You may think the Philips Hue line of smart bulbs is innovative simply because you can use your phone to turn your lights on and off from anywhere, which is true, but this cool feature barely scratches the surface of the smart bulbs’ capabilities. Philips has made it super easy for developers to create apps that connect to Hue, and the result is tons of exciting things for users to do with their bulb(s). We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cool features of a Philips Hue smart bulb:
· Set a wake-up alarm
If you are finding it hard to wake up using regular alarms, you will find this smart bulb helpful as it can mimic the sunrise effect and gradual fade-in. Just open the Hue app and schedule it to wake you up at a specific time of the day and week. You can also choose the fade-in time, turn off time and the bulb(s) to mimic the effect.
· Hue light alerts
There is a cool app that you may have already heard of called If This Then That, or IFTTT. Essentially, it makes apps and devices work together more efficiently by allowing users to set conditions under which things should happen. For example, you can set IFTTT to post a photo across all your social media channels after you simply post it to one. The app goes way beyond social media, into the smart home space where you also find smart bulbs! Using IFTTT, your bulb can alert you that someone has come through a certain door or has gone to a less-monitored area of your home. Additionally, it can do sneaky things like catch your kids out if they miss curfew by flashing a certain color of light.
· Set a timer
Do you have activities that require you to use timers? The Philips hue smart bulb can alert you by switching to a specific colour or blinking when a timer is done. It can be especially helpful in situations when you need to keep an eye on what you’re cooking in the kitchen but need to do something in another room. It helps you know when to get things done without the jolting noise of an alarm.
· Get alerts and notifications
You can connect the apps on your smartphone to your bulb using the IFTTT app so that it can flash lights when you get a text message or receive phone calls. This means you could set up a command to flash your lights yellow when you get a text message or blue anytime you get a call from a family member.
· Sync your Hue with your TV
Your Hue lights can make your TV watching experience more enjoyable. Head over to the App Store and download Hue Camera (available for iOS and Android), which can change the colour of the Hue light to match the atmosphere based on the colour the camera sees. Once you can get past tinkering it to get it to your liking, you can sit back for a great movie watching experience.
· Set color scenes to match your mood
Another exciting thing to do with your Philips Hue bulb is to set it to match your mood. Whether you’re alone or trying to find cool lighting for your next party, the smart bulbs can change to the color of your choosing.
· Sync with your music
Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, you can sync the hue bulb to your music, so it changes colors – the bulb will even blink and flicker to the beat. There are several apps out there for this like Hue Disco and iLightShow. The apps use a microphone to listen for the sound of the music and then they change your light using preset color schemes or the ones you create on your own.
· Integrate your lights with your smoke detector
You can use your Hue lights as an alternative to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors using Nest Protect (note: this costs more than the bulb itself, but may be worth it for your ideal smart home). Your Hue bulb can easily alert you to an emergency (caught by Nest Protect) by flashing a specific light, and you can program the bulb to adjust in brightness and color so you can see better to get outside in the event there is smoke in your house.
· Trigger lights with motion sensors
Imagine going to the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to worry about stubbing your toes. The inexpensive motion sensor uses an intelligent formula to detect the lights and only triggers lighting when it detects motion. With this technology, you don’t need to raise your finger to switch the lights on; your movement alone will get the job done.
· Connect to even more great apps!
We mentioned quite a few applications that play well with Hue bulbs above, but there are way more than we can cover in one post! Check here for a list of all our favorite Philips Hue smart bulb apps. With over 16 million light options, there are a lot of exciting things you can do with your Philips Hue smart bulb to enhance your living experience. The ideas above are just a few of the cool ways you can get the most out of your Philips Hue for your home. If the Philips Hue is your introduction to smart home automation, we have some great tips for getting started in making your whole house a smart home.