philips hue power outage loss

How To Stop Philips Hue Lights from Turning On After A Power Outage

In Reviews, How Tos by Tim Brennan10 Comments

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Have you ever wondered what happens with smart lights after a power outage?

Well, if you have Phillips Hue lights and don’t make this change they will ALL come back on. Even in the middle of the night, while you are sleeping.

In this post, I will show you exactly what you need to do to prevent this from happening.

⚡Want the short answer on how to prevent your Hue lights from coming on after a power outage? You need to update the ‘Power On Behavior ‘settings for all your Hue bulbs using the Philips Hue App. Go through every bulb and choose ‘Power Loss Recovery’ mode 💡.


hue lights power outageA Rude Awakening

Last night, the power went out around 3:30 AM. I probably would have slept soundly through it had it not been for EVERY Phillips Hue “smart” light in my house turning on.

Bummer. I totally felt like the guy under the covers in the featured image of this post.

To add insult to injury, it took Alexa a few minutes to boot up after the lights came on. So, by the time I was able to get her to turn them off, I was WIDE awake 😳.

So I started looking for a fix and found the solution, and then I thought: BLOG POST.

Related: Philips Hue Play Vs Bloom Vs Go Vs Iris: Smart Light Play Time! ⚡


What Happens To Philips Hue Lights When The Power Goes Out?

This section is going to be very short.

If you want to know what happens to your Hue lights when the power goes out, the answer is quite simple. Since they require a little thing called “electricity” your Phillips Hue lights go out when the power goes out.

Mic drop, followed by an obligatory transmission tower image.

philips hue power outage power station

Did you know they were called that?  I had to look it up.

Now let’s move on to where things get a bit more interesting.


What Happens When The Power Comes Back On?

There are basically two scenarios as to what will happen with your Phillips Hue lights after a power outage.

Scenario 1: Lights Turn On

ALL of the lights connected to your Hue Hub turn on. [Yip, HELLO rude awakening!]

philips hue power outage

This is DESPITE the state they were in prior to the time of the outage. It also includes your outside lights as well as inside lights that are connected to the Hue Hub.

Related: What Are The Best Philips Hue Outdoor Lights? [Calla vs Lily] ⚡

Scenario 2: Lights Stay Off

If you update the appropriate setting in your Philip Hue app, your lights will stay off. [Yay, snooze city.]

Why on earth Hue hasn’t made this the default behavior of the app and Hub I don’t know.

BUT, I am here to help you enjoy a solid slumber, sleepy pants.

In the next section, I’ll walk you through updating your app settings step-by-step, so you can enjoy a blissful nights sleep, even when there is a power blip.


How To Stop Philips Hue Lights from Turning On After Power Loss: Step By Step

⚠️Important: This procedure applies to the Philips Hue Bridge only. If you use Echo Plus or another hub to control your lights you can’t adjust this setting. The Philips Hue app won’t work without a Hue Bridge.

Step1Make sure you have the latest version of the Philips Hue app.

To do this, you can follow Philips advice here [link opens in new window]. Or simply go to your friendly neighborhood app store for iOS or Android, and click the Update button.

hue power out app update

[My app was sadly out of date. Shame on me.]

Next is where the real magic happens.

Step2Open the Hue app, and click the Settings icon at the bottom of the screen.

hue power outage app settings

Step3On the Settings screen, scroll down to Power-On Behavior and click it.

NOTE: If any of the bulbs say Not Supported, then you’ll need to run a software update first (also within the Settings menu). Otherwise, tap on a bulb to change its power-on behavior.

Step4Click on the first bulb in your list.

hue power outage power on behavior

You’ll have three options [maybe]:

  • Philips Hue Default – lights turn on with power removal and restoration [boo].
  • Power Loss Recovery – switches the bulb to the last-used state it was in before it lost power [yay].
  • Custom – if you have colored bulbs you can customize the settings for power on behavior [overkill].

Step5If you want to avoid a rude awakening when the power comes back on, change this setting to Power loss recovery.

Step6Now, go through and do this for ALL of your lights that you don’t want to come on when the power comes back.

hue power outage power loss recovery

That’s it! Now run over to your fuse box and throw the power to test it out! Just kidding….


