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How to reset Philips Hue bulbs (with and without a bridge)

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Philips Hue is our favourite lighting system because it has the widest range of lights and the best set of controls.

From time to time, you may need to move bulbs between control systems – if you’ve repurposed an old bulb, or have got hold of some second-hand kit, for example. In this case, you need to reset your bulbs. Here’s how you do it, with and without a Philips Hue Bridge.

If you have a Philips Hue Bridge, then you have the easiest way to reset your bulbs. First, you’ll need your bulb’s serial number. Bulb serial numbers can usually be found on the bulb itself, typically around the connector. For the light strip and Hue outdoor lights, you’re likely to find it on the control box into which the lights plug in.

Before the next stage, ensure that your Hue light is turned on. Give it a few seconds, so that it can be discovered. 

Open up the Hue app then type Settings, Light setup. Tap ‘Add light’ to Add a new bulb into your system. Rather than tapping Search, you now need to tap Add serial number, then enter the six-character serial number of the bulb you want to reset. Then tap Search. Your light will reset and then join your system.

If you have an Amazon Alexa smart speaker with a built-in Zigbee hub, such as the Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation) or Echo (4th Generation), you can reset your bulb using that. First, you’ll need the serial numbers of your light or lights, following the instructions above. Then make sure your bulb is plugged in and turned on.

Open the Alexa app and tap Devices, then tap the ‘+’ icon and select Add device. Tap the question mark and then select the link under How do I put my Zigbee device into pairing mode? Scroll down and select Reset Philips Hue Light. Enter the serial number of your light and hit Continue. Alexa will reset the Hue bulb and then will Discover it and connect it to your Alexa Zigbee hub.

If you have a Philips Hue dimmer switch, you can reset your bulbs easily. Turn on the bulb, then bring the switch within 6 inches of the bulb. Press and hold the power on and power off buttons (power on and scene selection buttons on the new dimmer) until the bulb flashes. It’s now reset and in its default factory state. 

You can pair a Hue switch directly with a bulb. Again, hold the switch within a few inches of the bulb and press and hold the power button. The switch’s LED will blink, and the bulb will blink. You can now toggle the power, adjust brightness and change the colour/temperature of the bulb using the switch’s buttons.

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