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

Stuff (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Light up your world with these smart tips

THE BA­SICS 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 £2.79 / 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.

BRIGHT IDEAS Get the party started

Hue Disco (from £2.99 / IOS, An­droid) picks up the mu­sic in the room through your phone’s mi­cro­phone and turns it into some colour­ful, cus­tomis­able strobe ef­fects.

Make a real en­trance

The lo­ca­tion-aware IFTTT ap­plet at bit.ly/hueen­trance lets you pin­point your home’s lo­ca­tion on a map, and then ev­ery time you en­ter that zone your Hue lights will cy­cle through an ar­ray of colours. It’s like you’re com­ing home to a sur­prise party, even if you only plan to crash on the couch and watch TV.

SCREEN SCENES Get su­per-am­bi­light

Got a Philips Am­bi­light TV? Get your Hue lights to change in sync with its colour­ful tune. Down­load the Am­bi­light+hue app (£free / IOS, An­droid) and en­ter your TV’S IP ad­dress from its net­work set­tings menu. Then choose which lights you want to link, and en­joy your per­sonal Odeon.

Mon­i­tor the colours

If your com­puter’s feel­ing left out of the Am­bi­light party, the free down­load Screen­bloom (screen­bloom.com) can pair it with your Hue bulbs and light­strips to recre­ate a sim­i­lar ef­fect to Philips’ glow­ing TVS.

IFTTT YOUR SPIR­ITS Your Uber has landed

The ap­plet at bit.ly/hueu­ber will blink your Hue lights when the Uber driver has ar­rived. That vis­ual no­ti­fi­ca­tion might catch your eye in time to stop your driver wak­ing the street with a blar­ing horn-honk.

Ready for kick-off

Another IFTTT ap­plet at bit.ly/hueespn can make your bulbs flash a cer­tain colour any time your team be­gins a match, giv­ing you the sig­nal to turn on the TV be­fore you miss a goal.

Hue knows when you are sleep­ing

If you have a Fit­bit that you wear to bed, you can link your Fit­bit ac­count to your Hue bulbs via the IFTTT ap­plet at bit.ly/hu­e­fit­bit – and the bulbs will turn on as soon as the band de­tects that you’ve wo­ken up.

BETA BONUSES Baf­fle the bur­glars

Hue­labs’ ‘pres­ence mim­ick­ing’ recipe en­gages lights so that it ap­pears you’re at home when you’re not. You can cus­tom-set which lights come on when, and they’ll still turn on at your usual times for com­ing home, get­ting ready for bed and so on.

Don’t get over­cooked

Ban­ish those clang­ing timer alarms from your life and set a vis­ual trig­ger in­stead us­ing the Hue­labs cook­ing timer recipe. It lets you set quick alarms within the Hue app and then get a flash­ing light when your meal is ready.

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