Alexa Smart Lights

How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue Lights (and any other type of smart light)

Controlling your lights using your voice? It’s still odd to us but the more we use Siri or Alexa to change our lights, the less odd it becomes. In fact, it’s become quite handy for our increasingly tech based home. What commands can you actually say? Here’s a list of the commands to help you use Siri to control your Phillips Hue Lights.

 

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How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue Lights

It’s taken us several weeks to get use to the notion of controlling our lights using our voice. Initially, being able to turn off one light with our voice seemed like a waste of time but if you’re running multiple lights, lamps and a Nanoleaf Aurora, being able to say “Turn off all my lights” will save you a bit of time.

For this post, we’ll cover the basic and intermediate Siri voice commands. In the advanced section, we’ll cover how to really customize your light setup using scene’s and the Phillips Hue App.

Basic Siri Commands for Phillips Hue Lights

Basic Siri Voice Commands - How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue LightsHere’s a list of basic commands. For most users, this is probably all you need to manage the smart home lighting in your home.

  • “Hey Siri, turn on/off my lights”
  • “Hey Siri, shut off my lights”
  • “Hey Siri, can you make sure all the lights are off?”

Based on your Apple Home setup, you can issue a voice command for a specific room.

  • “Hey Siri, turn on/off my <room> lights”
  • “Hey Siri, can you make sure all the basement lights are off?”

Before we move on, we’ll also note that you can check on the status of any smart lights in your house by asking:

  • “Are my lights off?”
  • “Are my <room> lights off?”

For the most part, we’re pretty sure Siri will be able to understand any voice command formulated with comprehensible grammar. This even worked:

  • “Hey Siri, Lights…basement…on” (said in a barbarian voice)

Intermediate Siri Commands for Phillips Hue Lights

Dimmable Siri Voice Commands - How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue LightsjpgOnto commands that are a little more complex and will probably take a couple of tries to get right/remember when to use them.

  • “Hey Siri, can you dim the lights?”
  • “Hey Siri, can you dim the <room> lights?”

Now these commands aren’t hard by themselves but you can set a specific % of light dimming in the commands as well.

  • “Hey Siri, can you dim the lights to 42%”
  • “Hey Siri, change the brightness of the basement lights to 43%”

Siri Voice Commands for Color - How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue LightsIn addition to dimming lights, you can ask Siri to change the colour of the lights all at once or on a bulb per bulb basis.

  • “Hey Siri, can you change/set the colour of the lights to orange”

You can be very specific in the colour as well:

  • “Hey Siri, can you set the colour of the lights to magenta?”
  • “Hey Siri, can you set the colour of the lights to cerulean?”

Lastly, we’ll note is that Siri fails when combining the a dimming command and colour change command.

  • “Hey Siri, dim my lights to 33% and change the colour to pink”

This command will result in Siri saying that it can’t.

Advanced Siri Commands for Phillips Hue Lights

Advanced Siri commands seem like a misnomer since Siri isn’t great at answering anything complicated. Even in the example above, Siri wasn’t able to figure out the two separate commands even though it fully understands them by themselves.

First of all, we’ll touch on controlling the power/colour/brightness on specific light bulbs. This may seem like a basic command but if you watched our video, you’ll know how frustrated Aaron got trying to get Siri to understand “Orb of Power”.

So the take away? If you’re looking to name your Phillips Hue Go lamp, don’t be clever. Go with a mundane name like “Portable lamp” rather than “Orb of Power”. With that being said, all the commands listed above will work with specific lights.

  • “Hey Siri, Dim Hue Color Lamp 4 to 12%”
  • “Hey Siri, turn of Hue Ambiance lamp 2”
  • “Hey Siri, change the color of Hue color lamp 3 to baby blue”

Set Custom Scenes - How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue LightsThe last command that we’ll touch on is the ability to set scenes using Siri. Now at the beginning of the video, we mentioned used the commands “Set Pickles” and “Set What What” to change the colours of the lights in our room. These “scenes” are set in the Phillips Hue App and there’s something odd about them.

If you goto the scene’s in your Phillips Hue App, you’ll find a list of pre-existing scene’s. For the most part, we weren’t able to use the fancy ones like “Spring blossom” or “Arctic Aurora” but we had lots of success with “Relax” and “Concentrate”.

To create your own, goto the room where you want the scene to be set, press “Scene” at the top of the screen, scroll to the bottom and press the + button.

You know have the option to base the colours of your lights on a photograph or base them on the current light settings. Once you’ve decided on your colour setup, enter in a name for the scene. Again, we’d recommend with a mundane name as a scene that is too wordy may not work with Siri.


Did we miss anything in our “How to use Siri to control your Phillips Hue Lights” post? Let us know!

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