How to set up your Philips Hue Bridge

philips hue bridge mounted on wall
(Image credit: Future)

If you're getting your new smart lighting set up and you've ended up here, you're probably trying to figure out how to set up your Philips Hue Bridge. It may also be useful to know this if you've just moved house and need a recap on how to set it up, or if you're wanting to transfer your Hue lights from Bluetooth to the Hue Bridge. Either way, it's all good-know information.

Tools and Requirements

You will need:

- Philips Hue Bridge
- Strong and reliable home Wi-Fi
- Smartphone (iOS or Android)
- Hue lamps or bulbs

Philips Hue has some of the best smart lights we've seen. The lights produce some of the most beautiful colors we've seen, the app is a treat to use and installation is so simple. We've set up a smart light using Bluetooth to find that, although this was really easy, the capabilities of the Hue lights are limited by range and functionality which can all be unlocked by the Hue Bridge.

Keep reading for some quick steps and a step-by-step guide on how to set up your Philips Hue Bridge.

setting up philips hue bridge

(Image credit: Future)

Steps for how to set up Philips Hue Bridge

  • Plug in the Bridge to an electrical outlet. 
  • Plug in the ethernet cable to attach the Bridge to your Wi-FI
  • Open the Philips Hue app and add your Hue Bridge. 
  • Login or sign up to an account
  • Follow the in-app installation instructions

Step by step guide: How to set up your Philips Hue Bridge

1. Unbox and prepare your kit

(Image: © Future)

Open your Philips Hue Bridge box. In the box you'll have everything you need to connect the Bridge to the Philips Hue product range. You will need to connect all of the wires up so you can unlock the full suite of smart lighting features:

  • Plug in your Hue Bridge to an electrical outlet
  • Connect the Hue Bridge to your Home Wi-Fi router using the supplied Ethernet cable
  • Wait for the three blue lights to come on

2. Download and open the Hue app

(Image: © Future)

If you haven't already, head to your phone's app store and search for the Hue app. Once you've found it, download the app.

Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi as the Hue Bridge

Logi n or register for an account, and once you're in, head to Settings to Add a Hue Bridge.

3. Connect your Hue Bridge to the app

(Image: © Future)

Follow the on-screen instructions. All three blue lights on the Hue Bridge should be on.

If no Hue Bridge is found, hit Retry. When found, press the button in the center of the Bridge to connect.

4. Update your Hue Bridge

(Image: © Future)

Following the connection, there might be a mandatory update available for your Hue Bridge. 

Hit 'Update Now'. Your Hue Bridge will be unavailable for up to 10 minutes. Your screen will change once the update is complete.

Step by step guide for how to transfer Philips Hue from Bluetooth to Bridge

If you used Bluetooth to connect your Hue lights to the app and didn't have the Hue Bridge until now then fear not; you can transfer everything over.

1. If you've connected your Hue lights with Bluetooth...

(Image: © Future)

Get within Bluetooth range to your Hue light, bulb or accessory and then follow steps 1-3 from the previous method to set up your Philips Hue Bridge.

2. Transfer Bluetooth lights

(Image: © Future)

Once your Hue Bridge is connected you can transfer your lights and smart plugs, so they'll no longer be controlled via Bluetooth.

You'll need to be within Bluetooth range. Hit Move Lights, or Skip if you don't want to transfer.


Do I need a Hue Bridge with Alexa?

The Philips Hue Bridge works with Amazon Alexa. You can set up your Alexa with Hue lights, bulbs or smart plugs over Bluetooth, or with a Hub Bridge - a Hue Bridge is not essential.

Either way, you'll able to control your Hue with your voice. You'll just be able to connect more Hue light, control the lights inside or outside the home and unlock more smart lighting features with the Hue Bridge.

Final thoughts

Granted you don't necessarily need a Hue Bridge to connect with your Hue lights, bulbs or smart plugs but, it'll unlock more features and mean that you won't have to be within a range to control anything in the app.

If you know how to set up a Philips Hue Bridge then you're going to be well equipped to add up to 50 Hue lights and add new rooms or zones in the Hue app. You'll also be able to create custom automations and sync your lights to your entertainment, which isn't achievable unless you connect this way.

Jennifer Oksien
Homes Editor

 Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.