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How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights

March 31st, 2016 by Mark Daly in Industry News No Comments »
How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Philips Hue is a really cool Wi-Fi-enabled lighting system that allows you to turn on and off your lights right from your smartphone (or from other smarthome-controlling devices, like the Amazon Echo). Here’s how to set up your first batch of bulbs.

What Is Philips Hue?

Lighting has advanced dramatically over the last few years, especially with the introduction of LED bulbs, which use way less power, last longer, and cost less to operate in the long run.

However, smart lighting takes an even further step forward, and Philips is leading the way with its Hue lineup of smart bulbs. These are light bulbs that work with any standard light socket that you already have in your house’s light fixtures, but they have some added internal components that allow them to be controlled wirelessly from your smartphone.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

There are a handful of different Hue light bulbs that Philips offers. Its most popular, though, is the $199 Hue White and Color Starter Kit, which comes with the required Hue Bridge, as well as three Hue light bulbs that can change colors and do all sorts of neat stuff. You can also get the cheaper $79 Hue White Starter Kit, which comes with the Hue Bridge and two Hue White bulbs, which are nothing more than just dimmable soft white bulbs.

Since the bulbs can’t directly connect to your home’s WiFi network, the Hue Bridge is a hub that acts as the middleman of sorts. Your light bulbs connect to the hub, and the hub connects to your router.

This involves a bit more setup than what you might have originally anticipated, but it’s actually very easy to set up Philips Hue lights. Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to get it all up and running.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights

When you unbox your Philips Hue lights, you’ll get a Hue Bridge, a power adapter, an ethernet cable, and either two or three light bulbs, depending on which starter kit you bought.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Start by installing the light bulbs into the light fixtures that you want to control wirelessly, and be sure to turn the power on for these light fixtures. The Philips Hue bulbs will automatically turn on, letting you know that they’re working properly and are ready to be paired to the Hue Bridge.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Next, plug in the Hue Bridge by connecting the power adapter to the Bridge and the other end into an available outlet. After that, connect one end of the ethernet cable to the Bridge and the other end into an available ethernet port on the back of your router. You have to plug it directly into your router with an ethernet cable–the Hue Bridge does not have Wi-Fi built in; it uses the Wi-Fi in your router. Yes, this is kind of annoying.

Once all three lights are lit up on the Bridge, it’s ready to be set up.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Next, download the Philips Hue app for iOS or Android. Be aware that there are a lot of third-party Philips Hue apps available, so you’ll want to make sure to download the official one in order to set up your lights at first. Fortunately, if you type in “Philips Hue” in the search box, the official Philips Hue app will likely be the first result to pop up.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Once the app is downloaded, open it up and swipe through the introduction (or tap “skip” in the bottom-right corner).

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Tap on the big “Start” button in the middle to begin the setup process.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

You’ll be prompted to press the Push-Link button on the Philips Hue Bridge, which is the round button on top of the device with “Philips” etched in the center. You get about 30 seconds to push this button before you’ll need to start over.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

If you have an iOS device, the next step is setting up Siri voice control, which allows you tocontrol your Philips Hue lights using Siri by saying commands like “turn on living room lights” or “dim bedroom lights to 50%.”

Go ahead and tap on “Set up” at the bottom.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

On the next page, you’ll get a brief overview of what Siri can do with your lights. Tap on “Pair Bridge” to get started with setting up Siri voice control.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

This next step requires you to scan the HomeKit number that’s on the back of your Philips Hue Bridge, which requires nothing more than hovering the viewfinder over the back of the Bridge, and having it automatically detect the number. However, you can enter in this number manually by tapping on “Enter code manually” at the bottom of the screen.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

After that, you’ll get a confirmation saying that the setup for Siri completed successfully, and you can tap “Done” in the top-right corner to move on to the next step.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Now it’s time to add your Philips Hue light bulbs to your Hue Bridge, so make sure that the bulbs you want to add are turned on and then tap “Auto search” at the bottom.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Your Hue Bridge will now automatically search for any Hue light bulbs within its vicinity, and they’ll begin showing up in the list one by one. When it’s done searching, the “Searching…” prompt with disappear. (This may take a few minutes, so give it time.)

