It is possible to get Osram/Sylvania Lightify to work seamlessly with Philips Hue smart bulb system. Three steps and you will be able to to control your smart bulbs with the Hue app.
Philips made huge headlines before Christmas 2015 when they blocked other zigbee devices that was not a part of the Friends of Hue program. After a huge public outcry on forums, they reversed it. Still you will not be able to get Hue and Lightify to talk together out of the box (as of January 2016), but they are still compatible with the right firmware.
Why mix the two in the first place?
With Philips having the niche to itself for a couple of years, smart homes are now becoming mainstream. The competition from Lightify means a broader range of devices and falling prices. Lightify brings the small edison screw E14 for smaller lamps that Philips do not have yet. They have a fancy smart plug. With their GU10 spots you do not have to pay for the full RBG colour range, only tunable white that probably is sufficient for most. And their spots are normal size compared to Philips longer GU10 spots that are too long for some lamps. Finally the Gateway can be placed in any elecrtical socket in the house, and does not need to be connected to the Wifi router like Philips Hue bridge does.
Philips on the other hand has some really fancy dimmers, the battery free scene selector Tap, is Homekit enabled, has a huge community of developers and now has a RGB-free E27 bulb that is much cheaper than Osram´s. So you definitely will be better off combing the two. For some reason it does not seem that the Lightify Gateway works with Hue lamps. But reversed, Lightify products will work with the Hue Bridge 2.0.
Update Sept. 19th: Osram is no longer on the list of the HomeKit compatible devices in IOS10. Readers report that the Lightify bulbs do not work with the Hue Bridge after newer firmware updates. It is still unclear if it is Hue or Lightify firmware that causes the problem. Do NOT update the firmware if the two work together. Osram has refused to disclose their firmware numbers and release dates which would have helped matching the firmware versions that are compatible with Hue. The following guide only applies to the right firmware versions:
This is what you do:
- Connect the Lightify bulb to the Hue bridge to check if it works right out of the box. If it does not, you need to reset the bulb/bridge.
- Update the Osram bulb´s firmware. You do need a Lightify Gateway for this, and only this operation. The Lightify bulb will not turn completely off in the Hue app with the original firmware (as of January 2016).
- Start the auto search in the Hue app before turning on the Lighify bulb. The Philips Hue bridge will not recognize the bulb if it is already on.
That´s it. The Lightify lamps will work just like they were Hue. You can even control the color temperature from warm orange to cold blue perfectly. This works with the European bulbs. From forum reports it might not work with the American bulbs yet, but you apparently can ask Osram to convert yours to the European standard. Update: Osram does not do the update anymore after Zigbee 3.0 was released, which should resolve the incompatibility issues between the US and euro versions.
Update: If you are not able to find the right firmware, there still could be some advance solutions. Check out this forum.
If Osram want to become the center of the smart home, they should make sure that their Gateway is compatible with Hue bulbs and vice versa . And someone should make an easy to implement temperature sensor that together with the Osram smart plug enables smart electrical heating.