How to use adaptive lighting in HomeKit

Cupertino, October 21, 2021

Adaptive lighting is one of the outstanding features of the Apple HomeKit. For compatible bulbs, HomeKit allows you to adjust the color temperature throughout the day so that your lights match natural light.

This can help you live and work more comfortably - we've seen similar technology in the Dyson LightCycle Morph. In this guide, I will show you how to configure Adaptive Lighting and how to enable and disable the feature, as it appears as an additional control.

To get started, you'll need lights that are compatible with HomeKit and Adaptive Lighting. At the moment, the range is not huge, but includes the complete set of Philips Hue bulbs and lights and Nanoleaf essentials. I assume your lights have already been added to the Apple HomeKit.

1. Turn on adaptive lighting

If you have lights that support Adaptive Lighting, they will appear in the Home application. Open it and then tap the Home button, you should see a banner that says Adaptive Lighting now available. Tap the Set up lights link, then you can choose which lights you want to use with it and you're done.

This box disappears after you select the lights, so it's usually easier to go in and turn it on or off manually.

Start Adaptive Lighting in the Home app

2. Start Adaptive Lighting with the Home application

Select a room in the Home application, then tap and hold a light (or group of lights) to display its options. In addition to the general color selections and the brightness bar, you will see a special icon with a sun in it: this is the Adaptive Lighting control.

Touch this and your lights will automatically start adjusting their color temperature throughout the day.

Use adaptive lighting controls

3. Control your lights

With Adaptive Lighting turned on, you cannot change the color or temperature of the lights. If you do this, your bulbs will permanently stick to the new setting until you restart Adaptive Lighting.

However, you can adjust the brightness. This affects the color temperature: colder at maximum brightness, warmer at minimum brightness.

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4. Use Siri to set the Adaptive Brightness

Because you may want your smart lights to have different colors, you may want to turn on adaptive lighting only during the work day. An easy way to do this without having to open the app is to use Siri on your iPhone or HomePod Mini. He just says, "Hey Siri, set the lights to adaptation ”.

5. Use a manual switch

You can also set the lights to turn on at the touch of a button, provided you have a compatible HomeKit control. All Hue switches appear in the HomeKit, although if you use them here, they may conflict with the settings you set in the Hue application. So if you want to use a Hue control, make sure the Hue app is set to do nothing when a button is pressed.

Alternatively, you can use another system. I use the Flic 2 buttons to do the same job, as they can be added to the HomeKit.

Once you have a button, long press it in the HomeKit and you will see that you can configure its actions. For Flic 2, there are actions for single press, double press and long press. Touch Add next to the action you want to control, then select the lights you want to control and tap Next. Then, long press the lights and select the desired brightness level and the Adaptive Lighting icon, tap Done and you don't have a control to turn on Adaptive Lighting when you want.

Button control for Adaptive Lighting

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