The Philips Hue range of smart lighting solutions are pretty awesome.
When you really start to look at the possibilities of things you can do with a Hue setup though, the potential for smart lighting soon becomes clear.
As a result of Philips making developer app and service integration super-simple for their Hue smart lighting range, there are now some really cool things that you can do with your intelligent lighting system.
Whether it’s setting the mood when listening to your favourite music or enhancing the atmosphere when watching a movie, we’ve taken a look at some of the amazing ways you can do with Philips Hue to change your home lighting experience right now.
From white and color changing smart bulbs, through to standalone lighting solutions and lamps, the wide range of available options within the Hue range make it incredibly simple to assemble a connected system of integrated smart lighting right out of the box.
Finding the best smart lighting solutions for your home ultimately means thinking about a wide range of factors and options, from how you intend to use your lights through to the features you’re looking for, and of course, any budget considerations.
With that being said, there are some smart lighting brands out there that are leading the way when it comes to offering the very best in automated and smart home illumination and Philips with their Hue range of smart lighting devices are one of the main contenders currently at the front of the pack when it comes to innovation and features.
Whether you’ve already set up a Hue rig in your home or are thinking of picking up a few bulbs to get started, there are a lot of ways you can begin integrating this smart lighting solution with the wider smart home experience.
Here are five of our favorite things to do with Philips Hue.
1. Sync your lights to your sounds
Users of both iOS and Android have the ability to sync up their Hue lighting setup to their music playlist.
When combined with a color changing Hue lightbulb (or several), your lighting will respond to the track you’re playing.
Using the microphone on your smartphone or device to listen to any music currently playing, the app reacts and adapts to the sound using either pre-set color schemes or your own custom range.
With the ability to also adjust the sensitivity of the app, you can achieve an effect that suits your own personal taste every time.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Set
If you’re just getting started with smart lighting in your home, the White and Color Ambiance kit is an excellent place to get started.
Including three color changing bulbs and the Hue Bridge (for communicating between all devices and your controller), the White and Color Ambiance kit is an excellent way to get your smart lighting system underway with minimal setup.
With the bulbs screwed in and the Bridge connected, you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions on your connected smartphone or tablet and you’ll be ready to go with an interconnected lighting system that can be synced with other smart devices, automated or controlled using your voice through a paired controller like Alexa or Google Home powered devices.
2. Integrate Hue with IFTTT
IFTTT (If This, Then That), is a web-based service that allows you to create ‘triggers’ for smart devices around the home based on the occurrence of events on another device. What this means in practice, is that when one device does one thing, a separate device can be triggered to activate in response.
There are a whole host of ways you can tie up smart light systems such as Hue to the other devices in your smart home ecosystem using IFTTT, for example getting your lights to blink if your Amazon Alexa countdown timer reaches zero, or having the lights turn red if your Nest Thermostat rises above a certain temperature.
Using IFTTT with Hue allows you to do a lot of amazing things with the other smart devices in your home, for example, flashing the lights when an email arrives or you receive a Facebook notification and even or integrating your lights with your Nest Protect smoke alarm, turning the lights red if carbon monoxide is detected.
3. Weather warning lighting
While mentioned above, we felt that this particular application of IFTTT integration deserved a section of its own.
In an article by CNET, they found a useful way to use IFTTT functionality alongside Hue was to monitor the National Weather Service’s warning feed for specific regions and to change the color of your home lighting to let you know if something is up.
This is a particularly good option if you live in an area prone to severe or unpredictable weather and this application of your Hue smart lighting could prove an invaluable way of leveraging your connected home environment to warn you of any hazardous changes outside when a storm is closing in.
Philips Hue Go
There are a number of other smart lighting options within the Hue range as well as some amazing feature lighting devices such as the Hue-Go which integrate fully with your existing Hue setup.
Offering the ability to have portable, color changing smart lighting wherever you want it, the Hue Go is effectively a smart lamp that can move around the home with you, adding a splash of color wherever you need it.
Controllable and automatable in the same way as all of the other lighting solutions in the Hue range, the Go is the perfect partner for adding atmosphere in the corner of a room or as a centerpiece lighting feature.
4. Sync Hue with your TV
Without a doubt, this is definitely one of our favorite things to do with Philips Hue lighting in the living room.
If you’re looking for a way to create a fully immersive, home entertainment viewing experience, then matching the ambient lighting in the room to your favorite show or movie is a pretty epic way of doing it.
The Hue Camera app for iOS allows your device to detect the colors detected by the camera and adapt the color of your Hue lights accordingly as the scene changes.
5. Fully automate your lighting
The great thing with the Hue lighting range is that Philips’ own app lets you automate your lights without the need for a dedicated smart hub through the use of the Philips Hue Bridge.
Within the ‘Routines’ section of the app, a setting called ‘Home & Away’ allows you to enable a feature called ‘Location aware’ for the system.
With this setting activated, your Hue lighting setup will turn off and on whenever you leave the home – another thing you now don’t need to worry about remembering when you head out of the house!
If your main goal is building a smarter home, then having the ability to pre-program your home illumination routines is undoubtedly one of the most useful things to do with Philips hue when the system is set up.
Voice controlled lighting with Alexa (BONUS)
It would be difficult to end a post on the coolest things to do with Philips Hue without mentioning arguably one of the most amazing (and most useful) features of modern smart lighting systems – the ability to control the lights throughout your home using your voice.
By connecting your Philips Hue lights with a voice control system such as Amazon’s Alexa, you can turn the lights on or off, up or down just by using your voice and saying what you want to happen.
For example by telling Alexa to “Turn on the kitchen lights” or “Dim bedroom lights to 50%”, you can take control of your home lighting like never before, without ever lifting a finger. Similarly you can tell one of your Alexa enabled devices such as the Echo, Dot or Echo Show to set the mood by changing any Hue lighting to a color of your choice, simply by speaking the command.