The first generation of Philips Hue was launched back in 2012. Since then there have been some smaller and bigger updates to the Hue Bridge and to the light bulbs. The most up-to-date version is generation 3. Since you can currently get the previous generations at a bargain price you should know how the 1st gen vs. 2nd gen vs. 3rd gen compares.
Philips Hue 1st gen vs. 2nd gen
As already mentioned the first generation was launched in October 2012. The second generation was released three years later in October 2015. With the new release mainly the Hue Bridge, the central control module of the whole Hue ecosystem, was updated. It got a all new design. More importantly starting with generation 2 support for Apple’s HomeKit was added. You can find an extensive article on all the Apple HomeKit possibilities here. Other than that generation 2 bulbs got a bump in brightness from 600lm to 800lm. The 2nd generation light strip got an even bigger brightness upgrade by factor 10 to an impressive 1,600lm.
So if you are currently deciding between 1st gen vs. 2nd gen the advice is quite easy. Do you use Apple products and do you want to control your lights with Siri? Then get generation 2. Otherwise get a bargain deal on generation 1. Considering to buy the light strips? Go for generation 2, which you can combine with a generation 1 Hue Bridge.
Philips Hue 2nd gen vs. 3rd gen
Let’s move on to generation 3. This was released just recently in October 2016. The update is less concerned with functionality and brightness but color accuracy of the bulbs. The generation 3 bulbs show better greens, cyans and blues. Is it worth replacing all your old bulbs? Probably not, only if you are a hardcore Philips Hue fan, like we are ;).
All in all if you do not use Apple HomeKit the 1st gen Hue Bridge is sufficient. When it comes to bulbs we definitely recommend to go for 2nd or 3rd generation ones.
This post is also available in: German