Ask HN: Now That Phillips Is Enshittified, How Can I Run My Phillips Hue Lights?
For those of you that don’t know, the Phillips Hue app will soon be requiring you to sign up for an account to control Phillips Hue lights. Previously, they sold a Zigabee router specially for the use case of local control over WiFi, which is why I bought overpriced Hue lights over their cheaper competitor to begin with, but I guess that sweet data stream to make an AI based on light switching patterns was just too tempting.
The real kicker is they’re billing this as a “security requirement”, as though adding an additional cloud boundary to my threat model, all for a set of fucking light bulbs, could possibly increase my security.
I hate the future.
Now that my ranting is out of the way, how can I continue to control my lights without the proprietary app? I know they’re Zigabee and thus it’s an open standard so it should be possible, what are my options?
Cute, especially because all their competitors have very competitive offerings these days and integrate very well into a vendor based solution like HomeKit or a open source solution such as HomeAssistant.
Case in point: LIFX (https://www.lifx.com/)
Switch to HomeAssistant, I haven't opened the hue app once in months since migration
You could look at https://www.home-assistant.io or if you're in the Apple ecosystem you could use the Home app which apparently can talk to Hue (for now).
Anyway as soon as you configure the phillips hue lights through homekit you never have to use their app ever.
HomeKit still controls some Best Buy switches that had their cloud shut down years ago, which is nice and a reason local control is the way to go.
This is why I only buy HomeKit devices. I have two switches whose manufacturers completely shut down, and this had no impact on my usage whatsoever. I’m not in love with the proprietary aspect but as a user this is exactly how it should be.
>I hate the future.
You chose this future.
But you can choose a better one: use mechanical switches. No cloud, no complexity, no need to pay homage to some malevolent centralized authority just to turn on a lamp.
Not only do you get less complexity, the wizards of the EE world have created a capability based secure system called the "circuit breaker" that prevents all of the authority of the power grid flowing through your end user application and taking out the local system (i.e. burning down your house)
If only we had such security in the IT world. ;-)
> centralized authority just to turn on a lamp
Do you generate your own electricity, too?
[I too use mechanical switches and am wary of most smart tech. And I buy my electricity from the power company.]
Conveniently left out "malevolent", I see. Yikes.
I've been using Google Assistant to control my Hue light setup for more than a year now.
Nothing says "I want to improve my privacy and security" like inviting Google into your home.
Don't take this the wrong way... but I control my lights with mechanical switches that are installed to walls of my home. They don't need logins to any cloud services, in fact they don't even have internet.
They just work.
but how do you turn off the light once you are already in bed?
There are a handful of solutions to the problem of the lights being on while in bed, but wanting them to be off. One way is to turn off the lights before entering the bed. Another way is to get out of the bed and turn off the lights and then return to the bed.
Another popular solution is to place a lamp near the bed, such that the light controlled by the wall switch can be turned off before entering the bed and the lamp nearer the bed can be turned off while in bed.
Nobody asked for an AI generated response
to be fair, at least one person must have.
otherwise we have bigger problems.
This answer is dripping with sarcasm and the AI doesn't even know.
sorry, the correct answer was “clap.”