Maybe you’ve been with the Philips Hue lamps from the start or have bought one for cheap and now realize that you can’t connect an old Hue LivingColors (the predecessor of the Iris) to the current Hue Bridge. But don’t despair, there is a solution!
The Hue LivingColors connects to the Hue Bridge
However, you also need a bit of luck: the LivingColors example must be the second generation from 2009. This comes with a round remote control unlike the first version. If you have this model, then you can connect it to the Hue Bridge. Philips is fair enough to support old lamps. In this case, old means that the Zigbee LightLink protocol is not yet supported, but the predecessor Touchlink. And Philips doesn’t just drop support for these, but still offers the possibility to control them via bridge. And then they also work wonderfully with HomeKit.
The problem is that the lamps cannot be reset simply by switching them on and off, it has to be done either via the old bridge (which is no longer there, of course) or (the official solution) holding a dimmer switch next to where your + and press at the same time. But we didn’t have one on hand either. You can also not use the option with the serial number. The most practical solution is to simply use the Touchlink protocol on the Hue bridge, which forces the lamps to connect to the next bridge.
The Hue Bridge still understands Touchlink
And for that we use the Hue Lights app. In Settings you go to “Touchlink” and execute the action. Make sure that the lamp is really close to the bridge. In the room is not enough, a distance of less than one meter is best. If the app reports ok, you switch to the official Hue and look for new lamps. Lo and behold: the old LivingColors are found!
Now you can set it up and use it normally. The fact that a thirteen-year-old lamp is still running is of course not that surprising with LED technology. However, it’s nice to see that Philips is serious about sustainability here and you can use the lamp until it really breaks. To be honest: the LivingColors still produce excellent light. And using Siri to operate a lamp that came out five years before HomeKit even existed is commendable.