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

If there’s a light bulb that wasn’t automatically detected, you can tap on “Connect new lights” and try the auto search function again or do a manual search, where you’ll enter in the serial number for the missing light bulbs. You’ll find the serial number on the bulbs themselves.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Next, you can tap on an individual bulb and rename it to whatever you want. For example, you could name your living room bulbs “Living Room.” This is especially useful when you use Siri, since you can tell her to turn on or off bulbs by their names (“Hey Siri, turn on Living Room lights”).

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

After you have renamed your lights, tap on the back arrow in the top-left corner, and then tap on the menu icon in the same location.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

From there, select “Lights” from the sidebar menu.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

From there, you can begin controlling your Philips Hue lights right from your smartphone. Tapping on the downward-facing arrow toward the top-right corner allows you to change the color of the bulbs, if you have ones that are able to do so.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

If you want to be able to control your Hue lights when you’re away from home, you’ll need to create an account on Philips’ website. You can do this by selecting “Log in to my Hue” in the sidebar menu and tap “Log in” at the bottom.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

The Philips Hue website will load in your web browser. Go ahead and select “Create an account” at the bottom.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Enter in your name, email address, password, and agree to the terms and conditions. Then tap on “Next step.”

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Next, you’ll need to push the Push-Link button just like you did earlier when you first set up the Hue Bridge.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

The website will verify the hub and it should verify the connection. Hit “Continue.”

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

On the next page, you’ll want to select “Yes” when it asks for access to your bridge for controlling your lights while you’re away from home. After that, you’ll be taken back to the Philips Hue app and remote access will now be enabled.

What You Can Do with Your Philips Hue Lights

Turning on and off your lights from your smartphone might be awesome, and turning them on and off with Siri is awfully convenient. But there are a handful of things you can do that don’t just involve flipping your lights on and off. Here are some of the basic features of Philips Hue lights that you can enable in the Philips Hue app.

Group Bulbs Together

If you have two or more bulbs in one room (or even in one fixture), you probably want to control all of those bulbs at once. Luckily, you can group bulbs together in the Philips Hue app.

By selecting “Lights” in the menu and tapping on the downward-facing arrow toward the upper-right corner, this brings up the color selector that you played around with earlier.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

To group light bulbs together, simply tap and hold on a light (indicated by the numbered pins) and drag it over another light. A pop-up should appear that will automatically group these lights together.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Lift your finger and those two lights will now become one pin. From there, you can drag the pin around to change the color, and the new settings will change on all of the bulbs in the group.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Set Your Lights to Different “Scenes”

In the world of Philips Hue, scenes is a fancy term for presets. If there’s a particular color you like, or a certain brightness you use often, you can create a scene from it and activate it with one tap. Even if you don’t have the fancy color-changing Hue lights, you can still create scenes with your white-only bulbs by setting them at specific brightness levels and creating a scene from that.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

By accessing the menu in the Philips Hue app and selecting “Scenes,” you can view all of the scenes that you have created. When you first visit this page, you’ll see a bunch of Philips’ default scenes, but you can press and hold to delete any that you don’t want.

To create a scene, click the Menu button in the top-left corner and go back to the “Lights” menu. Adjust your lights to how you want them, including any specific colors, and then tap on “Create” in the top-right corner. (On Android, this will be an icon with two squares rather than the word “Create”.)

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Uncheck the lights that you don’t want included in the scene and then tap “Save” in the top-right corner.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Give the scene a name and hit “Ok.” This scene will now appear in “Scenes” and can be quickly activated by just tapping on it.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

You can also create a scene by heading to the “Scenes” section and tapping on the “+” icon in the top-right corner.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

From here, you can choose either “Photo” or “Light Recipe.”

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Choosing a photo allows you to adjust the colors of your Hue lights to match the main colors of a photo, making it a quick-and-dirty way to get the right colors you want without doing it all manually.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Light Recipes, on the other hand, are pre-made scenes that are geared for different scenarios, like reading, concentrating, relaxing, and so on. There are only four of them to choose from, but hopefully Philips adds more in the near future.

How to Set Up Your Philips Hue Lights ilicomm Technology Solutions

Keep in mind that the two above methods don’t work on Hue White bulbs–only the color-changing bulbs (thus why “Living Room” in the above screenshot is grayed out).

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