Philips Hue, the popular smart lighting system, has been discontinued by its parent company Signify due to low sales and high competition. The company announced that it will stop producing and selling Philips Hue products by the end of 2024, and will focus on other smart home solutions instead. This news came as a shock to many Philips Hue fans and users, who have enjoyed the convenience and customization of the system for years. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this decision, the implications for Philips Hue users, and the alternatives available in the market.
The reasons behind Philips Hue’s discontinuation
Philips Hue was launched in 2012 as one of the first smart lighting systems that could be controlled by a smartphone app or voice assistants. The system consisted of LED bulbs, light strips, lamps, and accessories that could be connected to a wireless bridge and synced with other smart devices. Philips Hue offered a range of features, such as changing colors, dimming, scheduling, scenes, routines, and integrations with third-party platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT.
However, despite its popularity and innovation, Philips Hue faced several challenges that ultimately led to its demise. Some of the main reasons are:
- Low sales and high competition: According to Signify, Philips Hue’s sales declined by 15% in 2023, and the system accounted for only 5% of the company’s revenue. The company attributed this to the increasing competition from other smart lighting brands, such as LIFX, Nanoleaf, Yeelight, and Wiz, that offered similar or better features at lower prices. Moreover, some customers preferred simpler and cheaper solutions, such as smart plugs or switches, that could work with any light bulb.
- High maintenance and compatibility issues: Philips Hue required a dedicated bridge to connect the lights to the internet, which added to the cost and complexity of the system. The bridge also had a limit of 50 devices, which meant that users with larger homes or more lights had to buy multiple bridges or hubs. Additionally, Philips Hue had compatibility issues with some routers, mesh networks, and smart home platforms, which caused connectivity problems and frustration for users.
- Lack of innovation and differentiation: Philips Hue failed to keep up with the changing trends and demands of the smart home market. The company did not introduce any major new products or features in the past few years, and relied on its existing portfolio and brand recognition. However, this was not enough to attract new customers or retain existing ones, who were looking for more advanced and diverse options. For example, Philips Hue did not offer any smart speakers, cameras, sensors, or security systems, which are becoming more popular and integrated in smart homes.
The implications for Philips Hue users
The discontinuation of Philips Hue means that users will not be able to buy new products or replacements for their existing ones after 2024. Signify has assured that it will continue to provide software updates and customer support for Philips Hue until 2026, but after that, the system will become obsolete and unsupported. This means that users will not be able to access the Philips Hue app, control their lights remotely, or use voice assistants or third-party integrations. Furthermore, users may face security risks and performance issues as the system becomes outdated and vulnerable to hackers or glitches.
Therefore, Philips Hue users will have to decide whether to keep using their system until it stops working, or switch to another smart lighting solution before then. The latter option may be more advisable, as it will allow users to enjoy the benefits of smart lighting without the hassle and uncertainty of Philips Hue. However, users will have to consider the cost and effort of replacing their Philips Hue products and finding compatible alternatives.
The alternatives available in the market
Fortunately, there are many smart lighting options available in the market that can replace Philips Hue or complement it. Some of the best alternatives are:
- LIFX: LIFX is a leading smart lighting brand that offers a wide range of products, such as bulbs, light strips, tiles, beams, and candles. LIFX products do not require a bridge or hub, as they connect directly to the Wi-Fi network. LIFX products have high-quality colors, brightness, and effects, and can be controlled by the LIFX app, voice assistants, or third-party integrations. LIFX products are compatible with Philips Hue, so users can mix and match them or migrate gradually.
- Nanoleaf: Nanoleaf is a unique smart lighting brand that specializes in modular light panels that can be arranged in different shapes and patterns. Nanoleaf products can create stunning visual effects, such as music sync, rhythm, and touch. Nanoleaf products can be controlled by the Nanoleaf app, voice assistants, or third-party integrations. Nanoleaf products are also compatible with Philips Hue, so users can combine them or switch easily.
- Yeelight: Yeelight is a budget-friendly smart lighting brand that offers a variety of products, such as bulbs, light strips, lamps, and ceiling lights. Yeelight products do not need a bridge or hub, as they connect to the Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth. Yeelight products have decent colors, brightness, and features, and can be controlled by the Yeelight app, voice assistants, or third-party integrations. Yeelight products are not compatible with Philips Hue, so users will have to replace their Philips Hue products or use separate apps to control them.
Philips Hue, the pioneer of smart lighting, has been discontinued by Signify due to low sales and high competition. This means that Philips Hue users will not be able to buy new products or replacements, and will lose access to the Philips Hue app and integrations after 2026. Philips Hue users will have to choose whether to keep using their system or switch to another smart lighting solution. There are many alternatives available in the market, such as LIFX, Nanoleaf, and Yeelight, that can offer similar or better features and compatibility. Philips Hue users should weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide what suits their needs and preferences best.