Show Me, Please

If you want to see the app in action, DanDoesYoutube does a pretty good job showing how you update the setting.


Is There Any Reason I Wouldn’t Want to Enable This Setting?

The only reason I can think of for NOT choosing this setting is that if you control your Hue lights using a  wall switch and only a wall switch.  This would actually be counter-intuitive to the whole point of smart lights so I can’t imagine why you would.


Some Neat Philips Hue Lighting Ideas

Now that we figured out how to prevent Philips bulbs from keeping us up at night, check out some of these neat Hue lighting ideas on Amazon that might complement your existing setup.


Conclusion

Until Philips Hue updates the Power Loss Recovery setting to the default, there will surely be more people like me who get woken up in the middle of the night due to a power outage.

But by following the steps, I’ve outlined above you can help to ensure an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

hue power outage

Sleep well, friends.


Philips Hue Power Outage: Did This Help?

So, what do you think about this article?  Did you find in it helpful in dealing with the next Philips Hue power outage situation?

Have you recently lost sleep due to this happening like me? What do you think of some of the Hue products I recommended above.

I think Hue lights are awesome–just so long as they don’t wake me up.

Please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


Related Posts

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also like some of our other posts about Amazon Echo devices and Alexa.  Here are a few summerish ones!

How to Make Your Smart Lights Turn On When You Enter a Room [Hue, Lifx, Sengled, More]

What Are The Best Philips Hue Outdoor Lights? [Calla vs Lily]

What Are the Best Smart Outdoor Lights? [For Porch, Yard, Pathways, Patio & Home Security]

Are Smart Lights Worth It?


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About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    Same issue for me. I have around 10 outdoor lights properly configured and all the light and the bridge are updated but they keep turning on after an outage.

    Thanks

    Matthieu

    1. Author

      Matthieu:

      Thanks for writing in. Yes, I can see how that would be super frustrating also. Did you try the fix I suggested here and did it work?

      Cheers,’
      Tim Brennan

  2. I’m stumped! I did this for all my Hue lights, yet after the power came back on last night at 1am I found myself with a fully lit up house! Double checked the Hue settings and, yup, all lights are set to power loss recovery. I have a Hue bridge and I think my software is up to date, but the settings didn’t take. Strangely, the Alexa App recorded the lights as all being off so I had to use the Hue App to turn everything off again.

    1. Author

      Bummer! Are you sure the Hue app is up to date? They released a version a week ago 3.28.0 and I wonder if there may be something up with the latest version. I have had my power go out a few times over the past few weeks due to storms in the northeast and thankfully the lights have been staying off. You can actually cut the main power to the house if you really want to test this. I have a small apartment so not a big deal for me, might be a bigger deal for you, but whatever you do play is safe. I also wonder if the namture of the outage plays a role (storm due to transformer down etc.) Hope you will write back and let us know if you were able to get to the bottom of it.

    2. Is there any way to update this without having to go buy a hub? I use my echo plus to connect and can’t take being woken up anymore. (I’m writing this at 4 am…. 😡)

    3. Author

      Hey John, Have you updated to the latest version of the Alexa ap? If so, let me know, and I will investigate further. I am using the Hue Bridge, BUT initial research says that the latest version of the Alexa app will resolve this…

      Let me know….

      Tec Timmy

  3. This only works if you have a Hue Bridge. If you use an Echo Plus to control your Hue lights, you can’t adjust this setting. And if you install the Philips Hue app, it won’t work without a Hue Bridge.

    1. Author

      T. Bugaroo,
      That’s a great point – I completely forgot about the Echo Plus being able to control Hue without a Bridge. I am going to add your note to the article. Thanks for writing in.
      Cheers,
      Tec Timmy

  4. Please tell me, when the lights come on after an outage, do I physically turn them off before I change the setting, or do I change the setting while they are on?? I tried the latter, and they still just came right back on.
    Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi Barb,
      It shouldn’t matter when you make the setting. I would contact Philips about it. This worked for me. Lights no longer come back on after an outage. Please keep us updated as to how you make out!
      Thanks,
      Tec Timmy

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