What to do when selling a home with Hue smart lighting

As we’ve written on GearBrain before, it might be a good idea to leave some smart home devices behind when you move to a new home or apartment.

Smart lighting is an obvious example here, especially if you have a house full of lights which, if left in place, could become an attractive selling point for buyers.

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If you only have a few smart lights scattered around, then take them with you. But if you have smart lights spread across the ceilings of every room, smart lighting installed in the garden, and switches installed throughout the house, buyers could well pay a premium to inherit your old technology.

For this piece, we will be looking at Philips Hue, as it is one of the most popular smart lighting systems. That said, the tips here can be applied to other systems as well. As with leaving all smart home devices behind when you move out, the key here is to completely disconnect from the system and leave it in a state where the buyer can easily set everything up on their own.

Removing Individual Bulbs from Your Hue System

If you plan to leave only a few bulbs – like the ones installed more permanently in the garden – the best option is to take the rest of the system with you, including the bridge, sensors, and switches, and remove them. bulbs that you leave behind. .

To remove a Hue bulb from your system, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Hue smartphone app
  2. Tap Settings then Lights
  3. Tap the bulb you want to remove
  4. Tap Remove then Remove Light

Now when the buyer moves in and connects a Hue Bridge on their own, the removed bulbs will be ready to be added to their system.

Hue lights installed in the garden could well be left behind when moving

Philips Hue

What to do with a Hue Bridge when moving

The heart of a Hue system is the bridge. This connects to your Internet router and to all Hue devices in your home. In theory, you could take your Hue Bridge with you when you move out, then connect it to a new set of bulbs in the new property, while letting your home buyer add their own bridge.

However, this could cause issues when setting up your new system and we think it’s best to take a break and start over, especially given the complexity of smart lighting systems, as well as their various accessories and third party integration.

If you plan to leave more than a handful of bulbs, we suggest you leave the entire system, including switches, sensors, and bridge.

You cannot transfer a Philips Hue account to a new owner

In an ideal world, it would be possible to change your Hue account email address to that of the new owner. That way, they could connect and take over your system, with bulb names, parts, and automations already set up. Unfortunately, this is not possible. The email address associated with a Hue account cannot be changed.

Philips Hue Bridge
There is a factory reset button on the back of the Philips Hue bridge

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Factory reset a Hue Bridge

Instead, we recommend giving the buyer a fresh start. This means a factory reset of the bridge, which cuts all ties between bulbs, switches, and other accessories, and also removes room names, zones, and automation.

To do this, locate your Hue Bridge, flip it over, and tap a paperclip or similar into the hole labeled “restore factory settings”. Hold the button down for a few seconds until the Bridge LED blinks, and the system will be restored to a new state.

Now when the buyer moves in, they can create a new Hue account from scratch, connect the Bridge to their router, and set up a whole new smart lighting system. Any bulbs and accessories you left behind will also be reset, ready to be reconnected to the bridge and given any names the new owner wants. They can then divide the lights into rooms and create automations according to their own preferences.

Philips Hue bridge sold here

A factory reset is also the best solution if you’ve connected your Hue system to Alexa, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit, as it removes those links and means there’s no way to accidentally keep control of Hue devices. that you leave behind.

To conclude, whatever smart lighting system you have, we recommend that you remove the individual lights that you plan to leave behind (if you take the rest of the system with you), or factory reset the system. if you do not take it to your new home. While transfer of ownership of an account is possible, we do not recommend this route. This might be the fastest and easiest way to get through control – and save the buyer from having to set everything up again – but for added peace of mind, we recommend resetting the settings. factory and get a fresh start.

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility search engine to see other compatible products that works with Philips Hue smart lights


GearBrain shows Alexa and Google Assistant controlling the Philips Hue Go

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