Beta Yourself Philips Hue
You’ve got smart bulbs but all you do is turn them on and off from your bed? Stuff’s resident bright spark Mark Wilson is here to light up your life with these illuminating Hue tips
Light up your world with these smart tips
Make a scene Philips Hue ‘scenes’ are presets for its colour bulbs. The app has some built-in options but you can create your own. Tap on one of your rooms, press ‘Scenes’, then tap the ‘+’ icon in the bottom right corner. Choose ‘Picture scene’ and you’ll get the option of choosing a photo from your camera roll to recreate a mood from a cherished memory.
Scrap the schedules To get your lights in tune with your movements, go to ‘Routines’, then ‘Home & Away’, then press the ‘Location aware’ switch. Now you can decide which lights go on when you’re coming home or leaving, and if they should only come on after sunset.
Rise and shine You can time your bedroom Hue lights to slowly wake you up in the morning, and also gently lull you to sleep at night. Head to ‘Routines’ and either ‘Wake up’ or ‘Go to sleep’. Press the ‘+’ button to create a schedule for them to slowly ‘fade in’ or ‘fade out’ (making sure to leave out the weekend, if it’s your work plan) and press save. Talk to your lights To connect your Hue lights to an Amazon Echo, enable the Hue skill in the Alexa app, then go to ‘Discover devices’. The app will then import your scenes, letting you sing out phrases like “Alexa, turn on ‘relax’ in the bedroom”. For Google Home, go to the main menu in the top left corner in the Home app, followed by ‘Home control’, then press ‘+’ to add devices.
Make it rain Download Thunderstorm (from US$2.99 / iOS, Android) for Hue and gain god-like control over your smart light storm, as your Hue bulbs flicker and flash in time with convincing sound effects. You can choose which bulbs to include, set a sleep timer for the storm to conveniently pass, and even add background sounds like chirping cicadas.
HueDynamic (US$5.99) brings most of the tricks from third-party Hue apps to Windows, as well as Cortana voice control of your lights.