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Repair Basic Issues with Your Philips Hue Lighting System

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This guide will walk you through fixing many of the problems you may encounter with your Philips Hue lighting system.

Philips Hue icon

? What part of your Philips Hue system are you having problems with?

  1. Device won't respond or shows Unreachable
  2. Device doesn't respond sometimes, but works other times
  3. Devices don't respond quickly
  4. Lights go on and off on their own

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This guide will walk you through fixing many of the problems you may encounter with your Philips Hue lighting system.

Philips Hue icon

Your Philips Hue lights require power to be left on for them to work.

Make sure any switches connected to your Hue lights are turned on.

Light switch turned on in-line switch turned on

If you've just turned the light back on, it will light to its default color and temperature. Give it 10 seconds to re-sync with your Hue Hub.

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
  1. Turn off the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  2. Unplug the power cable from the back of your Hue Hub.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Plug in the power cable to your Hue Hub.
  5. Turn on the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  6. Wait 2 minutes while your Hue system starts back up.
  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    Hue icon

  2. Choose the Settings gear, then Software update.
    Settings with software update highlighted

  3. The Hue system will instantly check for updates. This can take a little while, as it's communicating with each of your bulbs.
    checking for update

  4. Make sure it says "No updates available". If any updates are offered, it will offer them here. Choose Automatic update.
    software update screen with no updates available

  5. Turn on Automatic update. Pick a time when you won't be home, or won't be bothered if your lights flash on and off for a brief moment.
    automatic updates enabled

With auto updates turned on, you will not have to worry about updating your Hue system again.

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

Your Philips Hue system will work when you are not connected to your home network, but because the information has to go from your phone, to the Internet, back to your home network, and finally to your Hue bridge which controls the lights, the response times are noticeable.

If you are connected to your home Wi-Fi network, the information goes from your phone, directly to the Hue bridge, making the system respond a lot faster.

For the next steps, we need to determine what type of mobile device you have.
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Power prompt with Restart highlighted.
If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
  • If you had to shut down your Android device, wait 30 seconds before turning your device back on.
  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
  1. Turn off the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  2. Unplug the power cable from the back of your Hue Hub.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Plug in the power cable to your Hue Hub.
  5. Turn on the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  6. Wait 2 minutes while your Hue system starts back up.
  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    Hue icon

  2. Choose the Settings gear, then Software update.
    Settings with software update highlighted

  3. The Hue system will instantly check for updates. This can take a little while, as it's communicating with each of your bulbs.
    checking for update

  4. Make sure it says "No updates available". If any updates are offered, it will offer them here. Choose Automatic update.
    software update screen with no updates available

  5. Turn on Automatic update. Pick a time when you won't be home, or won't be bothered if your lights flash on and off for a brief moment.
    automatic updates enabled

With auto updates turned on, you will not have to worry about updating your Hue system again.

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

Powering off an iPhone.

  1. Hold down the lock/power button.
  2. Slide to power off when prompted.
  3. Wait until the phone is off.
  4. Hold down the lock/power button until you see the Apple logo.
For the next steps, we need to determine what type of mobile device you have.
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

Hue has the ability to allow those with access to setup special schedules and routines. It's possible a routine was created in error, or by another person using the system.

There are 3 separate areas to check:

  • Home & Away
  • Wake Up and Sleep
  • Other Routines

Home & Away

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Choose Routines at the top.
    routines menu

  3. Choose Home & Away.
    routines with home and away highlighted

  4. Turn off Location aware to disable this feature.
    Location aware on off switch set off highlighted

  5. Choose Save at the top to save this setting.
    home and away save highlighted

This Routine is controlled by the smartphone itself. Remember to check this setting on all other smartphones and tablets you've connected to your Hue system.

Wake Up and Go To Sleep

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    Hue icon

  2. Choose Routines at the top.
    routines menu

  3. Choose Wake up.
    routines wake up menu highlighted

  4. Turn off any alarms you see listed here. This disables them, so they will no longer run. If you'd rather delete them, continue to the next step.
    wake up toggle highlighted

  5. Select the name of the routine.
    routine highlighted

  6. Scroll to the bottom, and select Delete.
    routine delete button highlighted

  7. Choose Delete to confirm you want to delete the routine.
    delete dialog with delete highlighted

These Routines are stored on your Hue bridge, you only need to make these changes with one device.

Other Routines

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    Hue Icon

  2. Choose Routines at the top.
    Routines menu

  3. Choose Other routines.
    other routines highlighted

  4. Turn off any routines listed here using the switch on the right.
    on off toggles for other routines highlighted

These Routines are stored on your Hue bridge, you only need to make these changes with one device.

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
  1. Turn off the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  2. Unplug the power cable from the back of your Hue Hub.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Plug in the power cable to your Hue Hub.
  5. Turn on the power switch to the device you're having problems with.
  6. Wait 2 minutes while your Hue system starts back up.
  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    Hue icon

  2. Choose the Settings gear, then Software update.
    Settings with software update highlighted

  3. The Hue system will instantly check for updates. This can take a little while, as it's communicating with each of your bulbs.
    checking for update

  4. Make sure it says "No updates available". If any updates are offered, it will offer them here. Choose Automatic update.
    software update screen with no updates available

  5. Turn on Automatic update. Pick a time when you won't be home, or won't be bothered if your lights flash on and off for a brief moment.
    automatic updates enabled

With auto updates turned on, you will not have to worry about updating your Hue system again.

  1. Open the Hue app on your smartphone or tablet.
    hue icon

  2. Make sure you can switch your light on and off using the switch on the right.
    Hue rooms screen

  3. Choose the settings gear at the top, then Light setup.
    settings with light setup highlighted

  4. Make sure none of your lights show errors.
    light setup screen
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.