Alexa wasn’t the only thing that crashed over Christmas due to an influx of new users. Apparently, Philips Hue has been having an outage, as well. A multi-day outage, in fact. The company confirmed on Wednesday that customers were experiencing issues creating new accounts, logging in and linking their account to third parties. It blamed the issues on “a lot of new activations.”
In other words, many people received Hue’s connected lighting products over the holidays and were now trying to set up their smart bulbs and other devices all around the same time. Hue’s servers couldn’t keep up with the demand and weren’t responding to the incoming requests. That meant users couldn’t create or log into their MyHue account, or connect their lights to their Amazon Echo or Google Home.
Customers were, understandably, very frustrated — especially because their issues began on Christmas, and had continued for days with no word from the company.
Others complained they had wasted several hours troubleshooting the problem, having not realized it was a Hue outage that was at fault, as a result of this lack of communication.
Philips Hue’s Twitter account didn’t make a public announcement about the outage until Wednesday — instead, the company was only replying to individual users.
Because Twitter hides replies in a separate tab, visitors to Hue’s Twitter page wouldn’t have seen any statements from the company unless they clicked over to see the back-and-forth conversations with Hue’s customers — and some of those weren’t outage-related.
People who followed Hue on Twitter wouldn’t have seen these replies in their own timelines, either.
Philips Hue had also downplayed the problem in its initial replies, as well, saying server issues were affecting only a “small percentage” of users.
Customers were told to try again or try in a few hours.
While Alexa had crashed on Christmas due to a similar problem of too many new users hitting its servers all at once, its outage only lasted a couple of hours.
In Philip Hue’s case, customers have been inconvenienced for much longer.
Many are also new Hue customers — those who are trying to trying to create their account and set up their devices for the first time. For some, Hue’s smart light bulbs may even be their first experience with a smart home device — and this outage may leave them not wanting to try again.
Early on Thursday, Hue’s Twitter account began to reply to individual users, telling them the service “should be up and running.”
But it also warned them that, depending on demand, they may have to try a few times today to get everything going. The company additionally suggested to some that they should try to set up the lights during off-peak hours, like the morning.
We reached out to Philips Hue to ask if the outage was indeed resolved,
and will update with a statement if one is provided.
Update, 12/27/18, 1:30 PM ET: According to a spokesperson, the company hopes to have the issue corrected soon. They said:
“Following the holidays, we are seeing a high number of users setting up their Hue accounts. Unfortunately, this is causing a delay for some customers who have not been able to create their Hue account or link Hue to their voice assistant. We are working to support this increased traffic and help our customers complete their setup. We expect to have the issue corrected shortly.”
Update, 12/28/18: Hue claimed on Thursday evening the issue has been resolved: