Powering the Phillips Hue Bridge with PoE (Power over Ethernet)

June 08, 2019

Picture of Hue powered by PoE

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Phillips Hue is a popular smart lighting system. At the core of nearly every Hue setup is the Bridge - a white box that interfaces the Zigbee-controlled lights/switches with the internet (via an ethernet cable to your local network).

The bridge is traditionally powered via an included DC barrel plug adapter:

DC Power Adapter

The device requires a wired connection – meaning it must be directly connected to your router or a network switch. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a feature on some networking appliances that provides both network data and power over a single ethernet cable.

If you’ve already plugged your Bridge into a PoE-capable switch, you’re only a couple of cheap adapters away from powering it over PoE which gives you:

  • cleaner cabling: one wire instead of two; no wall wart in the power strip
  • remote power control: power cycle, turn on/off the Hub from software (troubleshoot without having to physically pull the plug)
  • flexibility in positioning: you can now place the Bridge anywhere you can run ethernet (but might not have AC power) and possibly improve signal strength
  • power monitoring: measure power consumption in software (pictured)

UniFi Dashboard showing Hue PoE consumption

Disclaimer

I have powered my Hue hub with PoE for 2 years without problems.

That said: This setup is unsupported by Phillips Hue and likely voids your warranty. Follow these instructions at your own risk and double check the input/output voltages for your devices!

Parts List

There’s key two parts:

  • 5V PoE splitter (Amazon): splits a powered ethernet cable from your switch into an unpowered, data-only ethernet cable and a barrel plug
  • barrel adapter (Amazon): barrel plugs come in various sizes - for the V2 (square) hub, you’ll need a 2.5mm plug; for the V1 (circle) hub, you’ll need a 2.1mm plug

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How all the plugs fit together

Checking the Power

The included DC barrel plug adapter has the following specifications:

Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz
Output: 5.0V DC 5W

The back of the Bridge has the following specifications:

Input: DC 5V/1A

That means we need a PoE splitter that outputs 5V! This is critical - the wrong voltage might result in degraded performance or damage to the Bridge.

Putting it Together

Connect all of your barrel plugs together, the splitter’s cables into your Bridge, and finally the splitter into a powered ethernet cable from your switch. The devices should negotiate power and your Bridge should power on!

If it doesn’t, check:

  • Is the port a PoE-capable port? (On some switches, only certain ports provide PoE)
  • Are the input/output ratings the same across the chain?
  • Are the settings in your networking software configured correctly?

Picture of Hue powered by PoE The final product neatly mounted under a desk with 3M strips


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© 2021 Dalton Flanagan