.

White and color ambiance LED bulb

White and color ambiance

Color temperature: 2200–6500 K 
+16 million colors 

All shades of white light plus full color.





Color temperature: 2200–6500 K 
+16 million colors  

Considered RGBWWIC, meaning they can display multiple colors of light simultaneously. 

How is Hue different? Hue gradient lights are controlled with groups of LEDs rather than individually, so you always get an even, gradual blend of color.


Designed by experts

Our team of lighting designers envisions, develops, and then refines each scene in the Hue app.

Define the palette

The color of light correlates to the mood of the scene. For example, blue is calm, while purple offers a more “imaginative” ambiance.

Intensify emotions

Saturation, also called intensity, controls the level of emotion. Highly saturated colors make for a highly charged environment. 

Finetune the mood

The brighter a scene is, the more energetic it feels. Dimmer scenes feel cozier, especially when the light sources are close to the floor.

Balance the atmosphere

Even if a scene is colorful, we add white light to soften its tones or make it more functional.

How does Hue Sync work?

There are a few ways to sync your lights — the sync box, the Hue app, the Hue Sync desktop app, or the Hue Sync TV app — all of which use a proprietary syncing algorithm.

Sync your hue Sync box with your TV


Computes light color and brightness from the entirety of the screen. It automatically detects and excludes black bars.

Sync your hue Sync box with your PC


Computes light color and brightness from the entirety of the screen. It automatically detects and excludes heads-up display (HUD) elements.

Sync your hue Sync box with your Music


Performs real-time digital processing and analysis on audio signals, generating complementary light color and brightness levels.



Explore Hue

What is smart lighting?

Go back to the basics with this handy guide to smart light technology.

Get started

See what lights and accessories you need, based on what you want to do.


Here are all the things you can do with Hue.

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness