Philips Hue to make you create an account and log in to adjust your lightbulbs

Originally published at: Philips Hue to make you create an account and log in to adjust your lightbulbs | Boing Boing


Wait until they start bricking your lightbulbs after a certain runtime in order to make their number go up.


Well, shit. Their bulbs have saved me thousands of dollars in electrical work required for re-wiring an old home but if switching to a competitor is an option, sobeit.

Still angry at Nest forcing Google down everyone’s throats.


Now that the lightbulbs are cloud-ified it’s no longer necessary to engineer them to die in order to secure recurring revenue; just have them refuse to operate if your lighting subscription isn’t in good standing. See, environmentally friendly!


Look, please folks, stop buying lightbulbs and appliances with built-in wifi and apps to control them. They’re insecure, overpriced, and these are the games you’ll end up getting sucked into for your investment. Hopefully folks can jump off the Hues line of products and just buy normal shit that works without all the other nearly useless nonsense.


Or one day you find that you’ve become part of a company’s private Borg mesh collective.


I avoid tech that has a phone app interface because if the product stops actively being supported, you are potentially an OS upgrade away from losing access to it entirely.

Years ago my BIL put in a bunch of smart switches to control most of the lights in his house—they were not reliable and often had difficulty turning on lights even from the wall unit. Eventually they pulled them out and went back to using regular switches.


“Believe us, this change can only benefit the users, when it comes to security.”

  1. If a tech company starts a sentence with “Believe us,” it acknowledges that you already have reasons NOT to.
  2. In this case, they went on to provide ZERO explanation of exactly WHY we need to just believe them, or how turning over even more data will make the customer more secure.

I’m not quite a Luddite “opposed to new technology or ways of working,” but rapidly becoming an offshoot along the lines of a Utilidite? Lutilidite?
That is, I’m opposed to new technology or ways of working that are minimally utile (advantageous) over just being useful (“able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways”). Much of which is driven by a cost/benefit analysis where a huge factor is the amount of time wasted simply jiggering with the technology & its faults.

I dabbled in the new breed of IOT-connected lightbulbs, gave up in frustration at the awful GUI interface and randomness of connectivity, and dipped back in occasionally to test the ‘latest’ upgrade over the years.
All to no avail. They still offer me minimal joy or usefulness compared to ‘old’ school bulbs: monetary cost (though that is less now); the time-sink of non-interoperability between bulb systems/interfaces; poor or enshittened interfaces; refusal to connect to wifi consistently; and annoying insistence on dropping all input/choices/setting at the drop of a hat.


I’ve never understood the appeal of these wifi enabled lights. Always had a bit of a “yes but these go to eleven” vibe to me.


Good thing that the “S” in “IoT” stands for safety!


Isn’t that just a really long way to say Luddite? The original meaning wasn’t against new tech. It was against new tech without understanding what it means.

They do have their uses, I get up for work at ~3.30AM and having a lightbulb that can turn itself on a few minutes before my alarm clock goes off is very handy :slight_smile:

Bit of an edge use case though.

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They’ve had power strips / outlets with clocks on them for a long, long time. You don’t need IoT for that.


True :slight_smile:

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I just read a post from Cory Doctorow talking about Luddites and it really did show that the current common idea of what they were about is off from the truth of what they really stood for.
Definitely shows how history is written by the victors.


The one “smart” device I use is a smart watch for the express purpose of having a vibrating alarm on my wrist so I don’t wake my wife up. So kind of an edge use case for me too.


Philips is just following the enshittification template:

  1. Introduce
  2. Propagate
  3. Lock in
  4. Enshittify
  5. Stripmine (increasingly for AI training data)
  6. Abandon

Welcome to our new tech utopia, folks.


Explain how that works if you are using it as part of a standard bed side light?
I have several mechanical outlets around the house, but none of those accomplish what a “smart” light bulb can. I was gifted a set of the Hues and they work well enough, but the nice feature is the programmability of them. I can use them like a normal light bulb or flick the switch multiple times to enter different modes. Timer functions are also built into the light so it can be used as an alarm clock and as a normal light bulb without doing anything special (other than the initial setup).

My experience really has only been with the Hue - mostly because I was given them as a gift. Other brands make work equally as well, and in all honesty the functions I do use on them do not require me to do anything other than setup. I think all IoT devices should have a stand alone mode / local network mode.

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You turn the light on and plug it into the outlet. The outlet doesn’t supply power except between the times it’s given.

If you’re just using it with an alarm, it’s going to be less fuss than anything that connects to the cloud.

Yup. But this shows that companies will pull that ability at a whim.