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HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

My family has never used light bulbs unless we have company. We prefer natural light and lamps. A few years ago, we replaced all of our bulbs with LED bulbs and invested in HomeKit-compatible socket switches as a way to control them from the Home app, HomePod with Siri, and HomeKit automation. As part of my outdoor lighting project that I did earlier this year, I invested in a Philips Hue hub with Hue outdoor projectors. After a few months of use, I decided I was ready to start converting my outlets to Hue bulbs.

Weekly HomeKit is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks and everything related to the Apple smart home frame.

Philips has created its own ecosystem with the Hue range. The first thing you will need to purchase is a starter kit that includes a Hub. Most starter kits also include a few light bulbs to get you started. I initially wondered why light bulbs shouldn’t talk directly to HomeKit about the need to use a hub.

After years of using HomeKit, I began to realize that the protocol was not perfect. In some cases, it’s more reliable to have a hub connected to Ethernet / power that can handle the HomeKit, so all devices need to do is talk to the Hub again. In a word, it comes down to reliability. If you have multiple HomeKit products, you know that there are times when they need to be turned on to maintain HomeKit connectivity. But the Hue bulbs I have have been working flawlessly since they were installed.

HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

With the Philips Hue HomeKit setup, I have a Hub, four projectors I mentioned earlier, two regular bulbs and two bulbs that can be changed to different colors. One of the most immediate differences in the use of Hue bulbs compared to standard LED bulbs with a HomeKit switched socket is that they can be adjusted. Many of you shake your head thinking, “Of course, that’s a key difference.” It simply hadn’t occurred to me that fatigue was something I was missing. Ever since I added the first light bulbs, I’ve been able to adjust some of our morning scenes when I wake up drinking coffee, but no one is awake. I used the Abode motion sensor to turn on a few lights after 5 in the morning when they detected motion, but now I can use Hue bulbs to keep their brightness at 30% when they light up in the morning. I created a second automation to turn up the lights 100% at 7 in the morning when the rest of my family usually wakes up. This feature makes choosing a Hue bulb a better choice than a standard LED with switched socket.

HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

My next purchase was a set of Hue bulbs that can be changed to colors other than a standard light. I said in previous articles that the August lock is my wife’s favorite smart home product, but Hue colored light bulbs are my kids’ favorite smart home products. I want them now in every room and I want them to have “dance parties” every night, where they dance listening to the Trolls World Tour soundtrack.

The Hue app offers several different colors and presets that you can configure. I especially like the built-in scenes, because we use the Nightlight mode after our children sleep. It still gives us a little light in the living room, but it doesn’t light their rooms. Regarding the daily use of different colors, we found that when we want to watch a movie, it is an excellent option to use a brightness of 40% with a red hue to give the room more of a “theater” configuration. .

Philips Hue Homekit support and software updates

HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

As good as the Hue app is, I prefer to control all my smart home products in the Home app. Shade bulbs can be dimmed and change colors without leaving the Home app. They can be part of automation just like any other HomeKit product, and this is where the magic of HomeKit comes in. I can use an Aqara motion sensor to automatically control a Hue bulb without the two companies having to build integration. If you’re a HomeKit fan, all you need to know is that Hue is a first-class citizen.

One aspect of the Philips Hue experience that I appreciate is the automatic software updates. I have quite a problem keeping everything in the latest software, so when I have dozens of HomeKit products, if some of them stay up to date, this is one less thing to worry about. As more IoT devices appear, it will be essential to keep them up to date to maintain the right vulnerabilities.

Wrap up

HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

If you want to build a complete ecosystem of HomeKit compatible lighting products, the Philips Hue ecosystem is a great place to start. They have countless options for building interior and exterior lighting, which is more traditional and combines with your home, as well as more modern products, if you want to make a statement.

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HomeKit Weekly: Ready to change up your lights? Philips Hue has plenty of options

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