Do you need a Philips Hue Bridge to use the Inara Outdoor Wall Lantern?

Do you need a Philips Hue Bridge to use the Inara Outdoor Wall Lantern?

Best Answer: Not necessarily. However, if you want to get the most out of your Inara Outdoor Wall Lantern, then yes, you should get the Philips Hue Bridge. The Bridge is the central hub for all things Philips Hue, and it's required if you want to control the light remotely from the Philips Hue app (opens in new tab), or even with other accessories, such as the Philips Hue Tap. If you don't have the Philips Hue Bridge, the Inara can still power on, but it will have zero smart light capability.Philips: Hue White Inara Outdoor Wall Lantern (opens in new tab) ($50)Amazon: Philips Hue Bridge (opens in new tab) ($48)Amazon: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Bulb (opens in new tab) ($50)

So I can just use the Inara as a regular outdoor light?

Technically, yes. The Inara comes with a Philips Hue E26 bulb, so really, you can just plug it in and just use it as any old light. It's also compatible with bulbs of class A++ to E (including regular bulbs), so you could just get it because you like the design of the Inara, but have zero interest in the smart lighting capabilities.

Just keep in mind that the Inara is more geared for folks who prefer the smart lighting capabilities of the Philips Hue ecosystem, but wanted a traditional design for the fixture itself.

So what exactly does the Hue Bridge do?

The Philips Hue Bridge is a separate, standalone hub that can connect with up to 50 other Philips Hue accessories in your home, whether they're bulbs, lamps, or light strips.

With the Hue Bridge, the full potential of every Hue product is unlocked. Without the Bridge, you won't be able to connect your phone to your lights through the Philips Hue app (opens in new tab), or even remotes like the Smart Dimmer Switch or the Tap (opens in new tab).

For the Inara specifically, having the Bridge means the Inara can turn on automatically when you're near home, or you can turn on the lights remotely to make it appear as if someone is home, deterring burglars. It can also be put on a schedule, so they'll come on around the time you usually get home from work, for example. You can put a timer on it so that the Inara is only on for a few hours each day and no energy is wasted.

If you have the Smart Dimmer Switch (opens in new tab), then you can use that to dim the brightness of the Inara as well.

Is the Inara capable of tapping into the full Hue color spectrum?

The Inara comes with a warm white E26 smart bulb, so it won't be able to show off a mesmerizing display of colors outside your home. However, you can always purchase a new Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 bulb and replace the standard E26 white bulb in the Inara. Then just go into the Philips Hue app and choose the color you want to set it to, and you're good to go!

We cover more about color bulb replacement for the Inara here.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.