Philips Hue Lights Repair

I bought a set of Philips Hue White Personal Wireless Lighting LED Starter Kit on eBay which were listed as “untested” (just another way to say broken). These, when working, allow you to control the brightness of your lights via the internet from your phone. Being broken, I bought for a fraction of the cost. Now all I had to do was fix them.

This set comes with a Hue Bridge which connects to your WiFi and controls your light bulbs over ZigBee radio, and two white LED light bulbs. I knew that two of the three parts were probably fine and one was broken.

Both light bulbs lit to full brightness when plugged into a normal light fitting, however the Bridge did nothing when powered on – most likely the Bridge was the issue then. Time to take it apart.

The Bridge is held together by a clip and two screws underneath the foot pads, concealing a single circuit board.

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Top side of the PCB

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Bottom side of the PCB

The first thing to check is always power. The Bridge takes a 5V input, so the first question is “is the 5V rail supplying 5V?”. Measuring the voltage on my multimeter I quickly ascertained that, no, there is no voltage on the 5V rail. Measuring resistance, I also quickly confirmed that there was a short from the 5V rail to ground.

The new question is “where is the short?” This is often a tricky question because measuring resistance won’t help, because the resistance will be near to zero ohms everywhere. You can also give the board a good inspection to see if there are any damaged looking components. However, the most reliable method I know is to pump a large amount of current through the board.

Setting my power supply voltage limit to 5V and over current limit to 1A, I forced 1A through the shorted component. Quickly, a chip near the power supply got too hot to touch – obviously this component was shorting the power to ground.

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The offending component is the chip in the middle

Looking at the markings, I identified this chip as a TLV62565, a buck regulator. This makes sense being right next to the power jack – it must generate a lower voltage for the rest of the system. My main concern at this point was that the damaged buck regulator may have damaged something down stream if it wasn’t working correctly. Luckily, it only appeared to be generating about 100mV, so at least it wasn’t passing the full 5V. After removing this chip I confirmed that the short had disappeared.

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Short circuit disappeared along with the chip

I replaced the new chip and it works!

I don’t know what caused the damage. This chip is meant to have short circuit and thermal shutdown protection so it is unlikely to be damaged by anything it is delivering power to. My best guess is that at some point there was a voltage spike from the DC power supply which caused the chip to blow – not unlikely given that the chip is only rated to 5.5V input and the power brick feels cheap. Anyhow, now I have a working unit.

15 thoughts on “Philips Hue Lights Repair

  1. Hello Matt!
    I had the same problem, and came to the same conclusion that is was the buck regulator. (With some help, and reassurance from your very helpful article)

    It was changed yesterday and so far it is working great (And after buying 10 new, i now have for the next 9 times this problem happens 😉 )

    Thank you very much for the article! It was a great help!

    Best Regards
    Jonatan

  2. Hello Matt!
    Your short article gave me some hope, but I would like to ask one more thing – do you remember how the bridge was behaving before the fix? Mine after connecting to the power supply has the power indicator led very dimly lit, and of course isn’t working at all…

    Best regards,
    Maciej.

  3. Hello, Matt! I have the same problem with this pulse regulator. If it is not difficult for You, I would like to know the value of the output voltage in this circuit (U10). I think the value of the resistive divider is incorrect 0.6*(1+R44/R45)=1.2 volts. Delivery of the TLV62565 chip will take time, and I do not want to burn it 😉

    1. Hi Artsiom, unfortunately I do not have the Bridge anymore – I left it behind when I moved to the US. Why do you suspect 1.2v is wrong? 1.2v is not uncommon.

  4. Hey Matt, sorry to bother 2 years later! I am looking to repair the same exact bridge. Was wondering if it had to be Texas Instrument or it can be another provider? What is the most necessary component by replacing that specific piece?

    1. Hi Brian, no problem. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a TI part, but I believe the TLV62565 is only made by TI. Is there a problem with using the exact part?

      1. My issue was that I plugged in the wrong AC unit into the Hue Bridge and saw a spark, so I’m convinced that was a short circuit. I live in Argentina and not many TI products are available. That’s why I’m wondering if there is an alternative to the TLV62565. I saw images of other ones but the numbers and the engravings are different… everything else is the same.

      2. I see. If you have any replacement parts in mind I’m happy to look at the data sheet and see if it looks ok.

  5. This is the website I’m looking at: https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-775780339-pfni-pfn1-tps60403-tps60403dbvr-sot23-5-ic-ci-_JM?quantity=1

    It’s like the Amazon of Argentina where people buy and sell.

    the product identifier is: Pfni Pfn1 Tps60403 Tps60403dbvr Sot23-5 Ic Ci

    the website doesn’t have a diagram and when I search for the data regarding the product it brings me to the TI website, so I can’t be positive of what I’m sending you. Maybe by giving you the identifier you’d be able to figure it out. This is Chinese to me.. haha

    Thanks for your time and help!

    1. Hi Brian, this is another part from TI called TPS60403 but unfortunately it is not compatible with the TLV62565. Your best bet is to try and find the original part, but I’m afraid I don’t know if that’s possible for you. Also, it seems like you don’t know if this is your issue in the first place.

      1. I understand. However it’s roughly $90 to buy a new hue bridge. And it would be $2 and possible another $20 to buy the solder pen. From a cost perspective, it’s definitely worth the shot. Either way, I’ve got some thinking to do for sure. I’m inclined to just buying a new one, because it’s the quickest fix, but I’ll feel so dumb for rushing through everything and not checking before I plugged the device haha

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