Controlling Your Smart Lights through the Apple Home App: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cupertino, August 2, 2023

If you've just bought your first HomeKit or Matter smart bulbs, you'll need to know how to control them in Apple's Home app. With just a few taps and swipes on your iPhone, you can quickly adjust brightness levels, change colors, or turn your lights on or off. We'll show you how.

What You'll Need

Before controlling your lights, you'll need to add your smart home product to Apple HomeKit or add a Matter smart home device to Apple Home. There are many compatible lighting devices available: bulbs, switches, lamps, strips, panels, etc., but the functions available may vary. During the pairing process, you name your light and assign it to a room in your home. These make it easier to track down your lights in the Home app. If you want to control your lights remotely or take advantage of advanced features like Adaptive Lighting or Automation, you'll also need to set up an Apple Home Hub. Finally, you need to make sure all your devices are up to date and running the latest software.

How to Switch Your Smart Bulbs in the Home App

Once you have a smart bulb, lamp, or switch in the Home app, you can turn it on and off in several ways. The quickest and easiest method is to switch your light between the Home or Room view. Start by launching the Home app, then tap the More... button in the top right corner of your screen. Then tap the room with your light. Now tap directly on your lamp's device icon. The Home app automatically turns it on or off based on the current status of your bulb. If you miss the icon or tap the name of your bulb, the device control screen appears. You can toggle non-dimmable bulbs within device controls by simply tapping the slider or swiping your finger up or down. If your light has dimming capabilities, you'll need to use a slightly different slider to turn on your lights. Slide your finger up from the bottom of the slider to any point above the off position to turn on your lights. Drag the slider down to turn off your lights.

How to Dim Your Smart Bulbs

One of the best use cases for smart bulbs is creating ambiance in and around the home through dimming. As you'd expect, adjusting the brightness levels for your smart bulbs is similar to turning them on or off in the Home app. Launch the Home app, then tap the More... button. Now tap the name of the room with your smart bulb. Then tap the name of your bulb to open device controls. Once the slider appears, swipe your finger up or down to set the desired brightness level. You can also tap anywhere on the slider, such as the center, to go to a specific brightness.

How to Change the Color of Your Smart Bulbs

Another popular use for smart bulbs is using them to create pops of color throughout your home. Apple's Home app makes it easy to pick the perfect hue or set a favorite color with just a few taps. To customize the color of your bulbs, launch the Home app and tap the More... button. Then select a room with a compatible bulb by tapping its name. Now tap on the name of your bulb to open the familiar device control screen. From here you can set a preset color by tapping one of the available options below the brightness slider. To adjust the color of your light, tap a Preset Color option, then tap Edit. Once the color picker appears, tap or swipe on an area to dial in or set the color you want. To choose between shades of white, tap Temperature above the Color Picker. Similar to selecting a color, tap an area or swipe the color picker to set your white tone. Once you've found the right color or temperature, tap Done in the top right corner of the Home app to save your selection.

Other Ways to Control Your HomeKit Smart Lights

In addition to adjusting brightness, switching power, or changing colors, you can use the Home app to control your lights in other ways. For example, if you have multiple lights in the same room, you can group your HomeKit accessories in the Home app for even faster control. Like groups, you can create HomeKit scenes in the Apple Home app to combine your lights with other smart accessories. However, with Scenes you are not limited to lights. With Scenes you can dim the lights, turn on the TV and close the blinds, all with a single tap. The Home app also lets you put Apple HomeKit devices to good use with automation. Automation allows you to create schedules for your home, such as turning on your lights at dusk, or making your lighting respond to changes, such as a door opening. Controlling your smart home with Apple Watch and Siri is another benefit of adding your lights to the Home app. By naming your smart lights and assigning them to a room, you can quickly make changes through your Apple Watch or through voice commands like "Hey Siri, turn on the kitchen table lamp" through devices like the HomePod. Finally, if you have compatible hardware, you can also use Adaptive Lighting with your Apple HomeKit lights via the Home app. With adaptive lighting, your lights automatically adjust their color temperature throughout the day, from bright white in the afternoon to warmer tones in the evening.

Apple Home: Smart control for your smart lights

Now that you know how to control your smart lights with the Home app, you can take advantage of dimming, color control, scenes and much more. You can do it all with a few clicks on your iPhone or other Apple devices.

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