How to Build a Philips Hue Smart Home

How to Build a Philips Hue Smart Home

Philips Hue is an established line of smart LED lights and fixtures. It is without a doubt the most renowned smart lighting brand among many smart homes.

From its fancy lights, popular multicolor lights, and the ever–affordable white lights, Philips Hue has smart lights suitable for every home’s needs. Whenever you’re planning on switching to a smart home, this should be the brand that comes to mind.

This is because it’s well established, well developed, and compatible with most of the popular smart home brands you might have heard of.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in IFTTT, Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, Ring, or even Google Nest smart products; Philips Hue is compatible with all of them.

When you decide to purchase Philips Hue smart lights, you won’t need to get rid of some of your smart devices to accommodate them. It will work with all the smart devices you own efficiently. 

Here is a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about building a Philips Hue smart home;

Which Philips Hue Smart Lights Should I Get For My Smart Home?

Here are some options for you:

The Best Philips Hue Smart Lights for a Beginner (Philips Hue White)

Philips Hue White smart lights are the most suitable for you if you’re trying to learn how the whole smart light system works and how to automate it. When you decide to get the Philips Hue White lights, you’ll need a Hue Bridge plugged into the router.

This Bridge helps you control and automate your smart lights for even better functionality. Although the newest Philips Hue smart lights can be paired directly with Bluetooth, you might want to rethink that.

This is because as much as the connection would have been made easier, you’ll end up missing some key features when you drop the Philips Hue Bridge.

Although it’s possible to purchase the Hue Bridge on its own, you’ll save a lot more money when you get it together with the starter kit, and that’s where the Philips Hue White come it.

The starter kit of the Philips Hue White comes with three white bulbs and a smart button which you have the freedom to program to and control your smart lights the way you please, and it costs $99.

The importance of getting the Hue Bridge is that it enables you to connect your smart lights with any third-party platform of your choice.

The Best Philips Hue Smart Lights for Colors (Philips Hue Play)

If you want smart lights from Philips Hue that accommodate color changing, this is the perfect product. The best thing about the Philips Hue Play smart lights is that they are easy to mount.

This means that you can hide them behind the shelf or the TV and still enjoy the ambiance they create. If you have an interest in photography, you might find these smart lights very suitable for those flicks.

With the help of the Hue HDMI Sync Box, you can integrate these lights with your TV and have them match any color that appears on there. Even though they cost more than the white lights, the Philip Hue Play smart lights bring more color and entertainment to your home.

How to Use the Philips Hue Smart Lights

To get started with Philips Hue smart lights, you need first to plug in the Home Bridge, ensure that it is on, and then connect it to your router using an Ethernet cable. After that, ensure that your Philips Hue bulbs are fitted, or you can also turn on the Hue fixtures.

When all that is done, you can now download the Philips Hue app. If you’re using an Android phone, you can get the app on Playstore, and if you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or macOS, the app is available on Appstore.

The Philips Hue app will guide you on adding the smart lights to its system for more personalized control. When you’ve paired the smart lights with the Philips Hue app, it’s important to differentiate the different lights in your home with unique names.

You can start by assigning them to the different rooms they appear for easier access and to avoid confusion. The Philips Hue app is even more useful when you integrate it with digital voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

With these voice assistants, you can give voice commands to the smart lights and respond accordingly. With the Philips Hue app, you can create more personalized scenes and have the smart lights light in different colors.

For example, you can have a certain theme as a scene to be activated during the night, and the smart lights will do just that.

How Do the Philips Hue Smart Lights Work?

Philips Hue smart lights primarily work via Zigbee. Zigbee is a wireless communication technology like Bluetooth or your home Wi-Fi. When connected with your Philips Hue smart lights, it will have them communicating with each other and their control hub.

The Hue Bridge’s main job is to translate various commands from Zigbee to your Wi-Fi connection so that it can trigger different functionalities of your smart lights.

For example, when you ask Google Assistant to turn on the bedroom lights, this command is translated by the Hue Bridge, which is then transformed into a Zigbee signal directly sent to your Philips Hue lights.

When your Philips Hue smart lights are connected to the Hue Bridge, it ensures that they’re always connected to the cloud. This means you can control your smart lights remotely from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection and have them respond accordingly and in real-time.

Does the Zigbee Connection Cost Anything?

The answer is no. There is no form of Zigbee subscription like with your Wi-Fi. Zigbee is more like a Bluetooth connection; it’s locally provided specifically for your home.

All you need to establish a Zigbee connection is to screw in your Philips Hue smart lights and plug your Hue Bridge onto the router. The two devices will generate a Zigbee connection that they will be using to communicate with each other.

Do the New Bluetooth-Enabled Philips Hue Smart Lights Require the Hue Bridge?

The recent Philips Hue smart lights are not that different from the initial ones. The only development is that they have a Bluetooth connection enabled in addition to the Zigbee receiver. This makes pairing them with your Smartphone a lot easier. Ideal if you want to use Philips hue without a bridge.

The Bluetooth-powered Philips Hue lights will only turn on and off your smart lights with a Bluetooth connection. Anything beyond Bluetooth connection will require an additional hub for these smart lights.

If you’re looking to advance your Philips Hue lights integration with other platforms such as Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, IFTTT, and IKEA trådfri this isn’t possible.

The only remedy to this is that you’ll need to connect them directly to an Amazon Echo speaker, a Google Nest display, a HomePod mini, ikea trådfri hue bridge or one of the Google Home speakers.

After this connection, you’ll now be able to control their functions via Alexa or Google Home apps and give voice commands using Alexa or Google Assistant.  

What More Can the Philips Hue Smart Lights Do?

Philips Hue smart lights are mostly maintained to be dimmed or controlled using an app on a mobile phone or via a digital voice assistant. With this automation, you can schedule these lights to turn on or off whenever you need them to.

For example, you can schedule Philips Hue smart lights to turn on in the morning or sunset. Also, you can use Philip Hue smart lights for more creative tasks, such as having them blink whenever you receive an email or text message from an important contact on your phone.

However, you can also integrate your Philips hue smart lights with your motion sensors or smoke and CO detectors. This will have the lights turn on whenever someone enters the house or when smoke and carbon are detected in your home.

The Philips Hue lights can also be integrated with Google Assistant. This will enable the lights to fade 30 minutes before your alarm goes off.

What Do Philips Hue Smart Lights Work With?

Many homeowners prefer Philips Hue lights because they can work with many other smart devices and platforms. Philips Hue lights is one of the few lighting brands that incorporates all three main digital voice assistants in Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Philips Hue also works with other main smart home players such as Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Vivint, Hubitat, Homebridge, HOOBS and Comcast Xfinity Home. However, it’s important to note that you’ll require the Hue Bridge to connect Philips Hue lights with smart devices from these devices.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to light up your smart home in a major and effective way, look no further because Philips Hue lights are perfect for your entire smart light needs.

With Philips Hue, you’re guaranteed that you can integrate your smart lights with smart devices from other brands without a long and complicated protocol.

Philips Hue smart lights ensure that you get what you’re paying for and more in matters smart lights.

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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