I was helping someone with their new smart bulbs, and wanted to share the experience.

Getting the bulbs going was not straightforward in my case. I tried just turning the lights on and connecting with the Echo Dot, but no devices were found. After thinking on it for a while, I looked for and downloaded the Philips Hue app. I immediately found that I had the wrong app! These bulbs were bluetooth version, and I needed to get the bluetooth app. After downloading the proper app, I went through the steps. The instructions said to turn off the light for 10 seconds, turn back on, and hold the phone within 3 feet.

Still nothing! After MANY attempts, I decided that I should probably look for more help.

There is very little support information out there, but I found a thread on Reddit that explained someone else’s experience with these bulbs. It seems there was a bundle available on Amazon Prime Day that pushed several of these bulbs out with an Echo Dot Gen 3. The thread said that the fix for most folks was to download the Hue BT app, add the bulbs there first, then have Alexa discover the devices. This thread didn’t immediately help me.

I decided to troubleshoot my phone as having a bluetooth issue. I read a few things online, and decided my first step would be to wipe the cache partition on it. Apparently this is all it took! After wiping the partition and rebooting, I went back to the Hue BT app. It was immediately able to find both of the bulbs! Once the bulbs were in the app, I checked and found a software update was available for them. I had to do one at a time, and keep the phone close to the bulbs, but the app was able to download the update, upload, and activate on each one.

So the trick for these bulbs:

  • Download and use the Hue Bluetooth app to connect to the bulbs first.
  • Once the bulbs are connected, check for updates and install if needed.
  • Keep the app open and find the section that talk about connecting to voice assistant.
  • Ask Alexa device to find new devices. It should find your new bulbs.
  • If your phone will not find the new bulbs, try wiping the cache partition on your phone and restart it.

My friend was super happy to have her philips bulbs working with voice control!